Over the past few decades, identity based politics have taken a centre stage in India.
Although a section of the society does realise that the voice of the marginalised must be heard, are those in power misusing their social apathy to their own benefit?
Any activist associated with representation of Dalits in India today has a myriad of issues to consider including resistance from various spheres and the adverse consequences of such a movement. The psuedo appreciation of Dalit Capitalism has been offset with the recent accquittal by the Bihar HC of those who massacred 23 Dalits for the 'lack of evidence'. The binaries of representation and invisibility have been undermined in an effort to understand the politics of representation. Strengthening a movement would require regular dissecting of these themes at a deeper level through cultural and social engagement. The demand of the movement of resistance has grown beyond mere claims on visibility. There are larger concerns around sustaining the movement and preventing polarisation of individuals at all levels.
The screening of this movie and bringing together of some of the best known thinkers, activists and writers in this conference is an attempt to interrogate and draw the fault lines of contemporary Dalit politics in India. This seminar broadly focuses on the question of representation and resistance to cultural hegemony through carving of a political identity outside the mainstream politics, the highly charged debates around representation in media houses that have largely remained elitist, the genesis of Dalit Capitalism and the fate of Dalit movement in Karnataka. We hope to take off from the movie, which is an ode to a most brilliant Dalit poet of our times, Vilas Ghogre who died protesting the flagrant injustice meted out to the community in ‘modern’ India under the aegis of much cherished rule of law. The thoughts and the memories the movie would invoke in us provide the necessary missing links to the purely academic discourse on politics of marginalised identities that is to follow.
3. Suchitra Film Society is celebrating Satyajit Ray with a month-long festival from May 5-27, including screenings of Ray's films every weekend during this period. For details, contact +91-80 26711785.
5. The Alternative Law Forum is offering a two-day course, Commoning the Law, on the fundamentals of legal regulation of speech, on June 9-10. For details, contact Danish at +91-80-22868757 or send him an email.