THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Leena Manimekalai: Broke but not broken

Dalits Media Watch

News Updates 06.11.11

Dalits launch a capital enterprise - The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/-Dalits-launch-a-capital-enterprise/articleshow/10625084.cms

Leena Manimekalai: Broke but not broken - DNA

http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report_leena-manimekalai-broke-but-not-broken_1608142

Dalits launch a capital enterprise - The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/-Dalits-launch-a-capital-enterprise/articleshow/10625084.cms

SC/ST hostels to admit 1,500 more students - The Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Chennai/article2603513.ece

Himachal Pradesh police 'no surname' policy attracts Kerala - The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Himachal-Pradesh-police-no-surname-policy-attracts-Kerala/articleshow/10626825.cms

The Times Of India

Dalits launch a capital enterprise

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/-Dalits-launch-a-capital-enterprise/articleshow/10625084.cms

Anahita Mukherji, TNN | Nov 6, 2011, 03.24AM IST

NEW DELHI: Growing up in the 1990s in small town Rajasthan, TR Meghwal, son of a Dalit farmer, was not allowed to touch the 'lota' from which upper caste boys drank water. When he was thirsty, upper caste students would pour water into his cupped palms. Ten years down the line, Meghwal has joined hands with a Brahmin from Rajasthan, Rupraj Purohit, to start a multi-crore construction company.

Meghwal was one of 50-odd Dalit entrepreneurs from across India who attended the inauguration of the Delhi chapter of DAICCI (Dalit India Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

Dressed in suits and ties - the trademark of Dalit messiah Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar - their message was loud and clear. They were celebrating the arrival of the Dalit capitalist. A couple of decades ago, the term itself could well be considered an oxymoron for a community synonymous with poverty.

The event, a cocktail-cum-dinner party at India International Centre on Saturday evening, was not simply a celebration of Dalit wealth but a recognition of the struggles the community has been through. The function heralded the arrival of a new social order. Take for instance Sharvan Singh, son of a labourer in an Agra shoe factory, who now heads his own shoe business. He acknowledges the fact that doing business as a Dalit is no easy task. For starters, he points out that despite a government policy on no-guarantee loans for Dalits, most banks insist on collateral. 

The gathering included the likes of Shishupal Singh, a Delhi-based garment exporter with clients in France, Spain and Italy, as well as Mumbai's Dalit czarina Kalpana Saroj, who runs Kamani Tubes Limited.

''By showcasing Dalit entrepreneurship, we are sending out a message to society that, despite all odds, Dalits can succeed,'' said Chandra Bhan Prasad, Dalit activtist and author.

DICCI started its Mumbai chapter earlier this year. The Delhi chapter is the fifth of its kind across the country. ''In another six months, we hope to have 25 chapters across India,'' said DICCI chairman Milind Kamble, who founded the organisation in Pune in 2005.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh and Mukul Vasnik, minister for social justice and empowerment - both chief guests at the function - felt DICCI had an important role to play in helping the government implement its recent policy of making 4% of annual government purchases from SC/ST enterprises.

DNA

Leena Manimekalai: Broke but not broken

http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report_leena-manimekalai-broke-but-not-broken_1608142

Published: Sunday, Nov 6, 2011, 8:00 IST

By Malavika Velayanikal | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

In a country where the closest we get to political filmmaking is, say, a love story set in the backdrop of communal violence, or a love story set in the backdrop of militancy in Kashmir, or well, a love story set in the backdrop of (fill in preferred social/political issue), the fiery, irrepressible Leena Manimekalai is an aberration. That the 33-year-old, though feted abroad, is a marginal figure in her own country, and is struggling to pay her cast and crew, is a testament to her own uncompromising vision of filmmaking as a political act. And it helps that she is never afraid to pay the price for her politics. "I know the importance of being hated," she says.

shooting for justice

Cut to 2002. Manimekalai lands up in Mangattucheri village near Arokonam. With a hired vehicle, camera equipment, and the Rs 1 lakh she had saved up, she set out to make a film on the Arundhatiyar community's practice of 'dedicating' girls to the deity Mathamma. This was a practice akin to the devadasi system, where minor girls were given over to the temple, and exploited by the priests and the community. Manimekalai documented cases of children who had been sexually exploited for ten or twenty rupees.

"I didn't think I was going to make a film. I shot as much as I could in a day," she says. When she went back to Chennai, she freelanced to pay the bills. Her friends helped out with the editing and sound-mixing. The 16-minute documentary, Mathamma incensed the Arundhatiyar community. She was vilified. Her own family was outraged. But the National Human Rights Commission took notice of the film, and marked it as evidence to crack down on the inhuman practice. Police action followed.

2004: Manimekalai goes to Tamil Nadu's Siruthondamadevi village, to make a film on violence against Dalit women in Tamil Nadu. Parai, her 45-minute documentary draws the wrath of local politicians, upper caste communities, and even sections of Dalits, who attacked her higher caste status and accused her of painting them black. But the district collector intervened. "Seventeen caste Hindus who had violated and raped Dalit women were arrested." Parai had served its purpose.

"Together, these two films triggered a successful video participatory movement that brought about government intervention, securing protection for women who were harassed in the name of caste," says Manimekalai.

Her latest, and most controversial, film is Sengadal (The Dead Sea), a 102-minute "factual fiction feature" about the fishermen in Dhanushkodi, a tiny village that is the closest Indian point from Sri Lanka.

During the LTTE conflict in Lanka, Indian fishermen who went out to the sea were attacked by the Lankan troops, accused as rebels, spies or smugglers, and shot or maimed. Sengadal captures the plight of these poor fishermen, both Lankan and Indian, who struggle to survive here.

The film was hard-hitting and yet sensitive. Manimekalai developed her storyline and screenplay from the stories she gathered from the local community. She got fisher folk and refugees themselves to act in the film. But once it was ready, the censor board clamped down on it for its "denigrating remarks against the Indian government", and because "it would affect the relations between India and Lanka. "

After a censorship battle fought over many months, Sengadal was finally released a few months ago with an A certificate. It won critical acclaim at many international film festivals, and last month, bagged the NAWFF (Network of Asian Women's Award Film Festival) award in Tokyo as the best Asian Woman film of 2011. "Navi Pillai, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who saw the film at the Durban International Film Festival, has taken it as a witness of the human rights violations committed by the Sri Lankan Navy on the Indian Fishermen," says Manimekalai.

Sengadal was not an aesthetic achievement, said film critics. But to Manimekalai, the subject was more important. "I know that Sengadal is far from being a cinematic accomplishment. The experiment was to work against my artistic ambitions, and focus on the issue."

Filmmaking, forManimekalai, is necessarily 'interventionist'. "My films are three-dimensional.One, I showcase issues. Two, the local community tell their stories and participate in the making of the film. Three, once the film is made, I take it to the audience and initiate a dialogue with them," says Manimekalai. In India, "I've taken my films to over 400 villages. That is important to me."

ordinary village girl

Manimekalai hails from Maharajapuram, a remote village south of Madurai, a place where literacy was not common and dogmas were rarely breached. Her father was a college lecturer. 
When Manimekalai went from being an ordinary village girl to a brilliant student in school and college, things took an unusual turn. She came from a farming family, and village custom dictated that girls marry their maternal uncle a few years after reaching puberty. "It was to escape that fate that I became a university rank-holder, not because I found studies interesting," she says.

But good grades weren't enough. She learnt that her family was making arrangements for her marriage with her uncle, who was a lawyer and an MP. She was 18 then, and in her second year at an engineering college in Madurai. "I've always been a rebel. Like my father and grandparents, I was also politically and socially active. I ran away to Chennai." She walked into the offices of Vikatan, a popular Tamil magazine, hoping they would give her a job.

The Times Of India

Dalits launch a capital enterprise

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/-Dalits-launch-a-capital-enterprise/articleshow/10625084.cms

Anahita Mukherji, TNN | Nov 6, 2011, 03.24AM IST

NEW DELHI: Growing up in the 1990s in small town Rajasthan, TR Meghwal, son of a Dalit farmer, was not allowed to touch the 'lota' from which upper caste boys drank water. When he was thirsty, upper caste students would pour water into his cupped palms. Ten years down the line, Meghwal has joined hands with a Brahmin from Rajasthan, Rupraj Purohit, to start a multi-crore construction company.

Meghwal was one of 50-odd Dalit entrepreneurs from across India who attended the inauguration of the Delhi chapter of DAICCI (Dalit India Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

Dressed in suits and ties - the trademark of Dalit messiah Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar - their message was loud and clear. They were celebrating the arrival of the Dalit capitalist. A couple of decades ago, the term itself could well be considered an oxymoron for a community synonymous with poverty.

The event, a cocktail-cum-dinner party at India International Centre on Saturday evening, was not simply a celebration of Dalit wealth but a recognition of the struggles the community has been through. The function heralded the arrival of a new social order. Take for instance Sharvan Singh, son of a labourer in an Agra shoe factory, who now heads his own shoe business. He acknowledges the fact that doing business as a Dalit is no easy task. For starters, he points out that despite a government policy on no-guarantee loans for Dalits, most banks insist on collateral. 

The gathering included the likes of Shishupal Singh, a Delhi-based garment exporter with clients in France, Spain and Italy, as well as Mumbai's Dalit czarina Kalpana Saroj, who runs Kamani Tubes Limited. ''By showcasing Dalit entrepreneurship, we are sending out a message to society that, despite all odds, Dalits can succeed,'' said Chandra Bhan Prasad, Dalit activtist and author.

DICCI started its Mumbai chapter earlier this year. The Delhi chapter is the fifth of its kind across the country. ''In another six months, we hope to have 25 chapters across India,'' said DICCI chairman Milind Kamble, who founded the organisation in Pune in 2005.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh and Mukul Vasnik, minister for social justice and empowerment - both chief guests at the function - felt DICCI had an important role to play in helping the government implement its recent policy of making 4% of annual government purchases from SC/ST enterprises.

The Hindu

SC/ST hostels to admit 1,500 more students

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Chennai/article2603513.ece

Special Correspondent

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has sanctioned increase in the capacity of student hostels for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes by 1,500 from the current academic year.

It will entail additional expenditure of about Rs.1.18 crore every year.

A release issued on Saturday stated that the hike in the hostels' capacity was approved keeping in mind that many students could not be accommodated in the hostels as a large number of students belonging to SC/ST and Christian Adi-Dravidar community had applied.

The Chief Minister also ordered rise in the monthly allowance for incidental expenses from Rs.25 to Rs.50 per student for school hostels and Rs.35 to Rs.75 per student for college hostels.

This will benefit 13,013 students of college hostels and 1,07,002 school hostels.

The Times Of India

Himachal Pradesh police 'no surname' policy attracts Kerala

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Himachal-Pradesh-police-no-surname-policy-attracts-Kerala/articleshow/10626825.cms

Anand Bodh, TNN | Nov 6, 2011, 08.13AM IST

SHIMLA: Impressed by the Himachal police move to stop use of surnames in the force to enforce greater cohesiveness, senior officers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala police have approached the state to help them to implement this back home.

Recently, inspectors general of police (IGPs) from Tamil Nadu and Kerala contacted Himachal Pradesh DGP Daljeet Singh to know how the plan had been implemented. Himachal police became first in the country to drop use of surnames this June.

Cops, including senior officers posted at state police headquarters no longer use their surnames whether it is on the name plates outside their offices or the name tags on their uniforms. These days, they are referred to by their first names.

Caste system is alive and kicking in Himachal Pradesh, especially in rural areas where rigid social norms has left the people clearly divided on caste lines. People from dalit community are treated as untouchable, and not allowed to sit along with those upper caste during at social functions like marriages, neither are they allowed to enter temples controlled by upper caste people.

In such a caste dominant scenario, police have tried to send a message to unite the divided society by doing away with their surnames. They have succeeded in this to some extent, which has lead states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala to think of following their example.

Himachal Pradesh police has around 15,000 personnel, and most of them have dropped their surnames to project an identity, devoid of any caste and class connotations.

The idea was first mooted by DGP Daljeet Singh, who after holding discussions with the senior officials of his department, took it up with chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who also holds the portfolio of home. Later, the cabinet okayed it.

Following this, the DGP had issued an order advising everyone to desist from using their surnames or caste in all official and demi-official communications and the proposal was implemented from June 15.

In June, 2010, a 50-year-old dalit schoolteacher ended his life after allegedly facing humiliation at the hands of an upper caste employee of the same school in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. In the rural areas it is a common practice to seat upper-caste guests away from invitees from lower castes during weddings and other social functions.

Shimla-based sociologist S K Sharma feels the government first needs to change the recruitment process where people are divided on caste basis to change the mindset of the people.

But Himachal Pradesh University sociologist O P Monga sees the decision as a step towards ending social inequality. ''There is rigidity in the caste system. In rural areas, untouchability is still prevalent and people from dalit community are still afraid to enter temples controlled by upper castes. The step taken by the police department is a step towards eradicating social inequality,'' he said.


-- 
.Arun Khote
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
(An initiative of "Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC")
...................................................................
Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre- PMARC has been initiated with the support from group of senior journalists, social activists, academics and intellectuals from Dalit and civil society to advocate and facilitate Dalits issues in the mainstream media. To create proper & adequate space with the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media national/ International on Dalit issues is primary objective of the PMARC. 

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