ಟೈಮ್ಸ್ ಲಿಟ್ ಫೆಸ್ಟ್ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮದ ಸಂವಾದದ ವರದಿ

 

 

    Understanding the politics that is India

The Gandhi versus Ambedkar discussion that took centre-stage on Day 1 of the Times Litfest on Saturday continued on Sunday, with Kannada writer Devanuru Mahadeva agreeing with historian Ramachandra Guha’s viewpoint that India needs both leaders in its fight against casteism. However, Devanuru gave a different perspective to understanding these leaders.
In his opening remarks during an interaction with Vijaya Karnataka editor Sugata Srinivasaraju, Devanuru made a reference to Guha’s statement, saying there’s another representative voice of India — that of Mahendra Singh Tikait, farmer leader of UttarPradesh.
Devanur recalled an incident when Tikait had come to Karnataka to attend a farmers’ convention. It so happened that two forums had organized separate farmers’ conventions on the same day – one in Ballari district by the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) of MD Nanjundaswamy and the other in Bengaluru by the Samajawadi Party (SP) – and both had invited Tikait. At the airport, both organizers had sent cars to receive him. Reporters were eager to know whom Tikait would choose to go with. The KRRS car was an ordinary one with a green flag atop it and a grass root worker had come to receive him, while SP had sent a luxury car and its top man Vyjanath Patil. Tikait walked up to the humble KRRS car, much to the disappointment of Patil.
After the convention, Tikait chose to sleep at a farmer’s house instead of the guesthouse. “Tikait was the epitome of simplicity and wisdom and dedicated his life to the welfare of farmers. However, the same man vehemently opposed inter-caste marriages and issued a statement that the hands of those who marry outside the caste should be chopped. I just cannot digest this cruelty,” said Devanuru.
“While Gandhi’s approach to fight casteism was through wisdom and simplicity, Ambedkar’s focus was on the inherent cruelty of the system. Only when we put these three things together – wisdom, simplicity and cruelty – can we understand India better,” said the writer, a major Dalit voice in Karnataka.
He came down heavily on the use of the phrases ‘honour killing’ and ‘moral policing’. “Don’t use these phrases. They’ll become socially acceptable,” he warned.

Times of india news-Feb 2, 2015,