Annotated Critical Deliberation on the ‘Annihilation of Caste’

‘Annihilation of Caste’, is one of the most popular treatise in India dealing with the ways and forms of persistence of Caste and modes of ‘Annihilating’ it, penned by Dr B R Ambedkar. Though Ambedkar authored and published many a works related to caste, etc; among all his writings, the ‘Annihilation of Caste’ has a unique position among his admirers and followers , primarily. As a result, his admirers and followers published and republished this ‘Annihilation of Caste’ document in various forms and modes over the years, across India in various vernaculars modes too.

The present review deals with the Navayana Publishing House, New Delhi published work in 2014. Navayana Publishing House in 2014 brought out an ‘Annotated Critical Edition on the Annihilation of Caste’. In this edition, the Editor S Anand provided critical Annotations to the original text of Ambedkar’s ‘Annihilation of Caste’. And, a lengthy Introduction was also provided by Arundhati Roy, one of the well known Indian English writers. This Introduction was entitled as ‘The Doctor and the Saint’.

I had composed a Review of this Book in the The Criterion: An International Journal in English‘, as part of this Journals April, 2017 issue. ‘The Criterion’ is an University Grants Commission (UGC) recognized journal. This Review can be found on the following source.

Annotated Critical Deliberation on the ‘Annihilation of Caste’

Previously, a discussion on this Book was held at the University of Hyderabad in 2014.  And, I had provided a report on that discussion in 2014 itself. Please refer the following URL source for that same discussion, if interested.

Arundhati Roy tilts towards Gandhi: Prof. K. Y. Ratnam

Review of Natwar Singh’s Autobiography

India’s formal External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh composed his Autobiography and entitled it as ‘One Life is Not Enough: An Autobiography’. He was also one among a few prominent people hailing from former princely kingdoms background, got into high-profile Indian Civil Service, i.e., Indian Foreign Service (IFS), actively associated with the Indian National Congress (INC), maintained close ties and relationship with the Jawarlala Nehru-Gandhi family members for long, etc.

In the year 2014, his autobiography was released by the Rupa Publications India Private Limited.

I composed a Book Review of this autobiography and this was published in the Journal of Political Studies, (ISSN: 2278-4039), Department of Political Science, University of North Bengal, in its March-October, 2015 (back issue), Volume 11.

Please refer this URL for pdf version of the Review: One Life is Not Enough – An Autobiography by K Natwar Singh

A Critique of ‘Hind Swaraj’ and ‘Hindutva’

The Journal of Politics & Governance (ISSN: 2278-473X) published a Book Review, which was based on U R Anantamurthy’s ‘Hindutva or Hind Swaraj’, as part of its Volume 6, No 1, March 2017 edition. This Review was composed by me and was titled as ‘A Critique of ‘Hind Swaraj’ and ‘Hindutva’. This full-fledged Review can be found in the below source.

A Critique of Hind Swaraj and Hindutva

The Journal of Politics & Governance is an Open Access source.

Use of word ‘Harijan’ by Government of Andhra Pradesh Officials 

The Untouchables of India have been facing henious caste discriminative crimes, in direct and indirect modes against them over centuries together. The caste as a system of survival has adopted to dynamic tendencies for its continued persistence. The adoption of Constitution in 1950 is a turning point in the Indian history; as it adhered and envisaged eagalitarian principles. The Constitution of India recognised and envisaged protective discriminative policies for the upliftment of various historically under-privilaged communities. One such recognised community section under protective-discrimination is ex-untouchable / Scheduled Caste (SC) category. The Indian democratic polity based on the Constitution of India of 1950 undertook various measures towards SC’s; in pursuit of following and adhering to the policy of protective discriminative measures. One such notable and noteworthy measure was banning of the word ‘Harijan’ in public usage. 

M K Gandhi, one of the towering personalities in the Indian freedom struggle for independence has voiced his concern for the upliftment of untouchables and coined the word ‘Harijan’, as a better referral word for Untouchables. But, the march of the Indian democratic polity failed to adhere to many of the Gandhian principles; though attempted to project him as a preacher of ‘non-vilence & Satyagraha’ on a louder tone, internally in India and globally on International forums. 

Recently, I visited a village called ‘Mudunuru’, near Vuyyur in the Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh. To my utter surprise I found usage of the word ‘Harijan’ in two prominent instances at this Mudunuru village. One of the usage of this word was by the Government of Andhra Pradesh Officials on the occasion of a SC Community Building opening; 

Please observe this above photo carefully and see the usage of the word ‘Harijan’ in Telugu in the initial stage itself. 

Another incident in which I found the usage of the word ‘Harijan’ was by SC’s themselves. At the village center a big flex banner was erected by a sub-section of the SC’s, on the occasion of Dr B R Ambedkar’s Birth anniversary celebrations of April, 2017. On the erected banner it was prominently mentioned that the banner was erected by the ‘East-Harijan’ colony section. Unfortunately, I was unable to capture a photo of this banner, though had a wish!! And, I also found that the East-Harijan’ referes to SC-Mala Community in the village. 

 This incident at Mudunuru village in relation to the use of the word ‘Harijan’ testifies that the Indian democratic polity aspirations are not fully met with; both by the Government of Andhra Pradesh Officials and by SC’s themselves!! Even the SC’s at this village are unable to recognise the glories egalitarian sense in banning of the word ‘Harijan’. At another level this case observation at this village testifies that both the both the Government of Andhra Pradesh Officials & SC’s themselves are yet to imbibe the spirit behind banning of the word’Harijan’. 

Moral University Convocation

A few years back, a predominant Scheduled Caste (SC) group and organisation at the University of Hyderabad Campus begun to perceive me as a threat to their ‘Caste and Organisation’. As a result, they started to brand me as an ‘Anti-Dalit’ and propagated in such a manner to a few Non-Telugu Dalits, who begun to believe the same.

I came to know about this process and incident a bit late.

On one day, a Non-Telugu SC Doctoral Research Scholar from Political Science started to behave with me in an unusual manner, due to this believed (mis)belief as an ‘anti-Dalit’, without expressing the same in full-fledged form.

Surprisingly, on another midnight, we both encountered each other while walking on the University Campus. This gentleman was thoroughly drunken. As a result, he was able to open his feeling against me as ‘anti-Dalit’, albeit in a little polite manner. But, I was able to guess the sense.

The result was – at length discussion, deliberation, debate, explanation followed. Even then, there was no change in his mindset.

After returning to my hostel room – I pondered over about this guy’s perception towards me and more. At last, I felt pity for his inability to understand ‘what constitutes Political Discourse – why and how’, even after having highest qualification in the academic discipline and exposure to a particular Political Society and System for more than a decade!!??

As a final moral resort, I conducted ‘Moral Reserve University Convocation’ in my heart as Chancellor of the University and repealed his awarded academic qualification in the Political Science discipline for his inability to sustain scientific temper in the pursuit of the Subject!!

Senior Political Journalists on Andhra Pradesh Politics and Media

Recently, I have come across a few prominent Telugu Journalists Interviews on YouTube: IDream Channel. The first interview was with Kommineni Srinivasa Rao, the second was with Inganti Venkata Rao, and the third was with Devulapalli Amar. These three journalists are senior most journalists and senior in age too. These three interviews were part of IDream Channel’s ‘Indian Political League’ and ‘Talking Politics’ programmes.

While Kommineni Srinivasa Rao was highly critical about Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led Government in Andrha Pradesh under the leadership of Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Inganti Venkata Rao was not that much critical towards the same government. Inganti Venkata Rao’s interview is very lengthy and touched upon many aspects starting with his professional career innings and related events, etc. Devulapalli Amar shared views about media and political history during his journalistic career.

I consider these interviews as worth watchable for better understanding about the Andhra Pradesh politics from certain ‘inside perspective’.

Kommineni Srinivasa Rao (KSR) Full Interview || Indian Political League (IPL) With iDream

Senior Editor Inuganti Venkat Rao Exclusive Interview || Talking Politics With iDream

Sr.Journalist Devulapalli Amar Exclusive Interview || Talking Politics With iDream

Prof Sudipta Kaviraj on ‘The Second Mahabharat’ at University of Hyderabad

Prof Sudipta Kaviraj, one of the most distinguished Indian Political Scientist will be at the Department of Political Science, University of Hyderabad as Visiting Fellow during August 8-14 2016. On August 10, 2016 he will be delivering a talk on ‘The Second Mahabharat’ at C V Raman Auditorium, University of Hyderabad.

Prof Kaviraj

Book Release of ‘Gujarat Files: Anatomy of A Cover Up’ at Hyderabad

On July 02, 2016 at Lamakaan – An Open Cultural Space, located near to the Banjara Hills, Hyderabad hosted the Book Release of Ms Rana Ayyub’s ‘Gujarat Files: Anatomy of A Cover Up‘.

This book is all about 2012 Gujarat Carnage against the Muslims, which was reported as a retaliation against to the burning of train at Godhra. Ms Rana undertook this Investigative Journalism on behalf of Tehelka News Agency. After successful completion of this Investigative Journalism by Ms Rana; Tehelka declined to expose to the outer public about this Investigative Journalism’s results. This made Ms Rana highly upset. As a result, after careful examination of various factors from various dimensions the Author cum Journalist Ms Rana Ayyub released the results of the Investigative Journalism results in the present work entitled ‘Gujarat Files: Anatomy of A Cover Up‘.

The present Book release event was organised by the All India Students’ Association (AISA) at the above mentioned date and venue.

I attended this event as per the schedule. Some of the photographs captured on this occasion are as follows;

 

Prof Appa Rao Podile Order Banning Posters and Banners

The University of Hyderabad Vice Chancellor Prof Appa Rao Podile has banned through Order ‘display of improper material’ on the University Campus. The Order in this respect was issued through the University Register’s Office. Please see the below picture for the same.

Prof Appa Rao's Circular

The increased activism of the students and other groups of the University after the death of Mr Rohit Vemula led Prof Appa Rao to issue this Order. We can observe the comments / response written with a pen on the Poster. This comment also speaks a lot against Prof Appa Rao. Though the comment was highly derogatory, such comments became a routine on the Campus after the death of Mr Rohit. After issue of this Order the University was successful enough in removing the tents at the University Shopping Complex after the death of Rohit. There was a little dissent voice from the students when the tents were removed.

After the death of Rohit many University building walls were painted with activism inclined towards justice towards Rohit and at the same time defaming Prof Appa Rao, who was accused as one of the prime responsible person behind the death of Rohit. Below is a sample picture of a wall on the University Campus;

On School of Social Science Wall

SSS Building Covered with White Paint

Please compare these two pictures. After observing these two pictures one can observe that the defacing of the walls / activism in favor of justice for Rohit symbols were erased by the University by re-painting the walls.

II

Anyhow, there were dissent voices against this Order of Prof Appa Rao Podile. For instance the University SC / ST Teachers Forum released a strong response against this Order of Prof Appa Rao, accusing of maintaining double standards. Please see the below response of the SC / ST Teachers Forum;

SC and ST Teachers Forum Response

We can clearly observe how the response of the SC / ST Teachers Forum is released. It’s placed just above the Order of the Register’s Office, which was released based on the Orders of the Vice Chancellor Prof Appa Rao Podile.

Similarly, the University Students’ Union too released another Poster which was submitted to the University Register, objecting ban on the entry of ‘Outsiders’. Please see the below Poster for the same;

SU RepresentationSU Representation 2

This two page Poster clears continuing dissent against the Vice Chancellor Prof Appa Rao Podile. And, interestingly this representation is forwarded to the Registrar, but not to the Vice Chancellor Prof Appa Rao Podile!!

 

Beef Haleem at Hyderabad

The City of Hyderabad has one of its unique quality of offering ‘delicious Biryani’. Usually, Biryani reminds in mind as consisting of either ‘Chicken or Mutton’. But, in reality, various other types of Biryani’s are also available like Egg Biryani, Beef Biryani, Vegetable Biryani, etc. Beef Biryani is available only at some designated hotels. Most of the Hindus at Hyderabad highly prefer only ‘Chicken Biryani’. A huge sum of people rejects ‘Mutton Biryani’ in Hotels at Hyderabad. This is a most surprising thing to observe and / or face with others. I had very strange experience at Hyderabad with many people having a negative opinion about hotels maintained by Muslims, which serves ‘Mutton Biryani’, along with other items on the menu. Most of the Hindu customers suspect that Beef is mixed with Mutton / Beef is served in the guise of Mutton in Biryani. With this strong ‘suspected belief’, most of the Hindu customers prefer only Chicken Biryani at the Hotels of Hyderabad.

Beef Biryani is available only at some designated hotels. Most of the Hindus at Hyderabad highly prefer only ‘Chicken Biryani’. A huge sum of people rejects ‘Mutton Biryani’ in Hotels at Hyderabad. This is a most surprising thing to observe and / or face with others. I had very strange experience at Hyderabad with many people having a negative opinion about hotels maintained by Muslims, which serves ‘Mutton Biryani’. Most of the Hindu customers suspect that Beef is mixed with Mutton / Beef is served in the guise of Mutton in Biryani. With this strong belief, most of the Hindu customers prefer only Chicken Biryani at the Hotels of Hyderabad.

But, contrary to this, I closely came to know a Hotel at Hyderabad named ‘Hyderabad Kalyani Biryani House’, located at Chandanagar, Ligampally. The uniqueness of this hotel lies in offering openly only exclusive ‘Beef and Chicken Biryanis’. Most importantly, this hotel is well known for serving ‘Beef Biryani’. We can see customers consuming Beef or Chicken Biryani together without any uncomfortable nature. This is a surprising thing to observe for non-Hyderabadis.

During the annual customary season of Ramzan, Hotels specialised in Biryani’s are best known for offering ‘Haleem’. But, again usually, customers prefer and consume ‘Chicken Haleem’, especially Hindu customers. Contrary to the mainstream Biryani offering Hotels at Hyderabad – ‘The Hyderabad Kalyani Biryani House’ is well known for offering ‘Beef Haleem’!! The Hyderabad Kalyani Biryani House has a unique set of its own customers, who are inclined towards its flavoured ‘Beef Biryani’ and seasonally offered ‘Beef Haleem’.

The below picture captured at the Hyderabad Kalyani Biryani House, Ligampally shows how ‘Beef Haleem’ is sold openly during the 2016 Ramzan season;

IMG_20160618_232455.jpg