Send Request to Google to put Dr B.R. Ambedkar Doodle on April 14th – 2014


On the occasion of 14th April. Dr.Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s 124th birth anniversary. We have to request Google to make Baba Saheb’s Picture as their doodle. Please send an EMAIL to PROPOSALS@google.COM before 14th April. Below is the format

TO,

proposals@google.com

Respected Sir/Madam,

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar was a one of the most influential leaders in the world history.He was the champion of human rights and democracy. He wrote Indian constitution and gave the gift of equal rights to oppressed people,woman and minorities in India. He fought against the unjust social structure of Hindu society and installed equality and fraternity. He fought all his life to remove the worst social practice that world ever seen i.e., untouchability. He showed the path of living life to millions of people who were deprived of their human rights from thousand of years.

He is the hope for millions to fight against unjust and live a dignified life.14 April is his 124th birth anniversary.

As a user of Google services ,I request Google to use the his picture as Google Doodle on His Birth Anniversary on 14 April and express its solidarity with millions of the people of world who are fighting for their human rights. Hoping the best from you.

Sincerely

(Name)

Democratic Debate on Appropriation of Ambedkar Writings on 10th April 2014


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Democratic Debate on Appropriation of Ambedkar Writings

Sundaraiah Vignana Kendram, Cellar

10th April 2014.

5:30 PM

Dear Friends

All of you are aware about the ongoing discussion on the issue of publication of Dr B.R.Ambedkar Annihilation of Caste by Navayana Publications with an introduction of Arundhati Roy and annotations by S. Anand of Navayana.

Ambedkar’s writings are not patented to anyone caste, community or individual. Every thinker and scholar has every right to write about Ambedkar and interpret his ideas and express their own views. When  the Brahmanical society suppressed Babasaheb’s thoughts for several decades, it is the Dalit intellectual and activist community kept the memory of Ambedkar alive and made Ambedkar’s thoughts available to Indian society. It is ironic that Nayayana publishers tell the Dalit community that Ambedkar belongs to “all”

The “all” are the upper castes who are appropriating Ambedkar today without any engagement with Dalit struggles and Ambedkar ideology. We believe that no one has any right to appropriate Ambedkar; no one has any right to judge Ambedkar and interpret Ambedkar as a junior partner to Gandhi.  We were shocked to see the new edition of Annihilation of Caste published by Navayana

This edition includes  160 pages of irrelevant text to the original text of Annihilation of Caste. Arundhati Roy   compares  Ambedkar with Gandhi and S. Anand annotated Annihilation of Caste All these additions made  it a book of more than 500 pages and  is now priced at 550/-. Annihilation of Caste is a small booklet of 60 pages  in original and it is widely available in Indian languages as well as in English at a very cheap rate or free of cost.   The original English version of Annihilation of Caste is freely available on the internet for download.

There are many issues. We want a democratic debate on the issue of publication of Annihilation of Caste in a manner that undermined its historical significance.   We want to ask the publisher and Arundhati Roy “Are you a genuine supporters of the Dalit cause?”, “If so, will you consider detaching the introduction “ the Doctor and the Saint” from Annihilation of Caste and publish it as a separate book?” and  “Will you  stop  distribution of book in the present form”

 We invite you to be part of the programme, please come and join us

Speakers

  1. Bojja Tharakam
  2. Kancha Ilaiah
  3. U Sambashivarao

Other participants

Gogu Shyamala, Anoop Kumar, GV Rathnakar, Karthik Navayan, Jilukara Srinivas, Kasukurty Ramalingam, Pasunuri Ravindar, Joopaka Subhadra Battula Ramprasad and many other scholars, activists and thinkers will join in this programme

Committee Against Appropriation of Ambedkar Writings (CAAAW)

Holi-a festival to commemorate bahujan burning.


 
Holi – A Festival To Commomorate Bahujan Burning
Dr. K. Jamanadas,
Holi – What is it and how did it originate?
It is well known that Holi forms one of the important festivals among the Hindus. It is supposed to be festival of Shudras, and is one of the three most important ones in India , the others being Dasera and Diwali. The Dasera is in honour of killing of Ravana and Divali is in honour of killing of Narakasur and noted pesant king Bali . The purpose of Holi, indirectly, is concerned with killing of Hiranyakashyap. The important elements of the festival of Holi are as follows:-
1. A pyre is burnt.
2. Abuses are showered on people, and other obscenities are observed. Dirt, mud etc. is smeared.
3. Festivities are indulged in to celebrate the victory.
Traditional Account
The puranas give an account of hokika burning. The traditional story is that a powerful King Hiranya Kashyapu sent his sister Holika to kill his ten year old only son Pralhad, as he was worshipping Barhmnic god Vishnu against his wishes. Holika had a cloth which could resistburning. She sits with Pralhad on a pyre. The wind blows wrapping Pralhad with the cloth and Holika is burnrd to death. Holi is supposed to be celebrated to commomorate this event.
Purpose of writing puranas
Dr. Ambedkar avers that “This literature arose during the period subsequent to the triumph of Brahmins under the leadership of Pushyamitra” (p.257 W&S vol.3) Original authors were non-brahmin sutas, but later they were ousted by brahmins who made monopoly of it. At that time they were finally edited and extra new subjects, apart from five traditional ones, were incorporated. [W&S vol 3, p.255]. But if you consider the fact that the majority of people were only allowed to know either by reading or hearing, and mostly by hearing, only these so called scriptures and nothing else, it becomes evident that the purpose of these books was rather more for false appeasement rather than information or enlightenment, let alone their progress and liberation, so that they don’t aim and strive for any higher literature. The real purpose of Puranas was to misled the dalitbahujan masses regarding their aspirations to knowledge, to curb down their desire for more information and limit their desires to their paltry needs. BSO has always done that and even now, we see that. An example of Gandhi admonishing the savarna leaders for accepting Agnibhoj, an untouchable in the Congress ministry by saying that this will increase the aspirations of these lowly born harijans is well known.
In practice, the stories in Puranas were used to present a make shift explanation for unexplainable capture of Buddhist monuments by the Brahmnical priests and to tell the dalitbahujans that the Brahmnical values are their own, when in fact, the masses were opposed to these values. It was also used to regularize the usurpation of Buddhist temples and tirthas, and thus misleading masses about their real history and heritage.
The above quoted story of Holika is nothing but an eyewash to hoodwink the dalitbahujans. This becomes clear from two cardinal facts. These are:-
1. That the fire for burning the holi is brought from an untouchable. [Ghurye: Caste and Race in India , 1969, Popular Prakashan Bombay, p. 26]
2. It is noteworthy that the festival of rejoicing ends by touching an untaouchable and the taking a bath. ["Rigvedi": marathi book - "aryaachya sanaancha prachin va arvachin itihas" p. 366, 1979, pradnya patha shala mandal, Wai-dist. Satara, M.S.]
There is no satisfactory explanation of these vital clues in this festival in the traditional story of Holika and Pralhada.
Obscenity of Holi
The second aspect of Holi is abusing the people. This goes on from about 15 days before the festival begins and goes on till the culmination of atrocities on the second days of holi. This certainly is a relic of old “Hindu” tradition of adding insult to the injury inflicted upon the old rivals of Hinduism, i.e. Jains and Buddhist. The Jains have somehow, adapted themselves and accepted the supremacy of brahmins, but the Buddhist did not and hence are condemned to be the Untouchables.
Present day obscenity
It is camouflaged in fish pond ceremonies and All fools’ conventions and the like, the original traits are seen even today.
The history of Ancient and medieval India is nothing but the history of the struggle for existence of Jains and Buddhists against the tyranny of Brahmanic masters. The trend continues even today. The crucial point of this struggle is that the majority of the oppressed, the ‘shudras and ati-shudras’ of olden days, in Mahatma Phuley’s terminology or ‘bahujans’ of today as they are now called, in Kanshiram’s terminology, sided with the oppressors, not knowing the real enemy, and considering the fetters of their slavery as their ornaments, leading to a situation where the slaves themselves enjoying their slavery and as one modern poet puts it, the prisoners of system guarding the gates of prison. These tyrannies are going on even today, in the name of caste creed and religion.
Examples of Violence in Hinduism
Are there examples of violence? Plenty! No ‘avatara’ of Brahmanic tradition is without having an arsenal of arms, with a possible exception of ‘unworshipable’ or ‘apujya’ Buddha.
Here we will only consider examples by burning, specially because the fire and atrocities of Holi are concerned with the backward castes.
Among others, Kumarila Bhatta was engaged in life and death struggle against Buddhism [See K.Jamanadas, "Tirupati Balaji was a Buddhist Shrine" 1991, Sanjivan Publications]
Swami Apurvanand, an author from Vivekananda’s tradition, describes, on the authority of an ancient text “Shankara Vijay” by Anandagiri, how Dharmapala, a Bouddha Aacharya of Nalanda Boudha Vidyapitha was defeated in ‘shastrartha’ i.e. interpreting old existing texts, without trying to elucidate new principles, by Kumarila Bhatta. Kumarila, an uncle of Buddhist scholar Dharmakirti, being defeated and humiliated by Dharmakirti, decided to study Buddhist shastras as he thought ‘it is always necessary to study the enemy before attacking it’ and joined Nalanda in the guise of a disciple of Dharmapala, in order to acquire enough knowledge of Buddhism so as to defeat Buddha’s doctrine. After studying Buddhism for some time, he challenged his guru Dharmapala, defeated him in ‘shastrartha’, and saw his guru embrace ‘tushanal’ i.e. a funeral pyre made up of hay and dry wood. Dharmapala declared before being burnt alive, “I am defeated by brilliance of Kumarila, but still I believe in supremacy of Buddha’s doctrine, I am not deviated at all from Buddha, His Dhamma or His Sangha, and so I would renounce my life rather than renounce Buddhism”. This is an account from a Brahmanic book and not from a Buddhist one. Shastrartha, Swamiji tells us, involved scholarship i.e.. an ability to quote from ancient texts, literary acumen, ability to debate and argue without cause, without logic, demonstration of so called yogic powers etc. [Swami Apurvananda, "Aacharya Shankara" 2nd edition. 1989, (Marathi translation of Bengali book), Ramakrishna Matha, Dhantoli, Nagpur, p. 94 ff.]
Swami Vivekananda has described how Aacharya Adi Shankara used to enjoy theburning of Buddhist monks after defeating them in shastrartha. This is what he says : “And such was the heart of Shankara that he burned to death lots of Buddhist monks by defeating them in arguments. What can you call such an action on Shankara’s part except fanaticism.” [Vivekananda: Complete Works vol. VII, p. 117 ff.]
Jains were impaled
It is reported that about eight thousand Jains were killed by impalement when they did not agree with Brahmins’ ideology and what is more important is that this incident was celebrated and commemorated by perpetuating a festival in temple of Madurai, which goes on even today. [K.A.N. Sastri - History of South India ]. This can denote why 6th of December, ‘A day of Mourning’ by millions of Bahujan followers of Ambedkar, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Muslims, was converted in a ‘Day of Victory’ by Brahmins over the demolition of Babari Mosque.
Garoba
There is a practice of Garoba in Maharashtra . On the evening of color festivities, garoba is celebrated by an assemblage of persons tired of ‘colour’ and dirt and mud. The function is always celebrated outside the town on an open ground either on, or near the cremation ground.
A ‘gar’ literally means a hook. A vertical pillar is erected to which an horizontal bar is attached. On one end of this horizontal member is a hook. On this hook is attached a big fruit like a pumpkin or a big brinjal, symbolic of a person condemned to be punished. The other end has rope which is held by the people who move and rotate the whole contraption so that the victim on the hook is strangulated and onlookers, among the chanting of songs called ‘ganas’, and beating of drums, shower ‘chana’ i.e. grilled gram grains, symbolic of throwing of stones. The author has seen this celebration with a pumpkin on the hook, in his childhood. In olden days, it was said by the elders who actually witnessed this, that an actual human being was hanged. Rajanikant Shastri [in his hindi book "Hindu jati ka utthan aur patan", Kitab Mahal, 1993, pp. 208 ff.] describes 12 cruel practices of Hindus, which were banned by British Govt. in mid ninteenth century. One of them called “charak puja” is the same, what we in Maharashtra call Garoba.
Some examples of Brahmanic sexual exploitation
According to Ramanika Gupta, in certain parts in Bihar , even now, a new dalit bride has to spend the first night with the village head man. [Sugawa, p.69] A bazaar is organized in Dholpur for sale of Dalit girls. [Sugawa, p. 69]
Kamble describes a custom called Okali. On first or second Saturday comming after the Hindu New Years Day (Gudhi padawa), the devadasis, who are mostly daltbahujans, were openly sexually enjoyed in public, about hundred years ago. This is now replaced by another tradition called “Okali”, which was in vogue till 1987. It is a festival like ‘Rang Panchami’. The young boys from higher castes assemble around a pool of coloured water in front of town temple. Young devadasis in the town stand in front of them in a row, and each receives a sari, a choli and a flower garland. The coloured water is poured over the devadasis who appear virtually naked as the cloths given to them are very thin, scanty, delicate and transparent. The boys play with the bodies of devadasis as they like, doing everything just short of sexual intercourse. All assembled enjoy the scene. This happens in the name of god ‘Bili Kallappa’. [Uttam Kamble, Sugawa, p. 81]
Vasant Rajas describes another custom, called “Sidi attu” in town Madakeripura in Karnataka which was in vogue till 1987, when it was banned by the Govt. Here a devadasi is suspended with a hook in her back on one end of a transverse rod placed on a vertical pole planted in ground, and rotated by a rope at the other end. She salutes the gathering, while her garments fly and all the naked lower part of her body is visible to all, for their amusement. This was supposed to bring prosperity to town, and the devadasi used to get a sari, a choli, a coconut and a betel nut, for which she thanked the gathering. [p. 27]
It must be realized that Hinduism is the only religion in the world, which has given religious sanction and provided with religious philosophy to the practice of prostitution. [Sugawa, p. 81]
Festivities
These we see in the form of sprinkling coloured water on each other, dry colours in the form of ‘gulal’ and distributing sweets, and indulging in intoxicants like liquor and ‘bhang’, (i.e. cannabis indica) and gambling in many ways.
Though the sprinkiling coloured water was perhaps in vogue since long time, the name of Lord Krishna got associated with the colouring part offestival, in medieval times. It is said that He was playing his divine “leelas” with the women folk of Brindavana. We can consider these as merely symbols of Brahmanic victory over the original inhabitants of India . It is well known that “Madhura bhakti” was brought to North India from Bengal after “Gitgovind” of Jaydeva, declaring Buddha as an avatara became popular, after fall of Buddhism.
It should become clear from the above account, that this festival, mainly concerns with dalitbahujans. They should try to understand the implied meaning under the tradtions and the slaves should stop enjoying the slavery.
Murder of great rebellious Marathi saint poet Tukaram
Tukaram was the greatest of the Marathi saints of “Varkari” cult, the credit of establishing which is given to Namdeva, and not to Dyandeva as previously thought. This is because it was Dyanadeva who went to Namdeva and not vice versa as put forward by Bahujan historian M. M. Deshmukh. The Brahmanic scholars describe Tukaram very mild, though he was the most rebellious against brahmanic tyranny. Following information is mainly drawn from A. H. Salunkhe’s Marathi book “Vidrohi Tukaram”. He comments that “a lion is depicted by them as a she-goat”. Two hundred years before Karl Marx, at the age of 20, he drowned his mortgage deeds of money loaned to farmers by his family. He criticized Vedic “knowledge”, Brahmanic tyranny and caste supremacy all his life, and was an eye-sore for them. They drowned all his note books of “abhanga”, as his verses were known.
He was preaching against caste and varna system, and talked bitterly against Untouchability. He got Bahinabai, one of his brahmin lady disciples, to translate Sanskrit Buddhist Classic “Vajrasuchi” – a strong critique of caste system – of Ashvaghosha to Marathi.
Tukaram was tried in court of law for the so called offenses of (1) preaching message of “shruti” though a shudra, (2) for having brahmin disciples, and (3) allowing these brahmin disciples to touch his feet. Though it was reign of Bijapur Sultan, the disputes of non-muslims were conducted under hindu “dharma- sastras” and hindu traditions by brahmins. He was punished by (i) drowning his poetry and forbidding to write more, (ii) confiscating his property, (iii) excommunicating and boycotting him and (iv) driving him out of the town. His property was looted. Later, during Nanasahib Peshava’s Brahmin rule, it was prohibited to sing his abhangas.
Tukaram retaliated by “satyagraha”, he sat on the banks of river for 13 days without food or water. The common masses supported him, assembled around him and the boycott and driving away was futile and ineffectual. The calm was maintained but the situation remained tense. His struggle against brahmanism was continuous for about next 22 years. We have to understand his death occurring under this back ground, at the young age of 42 years.
The day of His death
He had to suffer a lot at the hands of these priestly class tyrants all his life, and ultimately he was taken to “vaikuntha with mortal body”, as they put it and tell the gullible masses that he was taken to vaikuntha in a “vimana”, specially sent by gods, a feat not occurring for any of the Brahmin saints, but only for this shudra. It is written by many that he “disappeared” while doing a “kirtan” on the banks of river, some two furlongs away from the town. Without going into several opinions, for which readers are referred to read Salunkhe’s book in original, all it means is that his dead body was not found. The day was the day of Holi, “dhulvad” as is popularly known, and as “Dhuli vandan” in Brahmanic books, the second day of dark half of month of Falgun. This is the day of obscenity, dirty deeds and drunken bouts, the “garoba” and all that goes with it. It is a wonder, nobody has explained why gods selected this day to send the vimana for him. In any case, for all the dalitbahujan devotees of Tukaram, it is the day of mourning and not of rejoicing, as they presently seem to be doing. It was on this day that their saviour was murdered
Dr. K. Jamanadas,
Holi – What is it and how did it originate?
It is well known that Holi forms one of the important festivals among the Hindus. It is supposed to be festival of Shudras, and is one of the three most important ones in India , the others being Dasera and Diwali. The Dasera is in honour of killing of Ravana and Divali is in honour of killing of Narakasur and noted pesant king Bali . The purpose of Holi, indirectly, is concerned with killing of Hiranyakashyap. The important elements of the festival of Holi are as follows:-
1. A pyre is burnt.
2. Abuses are showered on people, and other obscenities are observed. Dirt, mud etc. is smeared.
3. Festivities are indulged in to celebrate the victory.
Traditional Account
The puranas give an account of hokika burning. The traditional story is that a powerful King Hiranya Kashyapu sent his sister Holika to kill his ten year old only son Pralhad, as he was worshipping Barhmnic god Vishnu against his wishes. Holika had a cloth which could resistburning. She sits with Pralhad on a pyre. The wind blows wrapping Pralhad with the cloth and Holika is burnrd to death. Holi is supposed to be celebrated to commomorate this event.
Purpose of writing puranas
Dr. Ambedkar avers that “This literature arose during the period subsequent to the triumph of Brahmins under the leadership of Pushyamitra” (p.257 W&S vol.3) Original authors were non-brahmin sutas, but later they were ousted by brahmins who made monopoly of it. At that time they were finally edited and extra new subjects, apart from five traditional ones, were incorporated. [W&S vol 3, p.255]. But if you consider the fact that the majority of people were only allowed to know either by reading or hearing, and mostly by hearing, only these so called scriptures and nothing else, it becomes evident that the purpose of these books was rather more for false appeasement rather than information or enlightenment, let alone their progress and liberation, so that they don’t aim and strive for any higher literature. The real purpose of Puranas was to misled the dalitbahujan masses regarding their aspirations to knowledge, to curb down their desire for more information and limit their desires to their paltry needs. BSO has always done that and even now, we see that. An example of Gandhi admonishing the savarna leaders for accepting Agnibhoj, an untouchable in the Congress ministry by saying that this will increase the aspirations of these lowly born harijans is well known.
In practice, the stories in Puranas were used to present a make shift explanation for unexplainable capture of Buddhist monuments by the Brahmnical priests and to tell the dalitbahujans that the Brahmnical values are their own, when in fact, the masses were opposed to these values. It was also used to regularize the usurpation of Buddhist temples and tirthas, and thus misleading masses about their real history and heritage.
The above quoted story of Holika is nothing but an eyewash to hoodwink the dalitbahujans. This becomes clear from two cardinal facts. These are:-
1. That the fire for burning the holi is brought from an untouchable. [Ghurye: Caste and Race in India , 1969, Popular Prakashan Bombay, p. 26]
2. It is noteworthy that the festival of rejoicing ends by touching an untaouchable and the taking a bath. ["Rigvedi": marathi book - "aryaachya sanaancha prachin va arvachin itihas" p. 366, 1979, pradnya patha shala mandal, Wai-dist. Satara, M.S.]
There is no satisfactory explanation of these vital clues in this festival in the traditional story of Holika and Pralhada.
Obscenity of Holi
The second aspect of Holi is abusing the people. This goes on from about 15 days before the festival begins and goes on till the culmination of atrocities on the second days of holi. This certainly is a relic of old “Hindu” tradition of adding insult to the injury inflicted upon the old rivals of Hinduism, i.e. Jains and Buddhist. The Jains have somehow, adapted themselves and accepted the supremacy of brahmins, but the Buddhist did not and hence are condemned to be the Untouchables.
Present day obscenity
It is camouflaged in fish pond ceremonies and All fools’ conventions and the like, the original traits are seen even today.
The history of Ancient and medieval India is nothing but the history of the struggle for existence of Jains and Buddhists against the tyranny of Brahmanic masters. The trend continues even today. The crucial point of this struggle is that the majority of the oppressed, the ‘shudras and ati-shudras’ of olden days, in Mahatma Phuley’s terminology or ‘bahujans’ of today as they are now called, in Kanshiram’s terminology, sided with the oppressors, not knowing the real enemy, and considering the fetters of their slavery as their ornaments, leading to a situation where the slaves themselves enjoying their slavery and as one modern poet puts it, the prisoners of system guarding the gates of prison. These tyrannies are going on even today, in the name of caste creed and religion.
Examples of Violence in Hinduism
Are there examples of violence? Plenty! No ‘avatara’ of Brahmanic tradition is without having an arsenal of arms, with a possible exception of ‘unworshipable’ or ‘apujya’ Buddha.
Here we will only consider examples by burning, specially because the fire and atrocities of Holi are concerned with the backward castes.
Among others, Kumarila Bhatta was engaged in life and death struggle against Buddhism [See K.Jamanadas, "Tirupati Balaji was a Buddhist Shrine" 1991, Sanjivan Publications]
Swami Apurvanand, an author from Vivekananda’s tradition, describes, on the authority of an ancient text “Shankara Vijay” by Anandagiri, how Dharmapala, a Bouddha Aacharya of Nalanda Boudha Vidyapitha was defeated in ‘shastrartha’ i.e. interpreting old existing texts, without trying to elucidate new principles, by Kumarila Bhatta. Kumarila, an uncle of Buddhist scholar Dharmakirti, being defeated and humiliated by Dharmakirti, decided to study Buddhist shastras as he thought ‘it is always necessary to study the enemy before attacking it’ and joined Nalanda in the guise of a disciple of Dharmapala, in order to acquire enough knowledge of Buddhism so as to defeat Buddha’s doctrine. After studying Buddhism for some time, he challenged his guru Dharmapala, defeated him in ‘shastrartha’, and saw his guru embrace ‘tushanal’ i.e. a funeral pyre made up of hay and dry wood. Dharmapala declared before being burnt alive, “I am defeated by brilliance of Kumarila, but still I believe in supremacy of Buddha’s doctrine, I am not deviated at all from Buddha, His Dhamma or His Sangha, and so I would renounce my life rather than renounce Buddhism”. This is an account from a Brahmanic book and not from a Buddhist one. Shastrartha, Swamiji tells us, involved scholarship i.e.. an ability to quote from ancient texts, literary acumen, ability to debate and argue without cause, without logic, demonstration of so called yogic powers etc. [Swami Apurvananda, "Aacharya Shankara" 2nd edition. 1989, (Marathi translation of Bengali book), Ramakrishna Matha, Dhantoli, Nagpur, p. 94 ff.]
Swami Vivekananda has described how Aacharya Adi Shankara used to enjoy theburning of Buddhist monks after defeating them in shastrartha. This is what he says : “And such was the heart of Shankara that he burned to death lots of Buddhist monks by defeating them in arguments. What can you call such an action on Shankara’s part except fanaticism.” [Vivekananda: Complete Works vol. VII, p. 117 ff.]
Jains were impaled
It is reported that about eight thousand Jains were killed by impalement when they did not agree with Brahmins’ ideology and what is more important is that this incident was celebrated and commemorated by perpetuating a festival in temple of Madurai, which goes on even today. [K.A.N. Sastri - History of South India ]. This can denote why 6th of December, ‘A day of Mourning’ by millions of Bahujan followers of Ambedkar, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Muslims, was converted in a ‘Day of Victory’ by Brahmins over the demolition of Babari Mosque.
Garoba
There is a practice of Garoba in Maharashtra . On the evening of color festivities, garoba is celebrated by an assemblage of persons tired of ‘colour’ and dirt and mud. The function is always celebrated outside the town on an open ground either on, or near the cremation ground.
A ‘gar’ literally means a hook. A vertical pillar is erected to which an horizontal bar is attached. On one end of this horizontal member is a hook. On this hook is attached a big fruit like a pumpkin or a big brinjal, symbolic of a person condemned to be punished. The other end has rope which is held by the people who move and rotate the whole contraption so that the victim on the hook is strangulated and onlookers, among the chanting of songs called ‘ganas’, and beating of drums, shower ‘chana’ i.e. grilled gram grains, symbolic of throwing of stones. The author has seen this celebration with a pumpkin on the hook, in his childhood. In olden days, it was said by the elders who actually witnessed this, that an actual human being was hanged. Rajanikant Shastri [in his hindi book "Hindu jati ka utthan aur patan", Kitab Mahal, 1993, pp. 208 ff.] describes 12 cruel practices of Hindus, which were banned by British Govt. in mid ninteenth century. One of them called “charak puja” is the same, what we in Maharashtra call Garoba.
Some examples of Brahmanic sexual exploitation
According to Ramanika Gupta, in certain parts in Bihar , even now, a new dalit bride has to spend the first night with the village head man. [Sugawa, p.69] A bazaar is organized in Dholpur for sale of Dalit girls. [Sugawa, p. 69]
Kamble describes a custom called Okali. On first or second Saturday comming after the Hindu New Years Day (Gudhi padawa), the devadasis, who are mostly daltbahujans, were openly sexually enjoyed in public, about hundred years ago. This is now replaced by another tradition called “Okali”, which was in vogue till 1987. It is a festival like ‘Rang Panchami’. The young boys from higher castes assemble around a pool of coloured water in front of town temple. Young devadasis in the town stand in front of them in a row, and each receives a sari, a choli and a flower garland. The coloured water is poured over the devadasis who appear virtually naked as the cloths given to them are very thin, scanty, delicate and transparent. The boys play with the bodies of devadasis as they like, doing everything just short of sexual intercourse. All assembled enjoy the scene. This happens in the name of god ‘Bili Kallappa’. [Uttam Kamble, Sugawa, p. 81]
Vasant Rajas describes another custom, called “Sidi attu” in town Madakeripura in Karnataka which was in vogue till 1987, when it was banned by the Govt. Here a devadasi is suspended with a hook in her back on one end of a transverse rod placed on a vertical pole planted in ground, and rotated by a rope at the other end. She salutes the gathering, while her garments fly and all the naked lower part of her body is visible to all, for their amusement. This was supposed to bring prosperity to town, and the devadasi used to get a sari, a choli, a coconut and a betel nut, for which she thanked the gathering. [p. 27]
It must be realized that Hinduism is the only religion in the world, which has given religious sanction and provided with religious philosophy to the practice of prostitution. [Sugawa, p. 81]
Festivities
These we see in the form of sprinkling coloured water on each other, dry colours in the form of ‘gulal’ and distributing sweets, and indulging in intoxicants like liquor and ‘bhang’, (i.e. cannabis indica) and gambling in many ways.
Though the sprinkiling coloured water was perhaps in vogue since long time, the name of Lord Krishna got associated with the colouring part offestival, in medieval times. It is said that He was playing his divine “leelas” with the women folk of Brindavana. We can consider these as merely symbols of Brahmanic victory over the original inhabitants of India . It is well known that “Madhura bhakti” was brought to North India from Bengal after “Gitgovind” of Jaydeva, declaring Buddha as an avatara became popular, after fall of Buddhism.
It should become clear from the above account, that this festival, mainly concerns with dalitbahujans. They should try to understand the implied meaning under the tradtions and the slaves should stop enjoying the slavery.
Murder of great rebellious Marathi saint poet Tukaram
Tukaram was the greatest of the Marathi saints of “Varkari” cult, the credit of establishing which is given to Namdeva, and not to Dyandeva as previously thought. This is because it was Dyanadeva who went to Namdeva and not vice versa as put forward by Bahujan historian M. M. Deshmukh. The Brahmanic scholars describe Tukaram very mild, though he was the most rebellious against brahmanic tyranny. Following information is mainly drawn from A. H. Salunkhe’s Marathi book “Vidrohi Tukaram”. He comments that “a lion is depicted by them as a she-goat”. Two hundred years before Karl Marx, at the age of 20, he drowned his mortgage deeds of money loaned to farmers by his family. He criticized Vedic “knowledge”, Brahmanic tyranny and caste supremacy all his life, and was an eye-sore for them. They drowned all his note books of “abhanga”, as his verses were known.
He was preaching against caste and varna system, and talked bitterly against Untouchability. He got Bahinabai, one of his brahmin lady disciples, to translate Sanskrit Buddhist Classic “Vajrasuchi” – a strong critique of caste system – of Ashvaghosha to Marathi.
Tukaram was tried in court of law for the so called offenses of (1) preaching message of “shruti” though a shudra, (2) for having brahmin disciples, and (3) allowing these brahmin disciples to touch his feet. Though it was reign of Bijapur Sultan, the disputes of non-muslims were conducted under hindu “dharma- sastras” and hindu traditions by brahmins. He was punished by (i) drowning his poetry and forbidding to write more, (ii) confiscating his property, (iii) excommunicating and boycotting him and (iv) driving him out of the town. His property was looted. Later, during Nanasahib Peshava’s Brahmin rule, it was prohibited to sing his abhangas.
Tukaram retaliated by “satyagraha”, he sat on the banks of river for 13 days without food or water. The common masses supported him, assembled around him and the boycott and driving away was futile and ineffectual. The calm was maintained but the situation remained tense. His struggle against brahmanism was continuous for about next 22 years. We have to understand his death occurring under this back ground, at the young age of 42 years.
The day of His death
He had to suffer a lot at the hands of these priestly class tyrants all his life, and ultimately he was taken to “vaikuntha with mortal body”, as they put it and tell the gullible masses that he was taken to vaikuntha in a “vimana”, specially sent by gods, a feat not occurring for any of the Brahmin saints, but only for this shudra. It is written by many that he “disappeared” while doing a “kirtan” on the banks of river, some two furlongs away from the town. Without going into several opinions, for which readers are referred to read Salunkhe’s book in original, all it means is that his dead body was not found. The day was the day of Holi, “dhulvad” as is popularly known, and as “Dhuli vandan” in Brahmanic books, the second day of dark half of month of Falgun. This is the day of obscenity, dirty deeds and drunken bouts, the “garoba” and all that goes with it. It is a wonder, nobody has explained why gods selected this day to send the vimana for him. In any case, for all the dalitbahujan devotees of Tukaram, it is the day of mourning and not of rejoicing, as they presently seem to be doing. It was on this day that their saviour was murdered

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands immediate dropping of the proposal to construct a port in Dugarajapatnam


Press Release                           13-3-2014

 

          The Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands that the government immediately drop the proposal to construct a major port near Dugarajapatnam in Vakadu mandal of Nellore district. If the government does go ahead and sets up this port, it will seriously endanger the country’s second largest brackish lagoon, the Pulicat Lake.

A 10-member HRF team visited several villages in and around the Pulicat Lake on Wednesday (March 12). It was clear to us that a large portion of the land being sought to be acquired for the proposed port (5,028 acres in the first phase) is actually located within the northern boundary of the Pulicat Bird Sanctuary and its Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ).

Apart from being an ecological treasure trove, the Pulicat Lake also sustains the livelihood of thousands of fisherfolk, dalits and Yanadis (STs) who depend on the bio-resources in the area. The port will seriously undermine their livelihood. This valuable wetland, with its rich biodiversity should have already been declared a Ramsar wetland and further steps taken to conserve and nurture it.  Instead, the government is seeking to set up a major port in a fragile eco-system. This can only be described as “environmental vandalism.”

Towards this end, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) issued a draft notification on 3-1-2014 seeking to reduce the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) from 10 km to 2 km radius around the Pulicat Sanctuary. This is being done in a surreptitious manner with the sole intention of facilitating statutory clearances for the proposed major port at Dugarajapatnam. This is a brazen attempt to bypass environmental law.

It is a shame that Mr Jairam Ramesh, a former Union minister of environment and forests, continues to maintain the fiction (like he did yesterday in a press meet at Nellore) that there are no “abiding environmental issues” with regard to the setting up of the major port at Dugarajapatnam. The attempt at reduction in ESZ is completely unwarranted and an invitation to an impending ecological disaster.

HRF demands that the MOEF withdraw the notification earmarking only 2 km as ESZ for the Pulicat Sanctuary. No permission must be accorded or relaxation given to establish any ecologically damaging activity like hazardous industries, thermal power plants, seaports or airports in the 10 km width ESZ. The government must examine alternative sites for setting up the port in an area that is not ecologically sensitive. If these steps are not taken and the attempt to set up the port at Dugarajapatnam is persisted with, then there is danger that we may lose this precious wetland for posterity.

VS Krishna                                                                                       B Narayana

(HRF general secretary)                                               (HRF Nellore dist. Convenor)

Villages visited by the HRF team: Anjalapuram, Kondurupalem, Pulinjirivaripalem, Sreenivasapuram and Tupilipalem, all in Vakadu mandal.

Human Rights Forum Demands prosecution of Police- Press Release


 

Press Release

                                                                                                     3-3-2014

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands that criminal prosecution proceedings be immediately initiated against police personnel responsible for the suicidal death on February 27, 2014 of Vanjam Gujja Rao (24) an adivasi resident of Sunnamatka village in Vara Ramachandrapuram (VR Puram) mandal in Bhadrachalam division of Khammam district.

A five-member HRF fact-finding team visited Sunnamatka and VR Puram on Sunday and elicited facts of the case. The police version is that their personnel had not committed any illegality but had only questioned Gujja Rao in connection with a recent burglary at Tellamvarigudem village. They contend that he had later hung himself because he was of unsound mind and was depressed since his wife could not beget children. This is nothing but a brazen falsehood intended to cover up crimes the police have committed in the course of investigation.

Following the burglary from a house at Tellamvarigudem on February 9, the VR Puram police picked up about 60 adivasi residents of Sunnamatka including over 15 women on February 11. They were let off the same evening but the police detained 7 men, including Gujja Rao’s elder brother V Kannaiah. Over two days Kannaiah and two others, Vetti Jogaiah and Vanjam Kannam, were beaten by the VR Puram SI of police Ravi Kiran. The police even got them treated at the Kunavaram government hospital. After five days, six of the adivasis were let off but Kannaiah was not.

The VR Puram police then took into custody Gujja Rao on February 22 when he had gone fishing in a pond near Venkampalem. He was taken the next day (February 23) to the Chintoor police station where he was subjected to severe beatings by the police over four days. He was let off on the evening of February 26. When he returned home, Gujja Rao was in a lot of pain and was even unable to eat food given by his wife Nandina. She did her best to console him saying he was fortunate to have come out alive.

The next morning at about 7 am, residents of Sunnamatka found Gujja Rao hanging from a mahua tree near the village. It is clear that the brutal treatment meted out by the Chintoor police had driven Gujja Rao to suicide.

The police then put out the outlandish version that Rao had hung himself due to personal problems but was however still alive! They decided to help the villagers save him and were rushing him to a hospital in Khammam when he expired enroute at Kothagudem! These lies are being trotted out by Chintoor CI Amrutha Reddy and his subordinates.

Custodial violence and abuse of police power is a matter of serious concern. This is the second custodial death in a little over a month’s time in the State, the earlier one being at Korutla police station in Karimnagar district on January 20. The law criminalises torture, but custodial torture seems to enjoy unprecedented license in our State with an average of 22 persons being killed annually in lock-up by the police. Inflicting violence on helpless suspects has become a common phenomenon and routine police practice of interrogation. A pervasive regime of impunity is the single most important factor for institutionalising widespread use of torture.

HRF demands that the VR Puram and Chintoor police including SI Ravi Kiran and CI Amrutha Reddy be immediately suspended and charged under Section 306 (abetment to suicide), Section 201 (screening of evidence) and other relevant sections of the IPC as well as appropriate sections of the SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The criminal investigation into the case must be done by an agency as independent of the police as possible. A mere departmental probe and the mandatory magisterial enquiry are not a substitute for this lawful process.

HRF also points out that the insertion of section 176 (1-A) through an amendment to the CrPC in 2005 mandates that all custodial deaths should be enquired into by a judicial magistrate or metropolitan magistrate rather than an executive magistrate. This has come into effect from June 23, 2006 and therefore a judicial magistrate should enquire into Gujja Rao’s death rather than an executive magistrate as has usually been the case.

At a broader level, we call upon the government to implement the recommendations of the Law Commission of India’s 152nd Report on “Custodial Crimes” and make consequential amendments to Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (insertion of Section 114B) to provide that “in case of custodial death the onus of proving of innocence may be fixed on the police.” The government must seriously address the issue of torture by law enforcement personnel.

VS Krishna

(HRF State general secretary)

SK Khader Babu

(HRF State vice-president)

D Adinarayana

(HRF Khammam dist. general secretary)

K Venkatanarsaiah

(HRF Khammam dist. vice-president)

Sunnam Ramesh

(HRF Khammam dist. secretary)

Prachara Yathra against coastal corridor- from 14th February to 17th February – 2014


Dear Friends, Human Rights Forum has taken up a Prachara Yathrain coastal Districts for four days from 14th February to 17th February – 2014, From Vishakhapatnam to Kakinada, against the destructive development all along Coastal belt. Political parties are describing this as development of Andhra region. But it will displace lots of people from their lands and livelihoods, please spread the word and join in the programme.
According to one estimate More than 70% of cultivators in krishna delta and godavari delta are tenants from Dalit and other oppressed castes. Coastal corridor will adversely affect livelihood security of these tenant farmers. But absentee owners, (mostly rich upper caste) are welcoming this corridor. They willll amass wealth using their ownership rights.

- Human Rights Forum

HRF representation on ICC for sexual harassment of women in workplaces


Sir/Madam,

Sub: Sexual Harassment at Workplaces- Constitution of

Internal Complaints Committee– Request- regarding

We believe that you are the head of this organisation. Our information is that there are women employees in your office. If the number of women employees exceeds ten then it is mandatory for you to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) so as to facilitate enquiry into complaints of sexual harassment lodged by your women employees or women at your workplace.

What happens if the ICC is not constituted?

You can be penalised with a fine which may extend up to Rs. 50000. Yes, fifty thousand rupees! If the contravention continues even after the first conviction, you can be penalised with a fine which may extend up to Rs.1 lakh. Not only that. The Government of the Local Authority which granted you licence to run the organisation would cancel it. If your work place is registered, the registration would be withdrawn. If the number of women employees in your office is less than 10 the constitution of the ICC is optional.  If you are an ideal employer, the law does not bar you from constituting an ICC.

Composition of the ICC:

The Committee should consist of a minimum of four members, to be headed by a senior level woman employee. She is the presiding officer of the Committee. Not less than two members shall be from amongst the employees of the organisation. One member shall be from any Non-Governmental Organisation. The members so nominated should possess commitment to the cause of women and/or must be familiar with issues relating to sexual harassment. Half of the committee shall be constituted with women members. The tenure of this committee should not exceed three years.

What should this committee do?

          Whenever any woman at work place or a woman employed at the dwelling place or house is subjected to sexual harassment she can make a complaint in writing to the ICC.  If she cannot make the complaint in writing, the presiding officer or any member of the committee should extend help to the victim to make the complaint in writing. The victim-woman should lodge the complaint within three months of occurrence of sexual harassment. Of course, the ICC may extend time for making complaint for a further period of three months.

What is to be done on receipt of complaint?

          Before commencing enquiry, the committee may take steps for amicable settlement and record the terms of settlement. Payment of money by the respondent should not be the basis of settlement. If no settlement is made then the committee should commence enquiry. If the respondent i.e., the person against whom the complaint is made, is an employee, the enquiry should be in accordance with the service regulations. If there are no service regulations then the enquiry should be according to the procedure as detailed below:

The victim-woman is required to submit six copies of the complaint. Documents she relies upon and the list of witnesses should be enclosed by the complainant. The ICC should issue seven clear days’ notice to the respondent. On receipt of notice, the respondent should file his reply within 10 days. Enquiry should be in accordance with the Principles of Natural Justice. A minimum of three members, including the Presiding Officer should be present at the enquiry.

What is to be enquired into?

          The committee enquires into the fact whether the victim was subjected to sexual harassment by the respondent.

What then is sexual harassment?

          Any of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour of the respondent that is to say:

  1. Physical contact or advances;
  2. A demand or a request for sexual favours;
  3. Making sexually coloured remarks;
  4. Showing pornography;
  5. Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.

Even if the respondent indulges in any of these acts indirectly then also it amounts to sexual harassment.

Is that all?! No. No. −> Read further, please:

If the respondent does any of the following acts, viz.,

  1. If any promise is made to a woman employee that she would be given preferential treatment in employment;
  2. If the respondent threatens a woman employee that she would be given detrimental treatment in employment;
  3. If the respondent threatens her about her present or future employment status;
  4. If the respondent interferes with her work or creates an intimidating/offensive/hostile work environment for her;
  5. If the respondent treats her in a humiliating manner which may likely affect her health or safety.

These acts, whether done directly or indirectly i.e., whether explicitly or impliedly, would also amount to sexual harassment.

Should a report follow the enquiry?

Yes. The committee has to give its report to the employer. During the pendency of enquiry if the victim requests in writing the committee may recommend:

a) Transfer of victim or respondent to any other workplace;

b) Grant a leave for the victim-woman for a period not exceeding three months;

c) Restraining the respondent from reporting on the work performance of the victim woman employee;

d) Restraining the respondent from writing a confidential report.

If your organisation is an educational institution the Committee may recommend restraining the respondent from supervising any academic activity of the victim woman employee.

What action follows?

          Sexual harassment is misconduct on the part of the respondent. So service regulations would come into action. The punishment would be severe. Written apology, warning, reprimand or censure, withholding of promotion, withholding of pay rise or increments, compelling to do community service are the penalties provided for. The penalty imposed would depend upon the gravity of the sexual harassment. It could be termination from service. The committee may even recommend deduction from the salary of the respondent and payment of the same to the victim-woman.

Your duties

          The employer has to perform certain duties under the Law. They are:

  1. Provide safe working environment;
  2. Prominently display the penalties for sexual harassment;
  3. Organise workshops and awareness programs;
  4. Provide the necessary facilities for the committee for dealing with the complaints and conducting enquiry;
  5. Assist in securing the attendance of the respondent and witnesses before the ICC;
  6. Provide assistance to the woman if she chooses to file complaint to the police or court;
  7. Initiate action against the perpetrator of the crime at workplace;
  8. Making the sexual harassment as misconduct and incorporating the same in the service relations and enumerating the penalties;

 Why should you do these things?

These are mandatory for you under the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. This law was enacted by the Indian Parliament on 22 April, 2013. The Law came into force with effect from 9 December, 2013. The Supreme Court of India, as long back as 1998, has ruled that in order to prevent sexual harassment at workplaces an in-house mechanism is to be constituted. Reference: Visakha vs. State of Rajasthan.

Why this Act?

          Human beings are born free and equal. But some social practices discriminate against women. Employment of women in industry, administration, education and health sectors is indispensable. As time rolls on women are entering every profession, occupation and trade. As a matter of fact one should welcome this trend, for half of the workforce, hitherto confined to homes, is making its presence felt by their contribution. In spite of this, male dominance is placing hurdles in the onward march of women in general and women employees in particular. Many women still shy away from entering the job market and one of the reasons for this reticence is sexual harassment at work places.  Discrimination is the principal source of human rights violation. For the full development of the human personality enjoyment of human rights is indispensable.

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) is committed to the cause of women since we feel patriarchy is one of the sources of human rights violations and sexual harassment is the result of male dominance, a patriarchal practice.

Hope you would, as an ideal employer, constitute the Internal Complaints Committee forthwith and help women employees enjoy their human rights without any hindrance.

Yours truly,

Human Rights Forum

Hyderabad City Unit