TOPIC OF THE DAY:-“Different From Before”

The singular contradiction that is steadily unravelling the Hindutva project even as it seems to be making progress is the same element that is fuelling Dalit assertion in India today: caste society. Ironically, it was the demon of caste that necessitated the ideology of Hindutva in the first place. It is an ideology that seeks to bury this demon by propping up another in its place: the demon of hatred towards the Other. While the default Other of Hindutva is the Muslim, the communal demon is broad-minded enough to consider other minorities as well on a need-to-hate basis.

Rendering the fault lines of caste invisible in a fog of communal paranoia has only one objective: the creation of a nation of Hindus. This brings us to the second contradiction in the Hindutva project: a nation, by definition, is a community of (notional) equals. But a community whose nationhood is predicated solely on the religious and cultural identity of being Hindu can never be a community of equals, for as Ambedkar elucidates with breathtaking clarity in Annihilation of Caste, Hindu religious belief and cultural practice are marked by the graded inequality of caste at their very core.

This is the kernel of Ambedkarite insight that the Bhim Army has been planting in young Dalit minds through its hundreds of tuition centres in western U.P. Much like its founder, who used to be a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the Bhim Army’s ranks are filled with people who have dallied with the Hindu Right. Their disillusionment with the Sangh Parivar was almost always triggered by the refusal of their saffron brothers to back them in inter-caste clashes. This proved to be a moment of truth that set in sharp relief the moral and other kinds of support that they had received when their antagonists happened to be a religious minority instead of upper-caste Hindus. In other words, their experience in the Parivar had primed them into ideal subjects ready to imbibe what the Bhim Army had to say.

The Bhim Army, emblematic of the current phase of Dalit assertion, is different from earlier mobilisations in one important respect — its recognition that social unity is more important than political unity. So much so that loyalty to the Dalit community precedes every other affiliation, including that to political parties.

If the current wave of Dalit assertion, which seems to have taken to heart Ambedkar’s slogan of “Educate, Agitate, Organise”, were to succeed in its project of invoking Dalit pride as a common factor to knit the thousands of Dalit-Bahujan sub-castes across the country into a singular political community, it could mark the beginning of the end for the Hindu Right, whose ‘foot-soldiers’, in many cases of targeted communal violence, have historically been Dalits. The very condition of possibility for a Hindu Rashtra requires that Scheduled Caste communities remain invested in the social identity proffered by their respective sub-castes while continuing to identify politically as Hindus. Activists or outfits focussed on educating Dalits and propagating an Ambedkarite self-respect are naturally inimical to this project.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the ruling dispensation is panicking at the spread of a Dalit political consciousness. And panic is not the best frame of mind in which to initiate counter-measures. So, first came a judicial manoeuvre to dilute the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act — a move that backfired. It backfired so badly that the Union Cabinet scrambled to quickly pass an amendment nullifying the Supreme Court judgment.

Next was the arrest of five social activists for their alleged involvement with the Bhima-Koregaon event on January 1, 2018, an annual programme whose very objective is to celebrate Dalit pride. The term used by the police to describe the detainees, “urban naxals”, is already gaining currency among Dalits as the state’s vindictive label for people who fight for Dalit empowerment.


1) tainted

Meaning : contaminate or pollute (something).

Tamil Meaning : சுவடு

Synonyms : blemish

Antonyms : advantage

Example : “the air was tainted by fumes from the cars”

2) crony

Meaning : a close friend or companion.

Tamil Meaning : தோழனே

Synonyms : accomplice associate

Antonyms : opponent

Example : “he went gambling with his cronies”

3) perceived

Meaning : become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand.

Tamil Meaning : உணரப்பட்ட

Synonyms : feel , grasp

Antonyms : disregard

Example : “his mouth fell open as he perceived the truth”

4) bolstering

Meaning : support or strengthen.

Tamil Meaning : உயர்த்திப்பிடிக்கின்றன

Synonyms : buttress , cushion

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “the fall in interest rates is starting to bolster confidence”

5) ensued

Meaning : happen or occur afterwards or as a result.

Tamil Meaning : பின்தொடரும்

Synonyms : arise , befall

Antonyms : cease

Example : “the difficulties which ensued from their commitment to Cuba”

6) reiterated

Meaning : say something again or a number of times, typically for emphasis or clarity.

Tamil Meaning : வலியுறுத்தி

Synonyms : renew , repeat

Antonyms : take back

Example : “she reiterated that the government would remain steadfast in its support”

7) nudge

Meaning : prod (someone) gently with one’s elbow in order to attract attention.

Tamil Meaning : தூண்டல்

Synonyms : jab , punch

Antonyms : dissuade

Example : “people were nudging each other and pointing at me”

8) unawares

Meaning : without being aware of a situation.

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்பார்த்திராதபோது

Synonyms : short

Antonyms : consciously

Example : “the photographer had caught her unawares

9) invoked

Meaning : cite or appeal to (someone or something) as an authority for an action or in support of an argument.

Tamil Meaning : செயலாக்க

Synonyms : conjure , appeal to

Antonyms : answer

Example : “the antiquated defence of insanity is rarely invoked in England”

10) trial

Meaning : a formal examination of evidence by a judge, typically before a jury, in order to decide guilt in a case of criminal or civil proceedings.

Tamil Meaning : விசாரணை

Synonyms : exploratory

Antonyms : definite

Example : “the newspaper accounts of the trial”

11) unheeded

Meaning : heard or noticed but disregarded.

Tamil Meaning : கவனிக்கப்படாத

Synonyms : discarded , ignored

Antonyms : considered

Example : “my protest went unheeded”

12) detention

Meaning : the action of detaining someone or the state of being detained in official custody.

Tamil Meaning : காவல்

Synonyms : custody , delay

Antonyms : aid

Example : “the fifteen people arrested were still in police detention”

13) reprimand

Meaning : a formal expression of disapproval.

Tamil Meaning : கண்டனத்தை

Synonyms : admonition , censure

Antonyms : rebuke

Example : “the golfer received a reprimand for a breach of rules”

14) restive

Meaning : (of a person) unable to remain still, silent, or submissive, especially because of boredom or dissatisfaction.

Tamil Meaning : மூர்க்கமான

Synonyms : agitated , tense

Antonyms : obedient

Example : “the crowd had been waiting for hours and many were becoming restive”

15) incarceration

Meaning : the state of being confined in prison; imprisonment.

Tamil Meaning : சிறைவைப்பு

Synonyms : captivity

Antonyms : freedom

Example : “the public would not be served by her incarceration”