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Robbing Rohith of His Dalitness

The basic question that the Rohith Vemula case raises is about the existence of the rule of law in India. If his mother Radhika Vemula was rich, there would have been no issue about Rohith’s caste and all people named in the FIR for abetting his suicide would have been in jail. But her fault is that she lived off the pittance that Rohith sent her from his paltry fellowship!

Big Data, Bigger Lies

The claim that the government will use big data analytics to trace those who illegitimately deposited old currency notes, is just another instance of using lies to score political points. Notwithstanding this hollow posturing, the way this government is talking about the power of big data and its uses, only confirms the worst fears of the misuse of Aadhaar and other public data entrusted to the state.

India’s Marie Antoinette Moment

Narendra Modi’s promotion of a “cashless society” shows the government’s disconnect from ground realities, and harks back to Marie Antoinette’s famous “let them eat cake” response to learning that peasants had no bread to eat. Clearly, a cashless or less-cash economy will not be achievable in the near future, and may also not be desirable.

Demonetisation — Modi Digs a Ditch for the BJP

The demonetisation move has boomeranged on the Bharatiya Janata Party badly. The unprecedented hardship it caused people has surely paved the way to the BJPs Waterloo in the forthcoming assembly elections in some crucial states.

Fire of Una Ignites Saffron Udupi

For the first time in a long time Dalits have mobilised enmasse for issues concerning their livelihoods. The uprising in Una has shaken the political establishment in Gujarat and has spread to other parts of India as well, including saffronised Udupi in Karnataka.

Behind the Ire of the Marathas

Maharashtra has seen strange developments over the last two months. Marathas, the most populous community, considered to be dominant in the state in every sphere, have come out on the streets in unprecedented numbers and with unusual calm to present their grievances.

10 Years of Khairlanji

Was justice really done in the Khairlanji massacre? Is there any let-up in atrocities against Dalits? More importantly, will the victims get justice given the depressing trend in recent judgments, where perpetrators of violence against Dalits have been repeatedly acquitted?

Dalit Protest in Gujarat

Repression of Dalits has been rampant in Gujarat and the state also ranks high in terms of atrocities against them. The recent brutal attack on Dalit youths unjustly accused of cow slaughter is an open expression of simmering casteist prejudices under the cover of supporting the Hindutva agenda.

 

Rohith Vemula’s ‘Dalitness’

The answer to a situation where institutions that at least maintained a facade of democracy are being destroyed and any dissenting opinion is being targeted, can come from students who oppose such moves. Perhaps, it is such students who will ensure justice for Rohith Vemula. 

Two Years of an Ambedkar Bhakt and the Plight of Dalits

With a self-proclaimed Ambedkar bhakt at the helm of the government, the Dalits might have expected a modicum of directional change in policies towards them. Instead, the two years of Narendra Modi's government have led to a reversal of many of the gains made by the Dalits in the past few decades.

Dalits Cry on the Eve of the Ambedkar Festival

The more than four-month-long Bhim Yatra that culminated a day before the 125th birth celebrations of B R Ambedkar highlighted the pitiable conditions of the most downtrodden of the Dalits, the manual scavengers. While there are a slew of laws to check manual scavenging, they remain largely on paper. The Dalit leadership has also ignored the plight of manual scavengers.

Dance of the Devils

Five decades ago Babasaheb Ambedkar had disowned the Constitution and condemned it as a useless document. Today, with the right wing trampling on the spirit of the Constitution even while celebrating Ambedkar as the architect of the document, his denunciatory words ring true.

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