Jai Bhim Comrade, shot over 14 years, follows the music of protest of Maharashtra’s dalits. India’s Dalit (oppressed) castes were abhorred as “untouchables”. It captures the brutal reality of oppression against dalits and people’s struggle. In 1997, a statue of Dr. Ambedkar in a Dalit Rambai colony in Mumbai was desecrated with a garland of footwear. As residents came onto the street, police fired resulting in the death of 10 residents. Vilas Ghogre a poet and singer, hung himself in protest. Through poems and songs, it covers that moment and goes on to explore events that unfolded in the aftermath. (Synopsis from Wikipedia)
Watch the full documentary from -
You wake up each day, turn on the T.V. and you see many astrologers sitting on almost each and every channel. Every channel claims to be the best at telling your future. Just notice the astrologers; they wear Reebok clothes, Rolex watches, and Ray-Ban spectacles. They have Laptops, Blackberry phones or iPhones with them and they teach you to live simple life! Early in the morning, each and every astrologer with diamond necklace and gold earrings is ready with your plans for today, what you should eat, drink, wear, or do etc. Seems to me as these astrologers want to control your lives or do they already do that?
No matter, you turn to English or Hindi channel these astrologers can be found everywhere. One will find business of astrologers going on all the channels.
Personal consultation – only Rs. 10,000/hour; pooja – only Rs 1 Lakh; solve problem in marriage or love – only Rs 50,000; pass any examination – only Rs. 75,000; go higher in career – only Rs 2 Lakh; talk over phone – only Rs 3,000/hour; etc. Love, marriage, life, property, business, career predictions just a click or call away! All credit cards accepted! Visit with appointment only!
Do all these sound familiar to you?
Apart from all these T.V. channels there are many such websites those claims to tell your future simply and correctly. Try to check some and you will find what is written for you today at different websites is different and completely opposite to each other! Try to listen to some of the astrologers on T.V. and you will find one saying you’re gonna be millionaire today and other saying you’ll lose everything today! One astrologer saying, it’s the best day of your life and other astrologer saying its bad day of your life. Bullshit and complete idiotic stuff they publish and propagate! They don’t even know what is gonna happen in they own life in next second and they tell you about your life! Isn’t it crazy?
One wonders how they get such popularity and how come they come on T.V. each and every day, simple as it is – astrologers pay these T.V. channels for getting time slot on T.V. In return T.V. shows display their websites and phone numbers and astrologers earn money this way. Each astrologer claims to be best and his T.V. show has highest TRP, how can it be possible? There is only one place for ‘The Best’! Why there are so many such future telling shows? Simple, as almost everyone has troubles and problems in life so people turn to all these astrologers and half naked Babas. According to the figures of Television Audience Measurement (TAM) all India viewership of these astrology-shows was around 7crore for the first quarter of 2012 and same rose to around 8.2crore in the first quarter of 2013. (Source – Indian Express Eye, May 12-18, 2013). One can see clearly the huge market for the astrologers to earn money and there is definitely billions in this business!
I believe fortune-telling business is one of the simplest businesses. Peer at grubby palms and deal a few cards. It doesn’t matter what you actually say. Tell people that they will meet handsome devils or inherit money and they’ll pay you handsomely in secrets and pearls. Fortune telling is a lucrative business which if the teller is friendly and occasionally ‘accurate’ can allow the person or people involved to open a business (franchising) which they rarely have to be present at to make huge profit.
There is opposition against the future-telling in Buddhism, Christianity, and Judaism religions. I believe, Hinduism (or Brahmanism) is the only religion that propagate false propaganda and mislead people. When there are many anti-superstitious laws in India, I wonder how can all these Astrologers and many half naked Babas can be on T.V. each and every day. All these future-telling shows or half naked Babas shows must stop and there should be more coverage on the plight of poor people.
I get this picture in the email today and thought I must share it with everyone.
Isn’t it true? Years after year, Dalits have been denied of their rights, their dignity. They are kept at the lowest rung. Years after year, Governments have betrayed Dalits and Dalits’ trust. Now is the time to wake up and make our community aware of the discrimination Dalits’ facing in all the spheres. Unless we unite and raise voice against injustices, nothing is going to happen, wake up!!
“Lack of education lead to lack of wisdom,
Which leads to lack of morals,
Which leads to lack of progress,
Which leads to lack of money,
Which leads to the oppression of the lower classes,
See what state of the society one lack of education can cause!”
Jyotirao Phule is the Mahatma of modern India. His remarkable influence was apparent during the dark ages when women and shudras were denied their rights. His pioneering work in fields like education,agriculture, caste system, women and widow upliftment and removal of untouchability is remarkable.
Jyotirao Govindrao Phule was born in Satara district of Maharastra state in India in a family belonging to Mali caste [shudra varna of Hindu religion] perceived to be inferior. His father, Govindrao, was a vegetable vendor. His mother died when he was nine months old. He was married at the age of 12 to Savirti Bai. His intelligence was recognised by a Muslim and a Christian neighbor, who persuaded his father to allow Jyotirao to attend the local Scottish Mission’s High School, which he completed in 1847.
In 1848, an incident took place in his life that later sparked off the dalit-revolution in the Indian society. Jyotirao was invited to attend a wedding of one of his Brahmin friends. Knowing that he belonged to inferior caste, the relatives of bridegroom insulted and abused him. Jyotirao left the procession and made up his mind to defy the prevailing caste-system and social restrictions. He then started his campaign of serving the people of lower strata of society who were deprived of all their rights as human beings.
In 1848, he along with his wife started a school for girls in Pune– the first ever formal school for girls in India. The orthodox of the society were furious at the activities of Jyotirao. They blamed him for vitiating the norms and regulations of the society. Many accused him of acting on behalf of Christian Missionaries. But Jyotirao was firm and continued the movement. Interestingly, Jyotirao had some Brahmin friends who extended their support to make the movement successful. However he was made to leave his house with his wife for the “crime” he had performed.
Jyotirao had to suffer a lot many difficulties for the mission he had undertaken. The very first one of it was he did not have any female teacher to teach the girls. There was no question of a female teacher as the girls were not allowed to have education till then. Jyotirao took a bold step and educated his wife Savitribai at home who would be the first female teacher of India. Savitribai had to suffer a lot of miseries during this course. She was ridiculed by the orthodox people, mostly the priest Brahman class, on her way to school. They even did not hesitate to throw mud or cow-dung on her. That great lady took all that humiliation as a part and parcel her mission and would go to school with two sets of clothes—one to wear on roads while going to school and then another to wear at school.
The Legacy of Guru Ravidas on his birthday (Gurpurb), 7th February
Chaudan saai tetees ki magh sudi pandras,
Dukhion ke kalyan hit pargte Guru Ravidas
As per this couplet Guru Ravidas was born on 15th of Magh Saudi, full-moon day of 1433 at Seer Govardhanpur at Kashi (Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh). His father’s name was Santokh Das and mother’s Kalsa Devi. Guru Ravidas married to Mata Loona, a very humble woman who supported him throughout his life.
During the times of Guru, the large section of society was tottering heavily under brutal enforcement of caste system and untouchability practices, the then Untouchables bearing the most. Socially ostracized and put under strict caste-based restrictions they were living a life worse than animals.
In such environment, Guru Ravidas, a cobbler and an untouchable himself, emerged as a formidable challenge to Brahminical hegemony and spoke for the rights of downtrodden. He openly denounced all he brahminical scriptures like Vedas, Puranas, Smritis, Upanishads etc as these promoted the hegemony of Brahmins and justified the social inequality and exploitation of masses. As he says -
Charon ved kiya khandoti, Jan Ravidas kare dandoti
(I, Ravidas, proclaim all Vedas are worthless)
His was the direct attack on the spiritual hegemony of Brahmins that sprang from their claims of Vedas and other brahminical scriptures being infallible and repositories of Truth and Knowledge. While exposing the fallacies of the brahminical propaganda, Guru Ravidas made enormous efforts to provide a simple socio-religious alternative to the labouring masses that would seek equality for all human beings and require no religious rituals.
Guru Ravidas is one of the country’s foremost socio-religious revolutionary who not only attacked the socio-religious inequalities but also preached for liberty, equality and fraternity for all. He was a great poet whose couplets still reverberate among the toiling masses of this country.
He is also known as the one who invented Gurumukhi language against Sanskrit that was monopolized by Brahmins and declared as taboo even for other caste-Hindus. The impact of Guru Ravidas on the Indian society can be well understood by the fact that the entire Sikh Bani (Sikh teachings) are written in Gurumukhi.
We all are well aware of how Babasaheb Ambedkar exhorted us to “Educate” likewise, many centuries before, Guru Ravidas was saying -
Avidya ahit keen, taatay vivek deep bhava maleen
(Ignorance, no education has done much damage; it has eclipsed our rationale)
If you want to destroy a society, destroy its history and the society will get destroyed automatically. – Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
Hindu fundamentalists have always taken a keen interest in destroying Dalit-Bahujans history so as to make them disable mentally. Historians as usual here also played with the truth and misled the people for centuries. As Buddha is projected as 10th avatar of Vishnu, same way Brahminical forces tried their best to project Guru Ravidas as one of their 33 crores fake gods. Many scholars tried to show Swami Ramanand as Guru Ravidas’s Guru. We all need to think logically, how could it have been possible for Swami Ramanand to accept Guru Ravidas as one of his student? Shudra rishi Shambuk was murdered by king Rama just on doing meditation/worshiping god. Daronacharya had forced Eklavaya to cut thumb of his right hand as ‘Guru Dakshina’. Time when Casteism, discrimination was on peak, when Dalits were murdered, their ears were cut down if they ever tried to hear praise of god, or they tried to worship, when the touch or even a shadow could impure so called upper caste people, how could it have been possible for Swami Ramanand (who was follower of king Rama’s ideas) to accept Guru Ravidas?
Some others tried to show Guru Ravidas as a Brahmin or Brahmin in his previous life, because they were not able to digest the humiliation of being thrashed by Guru Ravidas’s open challenge to caste system. They could have tolerated this shame if any Brahmin would have been talking against the caste system or challenging their supremacy as they had tolerated Char-wak. Many so called scholars have given false claims that Guru Ravidas was Brahmin in previous life and he ate meat so couldn’t reach the god (attain truth) and he was born in lower caste in next life.
There is no nation of Indians in the real sense of the world; it is yet to be created. In believing we are a nation, we are cherishing a great delusion. How can people divided into thousand of castes be a nation? The sooner we realize that we are not yet a nation, in a social and psychological sense of the world, the better for us. – Dr B R Ambedkar
As all of us welcome year 2012 and greet each other with open arms, I visualise a dream. I have always said that I am a dreamer. Yes, I do have a dream, a dream (Begumpura) that Guru Ravidas saw about 650 years ago for everyone or a dream (Utopia) that nourished by Dr Ambedkar or I have a dream that Martin Luther King Jr. saw for the blacks of America. Here is my dream for Dalits of India almost along the same lines what Guru Ravidas, Dr Ambedkar, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others saw for better world.
I have a dream that one day; Dalits will break the chains of caste discrimination and free themselves from the chains of slavery that has ruined Dalits for thousands years. Yes, it’s my dream to see casteless society. I do also dream that Dalit houses won’t be set on fire or Dalits won’t be boycotted anymore. Dalits won’t be killed for the same name as of upper caste people or Dalits won’t be forced to change their names or Dalits won’t hide their names to escape caste discrimination. I also dream with open eyes that untouchability will become history and there will be no untouchable.
I have a dream that one day; for Dalits justice won’t be delayed or justice won’t be just another word or justice won’t be alien to Dalits. I anticipate that Dalits won’t be told to wait, wait and wait bit more for justice; a wait that always meant never. A day won’t be far when everyone will be treated equal and will live with dignity and pride. That will be the day, when Buddha will smile upon India again!
I have a dream that one day; Dalit women won’t be paraded naked, raped or forced to commit suicide for nothing wrong. Not only the Dalit women but whole women society will not be forced to do menial jobs. Women won’t be disrespected, exploited, neglected or won’t be treated as a sex-object only in Indian society. I dream that one day, equality will come in all spheres and women suffering will come to end.
I have a dream that one day; Dalit students won’t be made to sit separately in classrooms, or won’t be discriminated and forced to commit suicide in schools and colleges. A day will come when Dalit students won’t be purified via sprinkling cow urine on them and Dalit students’ seats won’t be left unfilled in schools and colleges. No Dalit student will be forced to do cleaning work in schools, no student will deny food cooked by Dalit cook and Dalit students will be able to use the same playing grounds as other caste students do.
If we wish to be free, we must fight. Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death. — Patrick Henry (March, 1775)
History of India is nothing but the struggle between untouchables and so called upper castes. However the Indian historians have always misled us by not showing the true face of Indian History.
The glorious victory of few hundred untouchable soldiers over numerically superior Peshwas army in the battle of Koregaon, fought on 1st January, 1818, is one such chapter in Indian history whose significance has been carefully hidden.
On that day, when many were busy celebrating the new year, a small force of 500 mahar (an untouchable caste in Maharashtra) soldiers in the British army were preparing for a war against the most brutal Indian state of that times – Brahmin Peshwa rulers of Pune, Maharashtra.
In the history books, this battle is considered an important one and is known as second Anglo-Maratha war that resulted in the total destruction of Peshwa kingdom and sealed the victory of British Empire in India. However, there is a different historical dimension to this war that all of us need to be aware of.
This war was also between the Indian untouchables (who were condemned to live a life so miserable that you might not find any parallels in the world history) and Brahminism (manifested through brahmin rulers from Pune).
For mahar soldiers, this was not just another battle but it was their battle for self-respect, dignity and against the supremacy of Manusmriti. And these soldiers, just 500 of them, defeated the Peshwa army of over 30,000 in just one day. Their victory against a mighty force is perhaps unparallel in Indian history.
Maharashtrian society under brahmin’s rule followed worst form of social discrimination based on caste wherein the lower strata of society such as untouchables were confined to the stringent Brahmanical laws and subsequently their mobility and development were impaired.
The untouchables had to carry a broom stick attached to their backs so that when they enter into city, their footprints would not pollute the path. They were forced to put a pot around their neck to carry their spit in the pot. They were not allowed to hold any arms and education was completely barred. Untouchables were killed if they did not follow these restrictions. Bhima-Koregaon battle was the answer of the untouchables to the brahmin ruling class of the country.