Thursday, January 19, 2012
Critique Ferozepur Chapter and Philosophical Society organized a Seminar on the first two chapters of the Book 'Satta Aur Samaj' by Dhirubhai Seth, presented and edited by Abhay Kumar Dubey of CSDS at the college campus. In the Seminar chaired by Rubina of B.A. first year Amandeep, Amritpal, Jagpreet, and Amanjot discussed the issues relating to “Caste System, Class Creation and Politics", "Dalit Question and Non Dalit Society”, discussed by Dhirubhai Seth and Abhay Kumar Dubey, with around 300 students of the department. The reading of the first two chapters was circulated before three weeks to around fifty students of the department.
Aamandeep said that Caste is important issue, which at election times projected as an important symbol for the vote bank politics in the country. But it important to underline and understand what is caste and why after so much of protest against the caste system by social reformers and activists, still it continues to be an inseparable identity and idea in society. Amandeep said that Dhirubhai has minutely explored the issues of caste, class and politics in a comprehensive way. His views that social science is still one step ahead in understanding caste than political theorists who might have different opinions, is certainly interesting. Amandeep sharing account of Satta Aur Samaj said that another important questions which needs philosophical exploration is that Is caste a mere action oriented phenomena or does it moves around ‘power’, ‘dominance’.
Amritpal said that social reform movements or ‘unorthodox’ religious movements like Jainism, Buddhism and Bhakti movement did made a little impact on the caste questions and there have been conversions in thoughts from time to time but still effective caste groups kept their dominance till date. Taking the discourse to the contemporary issues regarding caste Amritpal raised certain questions. How to do away with caste? Can we really do away with caste? She said that when ever we go to a doctor we never see the caste of the doctor. When ever we go to attend a class in college, we never find a caste based class. As educated youths we openly declare that we do not believe in caste system. But the moment there is talk of reservation in education or matrimony in the family the issue of caste comes on the floor. Every Saturday and Sunday we find ourselves divided in the matrimonial published in the news papers. Do we not see the hierarchy, a feeling of superiority, inferiority? How do we look at this whole issue? There cannot be definite answers but one thing which comes up is, is a line of divide which underlines the whole caste issue in the urban societies as well as rural. It is in this context that we can also see and read the two faces of caste in ‘Satta Aur Samaj’. Jagpreet and Amanjot also raised the issues of Politics of Resevation, Evolution of the new middleclass and other issues on Brahminism to Manuism of the book with the participants. Amanjot also raised questions of how to understand dalit discourse and issues. On one hand there are writings on dalit by non dalit writers and on the other hand there are writings by dalit writers themselves so how to respond and understand the two is also significant. Amanjot raised the views of Gandhi and Ambedkar on the dalit discourse and it led to a hot discussion where there were some in Gandhi’s favour and some on Ambedkar. Jagpreet appreciated the views by Dhirubhai and Abhay kumar Dubey in the text. The speakers on behalf of Critique and Philosophical Society extended their thanks to dhirubhai for sending the book a year back and also suggested Dhirubhai and Abhay Kumar Dubay to read a book by Darshan ‘Ratn’ Ravan “Ambedkar Se Vimukh Safai Kamgar Samaj: Upekshit, Karaan Aur Mukti”. In the end there were significant questions raised by the participants which followed in fiery discussion.