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Book Excerpt | How Bhima Koregaon Became a Trope for Dalit Pride and Assertion

Book Excerpt | How Bhima Koregaon Became a Trope for Dalit Pride and Assertion

The Wire / by Ajaz Ashraf

The national media coverage of the violence at Bhima Koregaon enhanced the historical significance of the place. Until 2018, Bhima Koregaon was not embedded in the popular consciousness outside Maharashtra.

Below is an excerpt from the recent book of Ajaz Ashraf titled Bhima Koregaon: Challenging Caste. Publisher: AuthorsUpFront.

The story you are about to read does not begin with the beginning. It does not because it is difficult to identify precisely where and when the story began. The beginning is buried deep inside events that occurred centuries ago, recorded or remembered and passed down orally over generations, in what is now the state of Maharashtra in western India.
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Bhima Koregaon: Challenging Caste. Brahminism’s wrath against dreamers of equality


Author: Ajaz Ashraf  
Publisher: AuthorsUpFront
Publishing Date: June 2024
Binding: Paperback
Language: English
Pages: 496
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‘BK 16’: Victims of Digital Invasion of the State / The Bhima Koregaon saga of injustice

‘BK 16’: Victims of Digital Invasion of the State / The Bhima Koregaon saga of injustice

‘BK 16’: Victims of Digital Invasion of the State

31/05/2024

Countercurrents.org / by Mubashir VP

Hindutva fascism grew and rose to power by abusing the facilities of formal democracy, spreading hatred under the guise of freedom of speech.
The Bhima Koregaon case and the arrests and imprisonment of human rights activists under the UAPA Act, which critics point out as an example of human rights violations stretching back to the two terms of the Narendra Modi government, have drawn much attention internationally. Moreover, it became notorious as a sign of the government’s reactionary approach to democratic rights, intolerance of dissident voices, and an attempt to terrorise civic life.
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The Bhima Koregaon saga of injustice

31/05/2024

Tribune India / by Julio Ribeiro

Charges yet to be framed against the accused, even though the first arrests were made in 2018
ALPA Shah, whose family hailed from Gujarat, was raised in Nairobi, where my deceased wife, Melba, was born and lived till the age of 10. The Mau Mau movement in Kenya forced many families of Indian origin to leave that country. The Menezes of Goa – to which my wife belonged – was among the few families that returned to India. They sailed back to Goa, while Alpa emigrated to England.
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March 2024 | Scroll.in | by Alpa Shah
An excerpt from ‘The Incarcerations: Bhima Koregaon and the Search for Democracy in India’, by Alpa Shah.
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The Bhima Koregaon Case: A Grave Injustice and Human Rights Crisis

31/05/2024

Radian News / by Mohd Naushad Khan

The Bhima Koregaon case is a complex legal and political matter in India, stemming from the violence that occurred on January 1, 2018, during the bicentenary celebration of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon in Maharashtra. This event holds significant historical importance, particularly for Dalits, who commemorate the British East India Company’s defeat of the Peshwa forces as a symbol of resistance against caste oppression.
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Also read:
Incriminating document found in Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer ‘planted’; similar tampering found in other Bhima Koregaon accused: Reports American forensic firm (The Leaflet / Dec 2022)
Fabricating Evidence Against Life and Liberty: Tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer and its implications for Bhima Koregaon case (Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy / Dec 2022)
Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists (Wired.com / June 2022)
Leaked Data Shows Surveillance Net in Elgar Parishad Case May Have Crossed a Line (The Wire / July 2021)
They were Accused of plotting to overthrow the Modi government – The evidence was planted, a new report says (Washington Post / Feb 2021)

Prakash Ambedkar walks out of Bhima Koregaon Commission probe

Prakash Ambedkar walks out of Bhima Koregaon Commission probe

National Herald / Nadeem Inamdar

Alleging govt lawyers are diverting the probe, the VBA chief said the Commission is “helpless” without judicial powers
Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi chief Prakash Ambedkar on Monday, 13 February, walked out of the witness box of the Bhima Koregaon Commission, announcing that he quit the cross-examination.
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Also read:
Bhima Koregaon Violence: Four Different Theories, but No Justice in Sight (The Wire / Jan 2022)

‘How Long Can the Moon be Caged?’ documents increasing suppression of free speech in India

‘How Long Can the Moon be Caged?’ documents increasing suppression of free speech in India

WBUR / Deepa Fernandes speaks with Suchitra Vijayan

Host Deepa Fernandes speaks with Suchitra Vijayan, co-author of the new book “How Long Can the Moon be Caged?,” which documents how people who speak in favor of Muslims and minority communities have increasingly been arrested and imprisoned by the Indian government.
Podcast
en | 9:45min | 2023
Listen to the podcast

Book excerpt: ‘How Long Can the Moon be Caged?’
By Suchitra Vijayan and Francesca Recchia
A Dalit activist we spoke to said that most people do not encounter the state the way Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims do. She told us: ‘The state has always had a boot on our necks.’ Forget living; imagine what it takes to survive this. The boot is always pressed against minorities’ necks, making it hard to breathe, demanding that they beg for dignity every day. She added: ‘[For us] it doesn’t matter who is in power; oppression is the only thing that hasn’t changed’.
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Also read/watch:
Kabir Kala Manch: A History of Revolutionary Singing and State Repression (ritimo / April 2022)
Video: Dafachya Talavar (Songs of Defiance) – A short documentary on Kabir Kala Manch | Hindi, Marthi (subtitles: English) | 24:01min | 2022

Elgaar Parishad held to defuse social tension between OBCs and Marathas: Ambedkar

Elgaar Parishad held to defuse social tension between OBCs and Marathas: Ambedkar

Elgaar Parishad held to defuse social tension between OBCs and Marathas: Ambedkar

17/09/2023

The Indian Express / by  Chandan Haygunde

Ambedkar rejected the allegation, saying the first meeting called by retired Justice Sawant and Justice B G Kolse Patil was on the issue of the widening divide between the OBCs and Marathas.
Dalit leader and president of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi Prakash Ambedkar on Saturday told the the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry that the main aim of holding the Elgaar Parishad in Pune was to defuse the social tension created between the Other Backward classes (OBC) and the Marathas on the issue of reservations.
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Top cop Kadam deposes before Koregaon Bhima probe panel

16/09/2023

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

The two-member commission headed by retired High Court Justice J N Patel is probing into the causes that led to the violence in Koregaon Bhima area on January 1, 2018, leaving one dead and several injured.
Senior police officer Ravindra Kadam (now retired) deposed as a witness before the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry on Friday.
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Activist ‘confronted’ with article by Anand Teltumbde on Koregaon Bhima battle ‘myth’

15/09/2023

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

The two-member commission, headed by retired high court justice J N Patel, is probing into the causes that led to the violence in Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 2018, that led to the death of one person and left several injured.
Activist Harshali Potdar, who is among the organisers of the ‘Elgaar Parishad’, was questioned about an article written by scholar Anand Teltumbde on the ‘myth’ related to the battle of Koregaon Bhima during her cross-examination before the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry on Thursday.
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Also Read:
Anand Teltumbde Explains the Genesis of His Articles on Bhima-Koregaon (The Wire / March 2023)
The Myth of Bhima Koregaon Reinforces the Identities It Seeks to Transcend (The Wire | by Anand Teltumbde | Jan 2018)
Top Investigating Officer Admits Elgar Parishad Event ‘Had No Role’ in Bhima Koregaon Violence (The Wire / Dec 2022)
Bhima Koregaon Violence: Four Different Theories, but No Justice in Sight (The Wire / Jan 2022)
“Sambhaji Bhide & Milind Ekbote instigated the Bhima Koregaon Violence,” an accused deposes as witness before Inquiry Commission (LawBeat / Oct 2021)

It’s Not Impossible To Smash The Caste System: Prof. Anand Teltumbde

It’s Not Impossible To Smash The Caste System: Prof. Anand Teltumbde


Poster, Nov 2022

Outlook / by Snigdhendu Bhattacharya

Anand Teltumbde is a scholar and civil rights activist known for his extensive work on B.R. Ambedkar’s life and work as well as the caste issue. He was arrested in connection with the Elgar Parishad case in 2020 and released on bail in November 2022 after spending 31 months in jail. The 72-year-old spoke to Snigdhendu Bhattacharya.
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Also read:
From the vault: Contemporary challenges before the anti-caste movement (The Leaflet | by Anand Teltumbde | April 2022)
Anand Teltumbde Explains the Genesis of His Articles on Bhima-Koregaon (The Wire | by Anand Teltumbde | March 2023)
The Myth of Bhima Koregaon Reinforces the Identities It Seeks to Transcend (The Wire | by Anand Teltumbde | Jan 2018)

Anand Teltumbde: I never imagined I would have a jail life (Part 1)

Anand Teltumbde: I never imagined I would have a jail life (Part 1)

Poster by @/bakeryprasad

Rediff.com / by Neeta Kolhatkar

‘I was under the illusion that this could never happen to me because my background was such — corporate CEO, IIT professor, IIT alumnus, IIM…’
Anand Teltumbde was born into a family of Dalit labourers and excelled in his studies. He went on to get an MBA from one of the top IIMs in this country…
Anand Teltumbde, in an interview with Rediff.com Senior Contributor Neeta Kolhatkar, reveals, “I was made to stand naked and they took photos. This is the sort of humiliating experience you undergo at Taloja jail.”
The first of a multi-part interview.
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Also Read:
Rama Teltumbde: We struggled to see each day through (Part 3) (Rediff.com / by Neeta Kolhakar (Jul 31, 2023)
Anand Teltumbde: If my mother knew of my arrest, she would have died of shock (Part 2) (Rediff.com /Jul 28, 2023)
Why the Bombay High Court granted regular bail to Dr. Anand Teltumbde: An explainer (The Leaflet / Dec 2022)

On Day Shah and Fadnavis Were in Nanded, Police Detained Activist Seeking Justice for Caste Killing

On Day Shah and Fadnavis Were in Nanded, Police Detained Activist Seeking Justice for Caste Killing

Imprisoned Voices. Booklet cover

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

As part of a massive outreach programme planned in Maharashtra, both Union home minister Amit Shah and state home minister Devendra Fadnavis were in Nanded on June 10.
Only 10 days before their visit, the district had witnessed a dastardly incident in which a 24-year-old Dalit youth, Akash Bhalerao, was killed by a caste Hindu Maratha mob. The community and anti-caste activists had expected the two to visit the family. Instead, the police put an anti-caste leader under detention till Shah, Fadnavis and other BJP leaders had left the city.
… Following the Bhima Koregaon violence in Pune rural region on January 1, 2018, protests were carried out on a massive scale. In the Marathwada region, Pradhan was one of the leaders at the forefront, organising and mobilising the Bahujan youth to demand justice. 
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Also read/listen:
PODCAST: DISHA WADEKAR TALKS ABOUT AMBEDKARITE HISTORY IN PUNE CITY, BHIMA KOREGAON IN 2018 … (By Anurag Minus Verma Podcast / 2022)
Why peoples’ coalitions are uniting against Hindutva — the ‘new Peshwai’ (Dailyo.in │ by Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves │ Jan 30, 2018)

Prakash Ambedkar asks Koregaon Bhima probe panel to summon Dy CM Fadnavis

Prakash Ambedkar asks Koregaon Bhima probe panel to summon Dy CM Fadnavis

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde 

Dalit activist Prakash Ambedkar recently told the Commission of Inquiry probing the 2018 Koregaon Bhima violence to first summon Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was chief minister at the time of the incident. Ambedkar said before asking him to depose, the probe panel should also ask its member Sumit Mallick, who was the state chief secretary in 2018, and former Pune Rural SP Suvez Haque to depose.
Read more


Also Read:
Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry sends another ‘letter of request’ to Prakash Ambedkar to appear on June 5 (The Indian Express / May 2023)
Top Investigating Officer Admits Elgar Parishad Event ‘Had No Role’ in Bhima Koregaon Violence (The Wire / Dec 27, 2022)
Let’s Remember the Lesson of Bhima Koregaon: Down with the New Peshwai (Sanhati│ by Sudhir Dhawale │ March 2018)
Why peoples’ coalitions are uniting against Hindutva — the ‘new Peshwai’ (Dailyo.in │ by Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves │ Jan 30, 2018)

Podcast #2 | Ideas Behind Bars: Shoma Sen

Podcast #2 | Ideas Behind Bars: Shoma Sen

en | 18:01min | 2023

By InSAF India

This is a podcast in which we discuss the ideas, thoughts, and works of thinkers, activists, artist and scholars from India who have ended up behind bars for their work, or whose work has been censored or silenced. This podcast is produced by InSAF India in collaboration with nether quarterly.

Works by Shoma Sen discussed*:
“The Village and the City: Dalit Feminism in the Autobiographies of Baby Kamble and Urmila Pawar.” The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, vol. 54, no. 1, 2019, pp. 38–51., doi:10.1177/0021989417720251. “Class Struggle and Patriarchy: Women in the Maoist Movement.” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 52, no. 21, 2017, pp. 56–56.
* Direct quotations have been shortened for clarity.

Sound Editor: Ashish Kumar
Voice: Divya Nadkarni
Listen to the podcast


Also Read:
Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson seek bail from Bombay HC on parity with Sudha Bharadwaj (India Today / March 2023)