YSRCP Releases ‘Emperor of Corruption’

The YSRCP, principle Opposition Party, Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly released a full-fledged book against the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led government by Nara Chandrababu Naidu as Chief Minister. This book is titled as ‘Chandrababu Emperor of Corruption.’ Please see the book in pdf format; 

Emperor of Corruption

As principal opposition party YSRCP is leading the present movement, at a time when YSRCP MLA’s are jumping to TDP. The YSRCP leadership is widely circulating this book at national level by meeting various national and state level leaders in teams. 

But, I’m highly sceptical how YSRCP allegation and activism at Delhi/National level against Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu would be useful to gain political mileage. YSRCP leadership is doing activism at national level by meeting various national and regional party leaders and explaining the malpractices of the TDP government under the Chief Minister-ship of Nara Chandrababu Naidu. 

As per some journalists, academics, and lay persons Indian people are not bothering about corruption allegations and are not paying much attention. This has become a kind of political culture. If this is so the case, I don’t think the present efforts of YSRCP at national level will have impact. Anyhow, we have observe how YSRCP would be able to create any relative impact in future, in relation to this incident and activism. 

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Search for Better Identity and Dilemma’s of Ex-Untouchables

In the study of Indian History, there are contested interpretations over the genealogy of ‘Untouchability’, even among scholars. Well recognized scholar B R Ambedkar too tried to delve into this question and observed that Untouchable section must have emerged in the middle of Indian history. In his view, those who refused to give up beef-eating should have become untouchables. As per the Hindutva section arguments/scholarship/propagation Untouchable category emerged after Muslim rulers’ invasion of India!! ‘Saints’ like Gandhi gave ‘Harijan’ as a better referral name to the Untouchables. Revolutionary Social Reformer Jyotibha Phule coined the word ‘Atishudra’. Thus, all this indicates that various sections, persons, organizations have their own set of ideas and visions towards ‘Untouchables’.

There are a few scholars who still feel that the birth of Untouchability in the Indian Context is not yet properly established. This section of academics appreciates Ambedkar’s attempts to trace the birth of Untouchability. But they feel, yet further attempts can and should be made to trace out the birth of Untouchability. While all this is at scholarly level, at ‘dalit movement’ level, the Dalits also seems to be not well satisfied with their  construction of identity. The search for better construction and understanding of Untouchable’s identity has been undergoing various modes of changes; such changes are based on social imaginary, evolving nature of culture, politics, etc. Untouchable’s are highly heterogeneous in nature. The features and background to their heterogeneity depend on various factors like region, history, social imaginary, etc.

The practice of Untouchability is abolished in India by the Indian Constitution. This is a Constitutional and legal provision. Even then, there were instances of proven proofs and evidences of practice. As practice of Untouchability became Constitutionally and legally difficult; this practice started to reinvent other shadow forms of discrimination. The Constitutional and legal abolition of ‘Untouchability’, made to refer this practice and section as ‘Ex-Untouchables’. 

For legal and administrative purposes the Untouchables were regarded as ‘Depressed Classes’ during the British India regime. A much better word ‘Scheduled Castes’ (SC) was coined by the 1935 Government of India Act. Since then the word ‘SC’ was widely regarded and was well accepted. When compared to the word ‘Untouchables’, the next two chosen phrases ‘Depressed Classes’ and ‘SC’ were slightly better. But, mainstream people’s stigma towards these two phrases as synonymous to Ex-Untouchables continued.

Without bothering about the mainstream society, the Untouchables too had their ideas and visions about their identity. Some section of untouchables started and continued to construct their identity as a synonym for the name of ‘Ambedkar’. This process began when Ambedkar was alive. The Mahar’s and Mala’s of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh (including present day Telangana) come under this category. Another section started to coin and popular the word ‘Dalit’. The word ‘Dalit’ gained popular societal acceptance. The popularity of the word ‘dalit’, made even the Constitutional and legal word ‘SC’ usage limited. Anyhow, all is up to certain level.

II

There is extreme another level of assertion among Ex-Untouchables. This assertion was from the Madiga’s of erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh, before bifurcation in 2014 as Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Madiga’s started to argue that only a Caste’s identity can better represent that caste group. By putting forward this argument, the Madiga’s attempted to downgrade the Constitutional and legal word ‘SC’ and popular word ‘Dalit’. This resulted in extreme level of recognising ‘caste identities’. 

Madiga’s firmly believed and thought that the shadow of SC/Dalit, etc words has become a well-protected umbrella for the protection and perpetuation of ‘predominant castes within Untouchables’, like the Mala’s. The primary conflict of Madiga’s with Mala’s lied at: Mala’s cornering lion’s share of 15% of SC reservation. As a result, the Madiga’s started to demand sub-categorisation of 15% SC reservation, brining equal parity among all the castes of SC’s utilisation of reservation. To this demand of Madiga’s – the Mala’s started to object and argued that sub-classification of  SC reservation is anti Ambedkariate stand and politics, which is equal to dividing dalits. This created potential rift between the two communities. But, ultimately, the principles and philosophy advocated by the Madiga movement gained precedence. And, almost all the major political parties started to support the demand of Madiga movement.

During the whole process of Madiga’s  movement for the Sub-Categorisation of the SC reservation; the Madiga’s started to argue that their caste name ‘Madiga’ itself can better represent about their identity, and this is same to any other caste group, like the Mala’s.  Any overshadowing of real caste character was seen as a perpetuation of the ‘predominant’ among their ‘SC category’, by the Madiga’s. 

As of now, the Madiga’s argument seems to be appropriate. We have to observe how other changes may occur in this discourse. But, as per my personal observation, even a few Madiga’s appears to be in a dilemma to use direct caste name as an identity, on a few occasions. I will try to address the dilemma of Madiga’s in another post.

Establishing Undemocratic Tradition of Unanimous By-Elections

In India’s electoral democratic exercise ‘By-Election’ is a customary ritual to be performed. The Election Commission of India is bestowed with this task. And, Election Commission is very successful in fulfilling this exercise. Usually, by-elections to various positions at different levels take place due to resignation or death of a sitting elected representative. When such a situation arises, as per the Indian Constitution’s enshrined mandate ‘by-election’ should be conducted within six months of a vacancy arising, subject to the Election Commission’s satisfaction that the law and order position is conducive for such move.

Like every election ‘by-election’ should also be a space for a Democratic contest by different aspiring political parties and independent candidates. This spirit is usually practised with due diligence. But, break to this democratic ‘by-election’ exercise in full-fledged form started to record and become a tradition, unfortunately, as per my observation in the State of Andhra Pradesh (including the present day Telangana). Due to wide-spread Naxalite violence and their successful attempts in massacre and assassinations of elected representatives, this proposal to make subsequent ‘by-election’ as unanimous was mooted by the then towering Indian National Congress (INC) leader Dr Y S Rajashekara Reddy (YSR).

Dr YSR put forwarded this proposal as the Leader of the Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly / as President of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC). When he mooted this proposal, the ruling party in the State of Andhra Pradesh was Telugu Desam Party (TDP) under the Chief Ministership of Nara Chandra Babu Naidu.

Primarily, YSR put forwarded this proposal after witnessing cold-blooded killings of elected representatives like Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA), etc. YSR used to say that if the next by-election were made unanimous, then it would be an asserting indication towards healthy democratic aspiration in a resounding manner to the undemocratic Naxalite elements, which were resorting to the undemocratic practice of killing elected representatives. This proposal of YSR got a positive acceptance, unfortunately, as some of the mainstream political parties accepted such a ‘formulated principle.’ As per this ‘tailored undemocratic principle’ various unanimous elections were held at different levels for quite a sustained duration. In fact, this practice has been in continuation. One of the ‘adjacent undemocratic principle elements’ proposed by YSR was to field a candidate in the ‘by-election’ from the assassinated leader’s family and the same representing political party.

As per the above principle only when the then Lok Sabha Speaker G M C Balayogi died in helicopter crash, his wife Vijaya Kumari was made to contest the by-election. G M C Balayogi won as Member of Parliament (MP) from Amalapuram constituency, representing the TDP. The INC and a few mainstream political parties did not field their candidates in this by-election. It’s interesting to note here that G M C Balayogi did not die in any Naxal attack or assignation bid. But, as per the YSR above projected ‘undemocratic principle’ in every constituency when a sitting elected representative dies either accidentally or naturally, the next by-election started to see popular contestation as some of the mainstream political parties began to decline fielding their candidates.

This YSR’s mooted wide prevailed principle, even today, is giving particular sort of legitimacy in the parliamentary electoral practices to a kind of patronage to a few political families to emerge and recognize as political feudal of individual electoral constituencies. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen much criticism against this ‘electoral constituency feudal family’s recognition’ based on democratic principles. This saddens me then and now alike.

ABVP Comprehensive Release on Rohit Vemula’s Incident

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), University of Hyderabad Unit composed a comprehensive booklet on the unfortunate incident which happened with a co-student organization Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA), which ultimately led to the unfortunate suicide of Mr Rohit Vemula. This booklet is placed on the ABVP official website. And, can be found at the following link;

A Sordid Saga of University of Hyderabad (accessed on April 20, 2016)

ABVP Booklet on Conflict with ASA

Titled as ‘A Sordid Saga of University of Hyderabad’, this booklet comprised nearly forty pages.

One of my blog entry from this blog Rift Between MSF and BSF at University of Hyderabad is extensively quoted in this booklet, to support their arguments in a certain sense of sequence.

ABVP Undertook Tiranga Yatra at University of Hyderabad

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), University of Hyderabad Unit undertook ‘Tiranga Yatra’, on April 11, 2016. This Yatra was initiated to express solidarity towards the ‘Mainstream Indian Students Victimisation’ at the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Srinagar Campus.

ABVP Triranga Yatra

The NIT Srinagar Campus issue happened between the ‘Mainstream Indian Students’ and local students’, which caught national attention. This incident was related to local Kashmiri students favouring in applause; over Indian Cricket team losing toss to another foreign team while watching cricket match together at their Campus hostel/s. The ‘Mainstream Indian Students’ objected to this attitude of local Kashmiri students and seen such an approach as equal to ‘Anti-National’. As a result, a scuffle took place between the ‘Mainstream Indian Students’ and local students. As per various political commentators the NIT Srinagar Campus administration failed to handle the situation efficiently.

While to the persons like me, the attitude of the local Kashmiri students is not a surprise!  I had been listening about the Kashmiri people’s agony or/and dislike towards the Indian government on various print and private conversations. The ‘Kashmiri problem’ is a stubble political issue which Indian polity and subsequent governments have been failing to address in an amicable way.

Since ABVP is a political outfit, primarily affiliated towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in my view its cadre and leadership should ponder over finding a political solution to this persisting pertinent problems. Without considering and deliberating on political options for resolve, just evoking national sentiments like this kind of ‘Triranga Yatra’ will not help in a larger interest of the nation, in my view. Because the attitude and activities of some sections of the Muslims are well-known, especially in the region of Kashmir. In such a case, what is the use of undertaking this kind of Yatras?

Same time, I’m not too seriously faulting the  ABVP cadre and members for participation in this sort of activity. Because, in my view, participation in political activity is a much more scared business than remaining silent. But, not changing political attitudes even after having exposure to various forms of ‘political debates and strands’, and grounding to a single way is an incorrect political option. The art of politics requires dynamic attitude, not static in action and thinking. Hence, let’s hope, the enthusiastic ABVP participants in this Yatra will have better understanding towards various strands of ‘nationalism’ and ‘anti-national’ attitudes and arrive at concrete options on how to resolve problems like the Kashmiri’s.

ABVP Celebrates Ambedkar Jayanti at University of Hyderabad

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidarti Parishad (ABVP), University of Hyderabad Unit released the following Poster on the University Campus: informing about its intent in marking the celebration of Indian dalit icon Dr B R Ambedkar’s birth anniversary on 14 April, 2016.

ABVP AmbedkarJayanti Celebration at UoH 2016

(Image caught at NRS Hostel on the University Campus on April 20, 2016.)

Usually, ABVP is best known and noted in marking the event/s related to Swami Vivekananda, whom it projected as an Indian icon. But, this time, ABVP marked the event of Ambedkar birth anniversary.

Occasionally, the ABVP at the University of Hyderabad is best known in marking some sudden surprising events. But, one can’t observe any continuity in its follow-up attitude. For instance, on November 21, 2012 ABVP marked the celebration of Christian religious icon Jesus Christ’s birth anniversary ‘Christmas‘ on the University. But, such a tradition was not continued. But, ABVP’s best continuation can be well observed in relation to Swami Vivekananda, and other related Hindutva activities. When taken into consideration the above instance of Christmas celebration, I expect that there may not emerge any continuity in the celebration of Ambedkar’s Jayanti in the following years to come, as ABVP has no tradition of marking events related to the dalit icons.

Hindutva forces are good at cooption of various icons, in various forms. One can observe this cooption in various forms like in relation to Gawthama Buddha to Ambedkar, etc.

 

Slogans Against Prof Appa Rao and Hindutva Forces

The ‘Joint Action Committee for Social Justice’, which was formed on the University of Hyderabad Campus protesting against the discriminatory attitude of the University administration, and the Vice Chancellor Prof Appa Rao towards Social Boycott of five research scholars of the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) intensified its protests and agitations in various forms since December, 2015.

The intensified activity of this protest rose to another phase with the suicide of Mr Rohit Vemula on January 17, 2016 on the University Campus.

The below slogans (pictures) were inscribed by the’Joint Action Committee for Social Justice’ which were inscribed with chalk piece on March 30/31, 2016 at the University Shopping Complex, North Campus. These slogans targeted Prof Appa Rao, Vice Chancellor and the Hindutva forces.

IMG_20160331_190526IMG_20160331_232314IMG_20160331_232355IMG_20160331_232421IMG_20160331_232442IMG_20160331_232501IMG_20160331_232525IMG_20160331_232609IMG_20160331_232652IMG_20160331_232714IMG_20160331_232750IMG_20160331_232813IMG_20160331_232840IMG_20160331_232924IMG_20160331_233026IMG_20160331_233047IMG_20160331_233131

Some of the slogans were written even in Indian vernacular languages like Telugu, etc.