ISBN/UPC (if available): 8185604797
Grassroots are gaining strength. Perhaps the most radical is the Dalit Panthers, a Tamil Nadu resistance organization based on the African-American Black Panthers. Led by Thirumaavalavan, whose stirring two-hour rally speeches have made him something of a cult figure in the region, the Panthers doesn’t openly advocate violence. But the group does encourage Dalits to protect their rights by any means if necessary,’ cover story, India’s Untouchables Fight for Their Rights, Newsweek, 3 July 2000.
As the leader of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal, the Liberation Panthers. Thirumaavalavan brings the passion of his commitment to social justice to these speeches that have been translated from the Tamil into English for the first time. Fighting for the basic rights of the people of the cheris, whom he talks of with empathy as the lay people, the last man or last woman, those who get trampled on, murdered or raped at will because of the caste system, now bolstered by the ideology of Hindutva, these speeches get to the heart of the prevailing injustice in India’s democracy. Many of the appalling and almost indescribable atrocities have not been reported in the media, and thus the book provides a valuable record of what is taking place.
Thirumaavalavan analyses the various roles of Hindutva in sustaining caste Hindu hegemony. He speaks provocatively of the need to counter Hindutva with a Tamil identity that can reach beyond its region to other oppressed peoples. He speaks of Eelam, of the refusal to be a Hindu and of the right to conversion, of women’s rights, of the heritage and culture of the Dalits, of the need to follow the guidelines of the Revolutionary Ambedkar, among other issues. Always unflinchingly honest, hard-hitting, this collection reveals new currents in Dalit politics, continuing the debate raised in his book Talisman: Extreme Emotions of Dalit Liberation (2003).
2. BJP Does not Rule India, but RSS Does!
3. Does it take Guts to cut the Throats of Sleeping Men?
4. Dalits-Muslims-Leftists: An Alternative to the Dravidian Parties
5. Eelam Means Tigers! Tigers Mean Eelam!
6. If we must not enter the Temple, Then you must not enter the Cheri!
7. Jayalalithaa is a Hindu Fundamentalist!
8. We will Worship Tamil! We will Worship through Tamil!
9. Tamilian Advancement: Is Casteism an Obstacle?
10. Only Caste-Annihilating Tamil Nationalism Shall Uproot Hindutva
11. How Many Periyarists’ Homes have Ambedkar’s Photograph?
12. Bhakti Literature: Did it Unite the Tamilians? Or the Hindus?
13. Caution is required in the Cultural Field
14. Does the Police Treat any woman with Respect?
15. He Who Cannot Search History, Cannot Retrieve it
16. Encountering Casteism and Communalism