Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Ankanalli Land Struggle - A Saga of success

The Superintendent of Police calls up Sunder Raj at 11.30 in the evening and warns him that if he dared to go to Ankanalli at that part of night he would arrest him on the way. That brings Ankanalli to the centre state of our action-cum-struggle-cum success.

‘Hey, you fellows come with your drums. We are celebrating our deity today.’ The Lingayats (dominant caste) sent out their usual message to the Dalits.

‘If you are celebrating your deity, you can as well beat your drums. Last time around when we came you insulted us. This time we shall not come.’ The Dalits dared to rebel.

‘These sons of a bitch have to be taught a fitting lesson. Close all public places for them. No shop should sell anything to any Dalit in the village. No drinking water. Any violation will meet with a fine of Rs.500/-‘ The village leader pronounced his judgement without any proceedings. Courts in India were put to shame for the number of years they take for passing judgments. Efficiency of caste courts, eh?

Innumerable complaints to the police met with deafening silence. No action please, we belong to Lingayat caste, the police stations seemed to resound.

Ankanalli! Gundlupet Taluk! Chamrajanagar District in Karnataka. 07-08-2010

It is now becoming a habit also in Karnataka. Dalits gave a copy of their complaint to the Dalit Panchayat, to Susheela and Sunder Raj to be precise.

Phone Calls to the Minister responsible for the District from Sunder Raj. The caste citadels began to shake in the bottom.

‘Set fire to their houses. Bloody bastards! How dare they make a complaint to the police against us? We should teach a lesson to these bloody assholes. Collect all the kerosene in our houses.’ Common dialogue among the Lingayats!

Four houses set on fire. The flames carried SOS to Sunder Raj and Susheela without delay. The heat carried the messages to the MLA, MP, DGP, DIG. Mobile revolution!

Good time to take up the issue of land grant to 43 Dalit families in the year 1960. The forest department took the land away and did not allow the Dalits to cultivate in their own land. Re-captured the land from the Forest Department @ 4 acres of land each family. Wow!

The consequence:

Immediate Relief to 6 Families – Rs. 3000 x 6                        =            18,000
Houses to 6 families  - 70,000 x 6                                           =            420,000
Loans to 99 individual Dalits – 25,000 x 99                           =            2,475,000
Grant to 8 Women SHGs  100,000 x 8                                   =            800,000
Re-capturing of land 300,000 x 4 x 43                                   =            51,600,000
Tube Wells for 43 Families            100,000 x 43                    =            4,300,000
Fresh grant of 4 acres to 32 landless Dalit
Families @ 4 acres each – 300,000 x 4 x 32                          =            38,400,000

Total achievement measured by money                                 =            98,013,000

Plus immeasurable amount of Dignity, self-confidence and courage. The monthly investment of REDS on Chamrajnagar District is only a maximum of Rs. 15,000/- But the dividend for the Dalit people only in this one struggle is over 98 million rupees. Incomparable result, outcome and impact! Kudos Sunder Raj and Susheela! People like are the real heroes.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

M C Raj's Latest Novel Released

Blissed Out – A Glistering Novel

Author: M C Raj

Blissed Out by M C Raj is a scintillating novel on complex human relationship and treaty on human sexuality. The philosopher in him comes out repeatedly, even without invitation in the story telling. The story revolves around two human beings. One is Helen, a British, married to a Maori Chieftain in New Zealand. The other is Iniyan, a young lad from India who joins a University of Maori Arts. He is too much of a visionary for his age.  But then, who can determine the age of vision development?

Helen loses her father even before she was born and her mother on the day of her birth. Brought up by her uncle and aunt it becomes a daunting task for her to establish her self-identity. As she grows she travels to the US and encounters Tantrism of the Hindu order in an Ashram. Her sexuality becomes the centre of her focus and she attracts others to her. Complications in relationships push her back to England. But that is not her place.

The British are on an occupational drive and find the ‘white long cloud’ Aotearoa, the original name of New Zealand very attractive. Simple people, easy to occupy! Helen is taken to Aotearoa by her military uncle to tame the most rebellious Maori Chieftain. His ploy misfires. Helen marries the Chieftain. But both of them together could not resist the military skills of the British. The Chieftain is killed and Helen disappears. But she is back in Aotearoa to lead the Maori people in their struggle for self-assertion and land recovery. These were her beloved husband’s dreams. She succeeds. But her individual identity is much more important and she is in search. She lands up in a Buddhist Monastery in Mysore and encounters Vajrayana Buddhism. Praxis of Vajrayana sexuality of the monks, lesbianism of the women monks etc. make Helen’s trajectory of life more complicated.

Helen’s daughter falls in love with Iniyan as they study in the same college in New Zealand. He is too serious about his pursuit of art and is least interested in sex. The intrusion of this budding artist in the life of Helen through her daughter begins to bring in new intricacies in relationships.

What is the role of Iniyan in these complex realities of human relationship? What is the role of Helen in his life? What is the role of Helen’s daughter in Iniyan’s life? How do the parents of Iniyan respond to this new demand in their life? What is the converging answer to all these and many more questions of the readers?

A path-breaking novel that challenges the traditional mindsets! Can you give the answer before you completely finish reading the novel? Try your luck. Get a copy of your novel from or  Very soon the book will be available in all leading stores in and outside of India. Needless to say that M C Raj’s style of writing is readers’ delight. Is it an exaggeration to say that Raj creates a cosmic rumbling through his fictions? You can write to him after reading the novel.  Number of pages: 430. Price: Rs. 345/- US$ 15/-

Jyothi and TEAM REDS