The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has intensified the agitation seeking justice for the Dalits of Devarapalli in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh who have been displaced from their land. The Dalits of Devarapalli have been waging a struggle for the restoration of the land they have been cultivating for 50 years. They were evicted from the land for constructing a tank for the agriculture needs of the farmers belonging to upper castes in the village under the “Neeru Chettu scheme”. On Saturday, 29 July, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau member BV Raghavulu visited the area and joined the agitation by leading the cultivation of the land. [Read more]
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]
B T Ranadive
Nationalist tradition in India looked upon the struggle of the lower castes against the domination of the upper castes as a diversion from the general anti-imperialist struggle. The caste question was considered to be an internal affair of the Indians who, in spite of all the differences and inequalities among them, were expected to first fight for the freedom of the country, under the leadership of the bourgeoisie. At the same time, there was another current which held that India was unfit for freedom till the people first overcame the inequalities of the caste system. This current was represented by certain social reformers coming from upper castes whose bourgeois democratic consciousness was appalled by the monstrous iniquities of the caste system and other obscenities of Hinduism. In essence, both these traditions sought to delink the anti-caste struggles from the contemporary democratic and class struggles; they sought to circumscribe the anti-caste struggle within the framework of the existing political and economic system.
This essay by B T Ranadive makes a broad survey of both these traditions as well as certain other anti-caste currents which launched a direct attack on the inequality of the caste system. Ranadive argues that while anti-caste struggles, including those which take the form of a demand for reservation of jobs, etc, should be supported, what is called for is a deeper struggle, embracing the oppressed of all castes, against the present socio-economic system which is based on certain property and production relations which sustain both caste and class oppression. [Read more]
A fundamental and core feature of India’s socio-economic structures is its caste system. Birth and descent determine positions in immutable social hierarchies. When Rohith Vemula penned his tragic yet passionate suicide note he described his Dalit identity as a ‘fatal accident’. And it is true. Had he been born into another caste, he would not as a child has had to witness his mother Radhika facing caste based indignities. Nor would Rohith and his sibling Raja have faced discrimination in their school classrooms. The cancellation of his scholarship, his only means of survival as a student at a top University, would not have led to the drastic action he took, thus making him a victim of an institutional murder. The institution in question is not just the callous university establishment, but in fact, the institution of caste. [Read more]
Editorial by People’s Democracy, October 2, 2016
September 29, 2016 marks the tenth anniversary of the Khairlanji atrocity. The brutal murder of Surekha Bhotmange along with her daughter, Priyanka, and her two sons, Sudhir and Roshan (visually challenged) in this small hamlet in Bhandara district of Maharashtra revealed many old and new facets of the violence that dalits are subjected to. [Read more]
B.V. Raghavulu, Vice-President of the Struggle Committee Against Caste Discrimination (Kulavivaksha Vyatireka Porata Sangham) and Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M), speaks to G. Mamatha on the caste question in India. [Read more]
In this video, G.V. Sreerama Reddy, Central Committee member and Karnataka State Secretary of the CPI(M), speaks on the anti-caste struggles led by the CPI(M) in Karnataka. He speaks about the agitations led by the Party against the inhuman, caste-based social practice of ‘Made Made Snana’ in various Subramanya temples in the state, and against the discriminatory practice of ‘Pankthi Bheda’ in the Sri Krishna Temple in Udupi. [Read more]
For more than a decade, the CPI(M) and other mass organisations in Tamil Nadu have been concentrating on movements against caste oppression and for eradication of untouchability. Efforts towards eradication of untouchability have intensified after the formation of the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF) in May 2007. District units of the TNUEF are present and active in all the 32 districts of Tamil Nadu today. In this interview, P. Sampath, the President of TNUEF, explains the challenge of caste in India, and how the CPI(M) has been trying to address the caste question in Tamil Nadu. [Read more]
People’s Democracy, February 23, 2014 The first state convention of the Struggle Committee for the Annihilation of Caste (Jaati Anta Sangharsh Samiti) was held at Nagpur on January 25, 2014. The venue was named after Surekha Bhotmange and the hall after Priyanka Bhotmange, the mother and daughter duo who were raped and killed in the […]
(People’s Democracy, November 15, 2009) Alleging that dalits were still facing discrimination in different parts of Tamilnadu and that this included denial of access to temples, the Theendamai Ozhippu Munnani (Untouchability Eradication Front) has announced that it would organise more temple entry protests in the state. The Theendamai Ozhippu Munnani is led by Tamil Nadu […]