News Struggles

SFI and DYFI hold beef festivals across Kerala to protest cattle sale clampdown

Left-wing student and youth organisations held protests throughout Kerala to protest the central government’s order banning the sale of cattle for slaughter in markets. The beef festivals organised by the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) witnessed large participation of students, youth, prominent personalities from various fields and the general public. [Read more]

EMS speaks at election public meeting, 1991 (Deshabhimani file photo)

The Marxist Definition: Class and Caste in ‘Creamy Layer’ Controversy

EMS Namboodiripad

The Marxist assessment of the communal problem has been that communal unity cannot be forged except on the basis of class unity bringing together various sections of the working people belonging to all the communities on the basis of a united militant struggle waged by the people against the oppressing classes. In other words, class unity of the working people against the oppressing and exploiting groups at the top was the real solution for the communal problem.

This is as true of the caste question as of the communal question. This may be illustrated by the way in which the Marxist movement in Kerala assessed and sought to solve the question of the demand raised by the backward castes for reservation in government service.

The Marxist movement in Kerala in its early days, extended full support to the demand of the backward castes for reservation in government jobs and in educational institutions. At the same time, it organized the working people (belonging to all castes and communities) on class basis.

It was the first Communist Government in the State which formulated and issued the rules according to which definite quotas were fixed for the backward Hindu castes as well as for Muslims and the Christian communities. [Read more]

R B More, 1945

Comrade R B More: A Red Star in a Blue Sky

Satyendra More, Subodh More

2017 marks the 90th anniversary of two historic struggles for social justice in India. These are the Chavdar Lake Satyagraha of March 1927 at Mahad, Maharashtra, in which thousands of Dalits for the first time drank water from the lake that had been for centuries set aside only for caste Hindus, and the burning of the Manusmriti at Mahad in December 1927. The leader of these struggles was Dr B R Ambedkar, and it was with these two movements that Dr Ambedkar first emerged as one of the champions of the struggle for social justice in the country.

The main organiser of both these struggles was R B More, who was to become a widely respected communist leader. On 11 May 2017, the 45th death anniversary of Comrade R B More, Anticaste.in republishes an essay written in 2003 by his son Satyendra More and grandson Subodh More. The essay was originally written as two articles by the authors separately, and were combined and edited by Ashok Dhawale for People’s Democracy[Read more]

DYFI Mumbai Youth March

Mumbai Youth March against atrocities on Minorities and Dalits

Preethy Sekhar

Hundreds of young men and women in Mumbai joined the Mumbai Youth March organized by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) on April 23 evening to protest against increasing atrocities on minorities and Dalits in the country. The fearless march of the youth shouting slogans against Gaurakshak criminals and their political masters resonated with the protest in the hearts of the downtrodden people.  [Read more]

Prabhat Patnaik at Stand With JNU, 9 March 2016. Photo by Subin Dennis.

Affirmative Action and the “Efficiency Argument”

Prabhat Patnaik

In this article, Prabhat Patnaik demolishes the “efficiency argument” which claims that affirmative action, including reservations, lowers the “efficiency”, or quality of output, in any sphere where it is practised. The basis for an analytical objection to affirmative action on the basis of the “efficiency argument”, he says, can only be provided by a rejection of the presumption of even distribution of talent across social groups, in favour of an alternative presumption that either talks of the all-round superiority of some groups over others (which underlies racialism and concepts like the herrenvolk), or talks of different groups having different kinds of talent (which is supposed to justify the caste system). If both of these alternative presumptions are rejected as they should be, then the analytical objection to affirmative action on the efficiency argument not only disappears, but becomes its very opposite, namely an argument for affirmative action[Read more]