A Boy Comes to See You
This article was first published here in Round Table India and has been translated by Rahi Gaikwad
How should one feel when a boy comes to see you? Today, he came to see me.
What exactly does this mean? When a girl ‘comes of age,’ she is deemed too young to engage in romantic relationships or friendship with the opposite sex, but capable enough to marry and lead a married life. Her father or a male head of the family (yes male, because women do not have this right) looks for a groom…..
Towards Ambedkar’s Ideas, A Journey Of Self Transformation
The call for articles on the theme “What Ambedkar Means to Me” made me look back at my life, and reflect upon what Babasaheb Ambedkar meant to me. In modern India, it is widely believed that the caste system does not exist anymore. The ‘progressive’ society that I lived in took me into its confidence and I believed that despite being a Dalit, I will not be treated as one. However, I was made to realize gradually by the same society that after all, I am a Dalit and caste is my unde…
Reaching Babasaheb through the Ambedkarite Community
I was born and brought up in a metropolitan city. Bangalore. I attended one of the most elite schools in Bangalore. I never felt like I belonged there. I always felt like some sort of a loser growing up. Most people didn’t talk to me or even touch me in school. Even the one friend I had by the end of school openly expressed shame at the fact that she was friends with me. She said to me that she doesn’t know why she’s friends with me because I always embarrassed her and I wa…
फिल्म पार्च्ड और स्त्रीवाद: क्या सब औरतों की कहानी एक है?
(This article first appeared here in Round Table India on October 17, 2016)
कई दिनों से देख रही हूँ कि हमारे दलित-बहुजन साथी लीना यादव की फिल्म Parched की तारीफ कर रहे हैं। मेरे इस आलेख का आधार इस फिल्म की विषयवस्तु और इसके निर्देशक का साक्षात्कार है (देखें National Dastak, You Tube)।i
फिल्म लज्जो, बिजली, रानी नामक तीन तथाकथित ‘ग्रामीण’ महिला किरदारों की कहानी है। लज्जो ‘बाँझ’ है, रानी ‘विधवा’ है और बिजली ‘डांसर व सेक्स वर्कर’ है। लीना यादव कहती हैं कि उन्हें इस फिल्म को बनान…
Sairat Does Not Depict Gender-Role Reversal
Sairat (Marathi, 2016) would be the best text to examine if one is looking for the intersectionality of caste, class and gender in modern India. There have been attempts to see Archie (Archana Patil), the heroine, as transgressing the gender stereotypes or even reversing gender roles. Rather than the reversal of the gender roles, we see how caste-marked individuals perform gender differently. It’s very interesting to note how the heroine, Archie gets established in the film. In t…
Is Caste the Ideology that Underlies ‘Ragging’?
This article first appeared here in Utharakalam, and has been translated by Sruthi Herbert.
A new generation of people from the marginalized sections of Indian society have entered educational institutions, surmounting their material poverty and backwardness. At this stage, the most difficult problem that they encounter in these institutes are the constant questions about caste and ‘reservation’. ‘Ragging’ is the name that the society has given to this assault and humiliation. Ragg…
I dare say ‘I am Ambedkar.'
I met Babasaheb for the first time probably in my mother’s womb. Making such a lofty claim in naive vanity is not what I wish to do here. I am aware that I am certainly not the only one to have felt such an early connection with Babasaheb. Rather, I wish to emphasize with pride that Babasaheb is passed on to its next generation from the time it is an embryo through the rich oral tradition of my community. For me, growing up was about knowing the varied facets of Babasaheb’s persona…
Some Personal Questions to My Caste Folks
This article first appeared in Round Table India (Hindi) here, and has been translated by Rahi Gaikwad.
I am not a Dalit, but since childhood I was aware that I was not from a ‘good caste’. I spent my childhood (in the 90s) in a coalfield town of Singrauli in a cheap housing colony, where my father worked as a security guard. This barrack-like colony is at the tail end of the township, which was also called ‘lower colony’. The coalfield’s sweepers, security guards, drivers lived her…
For the Mook Nayak
My earliest encounter with caste was when my immediate family showed discomfort to disclose our caste. The rest of our world’s curiosity never ended there, they kept asking directly and indirectly and we kept laughing it off. When asked why we had to be elusive about it, I was told that the world wouldn’t be the same if others knew that we were Dalits. Anticipating hostility and ridiculing, I conformed to the rule of not disclosing my caste identity. Although my caste details w…
How is the Present-Day Woman Oppressed?
This article first appeared in Round Table India (Hindi) here, and has been translated by Kanika Sori.
I have been a student of journalism; technically speaking, I hold a degree in Journalism and consequently have worked in many media houses, but had to resign every time. Sometimes because of the caste based prejudices, other times for not wanting to undermine my principles. In some of these places I also had a good working environment and a good salary but even in those places, …