Monday, February 17, 2020

Quick notes: Drone tech | Dalit karsevak...

  • Drones to wipe out Pak terrorists? India interested in acquiring US UAV that killed Iranian general. . . . India to buy $2.6bn of US military gear ahead of Trump visit

  • Farmers want Modi to avoid unfair trade deals with Trump: The US farm bill 2019 allotted $867 billion as subsidy for American farmers whereas Indian farmers get relatively meagre support.

  • Jaswant Singh, Mogappair, Chennai: This Tamil-speaking Sikh engineer created a home forest in Chennai

  • Dalit Karsevak's bitter reality check: In Bhanwar Meghwanshi’s village, low caste people joined the RSS in large numbers: “Of the fifty or so children who attended the shakha in my village, most were OBCs—Kumhar, Jat, Gurjar, Mali and so on. He was part of the first attempt at building the Ram temple, in the context of the Rath Yatra in October 1990. Then, he was “exhilarated”, chanting “To die for Ram-ji is such an honour…”. He and his Rajasthani comrades in arms were taught “how to evade the police” and were “told that implements to destroy the structure – hoes, spades, crowbars – would be provided by locals at Ayodhya”.

    As the train started to slide out of the station, all the important functionaries slid out of the train.. I saw how one by one, the big folk, the industrialists, the sangh pracharaks, the leaders of VHP and BJP, all excused themselves. Having wished us well, they went back to their homes. Only people like me remained—impassioned Dalits, Adivasis, other young people from the lower castes, and a few sadhus and sants. To take charge of us, some lower-order functionaries tried to put us at ease, don’t worry, these people have other contingents to see off and then they’ll follow us directly to Ayodhya. They were never to come. They were sensible people and went back to their homes. I understood that sensible people always use us, we who are driven by passion; they push us into battle and return to their safe little coops. 

    However, Bhanwar Meghwanshi did not draw any conclusion from this episode but went to Ayodhya as a disciplined foot-soldier. But soon after, Bhanwar Meghwanshi fully realised the resilience of caste in the RSS on another occasion: while he had prepared food for Sangh parivar members who were touring his district, they refused to come to his home for eating; instead they took the food with them in order to save time and, they said, feed the village where they going next – but they threw it out on the road. Bhanwar Meghwanshi was shocked:  How can the Sangh do this to me? They don’t believe in untouchability, in caste discrimination, they believe all Hindus to be one, they talk of a united Hindu society, and then this kind of hypocrisy? 

  • Macaulay's children: Karnataka school to lose licence for levying fine from students speaking in Kannada

  • Aabid Surti: India's water warrior.

  • Dani P K: The Kerala kid whose 'zero angle' goal went viral

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