Skip to main content

Bharat Patankar: Annihilation of caste should be Ambedkarites’ top agenda


By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
Mr Bharat Patankar has been a leading intellectual as well as political activist in Maharashtra with around fifty years of experience. His parents were part of the freedom movement and hence he was acquainted with their activities as well as meeting numerous political leaders and activists. Though he was a medical doctor, he plunged into social movement as the ideology of Satyashodhak attracted him. He led various movements for farmers, laborers, water and land rights of the people.
A strong believer in Phule-Ambedkarite ideology, Mr Patankar embraced Buddhism long back. He reinterpreted various cultural contexts for the Bahujan Community in India which are extremely important. In 1976 he and Gail Omvedt got married and started their life in Kasgaon, Maharashtra where both dedicated their life for the cause of people’s rights. We all are aware of the work done by Gail Omvedt towards strengthening the Phule Ambedkarite literature.
He has consistently raised the issue of labour rights and considers that annihilation of caste should top the agenda of all the Ambedkarites, Satya Shodhak and progressive left activists. This conversation was recorded at his office in Pune some years back. It was a great pleasure that Bharat ji joined us with Gail Omvedt though she was not well yet she remained there to listen to our conversation.
The conversation here reflects the high ideological background as well as enormous work done by Bharat Patankar and Gail Omvedt to empower the Bahujan communities. In this conversation, Bharat ji explains where issues before us particularly how we can reclaim and rebuild the Bahujan Samaj as per the Phule Ambedkarite ideology. We hope this conversation will be of great use for all the Bahujan intellectuals and activists.
Please listen to my conversation with Bharat Patankar.

*Human rights defender

Comments

TRENDING

'Modi govt's assault on dissent': Foreign funds of top finance NGO blocked

By Rajiv Shah  In a surprise move, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has cancelled the foreign funding license of the well-known advocacy group, Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), known for critically examining India's finance and banking sectors from human rights and environmental angle.

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

August 9 to be observed as Corporates Quit India day: Top farmers' group

By Our Representative A recent general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the top farmers' organisation, stated hat "there is no need for any illusion of change in the pro-corporate policies of the BJP-NDA government" following the recent elections in which BJP failed to achieve even simple majority. It insisted,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi "is hell bent" to continue 'business as usual' policies.

Over 3.8 billion animals at risk: India on crossroad in animal welfare practices

By Rupali Soni*  In a collaborative effort, the India Animal Fund and Dasra have unveiled their report , "Our Shared Future | Securing Animal Welfare, Human Wellbeing, and Sustainability in India." This landscape report provides a thorough overview of animal welfare and underscores its indispensable role within India's socio-economic and ecological frameworks. It also illustrates how animal welfare is intricately intertwined with public health, labor welfare, and climate resilience.

Belgian report alleges MNC Etex responsible for asbestos pollution in Madhya Pradesh town Kymore: COP's Geneva meet

By Our Representative A comprehensive Belgian report has held MNC Etex , into construction business and one of the richest, responsible for asbestos pollution in Kymore, an industrial town in in Katni district of Madhya Pradesh. The report provides evidence from the ground on how Kymore’s dust even today is “annoying… it creeps into your clothes, you have to cough it”, saying “It can be deadly.”

Women's emancipated under Mao: Girl completed primary school, began working in farm collective

By Harsh Thakor*  The book “New Women in New China”, a collection of articles projecting dramatic transformation -- political and economic -- in the status of Chinese women after liberation, originally published in 1972, and reprinted in 2023 by the Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, encompasses the period between 1949 and 1972, seeking to give justice to the subject of women’s emancipation in China after the 1949 revolution.