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Archives for : Caste Discrminination

Hyderabad: Chappals thrown at Dalit writer Kancha Ilaiah #WTFnews

Kancha Ilaiah under fire from Vysya community for his book

The Vysya associations are livid with Dr Kancha Ilaiah for his book titled `Samajika smugglurlu komatollu’ (Vysyas are social smugglers). Vysya associations are complaining that the title and some contents of the book are derogatory and offensive to the community.

 Kancha Ilaiah, Kancha Ilaiah attacked, Kancha Ilaiah book, Chappals thrown at Kancha Ilaiah, Kancha Ilaiah Hyderbad, Vysya community, Samajika smugglurlu komatollu, india news, indian expressThe Vysya associations are livid with Dr Ilaiah for his book titled `Samajika smugglurlu komatollu’ (Vysyas are social smugglers).

Dalit writer Kancha Ilaiah alleges attack by four people

The alleged attack on Ilaiah sparked tension between members of Arya Vysya caste and Dalits who came face to face.

Prominent Dalit writer and intellectual Kancha Ilaiah on Saturday filed a police complaint stating that four persons attacked his vehicle in the town and tried to kill him.

The alleged attack on Ilaiah sparked tension between members of Arya Vysya caste and Dalits who came face to face. However, the police averted any escalation in tension by dispersing the groups.

A police official said around 200 members of Arya Vysya community held a demonstration at Ambedkar chowrasta (crossing) in the town after they spotted Ilaiah’s vehicle. The writer was headed towards Hyderabad after attending a function at Bhupalpally.

The community is angry at Ilaiah over his book “Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu” (Vysyas are social smugglers), and were demanding apology from the writer, the official said.

He said sensing trouble Ilaiah’s driver diverted the car to Parkal Town police station.

In his complaint, Ilaiah stated that four persons attacked his vehicle and tried to kill him, the official said, adding that no FIR was registered in the matter.

The situation became tense after protesters followed Ilaiah to the police station and laid a siege.

Meanwhile, members of dalit communities came to know about the incident and rushed to the police station. “Members of both the communities raised slogans against each other,” the official said.

Circle Inspector John Narsimhulu and other police personnel pacified the two groups and asked them to leave the campus of the police station.

However, both the groups gathered at the crossing and again started raising slogans, following which police personnel rushed to the spot and dispersed them.

The official said Ilaiah proceeded to Warangal city with a police escort.

Arya Vysya associations had held protests in Hyderabad earlier this month alleging that the title of Ilaiah’s book and some of its contents were “derogatory and demeaning” to the community and sought withdrawal of the book.

Following the protests, Ilaiah had lodged a police complaint alleging threat to life over his book.


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Maharashtra hasn’t overcome its primordial and divisive caste proclivities

Maratha Kranti Morchas

In the shadow of caste

Hailed as the cradle of the Indian renaissance, Maharashtra hasn’t overcome its primordial and divisive caste proclivities

This country is broken into a thousand pieces,

its cities, its religion, its castes.

Its people, and even the minds of the people

— all are broken, fragmented.

—Bapurao Jagtap

(This Country is Broken, translated by Vilas Sarang)

  • Medha Khole, a senior scientist at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), lodged a police complaint accusing her cook Nirmala Yadav of concealing her caste and posing as a Brahmin woman for a job. Khole said she required a married cook from the Brahmin community to prepare food on special occasions like the Ganesh festival and during the puja in memory of her deceased parents.
  • Bhalchandra (Bhau) Kadam, a popular Marathi theatre and film actor, was at the receiving end of his Buddhist-Dalit community when Kadam installed an eco-friendly tree Ganesha idol, which some Ambedkarites claimed went against the 22 vows prescribed by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar for his followers while renouncing Hinduism and adopting Buddhism. One of these includes not worshipping Hindu Gods like Ganpati.
  • Since last year, Maharashtra’s caste cauldron has been on the boil after members of the dominant Maratha community organised a series of silent Maratha Kranti Morchas. Demands included quotas and preventing the misuse of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Non-Marathas, including Dalits, retaliated with similar Bahujan Kranti Morchas.

The darkness, as the cliché goes, lurks at the bottom of the lamp. Maharashtra, hailed as the cradle of the Indian renaissance, having produced social reformers like Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Ambedkar, Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj and Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, has not been able to overcome its primordial and divisive caste proclivities.

Despite the march towards a globalised economy, where old barriers are breaking down and new reference points are being created, the inhuman and unnatural system of caste may be a bit like the law of thermodynamics — something that cannot be destroyed but that which changes form.

(Left) Medha Khole; (Right) Bhalchandra (Bhau) Kadam

(Left) Medha Khole; (Right) Bhalchandra (Bhau) Kadam

Superior by default

“We need to question the notion that caste has been rooted out from the educated sections. These people take recourse to many substantive ways to reinforce the caste system,” noted Deepak Pawar, assistant professor, department of civics and politics, University of Mumbai. Though inter-caste and inter-religious marriages take place, such couples are in a minority, he adds. Such matches are also difficult in a rural milieu.

“There is a section of Brahmins that has become more vocal after the BJP came to power… as the organisations providing ideological support to it are seen as those of Brahmins or pro-Brahmin. Conservative Brahmins who were in hibernation have secured a new lease of life. They feel Brahmins are superior by default,” said Pawar.

Hari Narke, professor and head of the Mahatma Phule chair at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), noted that while Khole had the right to observe sovale (purity rituals) in the confines of her home, she could not discriminate on grounds of caste or gender.

“Bhau Kadam has accepted his mistake. He has his personal freedom but it was morally wrong to install a Ganesh idol while being a follower of Babasaheb,” said senior Dalit activist and litterateur Arjun Dangle, while adding that any threats to him, including those for expulsion from the community, were wrong.

“Since Buddhism is part of an Indic tradition, some Hindu customs remain part of it. The growing hardline sentiment among Buddhist Dalits is harmful. They are within their rights to protest against Bhau Kadam, but the aggressive manner in which his apology was forced is wrong. The decline of the Ambedkarite movement and politics has left the youth with little constructive to do, which leads them to this path,” noted an Ambedkarite intellectual.

He pointed out how the Dalit-Ambedkarite movement, which was once a potent social, intellectual and political force and birthed an avant-garde genre of literature, had been weakened. The Dalit middle class largely remains passive about socio-political movements, is more interested in religious and cultural affairs and seeks upward socio-economic mobility instead of providing intellectual leadership to the movement.

However, there are some who disagree. “The Constitution grants freedom to practice one’s religion but not for deviousness. Bhau claims to be a Buddhist and also tries to pass off as a Hindu,” said Ambedkarite blogger MD Ramteke.

He explained that the first qualification of an Ambedkarite was rejecting the (Hindu) gods and religion which forced them to suffer for ages. “Bhau Kadam’s case is that of double standards. In case of devious behaviour, some backlash from the society is but logical,” said Ramteke.

“The Khole episode shows how Hindus are divided… However, many Brahmins came out against Khole’s behaviour,” said Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Avinash Mahatekar.

Reasons for resurgence

Pawar noted that social media served as a medium of casteist expression and for buttressing existing notions. “On one hand, we see inter-caste and inter-religious marriages while on the other hand, social attitudes are becoming more rigid,” he said.

Pawar explained that despite the universalisation of education, the decline of liberal arts and social sciences had contributed to the present state of affairs. “Hence, Ambedkar’s followers talk about him without reading his works while educated Hindus working in the IT sector still cling on to superstitions,” he said.

The spatial integration across classes and communities in shared living spaces like chawls and lower and middle-class housing are being replaced by gated communities where people belong to just one class. “People are unable to think outside the rigid confines of their caste,” he rued, adding that niche Dalit newspapers often targeted those like Kadam who celebrated Hindu festivals.

Activists admit that like the protagonist in Baburao Bagul’s famous short story Jenvha Mee Jaat Chorli Hoti (When I was forced to conceal my caste), cooks and domestic help are often forced to lie about their caste or religion to get employment.

Writer-activist Sanjay Sonwani said the new moral order and popular media post-liberalisation had chosen to project only middle and upper-middle class culture while rejecting the plight of the poor and working classes. “This combined with consumerism has created an economic, cultural and social gap which feeds such feelings,” he explained.

Warning signs?

Stating that such incidents were warning signs for Indian society, which is progressing towards becoming a nation than just being a geographical entity called a country, Yuvak Kranti Dal founder Dr Kumar Saptarshi said this indicated that caste, which was unique to Indian society, was re-surfacing.

Saptarshi said that the “Khole incident has proved that impact of Manusmruti and the ego of upper castes still prevails while the Kadam incident has shown that followers of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar are not influenced by him in the real sense.”

Mahatma Gandhi had successfully argued that India was one nation and the basis for this argument was the rich, old culture it possessed. After attaining Independence, the process of doing away with erstwhile princely states and reducing the gap between different castes and communities to evolve as a society is going on.

Saptarshi, however, noted that such stray incidents were to be welcomed since they “ring a caution bell to remind all of us to march on the journey of nation-building which would result in creating a modern nation.”

Saptarshi said that it was interesting to note that Maratha organisations were condemning Khole and organising protests since the victim was a Maratha. But in Bhau Kadam’s case, Saptarshi said, “these organisations are not coming forward so strongly to condemn the boycott on Kadam because he is not a Maratha. Obviously, this is bringing to the fore the strong clutch of caste on our society.”

Brahmin bashing?

Terming the entire episode as uncalled for, Moreshwar Ghaisas, the in-charge of Ghaisas Guruji Ved-Paathshala in Pune said Hinduism or religion per se did not define any rituals for sovale or purity.

Ghaisas said Khole had provided yet another opportunity for Brahmin bashing. “Those accusing Khole of being casteist are silent on the Bhau Kadam episode,” said Ghaisas, adding this was because Brahmins did not have a nuisance value and would not retaliate violently. This led to them being subject to attacks after stray examples like that of Khole.

Ghaisas said bringing religion into the public domain leads to such tensions and boosts caste-related egos. He said true religion does not provide any scope for such tensions on the basis of caste.

Social dumbing down

“Peoples’ understanding of caste and religion is shallow which prompts such behaviour. Khole’s choices came from her outdated religious values, which overtook the scientist in her… the reactions in the Bhau Kadam case reveal a hardline neo-religiosity too,” said Sonwani.

He added that while Ambedkar, an organic intellectual, had stressed on the spirit of inquiry, some of his followers were becoming rigid and hide-bound. “There is a rise in intellectual shallowness and education is not working as an antidote,” he lamented.


  • Maharashtra has a rich tradition of social reform and has produced icons like the warkari saints, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Savitribai Phule, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj, Tarabai Shinde, Justice MG Ranade, Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Raghunath Dhondo Karve.
  • Much before the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci propounded his theory of cultural hegemony, Mahatma Phule tried to break with the culture and iconography of the upper castes and create an alternate value system for Bahujans (a conglomeration of non-Brahmins) through his Satyashodhak Samaj

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Hyderabad – ‘Dalit teachers facing harassment’


TSCSTUS urges govt. to conduct an inquiry into atrocities against Dalit teachers

Alleging large-scale atrocities against the SC\ST teaching community in the integrated Karimnagar district, the Telangana SC\ST Upadyaya Sangam (TSCSTUS) has urged the State government to take necessary action and render justice to the victims of atrocities.

Denied postings

In a petition submitted to Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Kadiam Srihari, a copy of which was released to the media here on Friday, TSCSTUS State president Banothu Kishan Naik said there were several instances of Dalit teachers being harassed by the then DEO, S. Srinivasa Chary, by not giving postings as per the rules.

He said a senior-most headmaster should be appointed as the DCEB Secretary. But a Dalit headmaster, Hanumanthu, who belongs to the 2005 batch, was denied the Secretary post which was given to a junior headmaster.

Another Dalit School Assistant, Mamatha Gauthami, working for Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan, was promoted as a headmistress and posted to a school in the interior Vattimalla Konaraopeta mandal. She urged for her continuation in the Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan (SSA) as a headmistress and her plea was considered. But the SSA Chief, Srinivasa Chary, denied her the basic salary of a headmistress for nine months.

Basic salary

Unable to take the mental agony, she secured the posting of a headmistress in Kesavapatnam mandal here. But she has been running from pillar to post since then to get her nine-months salary.

There are incidents of Dalit teachers being denied their choice postings during transfers and promotions in spite of having the eligibility, he said.

He urged the State government to conduct a thorough inquiry into the atrocities against Dalit teachers and take action against the officials concerned, including the then DEO Srinivasa Chary.

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Punjab – The dead too have a caste in this Bathinda village #WTFnews

Crematorium wall stands for ‘age-old tradition’

After AAP sent its MLA to the state assembly from the reserved constituency in February polls, the SAD-dominated panchayat from Kot Guru village lost interest in looking after Mazhabi Sikhs; the wall in the cremation ground was raised four months ago

Prabhjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Bathinda
People from Scheduled Caste (Dalit) community crossing a wall to enter the separate cremation ground for them in Kot Guru village as no thoroughfare has been left for them except a detour through a dumping ground.
People from Scheduled Caste (Dalit) community crossing a wall to enter the separate cremation ground for them in Kot Guru village as no thoroughfare has been left for them except a detour through a dumping ground. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT)

A wall divides the cremation ground in Kot Guru village near here into two halves, with space for the dead hailing from Dalit families on the other side.

The main entrance greets the general category people, while the wall 100m away blocks the way for Dalits who come from the other side after crossing over the village dumping ground. The wall came up after the Punjab assembly polls in February 2017, when the Dalit community in Bathinda rural assembly constituency — reserved for the Scheduled Castes — voted for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate, Rupinder Kaur Ruby, who became the MLA.

Thereafter, the panchayat dominated by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) members became indifferent to Mazhabi Sikhs and raised the wall in the cremation ground four months ago.

The sarpanch is a woman, Gurvinder Kaur, who does not appear in public, with her husband Balkaran Singh running the show.

“Separate places for burying the corpses of the Mazhabi Sikhs, the Ramdasia Sikhs and the Jat Sikhs is an age-old tradition,” Balkaran said, when asked why was there a separate place for the cremation of Dalits.

Acknowledging the wall, Balkaran added that there was a gate in the wall that would be reinstalled now. He, however, said if the Dalits demanded, the panchayat could even move a resolution for a common cremation ground for all castes.

This, however, will remain a far cry. The Dalits, most of them poor farm labourers, are not willing to be quoted on the issue. “If the dumping ground is inundated, we hike up our pyjamas and hold the corpse on our shoulders to reach the cremation place through the waterlogged area,” said Jaskaran Singh, an activist of a farm labour union in the village.

“The news of your (HT’s) visit spread in the village and I even got a call from the BDPO (Sangat block development and panchayat officer) on this matter. I had to explain to him that separate places for cremation ground for different caste-based communities is an age-old tradition. This (the new wall) was raised to stop stray cattle from entering the cremation ground,” said Balkaran, the proxy sarpanch.

He, however, kept quiet when HT queried him that, if that was the case, then why a boundary wall had not been constructed around the entire cremation ground to keep the cattle out.

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An Open Letter to AUD: “The many ways a student can be violated by an institution”

 After what he claims is harassment against him because he is queer and a Dalit, this student turned to Facebook to make an appeal for his case – an ostensibly last ditch attempt 


Aroh Akunth

15202561 1276117309113187 3344554481599643730 nI am no more a student of Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). My right to education has been obstructed. This letter lists out the reasons which have kept me from pursuing my education at AUD. It’s been two months since I first informed the authorities about the issues I have been facing with regards to my education. Neither have efforts been made to resolve my case nor have I received any kind of redressal.

A Bachelor’s second year student needs to pass at least 14 courses to be promoted to the third year; I passed 12, failed 1 and challenged the results of 3 courses. This makes it impossible for me to be promoted unless I pass in at least two of the ‘challenged’ courses. In the absence of a redressal mechanism, I approached the then dean Prof. Rachna Johri, who allowed me to attend third-year courses till my matter is resolved.

1) One of my course coordinators had refused to accept my assessments on the day of the submission because they were handwritten, which resulted in me failing the course. In the process of rejecting the submission in various formats, she also went as far as to remark and question my Dalit Queer identity multiple times on email, despite having full knowledge that I was seeking therapy to deal with homophobic and casteist elements on campus. The teacher deliberately failed me despite knowing that not grading my report, on the basis of which she took a viva and graded it, can result in me failing my year. To look into this case the present Dean of School of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Tanuja Kothiyal instituted a 4 person internal committee comprising of two teachers at least from the department of the teacher involved (School of Human Studies) with no student representation on the committee, let alone a Dalit.

Despite me and the student body registering our discomfort and protests about it, she further suspended the democratic rights of not only me to represent my case but further debarred the elected representatives of the student body (student council) from representing my case, which her predecessor Rachna Johri had allowed. Till date, I have not received any clarification as to how the committee investigated, decided in favour of faculty involved, the same faculty who have had discrepancies in their own versions on record and have changed their stance multiple times during the investigation. The evidence of the same has already been submitted to the authorities. Not only did the committee reduce me, a human being to a piece of paper, in this case, my application, I also cannot fathom how my application which has already been answered to, becomes representative enough for the committee to decide what transpired and sufficient enough to represent me. Also, there is the fact that there is no policy which allows them to constitute such a committee and it is all left to the “discretionary powers” of the Dean. When asked for the report of the committee, I was told that I am not liable for it, further making it impossible for me to appeal and seek justice.

2) My case was further referred to SFC (Student-Faculty Committee) after a month where again no students were invited to the meeting, even if they were invited they won’t come in through means which indicate a healthy democracy, I was again asked why I didn’t approach them first. My reply to this was how a faculty and student member already knew about my case and had stated to me they can’t be of much help or declined to help. In turn, I was told I should have written to all of them. I want to admit on record I had known about SFC and standing committee route to resolve my case but since the dean’s office was looking into it personally, I thought that’s the best way to go about it for the reason that standing committee again has no policy or an investigation procedure and is headed by Dean Student Services Sanjay Sharma who was already aware of the case. It is this sorry excuse for a redressal body which is not arbitrary in nature and neither holds any judicial status, it’s a recommendatory body which recommends its decision to academic council which again has deans and vice chancellor on it, deans who have already been aware of my case and chose to do nothing about it or contributed to my harassment. How does it even become a substitute for a university court?

I didn’t even get why would the dean send back my case to the SFC after forming the previously mentioned internal committee, where, all the SFC does as AUD loves to do it is, give recommendations. Now after telling what I have been going through for the umpteenth number of time (which again I have had concerns with since it makes me relive what I have been going through again and again to no result) SFC again says it’s the prerogative of the faculty to take assessments, which means in a hypothetical situation I am left at the mercy of the harasser who also happens to be my teacher. It also goes on to display how caste-class privilege works to set the norms in our institution, I am a human, not a machine, I can’t print the paper on my own If a working system wasn’t accessible to me at that time, can the teacher even fail my course for it let alone a year? If yes, then calling me a chamar to my face and assuming that I have the means to submit the printed typed copy are behaviours stemming from the same problem. If it’s the teacher’s prerogative to accept the assignment in whatever format they desire, student welfare is a part of whose prerogative? And this blatant caste ego plays out daily in the institution named after Ambedkar. I am not even the worst receiver of it. How this institution still has manual scavenging, holds Lakshmi puja‘s, describes us as people who can’t stand up for themselves and gives no representation to the marginalized while loves to faff about caste and earn credits in our name is a conversation for another time. I was also not shocked when SFC didn’t have a follow-up of my case from what transpired in the dean’s office regarding my case. These intentional delays are justice delayed and these incompetencies have led me to question every time I address AUD as my institution because I have been made to feel not a “part enough” of it. A student-centric university without student rights is a sham. A democracy which doesn’t let you exercise your identity is not democratic.

3) The teachers who have been standing by me all this while, are not even allowed to take assessment from the same semester you allow another course to take a Partial repeat from because there your faculty didn’t assign grades for a year while I can be failed for not being able to arrange a common date with my teacher for an oral presentation, something I couldn’t have foreseen or changed. AES as a division along with its policies has not been introduced to the existing student body while it has been orienting fresher’s into it. I refuse to be held accountable by a division which I wasn’t notified in any way about and directly impacts students, (these are the possible ways to go about it, notice boards, emails, website) it being a division which came into existence a year after my admission into the university. It is the university’s prerogative to introduce the existing student body to it and what it means for the students. The highly guarded explanation of old policy new division doesn’t cut it, when AES is devising punitive measures to shame students for their economic capabilities or can even make education inaccessible to those who don’t follow its norms.

4) Since day one, I have had “reservations” about the way my case has been dealt with, firstly our university doesn’t have a redressal mechanism or an equal opportunity cell(which is mandatory for students who are disabled or come from marginalized backgrounds according to UGC) the fad that we sell to fresher’s in the name of equal opportunity cell is not in place yet. Which in itself is a testimony to not only how the structure cannot deal with non-normative cases like mine but also how I and other students like me will never fit the norm for the “ideal students” of AUD; the system or lack thereof further makes it tough for the marginalized students to seek justice. Not only have my wishes to have representation on the committee, which UGC recognizes, and my wish, since I was the complainant, not vice versa should have been respected to treat the case in an innocent until proven otherwise manner instead my case has been treated where I have been made to feel like guilty until proven otherwise. Which is not only highly problematic, it reminds me of how I always have to justify me being Queer or Dalit to fit this society’s expectations of me. I have been directed from one office to another, told that

I can’t be helped ‘categorically’, this includes SFC (Student-Faculty Committee) whose members told me they can’t help me, and it’s a personal matter. It is a not a personal matter, it’s a matter that concerns all of us. Student services is another safety valve which just saves the ugly Brahmanical homophobic face of this varsity, they remained more or less inactive until I threatened to go public with my harassment finally arranged meeting where they went back on their words to let me have representation of my choice from faculty in charges of SC/ST issues, equal opportunity and reps from student body. All this while the SUS office has known about my plight, what do they do to help me? Analyze my character, lose my applications. If not the aforementioned case the way my case has been dealt with despite knowing my condition has been disappointing at the very least, on top of it I can’t help but recognize the condescending tone from administration’s side. I have been told whether harassment has taken place or not will be decided by the committee, Now my problem is, I sit on another committee which looks into harassment, I know for a fact that if we cannot take punitive action against the defendant we sure as hell can’t tell the complainant that we decide what they have gone through.

According to UGC the committee looking into grievance needs to give a result within ten days, for CPSH its a month, In my case redressal is not even in the picture, instead I have been threatened for going “against the faculty”, told by you that students fail on technicalities in AUD by my Dean, I have been talked about in class, I feel the way the administration has dealt me with apathy and instead of finding a solution making me go round and round in circle with my future ascertain is nothing short of academic harassment, how come people who go on and on about sexual harassment not get another form of harassment? This one and a half month have weighed very heavily on me, I have contemplated giving up on education and life, and I will not be shamed for thinking that in a system which treats me as a problem instead of making itself accessible to me along with my identities finding ways to justify or eliminate my being is wrong. How does a judicial body compensate for something which cannot be recovered? Why should I be the only one who suffers at the end of it if it’s the “system’s problem”? The authorities know about this, they know I withdrew from college life the first month of my fourth semester due to the kind of homophobic and casteist elements on campus, what did they do? They know I have been questioned and humiliated on the basis of my chronic illness, what did they do about it? It’s not as much as about harassment as it’s about redressal, it’s not as much as about the problem as it’s about finding the solution. It’s not about as much as about me as it is about so many other students who will not even be able to reach the level where I am engaging with the authorities. Harassment of A Dalit student is not the same as a Savarna one, but your policies don’t even recognize that and it pains me even more since I have worked tirelessly for the past two years in AUD, for it, all the while being oblivious to the sinister mechanisms that strip students of their dignity while using them for their own purpose. The only formal conversation I receive from SUS instead is them telling me they are going back on their decision to let me attend my third year without solving the case. Is it fair to fail a student on basis other than his academics? Can any number of policies justify it?

Anybody who has ever been a student can get the sense by reading this long letter just some the many ways a student can be violated by an institution, and how the policies are clearly tilted in the favour of the faculty. I really want to fight back, but I don’t know what course to take, seeking guidance, I really want the student community to realize how the odds are stacked against us and organize for what our university is not as important as how we want our university to be, but I don’t have the means, I just have an undying will and a couple of friends and faculty who have braved me through all of this. Now my plight is in the public domain, I hope it brings hope.


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Death Fatwa to Dalit Scholar Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd By TDP M.P T.G Venkatesh


T.G. Venaktesh, an extremist Arya Vysya leader held a press conference on 18/9/2017 in a luxury hotel in Hyderabad with an extremist, conspitorial Arya Vysya team and issued a threat against me that he would kill or hang me in the streets. This person is an MP from the TDP and supposed be the richest man after Gandi Madhava Rao (GMR) from that community in the two Telugu states . Can a Parliament member who issued a threat against a citizen—that too a globally known writer and thinker—continue in the Parliament as member? It is for the BJP and TDP (Telugu Desam Party) to decide.

The myth that the Arya Vysya community is a peace loving non-violent community proved to be wrong. This is clear from the violent statements that their leaders are issuing. It is also clear from their abusive and vulgar behavior on the streets from village to cities up to the State capitals Amaravati and Hyderabad. They are indulging in the treat vandalism. Both the states are freely allowing them to the point of creating a law and order situation. They seem to have no respect for judiciary also.

They are the most organized caste in India with 46 per cent of the total wealth and 48 per cent of the Company Directors, in their hands. The Ambani Group,Adani group, Laxmi Mittals, Vedanta and so on are part of this community. This is the only community that has a Bank called Vysya Bank in their caste name in India.

For writing a chapter in my book called Post-Hindu India with a title called Social Smugglers, a concept I coined to capture caste cultural and economic exploitation in India, and translating it into Telugu they are attacking me. I have been fighting for reservation in the private sector for long time, as there are no jobs in the state sector at all. We are now demanding in the T-MASS (Telanga all peoples) meetings an organization formed three months ago, jobs for all the kith and kin of the lowest level soldiers serving on the borders of Pakistan, and China and also in the internal security sectors, at least one job for family in their firms, a token their nationalism, without going into MERIT Question that they have been raising all the time. At least one percent of their total profit for FARMER’ S FUND for the SURVIVAL of the dying farmers across the country. This is necessary because the States are also not in a position to protect them for paucity of funds as they themselves are saying. The Farmer Suicides are taking place all over India. This is part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

For this issuing a Middle East type of Fatwa by the Parliament member with a back up of the ruling establishments both at the state and also national level is a dangerous trend in the nation. This fatwa is issued under the nose of Telangana Government in which I am living. The Government is silent giving an impression of complicity. For last 10 days from i.e 10th Sep 2017 till date my phone gets organized phone calls with abuses and vulgar SMSs. This is only to make me mad. Everyone knows that Air Tell and Reliance companies are in their hands.

Any Intellectual who stands by the Dalitbahujans and the poor and asks for some jobs in the their private companies if gets Fatwas of killing and hanging in the streets of India by the one of the richest persons and a parliament member, the country and its very Democracy and Freedom of Speech that the constitution guaranteed will be in real danger. Perhaps I may be the first person to die like that.

In Andhra Pradesh Errachandanam (RED SANDLEWOOD) is being smuggled without trace of source of smugglers. Who knows TG.Venkatesh could be behind it? Who knows he must be behind Gauri Lankesh and Kulburgi’s shooting down? Who knows the murderers could be hiding in the massive mansions he owns in kurnool (AP) and in Hyderabad? Who will investigate when both the State Governments and Centre are behind him?


1) Why is the Telangana Government silent on this Fatwa?

2) What is Chandrababu Naidu’s Stand on this Fatwa?

3) What is the position of the Central Government headed by an OBC Prime Minister on this Fatwa?

Based on this fatwa I can seek an Asylum in any country. But I am a nationalist with reverence to Buddha and Ambedkar. I would like to live and die here only. I hope the nation responds. Though filing a case seems to have no effect but I will file a case in the local Police Station on this Fatwa soon.


Memebr T-MASS ( Telangana Masses)

Prof. Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd
Director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy,
Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Gachibowli, Hyderabad-32

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Karwan-e-Mohabbat: A Dalit’s fight for dignity in Gujarat bodes well for all of us


On our third day in Gujarat, we drove to the site of a communal conflagration that happened earlier this year but was barely registered in the national consciousness. The incident, however, led to one death, several injuries and the burning down of 140 houses.

We drove to Vadavali, a village in the Patan district, and sat with Naseem Ben, the widow of Ibrahim who had been killed in the violence.

The official story was that the “riot” followed an altercation between students of different faiths. A Rajput boy was seated next to a Muslim student as they wrote their Class 10 Board examination. The instructor found that the Rajput boy was cheating, and turned him out of the examination hall. The boy was convinced that his Muslim neighbour in the exam hall had complained about it to the instructor. When he came out of the hall, the Rajput attacked him.

An elderly Muslim man tried to mediate between them, but the furious Rajput student beat him up as well.

The Rajput boy then went to his village, which neighboured Vadavali, and returned with 15 older Rajputs who argued with the Muslim boy. Elders intervened and said that hot-blooded youths should not be encouraged to escalate a small matter. The Rajput boys left.

A couple of hours later, a crowd of around 2,000 Rajput men from surrounding villages arrived on tractors, cars and motorcycles, armed menacingly with daggers, rods and a few rifles. They also carried with them petrol and a white chemical to burn down cement walls and roofs. They went on a rampage, vandalising and burning each of their homes in the Muslim neighbourhood, and thrashing the men. Terrified women and children ran out and hid in the fields, the men remained in their homes or on terraces.

police690_092017125349.jpgThe villagers claim that the police stood by and watched. [Representaional image]

Naseem Ben spoke of how her family members were sitting outside their house when the enraged mob of Rajputs appeared suddenly. Her husband Ibrahim, a labourer, panicked when he heard the roars of the rampaging mob, and sent out the terrified women and children from the back door. His sons ran outside and hid on rooftops. Ibrahim locked himself inside his house. The crowd came to his house, shouting out his name. They broke down the door, found him cowering in a corner. They dragged him out and lynched him. Through all of this, the villagers claim, the police stood by and watched.

This official version of the events – that it was a spontaneous clash between the two communities sparked by the squabble between the students from the two communities – does not explain how within two or three hours of the scuffle, such a large mob of Rajputs from several villages could gather, and how they could have collected such large quantities of petrol and incendiary chemicals, and an array of weapons. The incident strongly suggests a pre-planned conspiracy, in which the fight between the students was not the flashpoint but an excuse for the assault on the Muslims of the village.

The Muslim villagers agree. They believe that the reason for the assault was quite different from the official claim. The panchayat elections were under way. The Muslims and Patels of the village had sizeable populations, but neither commanded enough votes to elect “their” sarpanch from their religion.

The leaders of the two communities reached an unprecedented agreement to join hands, and agreed to have a Muslim sarpanch for half the term, and a Patel sarpanch for the other half. The Muslim sarpanch was elected unopposed.

The Rajputs were reportedly furious as their village had never elected a Muslim sarpanch. According to this version, the Rajputs resolved to teach the Muslims a lesson that they would not forget. It is for this reason that they shot the newly elected sarpanch’s husband (the bullet entered his groin, but he survived) and killed Ibrahim who was one of his main supporters.

The police surprisingly seemed to support the latter theory, by registering a case under Section 120A of the Indian Penal Code against the Rajput mob. This section deals criminal conspiracy. But as we have seen in virtually every case of hate crime that we looked at during this Karwan, the police also registered criminal charges against the victims, charging them with causing grievous hurt with dangerous weapons. They charged all the leaders of the Muslim community, including the sarpanch’s husband, with this fictitious crime.

Also as seen in most other cases, no one from the administration ever visited the family that lost its loved one in the communal assault, or offered any assistance. And no one from among their non-Muslim neighbours came to their aid.

We drove a few hours from there to a village Kashor in Anand district. Here we met Shailesh Manibhai, of the Dalit Rohit community and his mother Maniben. The caste occupation of the Rohit community is the skinning of dead cattle.

Although he has studied up to Class 10, Shailesh still could find only this socially demeaning work. His father had been bedridden for 15 years. His untouchable “unclean” caste occupation thrust on him stigma, but helped bring food for his family. He worked in partnership with a couple of Rohit brothers from a neighbouring village who owned a tractor. Whenever a cow or buffalo died in any household in the village, they sent a word to Shailesh. He would call his partner, and they would lift the carcass in the tractor and transport it to a lowland of the village designated for disposing dead animals.

On August 11, 2017, a Rajput of his village sent a word that his cow had died, and Shailesh arrived with his tractor and hauled the dead animal on to the tractor. Heavy rain in the village had turned the designated lowland for skinning into a swamp, so Shailesh drove his tractor to another waste patch of land adjacent to the funeral ground of the village. This angered the upper-caste residents of the village. They reached the spot with the sarpanch to rebuke Shailesh for polluting the site with the dead cow. Shailesh agreed to continue to use the swampy lowland to skin animals in the future.

The matter should have ended there. But the next morning, a group of around 150 enraged Rajput men stormed into the Rohit enclave, and began thrashing Shailesh for his “mistake”. His mother tried to intervene and they beat up her as well. They cursed them with caste-laden insults. His mother spent a few days in hospital.

An earlier generation would have accepted the beating and insults passively as part of their caste burden. But not Shailesh. He went to the police station, and filed a detailed complaint naming the upper-caste men who had attacked him. The police registered a case under the Scheduled Caste and

Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against the upper-caste men of the village listed in Shailesh’s complaint. He also announced that he would refuse to lift or skin animal carcasses in future.

The upper-case people of the village are irate, incensed that a low-caste boy could challenge them in this way. The charge of committing atrocities against a Scheduled Caste family is a grave one, which if proved could result in long jail terms. And they now have to lift the polluting dead cows and buffaloes themselves, digging a shallow grave for them.

The upper-caste people of the village have unanimously decreed a complete boycott of the Rohit caste. Since they are the landowners, the Rohit community is out of work. For fear of caste-taunts and retaliation, they have shifted their children to schools in more distant villages.

A man who worked in a factory for 11 years was suddenly told to resign by his upper-caste managers because he belonged to the village which had the audacity to file charges of caste atrocities against upper-caste men. “Who knows when you may use the same law against us?” The man has challenged the development in labour courts.

We found the spirit of the Dalits in the village high because they had defended their self-respect before the upper-caste people of their village. “Jai Bheem,” they would shout at every step of our journey in the village. I said to them that when they fought for equality, they fought not just for themselves.

They fought for all of us.

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तुम #भारतीय बनने पर अड़े रहना !

वो तुम्हे #गौमूत्र पर ले जाने की कोशिश करेगें, पर तुम #पेट्रोल पर अड़े रहना !!
वो तुम्हे #हिन्दू_मुस्लिम पर ले जाने की कोशिश करेगें, तुम #जॉब_गैस_राशन पर अड़े रहना !!
वो #मंदिर बनाने की बात करेगें, तुम #हॉस्पिटल पर अड़े रहना !!
वो #स्टैचू बनाने को सही साबित करेंगें, तुम #स्कूल बनवाने पर अड़े रहना !!
वो #दल की बात करेंगे, तुम #दाल के दाम पर अड़े रहना !!
वो कहेंगें #New_India बनायेंगे, तुम #अच्छे_दिन की डिलीवरी पर अड़े रहना !!
वो तुम्हें #जय_हिंद के नारों में उलझायेगें, तुम #हिन्द के वासियों के #वेलफ़ेयर पर अड़े रहना !!
वो #कश्मीर की बात करेंगे, तुम बढ़ती #कीमतों की बात पर अड़े रहना !!
वो #मदरसों की बात करेगें, तुम #किसानों की बात पर अड़े रहना !!
वो #मन_की_बात करेगें, तुम #काले_धन की बात पर अड़े रहना !!
वो #गौशाला खोलने की बात करेगें, तुम बच्चों के #पाठशाला पर अड़े रहना !!
वो #टैंक लगाने की बात करेगें, तुम अपने टैंक में #पानी की सप्लाई पर अड़े रहना !!
वो #हिंदू_मुस्लीम की बात करेगे मगर तुम #भारतीय बनने पर अड़े रहना !!
By -मिर्ज़ा

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Public consultation on caste legislation closes in UK

Image result for caste legislation closes in UK

By Aditi Khanna

London, Sep 19 A public consultation process by the British government to determine whether to legislate against caste-based discrimination, an issue that has deeply divided the Indian diaspora in the UK, has been concluded.

The ‘Caste in Great Britain and Equality Law – A Public Consultation’ had been launched in March to gather the public view on how best to ensure that there is “appropriate legal protection” against caste discrimination.

“This ban could be applied by formally making caste an aspect of race in the Equality Act 2010; or through developing case law in the courts and employment tribunals.

“In either case, businesses and public authorities would have to consider caste discrimination in the same way they consider other aspects of race discrimination when dealing with employees, customers or service users,” the consultation by the UK Government’s Equalities Office said.

The process had been initially set to close in July but was extended by further eight weeks as a result of the snap general election in June.

“We are analysing all the responses received and will respond in due course. There is no set time-frame for the next phase of the process,” a spokesperson for the Equalities Office said in reference to the end of the consultation process.

The UK government defines “caste” as a hereditary, endogamous (marrying within the group) community associated with a traditional occupation and ranked accordingly on a perceived scale of ritual purity.

“It is generally (but not exclusively) associated with South Asia, particularly India, and its diaspora,” the explanatory note to the Equality Act 2010 reads.

“It can encompass the four classes (varnas) of Hindu tradition (the Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra communities); the thousands of regional Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Muslim or other religious groups known as jatis; and groups amongst South Asian Muslims called biradaris. Some jatis regarded as below the varna hierarchy (once termed “untouchables”) are known as Dalits,” it reads.

The issue has deeply divided the Indian diaspora in the UK, with Dalit rights groups campaigning for years for legal protection against caste discrimination and other groups claiming that any move to legislate the issue would entrench divisions that are not relevant to the British-Indian community.

“A new legislation on caste will have the effect of setting one surname against another as nowadays caste is all that it is, an expiring identity of a surname, and not only bring back a forgotten and irrelevant caste system here into the UK it can have the effect of dividing the British Indian society,” said Anil Bhanot, director of inter-faith relations, Hindu Council UK.

Additionally, British Sikhs object to the explanatory note used in the UK’s Equality Act itself for making a reference to “Sikhs” within the context caste.

“Our Gurus and Sikh teachings are opposed to all forms of discrimination and totally reject any notion of ranking according to ritual purity therefore it is offensive and inappropriate for there to be any reference to Sikhs in paragraph 49 of the Explanatory Notes and we want this removed,” said Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK).

“Sikh organisations responding to the consultation are united in our request for the definition to drop reference to Sikhs, but the Hindu community have a much more difficult challenge as many believe in the four classes (varnas) of the Hindu tradition,” he said, exposing the divide over the issue.

Mumbai-born British artist Anish Kapoor is among the high-profile voices backing calls for anti-caste legislation.

“It is outlawed in India, so why not in Britain? It is discrimination at the most vile level. The government introduced laws against slavery, so why can they not act on this,” he said.

Following a long-drawn campaign by Dalit groups, the UK’s House of Lords had voted in March 2013 in favour of outlawing caste discrimination by including it as a category in anti- racism laws.

The government responded with the public consultation process which has concluded this week.

Meena Varma, director of the Dalit Solidarity Network, said that caste operates like a “hidden apartheid” in the UK and it is “beyond belief” that the government had stalled for years on making caste discrimination illegal, as required by the Lords vote.

The UK government had commissioned the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) to carry out research into the issue, resulting in a report in December 2010 entitled ‘Caste discrimination and harassment in Great Britain’.

It had pegged Britain’s Dalit or lower caste community between 50,000 and 200,000 and found that caste awareness was largely focused among people with roots in the Indian sub- continent.

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Family kept mum, Dalit rape victim commits suicide in Haryana #Vaw

Gautam Dheer, Chandigarh,
The victim girl suffered the ordeal for nearly a month before she finally decided to commit suicide. Image for representationThe victim girl suffered the ordeal for nearly a month before she finally decided to commit suicide. Image for representation

A teenager Dalit girl who was stalked for days, then gang-raped, humiliated and later threatened with dreadful consequences died in a hospital in Haryana on Monday after she consumed poison.

Far away from the spotlight generated in the DJ Varnika stalking case, involving the son of Haryana BJP president, the incident in the hinterland is a shrill reminder of the rot that exits.Unlike in the Varnika case, where her bureaucrat father and family supported their daughter in her quest for justice against the powerful wrongdoers, the Dalit family, unfortunately, preferred to keep mum on the issue even after the teenager was raped.

The victim girl suffered the ordeal for nearly a month before she finally decided to commit suicide.

The family stays in village Palwan in Jind district of Haryana where the crime took place.

The three accused men of the village grouped her in the fields and raped her. The victim narrated the entire incident to her parents the same day. But the Dalit family decided against going to the police. Instead, they visited the family of the accused with a request that they should counsel their boys to stop harassing their daughter in future.

Nothing changed and the victim’s harassment continued, in fact escalated. The stalking prolonged and the victim would often be asked to “accompany” them. When she declined, the accused would paste sketchy information of the incident outside the victims house in an attempt to warn her of more public shame in case she planned to complain against them and refused to accompany them whenever they desired. The victim girl could not bear the shame anymore and committed suicide.

The three accused are on the run. The police said three persons, Rahul, Praveen and Kala, have booked under relevant IPC sections of rape, criminal intimidation, SC/ST act and abatement to suicide. “Teams have been constituted. The accused will be arrested soon,” superintendent of police Jind said.

Victim’s father regretted saying he kept quite after the incident out of the fear of social stigma that his daughter will face if the case is brought to the notice of the police.

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