Hafta 297: Caste violence in India, media coverage of Hathras, and the Bihar Assembly election


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This week on NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Anand Vardhan, and Jayashree Arunachalam are joined by Kiruba Munusamy, Supreme Court advocate and activist.

The conversation kicks off with Kiruba explaining the project she’s working on now, researching caste. She points out how a series of Supreme Court judgements, including as recent as 2018, dealt with cases of violence against Dalits by deciding against the Dalit community and the victims.

Abhinandan asks whether the high occurrence of caste-based violence in Tamil Nadu is a reflection of the failure of Periyar’s movement. Kiruba says: “I wouldn’t say it’s a failure of the Periyar movement or the failure of a Dalit movement. I think we should say it is a failure of humanity in India. It is a failure of upper caste humankind...and that’s why these incidents happened. And Periyar didn’t have a magic wand with which he could turn the entire society without caste..."

Jayashree talks about the media’s coverage of issues of violence against Dalits. She and Kiruba also discuss the 2021 Assembly election in Tamil Nadu, and the BJP’s chances. Moving on to the upcoming Bihar Assembly election, Anand analyses Bihar’s political history in the context of caste.

As Manisha explains developments in the Hathras case and reportage around it, the panel discusses caste blindness in the media. They also talk about the recent Supreme Court judgement on Shaheen Bagh, and a lot more.

Listen up!


00:00 - Introduction and headlines

04:50 - Caste dynamics in India

29:55 - Caste and the media in the Hathras case

43:26 - Subscriber letters

55:25 - Hathras case, party dynamics in the Bihar state election

01:05:22 - Tamil Nadu politics

01:18:21 - Subscriber letters

01:29:37 - Supreme Court on Shaheen Bagh

01:50:52 - Subscriber letters

01:57:27 - Recommendations



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