Dr Anand Teltumbde is a writer, political analyst, and civil rights activist with CPDR, Mumbai. He can be contacted at tanandraj[at]gmail.com.
The code of Manu had fenced off Dalits to their ghettoized existence for millennia; the code of modernity in India is doing the same or worse in numerous sophisticated ways. Leave apart the caste ridden society; sadly even the most radical of the Indian communists are not the exception. And the state, wearing the façade of egalitarian constitutionalism is the vilest of all, in pushing them into their caste confinement. When a Dalit discards his sectarian caste politics and sees his emancipation along with all oppressed through class struggle, he suffers exclusion among Dalits as a Marxist, in the left as an Ambedkarite and repression from the state as a naxalite, all together. He is thus pushed back to his caste cocoon where he belonged by birth. This cruel and complex reality of the contemporary Dalit existence is brilliantly brought forth by Anand Patwardhan in Jai Bhim Comrade (JBC) through an innocuous and unlikely medium of song and music.