The bhakti radical Ravidas (c 1450-1520), calling himself a ‘tanner now set free’, was the first to envision an Indian utopia in his song “Begumpura” – a modern casteless, classless, tax-free city without sorrow. This was in contrast to the dystopia of the brahmanic Kaliyuga. Rejecting Orientalist, nationalist and hindutva impulses to “reinvent” India, Gail Omvedt threads together the worldviews of subaltern visionaries spanning five centuries – Chokhamela, Janabai, Kabir, Ravidas, Tukaram, the Kartabhajas, Phule, Iyothee Thass, Pandita Ramabai, Periyar, and Ambedkar. These are contrasted with Gandhi’s village utopia of Ram Rajya, Nehru’s hindutva-laced brahmanic socialism and Savarkar’s territorialist Hindu Rashtra. Reason and ecstasy – dnyan and bhakti – pave the road that leads to the promised land. Read more
Here’s what you will find inside Newswire 9
- 1. Spotlight: South Asian Dalit Adivasi Network (SADAN), Canada
- 2. Vidya Bhushan Rawat, Interview with Rana Khan
- 3. The Compassionate Revolution of Saint Stan Swamy (1937 – 2021), Shaj Mohan and Divya Dwivedi
- 4. Under the Mango tree, Madhumita Dutta
- 5. Stan Swamy in the eyes of a Thirteen Year old, Ananya Mamatha Anil
- 6. This Month in History, Balmurli Natarajan
- 7. Poetry!
Here’s what you will find inside Newswire 8
- This Month in History
- What do the thousand bones say to the educators?
- Spotlight: InSAF India
- Conversation with Pratik Sinha
- Poetry – featuring the revolutionary poems of Kalekuri Prasad (Yuvaka)
- Remembering Kannada writer Siddalingaiah