ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Subhash GatadeSubscribe to Subhash Gatade

Silencing Caste, Sanitising Oppression

The Hindu notions of purity and pollution, inextricably linked with the caste system and the practice of untouchability, underlie the unsanitary practices in Indian society. These beliefs perpetuate the oppression of the "polluted castes," who are forced to undertake manual scavenging, unclog manholes and clean other people's filth. The availability of cheap Dalit labour to do these dehumanising jobs can be cited as one of the reasons why development of toilet facilities and a modern garbage and sewage management system have been neglected so far. As long as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan attempts to delink the relationship between caste and sanitation, its lofty goal of cleaning India will remain unachievable.

Pawns In, Patrons Still Out

It is necessary to initiate a discussion on Hindutva terrorism which has managed to keep itself largely out of the spotlight. Even with the availability of evidence spread over the entire country and over many years, it remains unacknowledged in the public discourse. Given this situation, we are still unsure as to how it will unfold itself in the future and should remain worried over the fact that despite gaining visibility, the whole phenomenon of Hindutva terror has not yet evoked commensurate response from the state as well as what is popularly known as civil society. Yes, pawns have been caught, actual planters of bombs and explosives have been apprehended, cases have been filed; but the real masterminds of Hindutva terror remain free. Revised

Bogey of Naxalism

This is apropos “Savage War for ‘Development’” (April 19) where Gautam Navlakha tries to “demystify, rather deobfuscate, official policy vis-a-vis ‘leftwing extremism’”. It was surprising that the apparent dissonance between the home minister and prime minister about the evaluation of “left wing...

Portents of Nanded

On April 6, a bomb went off in the house of a retired irrigation department official, an RSS activist, in Nanded, killing two young people who were found to be Bajrang Dal members and injuring three others. Swift action taken by the police initially, which unearthed a sinister plot, lost momentum in a few days and even local newspapers stopped reporting on the incident. A fact-finding report gave lie to the claim that the blast was due to the sudden bursting of firecrackers in the house. The rest of the state remained largely ignorant of the incident. What is the reason for the silence that has been dutifully maintained over a bomb explosion in a communally sensitive city involving an outfit of the Sangh parivar?

Phenomenon of False Caste Certificates

Thousands of people who have neither been born into any of the socially oppressed castes nor faced any caste-based discrimination are enjoying the fruits of affirmative action programmes. The problem of false caste certificates, though brought into public focus by the media, is not unknown to policy-makers. The National Commission of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has repeatedly called on the government to crack down on fraudulent certification and has made detailed proposals for corrective measures, but none have been forthcoming.

Time for Introspection-Portents of Bathe

Portents of Bathe Subhash Gatade THE gory massacre of innocent landless labourers by the storm-troopers of Ranvir Sena at Laxmanpur Bathe will long be remembered as the most revolting example of brutality since independence. The facts behind the rise of these mercenaries of the landowners, their connivance with the state administration which is so eager to suppress the revolutionary communist movement and their endorsement by the communal elements are too well known to be retold. The reference to them at the convention field at Patna on March 27-28,1998 by the Laxman- pur Bathe Narsanhar Virodhi Janabhiyan (Peoples' Campaign against the Massacre at Laxmanpur Bathe) only served to underline these depressing details how the state administration and its enforcement agencies, instead of training their guns on these gangs, targeted the revolutionary movement in the process liquidating a few of its activists in take encounters and laying siege to the basties of the poor to intimidate them. So much so that even to this day none of the marauders and murderers of the Sena have been apprehended, There is no doubt that for crushing the hood of such gangs, co-ordinated action among the various revolutionary groups in the field is the need of the hour. !n addition implicit support from all the revolutionary and democratic organisations all over the country is also absolutely necessary. In fact the coming together of the various revolutionary organisations and democratic forces to form the above referred Janabhiyan is a welcome step.
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