R B More, 1945
Essay

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
News

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]

B T Ranadive
Essay

Caste, Class and Property Relations

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]

Note

Ten Years after Khairlanji: New Impetus for Struggles

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]

Essay

Khairlanji, then and now

Brinda Karat

Khairlanji, the name of a village in Bhandara district of Maharashtra, evokes the power, brutality and arrogance of India’s caste system and the impunity enjoyed by its most cruel practitioners. It was here, on this date 10 years ago, that Surekha Bhotmange, a Dalit woman farmer, was killed along with her two sons, Roshan and Sudhir, who was visually disabled, and her 17-year-old daughter, Priyanka. Each of them had been subjected to the most horrible violence by members of the dominant OBC caste in this area, who now employ the same upper-caste hegemonic practices and methods against Dalits that they had been victims of, and which they had once fought against. The state refused to admit that the murder of four members of a Dalit family in Maharashtra was a caste crime. Ten years later, the demand for a repeal of the legal protection for Dalits can be heard. [Read more]

Essay

Khairlanji verdict blind to dalit cause

Brinda Karat

Four years ago, Surekha Bhotmange, a dalit woman farmer living in the village of Khairlanji in Maharashtra was brutally killed along with her two sons, Roshan, the visually handicapped Sudhir and her 18-year-old daughter Priyanka. Her husband Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange escaped. The method of killing was brutal. Each was hunted down and beaten to death by a mob of men belonging to the dominant caste in the village. Recently, the Nagpur bench of the Mumbai High Court gave its judgment in the case. It held that caste had nothing to do with the killings. It agreed with the judgment of the sessions court on the non-applicability of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act) (POA). If Khairlanji was a shame and disgrace to our nation and our Constitution, the judgment adds another chapter to it. [Read more]

News Struggles

Khairlanji: Prevent Denial Of Justice

Barely had the nationwide shock and outrage against the brutal killings of four dalits in Khairlanji subsided, a systematic attempt is on to sabotage the case by intimidation of key witnesses. The active collusion of local administration, perpetrators of this heinous crime and political leadership continues unabated in an effort to prevent delivery of justice. The CPI(M) expressed its deep concern at these recent developments in the Khairlanji case and appealed to the central government to ensure speedy justice. Polit Bureau member and MP, Brinda Karat, met the union home minister Shivraj Patil along with key witness Sidharth Gajbhaye on January 16, 2007 in New Delhi and raised this issue.  [Read more]

Struggles

The Khairlanji Massacre And After

Ashok Dhawale

On September 29, 2006 took place the horrific massacre of a dalit family at Khairlanji in Bhandara district near Nagpur. It is indeed a shocking irony that such a heinous incident, which recalls dark memories of the Kilvenmani dalit massacre in Tamil Nadu nearly four decades ago, should occur in a state that has had a long and rich tradition of great social reformers like Mahatma Jotirao Phule, Chhatrapati Shahu and Dr Ambedkar – that too in a year that marks the half century of Dr Ambedkar’s conversion and demise. [Read more]