Skip to main content

Top Gandhi baiter Arundhati Roy 'supports' Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj concept

By Our Representative
Is prominent social activist Arundhati Roy following the footsteps of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati and its late founder Kanshi Ram, at least in theory if not in practice? In an interesting move, top Indian English writer and one who recently converted into a Gandhi baiter, Roy has given her support to efforts to propagate the term "Bahujan" for bringing together oppressed communities in order to overcome a "caste-ridden society."
Participating in an event at the Constitution Club in Delhi, Roy, who is a Magsasay award winner for her well-known novel "God of Small Things", Roy, who once invited controversy by calling Naxalites Gandhians with firearms in hand, said casteism is "worse than a society of slavery, and even apartheid."
One who recently again invited controversy for declaring that Gandhi supported apartheid during his stay in South Africa, and casteism in India, Roy presided over the function to mark the sixth anniversary of what was characterized as "India’s first fully Hindi-English bilingual magazine", Forward Press. The theme of function was the "Future of Bahujan Politics and Literature”.
“We are on to an important idea,” said Roy, after releasing Forward Press' fourth Bahujan Literature Annual. "She was referring to the idea of Bahujan literature, the idea of fighting casteism with anger at the injustice while holding in our hearts the idea of justice, love, beauty, music, literature, without being reduced to a bitter, small people”, said a statement issued by the organizers at the end of the ceremony.
Among those graced the occasion and pledged support to the idea of calling the oppressed sections as Bahujan included Anupriya Patel, Ramdas Athawale, Ali Anwar, Ramnika Gupta, Braj Ranjan Mani, Sheoraj Singh Bechain, Jaiprakash Kardam and Arvind Jain, all of whom spoke on the occasion.
Ali Anwar, who heads the All-India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz, said Pasmandas are Bahujan first and then Muslims. “We don’t want to be called minorities. We are Bahujans”, he said. He was surprised by Ramdas Athawale’s proposal of reservations for the economically backward among the upper castes. He said "we are not mentally prepared” for such a move. The only criteria, he added, should be social and educational backwardness.
Braj Ranjan Mani, author of "Debrahmanising History", mooted the idea of “social democracy” and the stressed the need for an “emancipatory unity” among "Bahujans". Sujata Parmita said, the Dalit-Bahujans have been the creators of culture throughout history, but religion has been used to enslave them and seize their culture from them.
Anupriya Patel shared the view that once the oppressed masses are educated, their leaders will stop making compromises.
Sheoraj Singh Bechain recalled a conversation with Kanshiram shortly before his BSP formed its first government in Uttar Pradesh in alliance with the BJP. Instead of eyeing power, he should have started a magazine, Bechain had advised Kanshiram – for it is “social power, cultural power, intellectual power” that brings real empowerment to the Bahujans.
On the occasion, the second Mahatma Jotiba and Krantijyoit Savitribai Phule Balijan Ratna awards were presented to Braj Ranjan Mani, AR Akela (poet, folk singer, author and publisher) and Dr Hiralal Alawa (senior resident doctor at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and founder of Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti).

Comments

TRENDING

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Dr├Ęze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.