Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 21.11.11
Water remains promise for Ambedkar village - The Hindu
Dalit Inc gets leg up from Milind Kamble - India Today
Villagers ransack Dalit woman's house - The Pioneer
'Proud to be part of dalit literature' - Deccan Chronicle
Why brand yourself as a Dalit poet? - The Times Of India
Water remains promise for Ambedkar village
The wait of the Thekkumbhagom Ambedkar Gramam in Kavalam for water even for primary needs is continuing, with orders issued by the district administration now turning out to be mere promises rather than solid action.
The plight of the Ambedkar village, comprising about 40 scheduled caste families, was highlighted in these columns on November 17, and the same day, Revenue Divisional Officer A. Gopakumar submitted a report to the District Collector, pointing out that the situation in the village was critical. Mr. Gopakumar had suggested immediate supply of 2000 litres of water on a daily basis to the village using the Revenue department's resources, following which the Collector issued orders to the Kuttanad Tahsildar as well.
The village was upbeat with the assurance from the district machinery that they would get 2000 litres every day, but then, with no signs of the water even after two days, the village's development council approached the RDO, who directed them to the Collector.
Village development council chairman K.S. Shyju and convener D. Vinod say that the Collector told them that there were no funds available as of now to implement the RDO's recommendation and that the Kerala Water Authority had been asked to look into the issue.
"We have been given the same kind of promises earlier too. The District Panchayat, on the other hand, has said it will do something about a bore-well in two weeks," Mr. Shyju said.
On the other hand, the situation in the village, where its only sources of water were contaminated after the polder council of the nearby Kizhakumpuram paddy polder administered pesticide to get rid of hay and weeds, is turning worse with the farmers allegedly administering another round of the pesticide on Monday.
Mr. Vinod said the farmers had violated an agreement reached between the village and the paddy polder council in front of the panchayats that no more pesticide would be used.
Alleging that the district machinery was taking them for a ride with shallow promises, the village development council said it would soon launch an agitation in front of the RDO office, during which they will also press for completion of the road to the village. The absence of a proper road had resulted in the death of a person due to snakebite when the villagers could not take him to a hospital in time, they said.
Dalit Inc gets leg up from Milind Kamble
The Dalit movement has turned contemporary. The new slogan is - Fight the caste system with capital.
"Ultimately, we would aspire to see a Tata or Birla from among the Dalits," said Milind Kamble, chairman of Dalit Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Dicci).
The spark for setting up Dicci has come from the industry lobby group, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci). Dalits consist of castes and tribes, scheduled or listed in India's Constitution as the under-privileged sections of society.
The Dalit Chamber came into being in 2005 as a lobbying platform for the ambitious Dalit entrepreneurs. It also plans to support education and training, entrepreneurship and mentoring in the community. It mandates at least 50 per cent of the jobs in the firms of its members for Dalits.
"With this, we also want to break the general perception that Dalits are always dependent and cannot do anything on their own. They need reservation for jobs, scholarship for education, BPL card for mid-day meals, etc, is the perception," Kamble said.
At the vanguard of the capitalist movement of Dalits, Kamble, son of a school teacher from Latur district of Maharashtra, said, "Our aim is to be a job-giver and not a job-seeker." Kamble himself is a job- giver, being the managing director of the Rs.101-crore Fortune Construction Company.
He was among the few Dalit engineers who spurned the easy way of getting into a government job using reservation. Instead, Kamble worked with a private firm as a civil engineer for five years before floating his own firm - FCC. He also serves as director on the boards of two more firms.
Dicci was formed by members who have established themselves as industrialists without taking advantage of government sops. From five chapters and 500 members, Kamble wants to grow it 10 fold in the next 12 months.
So, how difficult is it for a Dalit to become a successful entrepreneur? Kamble said, "In his book 'Imagining India', Nandan Nilekani explained how difficult it is for a new comer to become a successful entrepreneur. For Dalits, it is a doubly uphill task. No parental guidance, lack of capital amd credit facilities."
"Banks seek collateral, whereas we don't have land or other assets to pledge. When I had become a contractor, I had to borrow from friends and relatives in lots of Rs.5,000 for completing my first assignment of Rs.1 lakh," he added.
"Quality and cost are what matters to a client, and nothing else. That way after globalisation, caste does not matter much," said Kamble, who has been inducted as an invitee member of the National Advisory Committee (NAC) of the UPA government.
"Dicci wants to take advantage of reservations and grow as part of the system to build capital and remain job givers. That way we seek inclusive growth as against exclusive growth others advocate," Kamble said.
Villagers ransack Dalit woman's house
Thursday, 17 November 2011 23:57
PNS | KENDRAPADA
Residents of Nuapada village under Patkura Police Station on Wednesday ransacked the thatched house of a Dalit woman in the village, suspecting that she might have stolen gold and silver ornaments from the local Kali temple on Tuesday night, said Patkura IIC Kartik
According to Mallick, some miscreants, on Tuesday night, broke the temple door and stole away gold and silver ornaments.
The next day, some villagers suspected that Basanti Das, a Dalit woman who lives in a thatched house near the temple might have committed the burglary.
Enraged, they ransacked her house and allegedly took away a bi-cycle and some paddy.
Both sides have lodged FIRs with the police but none is arrested so far.
'Proud to be part of dalit literature'
Dalit poets do not mind their work being branded as dalit poetry.
"Dalit literature is now the most noted branch in Indian literature and we are only proud to be part of it," said poet S. Joseph.
"Vailoppilly Sreedhara Menon had once said he had first known Kumaranasan only as an ezhva poet," he added.
Compartmentalisiton, Mr Joseph said, is a way of life. He was speaking on the topic, 'We Sing of Earth: Dalit Poetry in Malayalam', at the Hay Festival here on Thursday.
Dalit poet Vijila Chirappad said tht she was not published in any of the mainstream Malayalam periodicals. "I don't mind that. If my poetry is truthful, it will survive," she said.
However, it was a mainstream periodical that thrust another dalit poet, Mr M.B. Manoj, to the limelight. "I was taken note of after one of my poems was published in a dalit special issue brought out by 'Bhashaposhini'," Mr Manoj said.
Mr Sunny Kappikad said it was the realisation that even revolutionary parties were cold-shouldering dalit issues that provoked him to take up poetry. "I am just trying to give vent to our emotional turmoils," he said.
Mr Renu Kumar, a dalit poet and painter, was led into poetry through the most mundane of activities – the writing of love letters.
"In school my friends used to ask me to spice up their love letters. The letters that I had corrected seemed to deliver results. They seemed to have sowed the first seeds of desire in me to write poems," he added.
The Times Of India
Why brand yourself as a Dalit poet?
TNN | Nov 18, 2011, 06.22AM IST
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Dalit poets who met here at a poetry reading session during the Hay Festival on Thursday looked obviously discomfited by a question on 'self-branding' from one of the audience.
After all the poets had recited their poems, a listener asked them quoting from their poems, "If you could write so well in Malayalam, why do you have to classify yourself? There are a lot of people who read your poems. So why do you have to brand them as Dalit poetry? Isn't it like willingly confining yourselves to chains? Why do you do that?"
The quizzer went on and said, "I ask this intentionally because I want to provoke you."
The poets just smiled, and the response was subdued. "Dalit poetry has had strong resonance in the country. You just cannot ignore the presence of Dalit poetry," said S Joseph.
Dalit poets like MB Manoj, Vijila Chirappad, MR Renukumar and Sunny M Kappikad were present at the session. Sunny said it was his disillusionment with revolutionary ideals that had eventually landed him in the realm of poetry. "I had been an active volunteer of a revolutionary party. Later I came to realize that the Dalit ideology was being oozed out from the party. It was this pain that made me write poems."
Talking about the evolution of her poetry, Vijila said, "My first poem was a romantic one. I found it insignificant, and so tried to mould poems around my personal experiences. Whenever I have tried to write poems for the sake of writing, I have failed miserably. But now I know that if your poetry is innate, it will always be valued."
Poet Sachithandan said that Dalit literature had completely revolutionized the entire literary scenario in the country. Renukumar narrated how he used to give a poetic touch to the love letters of his friends during college days. "It was strange. But that was the beginning of my poetry. Today I am a painter and a writer. I believe that there is poetry in my paintings and vice versa."
The poets who had assembled here read from their poems like Pengalude Swantham Bible, Swantham, Abhavam, Adukalayillatha Veedu, Pullu Vilpanakkari and Thudippu.
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.