Press Release: Emancipation of Indian Society is impossible without finding a solution to the Caste question


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Arvind Memorial Trust
69 A, Baba Ka Purwa, Paper Mil Road, Nishatganj, Lucknow – 226006

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Press Note

Attached: Hindi and Punjabi version of the press note along with few pictures.

Fourth Arvind Memorial Seminar has started in Chandigarh

Emancipation of Indian Society is impossible without finding a solution to the Caste question

Chandigarh, 12 March. The dicussion involving the various intellectuals and social activists arrived here from different corners of the country on the subject ‘Caste question amd Marxism‘ has started in the Fourth Arvind Memorial Seminar that has commenced in Bhakna Bhavan today.

At the very beginning of the seminar, it was clearly stated that no project of eliminating exploitation in Indian Society can be put forward without giving due consideration to the caste question. In this five-day seminar, various historians, social scientists, writers, social activities from states like Punjab, UP, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Bihar etc. are participating. In addition, senior leaders from both the main political parties of Nepal are also participating along with the intellectuals from the Britain and Germany.

In the commencing session of the seminar, Satyam from Arvind Institute of Marxist Studies said that in the seminar, issues like relation between Marxism and Ambedkarism, political ideas of Dr. Ambedkar, Marxist Understanding of the caste qusetion, historiographic writing of the caste question, caste question and dalit literature & aesthetics etc. will be thoroughly debated so that the obtacles to the social change can be removed. He said that in last few years the mechanical thinking prevalent in Marxist circles has undergone a change and in Dalitists also, questions are being raised regarding the ideas of Dr. Ambedkar.

Satyam also said that there has been a trend to bring a compromise between the Marxism & Ambedkarism, and a trend of subaltern & identity politics. Analysis of these trends from Marxist perspective is also the need of the hour.

Managing trustee of Arvind Memorial Trust, Meenakashi said that a national level seminar on the important issues concerning the communist movement of India is organized every year in the memory of Com. Arvind. Arvind Institute of Marxist Studies has been founded to carry out the research and study on the theoretical and practical issues faced by the communist movement of India.

While welcoming the various guests reached for the seminar, Sukhwinder, editor of Punjabi magazine Pratibadh said that left movement in Punjab has a distinct history and the caste question has also always remained here in its peculiar form. It has been a big thing for us that such a seminar is being organized here in Chandigarh.

The commencing session was presided over by the politburo member of Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and famous literary critic Ninu Chapagai, senior trade-unionist from Mumbai Deepati, Trustee of Arvind Memorial Trust Meenakshi, and editor of Magazine ‘Ahwan’ Abhinav. The stage was conducted by poetess Katyayani.

The program started after paying homage to Comrade Arvind. Then the team from ‘Vihaan’ cultural group presented revolutionary songs.

Overall, 14 papers and write-ups will be presented in the seminar on different aspects of the subject. The base paper of the seminar ‘Caste Question and its solution: A Marxist Viewpoint’ is prepared by the research team of Arvind Institute of Marxist Studies. Other papers include ‘Ambedkarism and Dalit Liberation’ by Sukhwinder, editor of Punjabi journal Pratibaddh; ‘Historiography of Caste’ by Abhinav, editor, Aahwan; ‘Class, Caste and Identity Politics‘ by Shivani, Delhi University; ‘Caste and Politics in West Bengal‘ by Praskanva Sinharay, CSSS, Kolkata; ‘Caste and Sex in Marxist Traditions’ by Dr. Rajarshi Dasgupta, JNU; Marxism and the caste question’ by Asit Das, Researcher and Activist, New Delhi; ‘On Identity Politics’ by Prashant Gupta, B.R. Ambedkar College, Delhi University; On Conjoint Relevance of Marxism and Ambedkarism by Sukhdev Singh Janagal, Punjab and on the limitations of caste and identity politics by Jai Prakash of the ‘Jati Virodhi Andolan’.

Eminent historian Prof. Irfan Habib will send a background note on caste in India, Ninu Chapagain, Politburo Member and in charge of the Cultural Division of UCPN (M) will present a write-up on ‘The Dalit Question and Aesthetics’ and a paper ‘Towards A Programme for Abolition of Material Basis of Casteist Hierarchy’ by Dr. Anant Phadke, Shramik Mukti Dal (Democratic), Pune will be presented. Prof. William Paul Cockshott, University of Glasgow will make a presentation through internet linkup and his paper ‘Dr. Ambedkar or Dr. Marx’ will be circulated as a background note.

— Meenakshy (Managing Trustee), Anand Singh (Secretary)

Arvind Memorial Trust

For more information, please contact:
Katyayani – 09936650658, Satyam – 9910462009, Namita (Chandigarh) – 9780724125

 

Raising uneasy questions subtly


Published: Sunday, Mar 11, 2012, By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore |

In a rather unusual ceremony, SK Biswas, former director of Indian Institute of Science, released four books by social activists MC Raj and Jyothi Raj in the city on Saturday.

Unlike run-of-the-mill book launching events, the discussion that followed the release was not confined to these four books alone. Larger issues that concern the society like identity politics, development, moral policing and sexuality were interestingly dealt with.

The authors are well-known for having led one of the most powerful Dalit movements in Karnataka. They are the founders of Rural Education for Development Society (REDS), a people’s movement that was started in Tumkur district, and, by now, has spread across almost 2,000 villages of Karnataka.

Shouldn’t it reflect on basic aspects of life like health and sanitation? Saying that these questions are something that he often grapples with, Raj said his novels touch upon them subtly.

Of the four books, three are novels—Blissed Out, Raachi and Yoikana. The fourth book, World Parliament of Indigenous People, is a testament co-authored by Raj and his wife Jyothi. It is based on a first-of-its-kind conference of indigenous people organised at Booshakthi Kendra in Tumkur last year.

“The big question that Raj poses in all his books is that can human beings free themselves from the multi-dimensional hierarchy of caste, class, and gender posed on individual identity by the society,” Biswas said.

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