ARTICLE 15

article15-new-poster

ARTICLE 15

(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to—

     (a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or

     (b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.

Article 15 is the second in the list of the Fundamental Rights that the Indian Constitution guarantees to its Citizens.

This movie as the name suggests is based on this very Right. Ayushman Khurana plays this young IPS officer who after graduating from St. Stephens and studying abroad returns to join the Indian Police Services to fulfil his father’s wishes and gets posted to this back and beyond of Uttar Pradesh for using the term ‘Cool Sir!!’ with Shastriji – The Home Secretary.

As he takes charge of his office the area get embroiled in the missing and eventually deaths of two teenage Dalit Girls and the search for the third one. There is the caste equation in play and the need to maintain a given Social Order for everyone to live in harmony. His girlfriend who is an activist based in Delhi who acts as his emotional – guiding anchor and shows him the way.

B.R. Ambedkar exhorted Dalits to flee the countryside and move to the cities to escape the shackles of caste. “The love of the intellectual Indian for the village community is of course infinite, if not pathetic,” wrote Ambedkar. “What is a village but a sink of localism, a den of ignorance, narrow-mindedness and communalism?” This is what the setting in the film epitomizes.

This movie has three main stand out heros, namely :

  1. Ayushman Khurana – The last movie I saw of his was Andhadhun and in that review I had written that he is turning into 21st Century’s Amol Palekar considering the characters he was playing, how wrong I was !! This is a film he owns the role of the anglicised Police Officer. The depth, the gravitas and the dilemma is such enacted perfectly.
  2. Anubhav Sinha – It took him nearly 17 years to find his calling in the kind of movies he wanted to make. From touching the Hindu – Muslim divide in Mulk and now handling the Caste Equations in this ones. He doesn’t sugar coat the harsh reality of today’s India. There is no holding back and and he spares no one and calls out the names as they stand.
  3. Dialogues – What crackling dialogue !! Hitting out on the political parties, the caste  system and the system, to quote a few:
  • “Main Or Tum Inhai Dekhai He Nahe Dete… Hum Kabhi Harijan Hojate Hai, Kabhi Bahujan Ho Jate Hain Bus Jan Nahe Ban Pa Rahain Hai… Ke Jan Gan Mein Hamari Bhe Ginte Ho Jai”
  • “Jo hum dete hain vahi aukaat hai sir”

jpr78646467573897193-largeWhat we see in this movie is not that happens something in some far away land, not too far from the cities we live in a Dalit Gdalitroom can’t ride on a Horse, no one wants to eat from a Dalit’s hands in schools that are supposed to remove this very idea of untouchability.

How long before the millennial old notions of social order is finally consigned to flames?

How long before we start accepting the idea of everyone being equal before even talking against reservations??

Go watch this movie for it deserves not only to be seen and but also to be imbibed.

Shame on Us

Over the past few months our region has been a witness to things that as citizen of this Free Liberal nation makes me hang my head in shame.

70 years since independence and preceded by the clarion call of Mahatma Gandhi against untouchability, we the citizens of India who in the comfort of our drawing rooms question the benefits of the reservation policy go on and practice the same the same old dead/inhuman customs on fellow citizens.

dalit
News in Dainik Bhaskar dated 21.2.2017

In one case the parents refused to send their wards to a government run Aanganwadi Centre just because the in charge was a Dalit. They didn’t want her to cook and touch their children and wanted her transferred to someplace else. This happens not in some village but in the urban, educated neighbourhood of Udaipur. What is the kind of example these parents are setting for their children? And they still speak out against reservations??

In another case an elected Sarpanch and his associates were not allowed to eat with the rest just because they were Dalits. This happened to an elected Panchayat Official, imagine what would be the treatment meted out to others untouched by such official post/ status??

jpr78646467573897193-large
News in Dainik Bhaskar dt. 2.5.2016

We claim ourselves to be an educated, emancipated, free thinking society and this is how we treat the marginalised sections with not an iota of guilt or regret. The problem is in our mindset, in our social milieu that no education , money can ever replace.

When we speak out against reservations we get into the victim mood but this victimhood is far-far rem

jpr1336488-large-copy
News in Dainik Bhaskar

oved from reality and the numbers are here to prove this imaginary loss:
• Inspite of 27 % OBC reservations their representation is a mere 12 % in Central and State Govt. Services and an abysmal 4 % in Class I Jobs.
• In more than 716 Universities and 38,056 Colleges there are a mere 7.2% Dalit Teachers and 2.12% ST Teachers.
• Out of the total 850 Judges in 21 High Courts of India there are only 24 ST/SC Judges.
• There is a vacancy of 68 % in the Teaching Staff of Central Universities in the SC Category.

We still want to talk against or even revisiting the Reservation Policy??

What about the treatment we mete out to them and till the time there is them and us and not us, all the above questions that are not even worth visiting.

And till that very time we should be ashamed, ashamed for failing our forefathers, ashamed for failing Gandhji , ashamed for failing our brothers and sisters……

Ashamed !!!

Jai Bhim

download 5Today is the day India celebrates the 125th Birth Anniversary of The Great B R Ambedkar – Babasaheb !! The legacy that he left behind still continues to guide and steer the political discussion across the spectrum. I wouldn’t delve too much in his achievements as Wikipedia will provide enough of that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._R._Ambedkar . This is about my idea and notions on Him as felt and experienced over the past decades.

Coming from a privileged background and with little awareness about the depravity download (4faced by the millions of fellow citizens my world view and especially that on Babasaheb was eschewed and flawed and having studied in an English Medium Premium Boarding school of India my interactions certainly didn’t help my case. The first time I heard or at least became aware of his legacy was during the Mandal Agitation when schools were closed, students immolated themselves protesting against the implementation of the recommendations of the commission. The sympathies lay with the protesting students and against the reservations.

Luckily for me since, childhood our family didn’t make too much of an issue of the caste or creed that we belonged to, we were proud practising Hindus and that is it. The further breakups of the caste in the four Varnas were bought to the fore only when we studied history in school. download 1Moreover the reading of Arun Shourie’s book Worshipping False Gods in later years further reinforced my opinion on Babasaheb. It was only during my college years in Mumbai in the Nineties that I saw the way people revered him and placed him on the same pedestal as God. Later interactions and reading did help in clearing most of my false notions and face up to reality about the magnitude and life changing body of work for underprivileged sections of the society. The respect grew multifolds when I read some of his arguments made in the Constituent Assembly where our Constitution was being deliberated upon.

I wouldn’t go into the merits of the reservations that he strongly espoused because that has been covered in my earlier blog I support The Reservations !!. I only wish to see that the political class especially the one using his legacy and imagery do not deviate from his ideals and his name is not used to fill their own coffers.

The Dalits whose rights he championed constitute nearly one fifth of the Indian Population as per the 2011 Census against whom in spite of the safeguards crime is committed every 8 minutes with an abysmal conviction rate of mere 5.3 %. In spite of the reservations and educational facilities the dropout rate in higher classes is a whopping 50.1 %. The Government has done quite a bit for them but all this isn’t helpful unless we remove the biases from within. We have miles to go before we achieve what we set out for.

428235_10151189732356717_994702135_nAn incident that i have personally faced in not so distant past is about my Friend and political activist Late Dinesh Tarwadi who belonged to the Valmiki Community. He went on to receive a Political posting with a rank of a minister in Govt of Rajasthan. We used to go on political tours together and attend meetings and eat together. I was told by some of my political well wishers not to roam around with him due to his castes, well luckily for me I was beyond this kind of nonsense and paid no heed to them. The friendship was however sadly cut short by his untimely death.

The real celebrations of Babasaheb will only be possible when the biases are removed from both the sides. As he said “Caste has killed Public Spirit. Caste has destroyed the sense of Public Charity. Caste has made Public Opinion impossible. Virtue has become Caste-Ridden and Morality has become Caste Bound.”