" Democracy was
also a great narrative and not merely a monolithic kind of democratic participation."
 
 
 
 

Events

Dalit Discussion Forum

The Dalit Resource Centre organizes a Dalit Discussion Forum, with the objective of generating a corpus of knowledge related to the emergence of Dalit public sphere and understanding their process of assertion in the democratic processes of the country. It is with this broad objective that the Forum intends to draw the attention of the society towards variegated travails of the Dalit communities, related to physical atrocities, social injustice, and psychological dishonor; the attitude and nature of reaction of the Dalit public to incidents of harassment and humiliation meted out to members of their communities and their cry for acceptability, liberty, and equality. It is attended both by Dalit and non-Dalit writers, journalists and social activists. Intellectual outlook/strategies against the systemic Brahaminical hegemony are explored in such discussions. It contributes to the generation of a Dalit discourse as well as facilitates in reaching out to the mainstream discourse. An audio-visual documentation of their opinions and approaches to such pressing social issues is also recorded to make it a part of our archive at the Dalit Resource Centre. Therefore, it provides an enduring platform to Dalit and non-Dalit public to articulate their experiences and attitudes. The Forum plans to organize periodic discussions on current as well as dormant and unarticulated issues, concerning the Dalit worldviews.

a) a) An interactive session was organized on the social questions that are being raised on the issue of atrocities being committed against Dalit communities on September 28, 2005. This session was attended by prominent Dalit writers of popular booklets like Guru Prasad Madan and Boddhacharya Sajivan Nath. The participants threw light on, and shared their views about, how they perceived the continued violence on the Dalits and what measures were required to put an end to such atrocities. Guru Prasad Madan cited various examples in his speech that reflected the mental harassment of the Dalit communities that has continued since pre-Independence days. Boddhacharya, too, reiterated the concerns over the conditions in which the Dalits of today are living in India. A lot according to him needs to be done, both at the hands of the society and the state, to uplift the depressed sections of the society. Everyone shared a common concern over the pitiable conditions of the Dalits in our social set up even today after six decades of independence. A change in our social system is required whereby even Dalits could walk shoulder to shoulder with the rest in the society. This discussion was held with special reference to the continued atrocities being committed against the depressed class in the recent past, Gohana incident in Haryana being the latest. It’s a matter of great concern that while democracy is moving and becoming stronger each day, the violence on the Dalit communities goes on unabated. The discussion ended with the future commitment of organizing more such talks, whereby those who think, write, and understand the Dalit related issues can come together again on a common platform and help in arousing Dalit consciousness.

b) K. Nath, a popular Dalit writer and ambitious social activist, shared his Dalit related experiences encountered in different spheres of life on April 3, 2006 in the seminar hall of the Centre. He narrated several caste based incidents he had suffered since his childhood. He expressed the pains and suffering he had to undergo as a punishment for being born a Dalit. Caste-plastered stereotypes preceded him wherever he moved in society. As a student, both in school and in college, he faced unprecedented caste based discriminations. During the tenure of his government service, he was framed in a number of baseless charges and suspended on various occasions. Even then, such tribulations failed to deter him from continuing his unabated fight against injustice and humiliation meted out to the members of his community at the hands of the upper caste people. It engendered in him a revolt against the existing parochial system. To express his views, he has written a number of books, like ‘Tiraskar’, ‘Mere Gao Ka Kua’, ‘Jati Apradh’, etc. and has led a number of marches, protests, picketings, rallies, etc. According to him, reservation policy gives birth to slaves rather than strugglers. He feels that the western influence of media and glamour has reduced the intensity and the will to fight against the deeply entrenched Brahmanical regime in the present day Dalit generation. This is even truer of the educated upper class Dalits, who shy away from identifying themselves with the struggling Dalit people at the bottom. He feels his efforts will continue till people move to the streets, demanding right to justice and equality. As a born revolutionary, he is full of enthusiasm and hopes to purge of injustice and atrocities. He pledges to continue his struggle even in the face of atrocities. All his efforts are in the direction of awakening the slumbering Dalit masses to their right to freedom, equality, and respect.

 

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