`Condition of dalits in State unsatisfactory'

By Our Staff Correspondent

MYSORE Feb. 5. Veena Nayyar, Member, National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission, said here on Tuesday that the Government should earmark about 22 per cent of the State Budget for projects for the socio-economic development of dalits.

Ms. Nayyar, who was holding a review meeting at the Deputy Commissioner's office, said the Government's expenditure on the welfare of dalits should be commensurate with their population when an official from the Department of Social Welfare pointed out that the Scheduled Castes constituted 16 per cent of the population of the State, and the Scheduled Tribes six per cent. She said the socio-economic condition of dalits in the State was unsatisfactory. The literacy rate among them was only 30 per cent.

Prior to the meeting, Ms. Nayyar presented a power tiller, which cost Rs. 86,000, to G.M.Mahadevaiah from Gejjegwdanapura village under a special scheme of the Department of Agriculture.

The 22 beneficiaries of the scheme in the district were provided a subsidy of Rs. 50,000 each for purchasing power tillers.

The Government would incur an expenditure of Rs. 11 lakh for the scheme. Six Scheduled Tribe beneficiaries had also been identified under it.

The Deputy Commissioner, B.Basavaraju, the Chief Executive Officer of zilla panchayat, Anil Kumar, the Social Welfare Officer, Padma, the District Industries Centre Officer, Sirsikar, the MUDA Secretary, Ramanjaneya, and the District Health Officer, Paramashivaiah, were present.

Few Takers For An Ambedkarite Calendar


Every New Year calendars mean good, quick business. You procure bulk orders from clothes store chains, business houses and companies, have a readymade cardboard adorned by some smiling politician like Jayalalitha, Karunanidhi or Kamaraj, or the photo/painting of some hindu god/goddess, and on this you stick the ‘date cake’. In all ‘cake’ calendars – where you tear each day away – each date-sheet features details of the hindu almanac. Every day the calendar tells a person what is the ‘good time’ (muhurat time) of the day, the ‘bad time’ of the day, hours when you have to avoid ‘initiating good things’ (rahu-kal), daily astrological predictions, the phase of the moon, eclipse time etc. This is something that Yakkan, artist-designer from Chennai, found in utter bad taste, especially when calendars that featured non-hindu icons like Christ, Mother Mary or intellectual giants who were critical of such mumbo-jumbo like Dr. B.R.Ambedkar or Periyar E.V. Ramasamy simply reproduced these almanacs.

Two years ago Yakkan began thinking of countering this trend with an alternative calendar. And in January 2002 this became a reality. Mullai Calendars, Yakkan’s brainchild, produced a humble 5000 copies of what he calls ‘Ambedkar Natkodi’ (Ambedkar Calendar).

“Hindutva is embedded in the traditional calendars,” says Yakkan who, having been part of the anti-caste dalit movement for 10 years, found it extremely disturbing that dravidian periyarites who opposed brahmanic hinduism, and marxists who were critical of the RSS-BJP’s agenda, and even dalit leaders and ideologues, every day consulted the very calendars which propagated values that they opposed in public fora. “Murli Manohar Joshi might be rewriting history in bad taste today, but at the popular-cultural level hindutva history has been infiltrating the homes of even those who are theoretically opposed to this ideology,” says Yakkan.

The Hindu almanac-based calendars which list the birthdays and marriage days of gods and goddesses might appear to be harmless, but it is here that we make a mistake, warns Yakkan, for whom hindutva is as old as hinduism. “These panchangams lay great emphasis on rahu-kalam and ketu-kalam. These are essentially anti-dalit and anti-shudra concepts. Rahu, according to hindu puranas, is actually the son of a fisherman and a brahmin woman. Hence a chandala-untouchable. He is supposed to be a foul-smelling Caliban-like creature who is evil personified. Therefore caste hindus are asked not to stir out of their houses or undertake important work during the time when Rahu is up and about. And such time is called rahu-kalam,” says Yakkan throwing the book in the face of those who conduct their lives according to these almanacs.

And his calendar, which features extensive quotes from Periyar and Ambedkar, tries to break this hindutva stranglehold over history. Each day as you tear a calendar sheet, there’s a message awaiting you. ‘Every day in India three dalit women are subjected to sexual violence.’ And this is a government statistic, Yakkan points out. It also features some “enemy-speak” – ‘Shudras should not possess property; if they do the brahmin has the right to confiscate it’ (Manu Smriti). Besides, the alternative calendar lays emphasis on human rights day (Dec. 10), polio eradication day (Jan. 23), labour day (May 1), Karl Marx anniversary (March 17) etc. In the process of designing this ambedkarite calendar, Yakkan did extensive research and felt personally enriched when he discovered Savitraba Phule, the first woman schoolteacher of modern India. “She taught dalit children in the slums, and ran night schools for labourers in mid-19th century, but I had heard only of Jotiba Phule,” admits Yakkan. This nugget of information has been incorporated into the calendar.

The calendar’s back-wrapper highlights the days on which major incidents of anti-dalit violence took place in Tamil Nadu. “A dalit in Coimbatore is not aware that in Madurai a panchayat president, Melavalavu Murugesan, and his six friends were butchered only because Murugesan was dalit. And in Madurai, they do not know of the plight of dalits in Coimbatore. This calendar will bring these dalits together,” hopes Yakkan.

Yakkan believes that dalits and other hindutva-affected groups must take up this calendar revolution in others states in all Indian languages. “Popular culture in one site where hindutva’s infiltration has not been seriously countered by the left or the dalit groups. My calendar seeks to provide cultural freedom from hindutva. Even dalit movements have ignored popular culture. By merely crying foul over the BJP’s attempt to rewrite history, we achieve nothing. We need to offer something new. We need to rewrite history too. My calendar attempts this.”

For two months Yakkan neglected his painting, his family and other responsibilities and was focused only on the calendar. He borrowed money and even mortgaged household jewellery to realise his dream. But he is not too happy with the limited success. He dreamt of selling 50,000 copies after placing an advertisement in an alternative magazine, Dalit Murasu. But selling 5,000 has been hard enough. “I don’t treat this as rejection. This calendar is my contribution to the anti-caste struggle. Most people may not be aware of such an effort. This year, starting August, I will mobilise agents from the movement and ensure that people in every district are aware of this by 2003,” says Yakkan, who feels if every language in India produced such a counter-calendar, in 10 years we would be able to turn the tide against hindutva.

Yakkan can be contacted at Mullai Calendars, 188, Periyar Street, Thillaiadi Valliammani Nagar, Thirumangalam, Chennai – 600041. Ph: 6221582/ 3716688. Email:

Probe ordered against Ambedkar college principal


MUMBAI: The Ambedkar College of Commerce and Economics at Wadala has been turned into a battlefield.

The teachers accuse the principal of mismanaging college affairs while the principal, A.H. Shamkule, is threatening to file a defamation suit against the teachers for maligning his name.

With protests, demonstrations and complaint petitions becoming a daily affair, Mumbai University has appointed a committee to investigate the matter.

While the report is expected soon, the clamour for the principal's ouster has got louder, with the inquiry committee appointed by the People's Education Society, which runs the college, submitting its report.

Among other things, the teachers have accused the principal of maladministration, misappropriating college funds and harassing staff __ all of which Mr Shamkule has denied.

D.J. Ganghurde, the society secretary, said that the management was thinking of conducting further investigations into the matter, in view of the internal report recommending the same. ``If we find anything wrong, we will take action according to university rules,'' he said.

The college teachers, however, are unimpressed. Brandishing their long list of complaints, they say it is high time the management took action against the principal.

There have been many problems during the last five years and we have not been getting our provident fund slips which show how much money is deposited in the account, a degree college teacher said.

The teachers also accuse the principal of demanding money from some students for admissions. ``He closes admissions before all the seats are filled, then demands money from the rest for giving them seats,'' a degree college teacher alleged. They also told the university committee that the principal levied hefty fines on students for various reasons.

Mr Shamkule, however, denied taking any money. ``We get our grants from the government, and the college records are monitored by the joint director's office. There has never been any complaint so far. There has been no mismanagement from my side,'' he said.

The college has also been plagued by exam scandals. In 1997, certain students were found to be have forged mark sheets and a police complaint was registered, a degree college teacher said. Last year, certain students who had failed were later shown as passed, another teacher alleged.

The principal, however, denied interfering in the examination process. ``Teachers assess the papers, and they themselves are complaining about it,'' he said, adding that the teachers were complaining as they did not want to follow college rules.

``They have to be here for five hours everyday and they don't want to be participate in college activities,'' the principal said. ``They have not been able to prove even one of their allegations against me,'' he added.

16 teams for Dr Ambedkar football tourney


The biggest ever prize money soccer tournament in the city has attracted sixteen to teams of the city for the inaugural Dr BR Ambedkar memorial football championship organised by Sastri Soccer Club at Gymkhana grounds from February 8, according to P Rajendra, president of the tournament committee. Disclosing this to newsmen, Rajendran said, ` we have invited 8 institutions and equal number of clubs to participate in the championship and a prize money of Rs 20,000 for winner and Rs 10,000 for runner-up is at stake'. The championship will kick off with a match between Rayalaseema Tigers and Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) at 3.00 pm.

The Teams: EME, SBH, SBI, SCR, BDL, DMRL, APSRTC, AGORC, Rayalaseema Tigers, TG Venkatesh XI, Sastri Soccer club, Hyderabad Globe, Hyderabad Sporting, Bolarum Sporing, Ranga Reddy district XI and City College Old Boys.

Kanshi remote-controls polls



ALANDHAR:There was no visible poll-related activity around this house in Basant Vihar in Urban Estate here where the BSP supremo Kanshi Ram has been camping for the last 13 months to galvanise the party which has barely managed to send one MLA to the state assembly in the last elections.

Only a party flag on the car standing outside the house indicates presence of some BSP leader. However, the usual rush of party activists and leaders and the buzz associated with the election campaign was clearly missing.

‘Manyavar’ (Kanshi Ram) is taking rest and can’t meet anybody at this hour,’ was the curt reply of the man who responded to door bell as it was already 9.30 pm. He suggested he better come in the morning to have a chat. The scene was the same at 9 am too. There were not more than five persons in the house besides security men. Kanshi Ram was still in his bed room on the first floor. This correspondent was escorted to his room by his secretary but sans shoes. None is permitted to take shoes to his bedroom except himself.

Kanshi Ram was still in nightsuit. Completely relaxed. Certainly, he was in no hurry, unlike most politicians, who on election eve are eager to have the benefit of being early birds. Apparently he was monitoring the campaign from his bedroom itself and was giving directions, more often pulling up party activists and candidates on phone itself.

Exuding confidence, Kanshi Ram said the party would form government on its own. On reminding that he had made similar claims in the past too but his party could merely open its account last time, Kanshi Ram said this time he had been in Punjab for the last one year and this has made the real difference.

How Buddhist you are?

Dear Dhamma Brothers and Sisters

And all the followers of Revolutionery Thinking

Namo Buddhaya! Jai Bhim!

I am asking about Mahabodhi Vihar and Management of this holy shrine…..

Do you like majority of non Buddhists in Mahabodhi BuddhaGaya Temple Management Committee? Do you like District Magistrate of Gaya ex –officio Chairman of Buddhagaya Temple Management Committee must be Hindu? Do you like Hindu Secretary of this holiest Shrine Buddhists of the World where Siddharth Goutama attained Supreme Enlightenment and became the Buddha? Do you believe in social justice, equality and secularism, so why you are not opening your eyes and mouth on this Burning problem? Are you Buddhist and Ambedkarite? Tibetans Mahayana Buddhists are refugee in India and Leader of Tibetan and King and God Dalai Lama is not ready to open his mouth on the issue of Management of Mahabodhi Temple are you believe How He is Buddhist? He can talk on Kashmir problem, He goes to Ganga River with orthodox Hindu leaders to bath on the occasion of Kumbha Mela, at Allahabad in 2000, but he is not spoke single line on this matter with his millions followers. Death is endless truth Why he left BuddhaGaya without Kalchakra ceremony? why He wasted time, energy and huge amount of Government on the Security?

Do you like half participation of Hindu Society in Mahabodhi Temple Management which is going continue last 51 years? Do you like Hindu Mahanth of Shankarachrya Math (Monastery of Hindu priest) a life member from 1949 till continue? Do you believe in development, security of pilgrims with their belongings in Hindu majority management? Why Bodhisatva Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar embrassed Buddhism? Do you believe like Mahabodhi Society of India’s Srilanka monks and Dalai Lama, Buddhism is branch of Hinduism? And Buddha is nine number of incarnation of Lord Visnu a very supreme God of Hinduism?

If I talk reality about mismanagement and loot of donations of blind Buddhists so some persons and organizations blaming us, using politics in religion. What Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council), Bajrang Dal(Monkey Army) and militant of Hindus RSS ( Rastriya Swayam Sewak Sangha) and terrorist organizations doing in India? They want to build Ram Temple at Ayodhya, they destroyed old structure of Buddhist shrine named on Babri masque. Ayodhya is old Saket where Ven. Aswaghosh and many Buddhist philosopher and monk born, Buddhism went to Korea from Saket. Ayodhya is not in existence in India, Ayodhya is in Thailand go and see there. Rama and Krishna never born in India, Ramayana and Mahabharata is myths only, if you like to search, go to Ayodhya and Mathura, dig there and take out any ancient statue or image of Rama and Krishna. Only Buddha idols will come out from the land, Historical Buddhist important places was both of related with Buddha. Mathura art is famous in the world where first Buddha Statue and images made by King Kaniska . You can see Mathura Museum where full of collection of Buddhist art and idols. 27 Buddha Vihara was in the period of Kaniska. Mathura is the place where Mahayana Buddhism was founded.

Buddhists come up and think over the basic problems of Buddhist reality not politics!

BuddhaGaya Mahabodhi Maha Vihar is waiting your help for liberation from the clutches of Hinduism.

Yours Serving in the Dhamma/ Dharma

Ven. Bhante Anand

General Secretary of Buddhagaya Mahabodhi Vihar Liberation Action Committee

Post Box 54 BuddhaGaya Dist. Gaya- 824 231

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Published on: February 08, 2002
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