Dalit Women Fight Casteism

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 - Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 | 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

691 Barrows Hall

Townsend Center for Humanities and
Center for Race Gender (CRG) Working Group on

Saturday, April 19, 2014; 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Loc: 691 Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley

Asha Kowtal has been organizing and raising the voice of Dalit women across India and the world. As General Secretary of All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch(AIDMAM, All India Dalit Women’s Rights Forum), she has been actively working to mobilize Dalits, and Dalit women in particular, across various Indian states to fight against caste hegemony and violence. Rooted in anti-caste movements, Asha Kowtal’s activism enables her to be a bridge between senior anti-caste women leaders and young aspiring Dalit and Adivasi women who seek to annihilate caste and create a gender-just society.Thenmozhi Soundararajan is a filmmaker and Transmedia artist who believes in the transformative power of stories. Growing up as a Dalit-American, she was driven to tell the stories of marginalized communities. This led her to found the internationally recognized women’s media technology collective organization, Third World Majority.

At the event we will screen Thenmozhi Soundararajan’s short film, Touchable: The Journey from Untouchable to Dalit, which includes footage of the Dalit Mahila Swabhiman Yatra (Dalit Women’s March for Self Determination) 2014. This March, spearheaded by Asha Kowtal and other young Dalit women, with great energy and commitment, covered hundred of kilometres in India, and raised the crucial issue of violence against Dalit women while demanding accountability at the ground level. This is an ongoing campaign and seeks to expand and grow, building support and solidarities along the way.

It is an effort to take forward the caravan for justice and dignity which is a legacy of the Ambedkarite Movement. Here’s a recording of their talk at the Women in the World Summit:

INVISIBLE INDIA – from 2014 Women in the World Summitnew.livestream.com

More information available at the Facebook event site:

https://www.facebook.com/<wbr />events/252191258300406/

The objective of this Townsend Center Working Group on Muslim Identities Cultures is to focus on exploring the constructions of Muslim identities and agencies from the standpoints of race, gender, caste, class, sexualities, nationalism, geopolitics and culture, especially concentrating on the discourses of “racialization” of Muslims taking place since 9/11. While examining the intersections and coformations of cultures, religions, gender, sexualities, caste, class, race, and nationalisms, the group will endeavor to continue to create a space where multiple discourses can be analyzed and discussed in a scholarly fashion.

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