In a conversation on reservations as a means of resistance in fascist and neo-liberal times, Dr. Ashwini Jadhav explains the need for reservations for the NT-DNT, Vimukta communities. She provides an overview of the history of oppression of the community starting with British colonialism and until the present times.

Across different states, the community is recognized unevenly. An alarming percentage of the communities are landless and many do not have access to education. Half of the people do not have access to documents which would enable them to benefit from rations.

It has been over the past 3 decades that more focus has begun to be paid to the community, but the parallel process of neoliberalization meant that the conditions are at the moment even more dire, and the demands of the state more difficult to achieve.

There is a growing need to cut across movements and support the voices of communities which are yet to achieve recognition, and which continue to be criminalized and deprived of equal access to quality education, and dignity of living.

(via Shivani Taneja)

Faced with severe discrimination, it is impossible to expect justice from the police and legal processes. The pressure on the community to withdraw cases, the constant abuse and assumption that women of the Pardhi community don’t know anything, are a clear attempt to suppress their demand for justice.

Geeta Bai talks about their struggle, and the refusal to give up, even though the fight would take them to Delhi, Mumbai, wherever necessary.

The blatant discrimination and violence against women from NT-DNT communities needs to come to an end!

(via Atish Indrekar)

The work of spreading awareness regarding the injustices faced by historically oppressed communities, such as the NT-DNT and Vimukta communities across different states takes different forms.

Songs and street theatre, as well as other cultural forms of representation, provide at the same time understanding and emotional connect, and Budhan Theatre has been using this means of reaching out to different communities to represent the violence faced by NT-DNT groups in Gujarat, and to bring awareness of the struggle for social justice.

Children growing up with access to libraries and to street theatre and a culture of protest, develop a greater ability to identify systemic injustice and oppression and to feel able to fight it.

(via Shivani Taneja)

In discussion with a Pardhi community saathi, who explains the relentless violence and brutality that the Pardhi community faces at the hands of the police. From being seen as thieves, without having done anything, to being chased away when they try to earn a livelihood, the stereotypical perception of the community is ingrained in the minds of the officials.

She describes the brutality with which women are grabbed, dragged by the police and beaten up incessantly, when all it would take is to talk to people from the community to begin to at least see them as human.

(via Shivani Taneja)

Talking about the women of the Pardhi community, a Pardhi community saathi provides an overview of all the work they have to do, looking after the household, children, but also how they have to be able to fight for themselves as as soon as they get out of the house.

She talks of an instance when, at the police thana, she was subjected not only to violence, but also to sexual abuse. In such a situation, women have no way of opposing the violence.

National Alliance of People’s Movements condemns the criminalization of entire communities, and the violence they are subjected to, including in particular the sexual violence that women face from the police and the authorities, weaponized and used as a means to subdue the community.

NAPM India