Dhrubo Jyoti

Dhrubo works as an edit resource and writes at the intersection of caste, gender, sexuality and politics. Formerly trained in Physics, abandoned a study of the stars for the glitter of journalism. Fish out of digital water.

Articles by Dhrubo Jyoti

Social Justice Matters | Why some transgender groups want horizontal reservation

While there is no question that transpersons face hurdles in accessing education, employment and health care, some community activists are questioning why the government is lumping all transpersons across caste in the OBC category

They argue that their caste and gender identities cannot be seen as separate from each other, and that the transgender communities are not casteless (Raj k Raj/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Dec 09, 2021 06:04 PM IST

321 die cleaning sewers in 5 years: Govt to Lok Sabha

The government told Lok Sabha that there were no reports of manual scavengers being engaged in India at present

Manual scavenging is banned in India. The caste-based practice was proscribed in 1993, but activists allege it continues clandestinely and overtly. (Representation image)
Updated on Dec 08, 2021 02:04 AM IST

Social Justice Matters: What Ramachandra Manjhi tells us about caste, art

What makes his triumph more remarkable is the burden of caste he carries. Manjhi is Dalit, and Naach is an art form patronised by Dalits and lower-caste communities in the heartland

The 96-year-old man from Chapra in western Bihar had become the first artist from the Naach tradition in eastern India to be conferred the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 24, 2021 02:16 PM IST

Social Justice Matters | On gender, the conservative backlash hits classrooms

The NCERT pulled down a teachers’ training manual on integration of transgender or gender non-conforming students in schools from its website

The NCERT module, which was put together after months of discussion and research, had lofty aims (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 11, 2021 02:49 PM IST

Social Justice Matters | Is the electoral system in India unjust to Dalits?

Indian elections are a remarkable feat for a new democracy. Yet, the country’s marginalised castes continue to get a raw deal when it comes to their representation, and the system of reserved constituencies is flawed at best

One of the most important consequences of the universal adult franchise was the addition of millions of voters from marginalised castes who likely got added to the electoral rolls (AFP)
Updated on Nov 04, 2021 02:34 PM IST

How ‘caste bias’ in Bikaner college snuffed out a family’s hope

“He is gone,” she whispers – pointing towards the kitchen where she would make bathua and besan barfis every time her son, 20-year-old Pradeep Meghwal, came home from his college in Bikaner. “It was his favourite,” she says. “And I will never make it for him again.”

Pradeep Meghwal’s family showing his certificates.( HT photo)
Updated on Nov 03, 2021 01:01 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, Bikaner

A lifetime of nation building

The legacy of Sukumar Sen, the architect of the modern Indian election, goes far beyond party symbols, indelible ink, and ballot boxes.

CEC Sukumar Sen (left) and PS Subramanian, secretary to the commission, examine ballot boxes in October 1951. PIB Photo Division
Updated on Oct 29, 2021 05:26 PM IST

Social Justice Matters | India must have a caste census

For seven decades, India has made policies that are either caste-blind or aimed at helping marginalised castes, but without any hard data on the numbers of castes other than Dalits. This lack of data on the relative strengths of castes has now fuelled the demand for a caste census

The implications of a full caste census are manifold. It will give us more accurate data on the strengths of communities and help in policymaking (Sambit Saha/HT Archive)
Updated on Oct 27, 2021 12:49 PM IST

India’s first voter readies for a new challenge

Negi holds the unique record of being independent India’s first voter and has exercised his franchise in the last 70 years in every local, state and national election

As the summer of 1951 dawned on the newly independent country, India’s first election commissioner, Sukumar Sen, was worried.
Updated on Oct 25, 2021 03:12 PM IST
By, , Kinnaur/shimla

A classroom and a nursery of new democracy

The village of Kalpa, then called Chini, went to the polls months ahead of the rest of the country because the remote village with roughly 60 families would get cut off by snowfall in early November.

Shyam Saran Negi, 102, independent India’s first voter who has participated in all elections since 1951.(Reuters)
Updated on Oct 25, 2021 04:29 AM IST
ByDhrubo Jyoti and Gaurav Bisht, Kinnaur/shimla

Caste and EWS quota: The political calm, the legal storm and what we don’t know

Two years on, a series of legal moves have led to renewed churn about EWS quotas – their utility and rationale

India’s Constitution was amended for the 103rd time to implement EWS quotas. It’s high time we get some clarity about this important move (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 19, 2021 01:35 PM IST

Amend discriminatory info on LGBTQIA+: NMC to institutes

The advisory referred to a Madras high court judgment last month that said “queerphobia” – prejudicial and abusive attitudes and behavior towards the community – was rampant in medical education.

In an advisory, the National Medical Commission (NMC) said various medical textbooks, especially those in forensic medicine, toxicology and psychiatry contain unscientific and derogatory remarks against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual people. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 14, 2021 12:35 PM IST
By, New Delhi

College teacher sentenced to life imprisonment for minor girl’s rape in Raj

The victim, the daughter of a primary school teacher in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, was found dead inside a water tank on the roof of her college in 2016.

A local court in Rajasthan sentenced a college teacher to life imprisonment for raping a Dalit minor girl in 2016. (Representational image)
Updated on Oct 13, 2021 06:14 AM IST

A new deal on caste: The battle over reservations in promotions

For a nation to progress, caste is important to eradicate. But its perpetuation is also beneficial to many powerful communities

The Supreme Court is currently hearing a bunch of petitions on the policy of reservation in promotions for SC/STs in government jobs (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 12, 2021 11:53 AM IST

Three convicted in rape case that shook Rajasthan

New Delhi: A court in Rajasthan on Friday convicted three people for the rape and suicide of a Dalit girl in a college in 2016 -- a case that had sparked widespread public anger and conversations on caste discrimination and women’s safety

HT Image
Updated on Oct 09, 2021 07:58 PM IST

Crimes against Dalits, tribals increased in Covid pandemic year: NCRB

Crimes against scheduled tribe (ST) communities also increased by 9.3% to a total of 8,272 cases in the year, according to NCRB data.

Crimes against Dalits, tribals increased in Covid pandemic year: NCRB
Updated on Sep 16, 2021 03:29 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Badaun twin tragedy: Sanitation, dignity in tussle with poverty, customs

Badaun tragedy: Poverty, imbalance, sanitation — the horrors remain. The tragic deaths of 14-year-old and 16-year-old girls, who were found hanging from a mango tree in an orchard seven years ago in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun, still haunts the family.

The tragic deaths of 14-year-old and 16-year-old girls, who were found hanging from a mango tree in an orchard seven years ago in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun, still haunts the family.
Updated on Sep 15, 2021 03:57 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Hathras rape: A year on, still living in fear, buried under social stigma

In Hathras, exactly one year ago, on September 14, 2020, a 19-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped and assaulted. Days later, amid national outrage, her body was cremated in the dead of the night.

Hathras: Police personnel cremate the body of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was gang-raped in the district last year. (PTI Photo)
Updated on Sep 14, 2021 04:54 AM IST
By, Shiv Sunny, Hindustan Times, Hathras

Section 377, 3 years on: Freedom to love takes root

The landmark ’18 verdict prompted LGBT people across India to seek their rights from courts and society. The key to this advancement were residents of small towns and villages

People celebrate after the Supreme Court's verdict on Section 377 in New Delhi on September 6, 2018.(HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 07, 2021 01:06 PM IST
By, Dhamini Ratnam

IIT prof alleges irregularity in caste bias probe

In the letter, Vipin P Veetil, a 36-year-old assistant professor of economics who resigned citing caste bias in July, said that the head of the department – who was named in his complaint -- was allegedly liaising with members of the investigation committee looking into his claims of caste-based discrimination at the institution.

An assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras alleged caste discrimination at the institution. (PTI)
Published on Aug 28, 2021 12:10 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Chronicling BR Ambedkar’s life in London

The time he spent in London earning his law and second doctorate degrees was among the most important part of the polymath’s life. The interrupted stint shaped his worldview and philosophy, introduced him to new and exacting teachers, and sharpened his legal skills

A portrait of BR Ambedkar. (Source: Ambedkar student file, LSE Library)
Updated on Aug 19, 2021 05:55 PM IST

Post-Independence, three people’s movements that changed the game

In a complex nation, in a changing world, there is always work to be done. Take a look at three key movements that have driven India towards greater justice and equity for all citizens.

A pride march in Mumbai in 2019, the year after Section 377 was read down by the Supreme Court, finally decriminalising homosexuality. (HT File Photo)
Updated on Aug 13, 2021 05:33 PM IST
ByDhrubo Jyoti & Dhamini Ratnam

No manual scavenging deaths, 941 died while cleaning sewers: Govt

Union social justice minister Virendra Kumar also told the Rajya Sabha that 58,098 manual scavengers were identified across the country in two separate surveys in 2013 and 2018

A municipal worker attempts to unblock a sewer overflowing with human excreta in New Delhi on October 7, 2009. (HT file photo)
Updated on Aug 05, 2021 04:03 PM IST

‘The men told us to go home and sleep... But I couldn’t keep quiet’

She was the only child of the couple, who belong to the impoverished Valmiki caste and made their living by picking off scraps and rags and begging near a local Muslim shrine.

Many of the victim’s neighbours and members of the Valmiki community are galvanized in their demand for justice. Many have mobilised activists, called reporters and recorded every statement since Sunday night.(Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 05, 2021 04:02 AM IST
ByShiv Sunny, , New Delhi

Haven’t you heard? Aunty tales from around the world

In Critical Aunty Studies, a project by researcher and artist Kareem Khubchandani, the figure of the Aunty is explored through diverse strands drawn from India, Africa, the Caribbean and beyond. Aunties make their presence felt, and while this can be annoying, it can also be especially powerful, Khubchandani says.

Aunties are critical and tend to police the young, but they also build worlds that stay hidden from the patriarchal gaze. They find collective joy amid the crush of domesticity, and can become refuges of kindness and protection, Khubchandani says. (Steven Gabriel)
Updated on Jul 30, 2021 07:49 PM IST

2 labs move HC over fake testing charges at Kumbh

The developments came four days after police booked Delhi-based Lalchandani Labs, Hisar-based Nalwa labs and Noida-based Max Corporate Services for allegedly conducting 100,000 fake rapid antigen tests during the Kumbh mela in April.

Devotees take part in a procession at the Kumbh fair.(Reuters)
Updated on Jun 22, 2021 04:14 AM IST
ByNeeraj Santoshi and Dhrubo Jyoti, Hindustan Times, Dehradun/new Delhi

Same-sex love: The family abuse that led to the Madras HC order

The two women – aged 20 and 22 — met in 2019 and fell in love but battled fierce disapproval from their conservative families who lived in the rural parts of Tamil Nadu’s Madurai district

Representational image. (AFP)
Updated on Jun 09, 2021 01:32 PM IST

‘Change must take place’: HC bans attempts to ‘cure’ gender identity

Chennai/New Delhi: The Madras high court on Monday banned any attempts to “cure” the gender identity or sexual orientation of people as part of a sweeping set of orders to sensitise state agencies and the central government and protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ communities

HT Image
Published on Jun 07, 2021 11:29 PM IST
ByDivya Chandrababu and Dhrubo Jyoti

There is a gender gap in India’s vaccination coverage

It is important to get an in-built statistical bias out of the way before looking at probable causes. Men outnumber women in India. So, is the number of vaccinated men outnumbering women just a function of India’s skewed sex-ratio?

Representational image. (Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jun 08, 2021 07:33 AM IST
ByAbhishek Jha & Dhrubo Jyoti

See what’s playing on India’s first LGBTQ streaming service, PlanetOut

On offer is a mix of documentaries, love stories and small indie gems. More vitally, the service indicates how far we’ve come.

Among the films available via PlanetOut is the 1998 Oscar-winning Gods and Monsters. Ian McKellen plays British director James Whale, in a fictionalised take on his life. Whale was best known for the Frankenstein movies and, in the film, develops a delicate bond with his gardener (played by Brendan Fraser).
Updated on May 28, 2021 04:57 PM IST
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