This is one of the most ambitious episodes I’ve ever recorded, in terms of ideas covered & just sheer length. The title comes from a cartoon by Syamsundar Vunnamati& it is one that fills me with so much pride, anger, joy & sorrow. Ep 4 explores what it means to be raised as an Ambedkarite, & hopefully critiques some of the major fallacies that savarnas have about Ambedkarite communities,& ways of life. At the same time, through the wonderful experts Jyoti Nisha & Divya Malhari, it is not merely a rebuttal but a statement all its own.
Making this episode over last month was really such an enriching experience because I got to read a bunch of Ambedkar texts that I hadn’t before, & listen to so much Ambedkarite music. But, as I’m putting it out there now, I’m filled with resentment & frustration, & I’m not alone in feeling this way. The so-called reservation”debate” is India’s thin red line - this is sickening. As a lot of us have made clear over the past week, it has nothing to do with the opinion of savarnas. Reservation is our right, our contract with the state, & NO student who is either from a community eligible for it, or who has availed of it must be ashamed. My mother always told me & my sister that savarnas had a lot of nerve being mad about reservation after “sitting on everybody’s heads for thousands of years”. It’s pure (pun intended) selfishness & cruelty that they disguise as religion, tradition, astrology, “merit”, government policy, “apolitical” opinions, & so many other scams & lies. Ambedkar saw through their miasma of horror & hatred, and so do we.
Artists that I referenced throughout this ep are:
Audio from live performances by Ginni Mahi & Arivu whose music is available on all major streaming platforms.
Syamsudar Vunnamathi (@syamcartoonist on Instagram) whose cartoon gave me the inspiration for the episode title.
Audio from live performances by:
Rohith Gaya, Dalit Gaya, Mar Gayi Hai Lokshahi by Sheetal Sathe of the Kabir Kala Manch
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