Saturday, May 31, 2014

Jhantipata Movement ( An Intervention of Revamping Traditional Culture)

Jhantipata Movement
( An Intervention of Revamping Traditional Culture)
Jhantipata is a village fairs or carnival of the aboriginal during the pre-monsoon. 40,000 people from different districts enjoy the fairs. The fair has been organizing traditionally from long years near the rail station of Jhantipahari of Chhatna Block, Bankura on 26th Jaistha (2nd week of June) every year.
Once the aboriginals celebrated the pre-monsoon fairs with their drums and musical instruments. They performed Pata Dances (Fair Dance) and Natua Dance (the martial dance). The Pargana Majhi (Provincial Head) and Disam Majhi(Country Head of the Santal Tribe) used to perform worship and had a talk on their oral tradition staying under the Sal trees at night. But lately the business men have captured the Mela and pushed the aboriginal out from their cultural field. The business men pushed out of the traditional events and did indulgence on sexual pleasure and alcoholism. It provoked the young aboriginals to enjoy the carnival with sex and vulgar.
It occurred a gang rape in 2012 during the carnival. Suradhani Mandi a teenage girl from Purulia raped and murdered by the alcoholic group. The incident created a great depression among the tribes to take protection against alcoholism and illegal activities during the Fair.
Myself and our drama team were there to have a documentation of the pre-monsoon carnival. We got shock with the incident and take oath to stop the brutality and malpractices during this cultural festival.
We visited the family. Met the villagers filled with grief. Took all the information from the poor mother and committed to make her justice. We also took oath that no girl/woman will be met such shameful incident for next year.
Spreading of our plan of action:
We organized the Majhi Hadam (the village head) and the youth club members of 50 Tribal villages. Organizing Young Tribal Groups we formed ADIBASI AVEN GAOTA( Tribal Cultural Forum). We met regularly set our goals and objects. We published a leaflet in Bengali as well as in Santali and request the tribal to come and organize the cultural activities, which were thrown out by the business men. We requested the mass to avoid alcohol and illegal activities during the festival. On the other hand the members of the Tribal Cultural Forum took administrative help from District Magistrate, S.D.O, B.D.O, Jila Parisad, Savapati (Panchayat Samity), Anchal Pradhan and the Officer Incharge of Police of Chhatna police station.
Our Hearty Call to the people:
Me took the responsibility of Master of Communication and elaborated the aims and objects of JHANTIPATA and made an open call for reaching the target as well as the revival of traditional culture. Our hearty call sensitized the people. So many beautiful groups came from different districts and performed their distinctive cultural events rhythmic drums, flute and bow instruments.
Dear friends, The JHANTIPATA will be organized on 10th June in this year. Give your hands and make success to revamp our Traditional Culture in Bengal.
 — with প্রজন্ম শাহবাগ.
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Girl gang-raped in UP's Azamgarh district

Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 29.05.14

Girl gang-raped in UP's Azamgarh district - The Times Of India
Dalits happy as Theerthakadu is vacated - The Hindu
Dalit sisters rape: Akhilesh for fast-track court to punish accused - The Hindu
Punjab Scheduled Caste Commission visits dalit village after boycott call by landlords - The Times Of India
Atrocities against Dalits poorly investigated in state, says Karat - The Indian Express
 ‘Caste-based discrimination, exploitation still prevalent’ - The Hindu
Moonak Dalits allege social boycott - The Tribune

The Times Of India
Girl gang-raped in UP's Azamgarh district

PTI | May 30, 2014, 02.23 PM IST

AZAMGARH: A teenage dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped by four people in Saraimeer area of the district, police said on Friday.

The incident took place on Thursday night when four men allegedly caught the 17-year-old girl here and gang-raped her in a nearby field, they said.

The accused have been identified as Mukesh, Arvind, Vikram and Durgesh.

Police said all four accused fled the spot after the crime.

An FIR has been lodged in this connection and the hunt is on to nab the four accused, they said.

The incident comes just two days after the shocking gang-rape case of two dalit sisters in Badaun in the state, whose bodies were found hanging from a tree.

The Hindu
Dalits happy as Theerthakadu is vacated

S. Mohammed Rohith

A three-decade-long struggle ends with the beginning of the process of relocation of encroachers

A three-decade-long struggle to retrieve land allotted to Dalits in Theerthakadu near Vandiyur here ended on Thursday with the beginning of the process of relocation of caste Hindus who had occupied it, in accordance with a Supreme Court order. Encroachments on the site were demolished using heavy machines.

Over 300 Dalit families, living in extreme poverty, will now be able to enter the land allotted to them by the Department of Adi Dravidar Welfare in 1979. “The government has helped in recovering our land. We are happy that our protests have finally paid off,” said A. Muthu Pandian, a resident and coordinator of Vandiyur Theerthakadu Land Retrieval Struggle Committee.

As many as 349 Dalit families, who were living on the Vaigai riverbed, were allotted 9. 73 acres of land by the Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar Welfare Department on March, 3, 1979, and they were given pattas on December 12, 1995. However, the land was encroached by caste Hindus and even after a series of protests by Vidhuthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and other Dalit organisations, the encroachments were not removed.

The patta holders moved the court in 1996 seeking removal of the encroachments and restoration of the land to them. The Madras High Court had twice ordered the removal of encroachments and relocation of the encroachers but the administration was not able to implement the order. Subsequently, on September 16, 2013, the Supreme Court ordered removal of the encroachments and relocation of the encroachers on 3.87 hectares of land identified by the administration at Sakkimangalam.

Heartbreaking for many
While it was time to rejoice for many displaced Dalits, tempers flared and tears rolled down in the area located on the banks of the Vaigai as caste Hindu families were asked to pack up their belongings.

Pushpam, a 62-year-old woman, stated that she moved into Theerthakadu the day she got married. “This place has seen three generations of my family,” she said, fighting back her tears. “I can’t tell you what this place has meant for so many people who have lived here for over 35 years,” said Swarnam, another resident, while her house was being demolished.

“Nearly 250 residents face an uncertain future as their livelihood is linked to the place. Education of our children will be affected. Each of us will have to spend at least Rs. 20 on bus travel every day,” said D. Selvaraj.

Revenue Divisional Officer N. Arumuganainar said 289 houses had been demolished and 300 were given pattas. The government had spent around Rs. 50 lakh to provide basic amenities such as road, electricity, potable water and drainage system at Sakkimangalam.

Collector L. Subramanian said the current status of the patta holders would be verified and steps taken to shift them to Theerthakadu from their current dwellings.

A heavy posse of police personnel was deployed at the site to prevent untoward incidents during the removal of encroachments.

The Hindu
Dalit sisters rape: Akhilesh for fast-track court to punish accused

The Uttar Pradesh CM also sanctioned financial assistance of Rs. 5 lakh each to the families of the two girls who were gang-raped and murdered in Badaun.

Terming the gang-rape and murder of two Dalit sisters in Badaun as “unfortunate”, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday ordered the police to arrest all the accused immediately and said a fast-track court should be constituted to ensure that they were duly punished.

The CM also sanctioned financial assistance of Rs. 5 lakh each to the families of the victims.

Akhilesh, who was reviewing the progress of the case with DGP A.L. Banerjee and other senior officials, said such incidents should not be repeated at any cost, according to official sources.

Coming down heavily on the police, the Chief Minister said the case was “unfortunate” and all accused should be arrested immediately.

He said a fast—track court should be constituted to ensure that the accused get due punishment, the sources said.

He also said that the families of the victims should be given security as well as all necessary help, they added.
Of the seven accused in the case, three, including a policeman, have been arrested.

The two girls, who were cousins and aged 14 and 15, went missing from their house on the night of May 27 and their bodies were found hanging from a mango tree in the village in Ushait area the next morning.

The Times Of India
Punjab Scheduled Caste Commission visits dalit village after boycott call by landlords

TNN | May 30, 2014, 12.58 AM IST

BOPUR (SANGRUR): Punjab Scheduled Caste Commission visited Bopur villageon Thursday, following the social boycott call given by upper caste people after dalits in the village tried to lease 27 acres of village common land set aside for dalit farmers, which was otherwise grabbed by landlords by proxy.

Taking note of the boycott, Punjab SC Commission member Dalip Singh Pandhi visited the village and directed state rural development and panchayat department to solve the issue immediately.
Terming the boycott call as a serious issue, the commission member stressed the need to deliver justice to dalits.

The problem started when dalits decided to lease the land this year for Rs 6,500 per acre for cultivation. The land is marked for dalits and it can be leased out to members of this community only. However, landlords in the village used to take the land on lease for Rs 32,000 per acre using proxy names of dalits. One of the landlords used to lease it for Rs 8.5 lakh per annum but this time around, the dalits decided to pay Rs 1.75 lakh as lease money for 27 acres and cultivate it on their own. The panchayat department also had not approved the lease offer and the matter is pending with the director.

The landlords had on May 16 announced the social boycott and decided to fine Rs 21,000 to any landlord who employs dalits in their fields. The landlords have also suspended water supply to dalit families creating tension in the village. Protesting against the decision, dalits had approached the district administration.

Pandhi on Thursday called on dalit families and listened to their grievances. Dalits demanded stern action against persons responsible for the boycott call and demanded that land should be leased to them for Rs 1.75 lakh per acre.

The Indian Express
Atrocities against Dalits poorly investigated in state, says Karat

Express News Service | Pune | May 30, 2014 9:38 am

Brinda Karat, Community Party of India (CPI – Marxist) polit bureau member, blamed the state government for poor investigation into the cases of atrocities against Dalits in Maharashtra.

Karat held a press conference in Pune on Thursday in the view of killing of  Dalit youth Nitin Aage (17) allegedly by upper caste men for talking to the sister of one of them at Kharda in Ahmednagar. Karat visited Kharda village on Wednesday as a part of the “long march” organised by various organisations. Activists of these organisations had walked from Pune to Kharda to condemn the alleged rise in atrocities against Dalits in the state.

Karat said, “There are mainly three issues about the killing of Dalit youth in Kharda. One is the terrible issue of poverty. The victim belonged to a poor family, making him vulnerable. Second is the caste factor. He belonged to a backward class. And thirdly, the gender aspect. I have deep sympathy for the girl. Even if a girl speaks to a classmate, it can cause serious problems.”

Karat also alleged lapses in investigation. She said incident began at the school in Kharda, but none of the school authorities were interrogated.

eanwhile, Karat added that as per statistics, in 2013, there were 7,000 cases of atrocities pending, and conviction took place only in 60 cases (0.85 per cent). “This is a shame for the judiciary and state,” she said.

Karat said her party would also raise the issue of killing three Dalit youths in Sonai, Ahmednagar district. “The role of public prosecutor in this case is dubious,” she said.

The Hindu
‘Caste-based discrimination, exploitation still prevalent’

Special Correspondent

Revenue Minister V. Srinivas Prasad has said that “discrimination and exploitation” of people based on caste is still prevalent.
He was speaking after inaugurating an event to celebrate the 123rd birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar, organised by the BHEL SC/ST Welfare Association at the Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), here on Wednesday.

Mr. Prasad said, “The most inhuman ways of harassment are taking place despite people voicing their concerns through various organisations.”

N. Manjunatha Prasad, Managing Director, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), said that only some people from such communities had progressed, while others were still grappling with poverty and illiteracy. There was a need for those who have progressed to take along those who had been left behind. He said, “Once a person is successful, he should help others succeed…please think of others.”

Mr. Prasad said Mr. Ambedkar’s message to people was to get educated and to progress.

He said that those who lived in Bangalore would find it difficult to understand that untouchability was practised and that discrimination continued to take place in villages.

C.N. Ashwathnarayana, Malleswaram MLA, said, “People talk about culture and upbringing, but the most important quality, central to all ideas, is being humane.” He said that equality for all was clearly enshrined in the Constitution.

At the event, uniforms and footwear were given away to 45 children of a government school in Guttepalya village, which has been adopted by BHEL’s Electroporcelain Division (BHEL–EPD).

The Tribune

Sushil Goyal, Tribune News Service

Baopur (Sangrur), May 29

Alleging that they have been facing "social boycott" by upper-caste people since May 15, the Dalits living in Baopur village of Moonak subdivision in the district today threatened to migrate in case their boycott did not end. Around 105 Scheduled Caste families live in the village.

Dalit leader and Baopur village panchayat member Krishan Singh apprised Punjab State Scheduled Caste Commission member Dalip Singh Pandhi of their situation here today. Pandhi had come to the village to hear grievances of the Dalits after getting information about their boycott by upper-caste people.

Krishan Singh told Pandhi that the upper-caste people had been boycotting them socially since May 15 as this year they had decided to cultivate 26 acres of panchayat land reserved for the Scheduled Castes. Earlier, upper-caste people used to cultivate this land by getting it on contract through auction in the names of Dalits, he said.

On May 16, Khanauri SHO called both sides to the police station where they reached a compromise, but the upper-caste people did not implement the same and continued with their social boycott, Dalits said. Pandhi assured them of justice.

News Monitored By Girish Pant

.Arun Khote
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
(An initiative of “Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC”)

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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.

Young journalist killed, condemnations pour on Orissa government

Young journalist killed, condemnations pour on Orissa government

India: Young journalist killed, condemnations pour on Orissa government
By Our Correspondent
Guwahati: As the news about the killing of a young journalist by
miscreants spreads, the condemnation pours on the Orissa government in
central India. Orissa (now known as Odisha) thus records the first
murder of a working journalist in India this year with the
slaughtering of Tarun Kumar Acharya on May 27, 2014 last.
Acharya, 35, who was based in Bikrampur of Ganjam district in Orissa,
worked for a regional news channel named Kanak TV and he used to
contribute regularly for Oriya daily newspaper Sambad. On the fateful
night, he was targeted by the goons on his way to home riding his
bike. Acharya died on the spot and his body was recovered by local
villagers with severe injuries because of repeated stabbing with sharp
weapons on his neck and head.
According to the New York based Committee to Protect Journalists
(CPJ), altogether 15 Journalists had been killed this year across the
globe. The media rights body also pointed out that among those, four
journalists namely Shan Dahar (Pakistan), Vyacheslav Veremiy
(Ukraine), Pedro Palma (Brazil) and Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz
(Mexico) were murdered in 2014 with clear anti-journalism motives.
Days back, Acharya prepared a series of stories relating to the local
cashew nut processing factories deploying children as workers.
Moreover he was vocal against few powerful individuals in his
locality, which is around 120 km away from Bhubaneswar, who made
social nuisances time and again.
The media fraternity of Orissa has already demanded the police to nab
the killers and urged the government to adequately compensate the
victim family. Even after the victim family members named few suspects
in FIR, the police remained reluctant to arrest anyone till the third
day of  the incident.
After the local journalist fraternity in Orissa, the Journalists’
Forum Assam (JFA) also expressed shock at the brutal murder of
Acharya, who left behind his wife, a minor girl and old parents. The
JFA, in a statement issued by its president Rupam Barua and secretary
Nava Thakuria, demanded the culprits to be booked under the law
immediately and adequately compensate the family.
The JFA urged the Orissa government led by Naveen Patnaik to take
serious note of the incident and punish the perpetrators.  Extending
moral supports to the local journalists for its further course of
actions in this regard, the JFA also appealed to the Orissa based
civil society and advocacy groups to stand behind the bereaved family
at this time of crisis.
Meanwhile, National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has raised the demand
for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the gruesome murder
of a brave journalist. NUJ secretary general Prasanna Mohanty
expressed dismay that the Orissa police were yet to nab the culprits.
He finally asserted that Acharya’s murder has shown the insecurity the
Orissa based working journalists are facing today.
Voices of protest were also raised by various political parties of
Orissa. They unanimously called upon the government for stringent
actions against the culprits.   A petition asking for a high level
inquiry into the incident and ample compensations to the bereaved
family has also been sent to the National Human Rights Commission. The
petition, filed by a group of human rights defenders, also advocates
for a special law to safeguard the working journalists on duty across
the country.


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.

Monthly Film Screening, Cinema of Resistance (Kolkata), 1st June @ 5 pm

Monthly Film Screening, Cinema of Resistance (Kolkata), 1st June @ 5 pm

Cinema of Resistance (Kolkata) & People's Film Collective welcomes you to its



Sunday, 1st June 2014, Time: 5 pm to 8 pm
The Act of Killing

Genre: Documentary
Dir: Joshua Oppenheimer/122 minutes/Documentary/2013/English subs.
Venue: Near Patuli PS, EM Bypass.
Entry: Free and Open to All, on a First-come-first-seated Basis

NB. Please respond at or send an SMS to 9163736863 or 8902550931 to confirm that you would be coming. This is an indoor screening and so there is only limited space



When the government of Indonesia was overthrown by the military in 1965, Anwar and his friends were promoted from small-time gangsters who sold movie theatre tickets on the black market to death squad leaders. They helped the army kill more than one million alleged communists, ethnic Chinese, and intellectuals in less than a year. As the executioner for the most notorious death squad in his city, Anwar himself killed hundreds of people with his own hands.

Today, Anwar is revered as a founding father of a right-wing paramilitary organization that grew out of the death squads. The organization is so powerful that its leaders include government ministers, and they are happy to boast about everything from corruption and election rigging to acts of genocide.

The Act of Killing is about killers who have won, and the sort of society they have built. Unlike ageing Nazis or Rwandan génocidaires, Anwar and his friends have not been forced by history to admit they participated in crimes against humanity. Instead, they have written their own triumphant history, becoming role models for millions of young paramilitaries. The Act of Killing is a journey into the memories and imaginations of the perpetrators, offering insight into the minds of mass killers. And The Act of Killing is a nightmarish vision of a frighteningly banal culture of impunity in which killers can joke about crimes against humanity on television chat shows, and celebrate moral disaster with the ease and grace of a soft shoe dance number.

The film won the 2013 European Film Award for Best Documentary, the Asia Pacific Screen Award, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards.

The Act of Killing won best documentary at the 2014 BAFTA awards. In accepting the award, Oppenheimer asserted that the United States and the United Kingdom have “collective responsibility” for “participating in and ignoring” the crimes, which was omitted from the video BAFTA posted online. After a screening for US Congress members, Oppenheimer demanded that the US acknowledge its role in the killings.


Status Report of state SC Commissions: A Report released by PACS Inda & PRIYA, New Delhi documented by PMARC

Status Report of state SC Commissions !!!!!!!!
At this juncture of time when lot of discussion and debate on atrocity against Dalits is going on due to recent gang rape & murder of two Dalit girls in Badaun (UP), it become important that we have to look in to the status of state commissions of scheduled caste .
A status report on state commissions of scheduled caste has been released by PACS-India & PRIA (Society for Participatory Research In Asia), India, N Delhi.
Warm Regards !