"Gross misinterpretations of Marxist writings on caste, as by Manash Bhattacharjee in the Outlook, would only help divide the united movement against caste in India. The Marxist Left, always respectful of Ambedkar, has successfully demonstrated the need to integrate issues of caste oppression with class struggle. Ambedkar himself had argued that if the French revolution was the first stage of human liberation, the Russian revolution would indeed be its second stage. These are important meeting points in political practice. A movement forward from here requires opening up of spaces where Marxists respectful of Ambedkar and Ambedkarites interested in Marx can meet, engage in debates and integrate their movements for emancipation. The evolution of such a united movement should not be allowed to be weakened by spreading falsehoods and misinterpreting positions." R.Ramakumar writes.
An expanded translation of a Janashakti report on the Dalit agitations lead by CPI(M) in Karnataka.
A district and sessions court in Patna has finally pronounced a verdict in the infamous Laxmanpur- Bathe carnage almost thirteen years after 58 Dalits (including 27 women and 10 children) were brutally killed by the Ranvir Sena (the now-almost-defunct caste army belonging to Bhumihar landlords) on December 1, 1997. While giving death sentence for 16 convicts and life imprisonment and Rs. 50,000 fine for 10 others, the court also noted that the massacre was a ‘stigma on civil society and rarest of rare cases of brutality’.
The making and articulation of the Hindu tribal identity has overtaken all other contradictions in Kandhamal. The ruling BJD-BJP combine calls this communal divide as an “ethnic conflict with religious overtones”. This is clearly not true because the communalisation of the tribal consciousness has been a planned project since the early 1970s which in turn has structured the ethnic conflict.
Archana Prasad writes in People's Democracy.