Anand Patwardhan (for Info only, not official)

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Anand Patwardhan

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    ...The state-induced suicide of Rohith Vemula triggered a broad Dalit-Left unity against the hegemonic designs of the RSS/ABVP. But despite initial success, the unity was short-lived. The fault lay as much with the Left (of all shades) for being unable to overhaul its internal dynamics, as with Dalit groups that fell prey to red-baiting and exclusivist identity politics. On one side were traditional Marxists, brought up to believe that caste would automatically wither away once the economic base became socialist. On the other were Dalits who understandably did not trust largely upper caste-led formations. Sadly, the idea that individuals are indelibly marked by birth gained currency. Identity politics is a double-edged weapon. As long as identifiable groups are oppressed, the oppressed unite according to identity. ...

    Indian Express on April 25, 2017, 1:07 a.m.

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    ...The march that reached Una on August 15 marked the most significant Independence Day I have ever witnessed.Mainstream media, barring exceptions, paid scant heed, focusing instead on the prime minister’s usual sabre-rattling.Headlines gleefully reported that Narendra Modi had laid down the gauntlet against Pakistan.You mess with Kashmir and we will mess with Balochistan, he declared, tacitly admitting a democratic failure in both countries.What transpired at Una was dramatically different.The trigger was last month’s public parading and flogging of Dalit youth who had been skinning a dead cow.The “cow protectors” recorded and circulated their feat on social media.As the clip went viral, Dalits were shocked into action.Gujarat has often seen anti-Dalit atrocities with the police displaying its upper caste bias.By 2002, a new right-wing strategy emerged.Dalits were recruited as foot-soldiers to attack Muslims.In the next decade, as the RSS aspired to capture national power, Ambedkar began to appear on BJP banners and an alliance with Dalits appeared possible. ...

    Indian Express on Aug. 26, 2016, midnight