Photos: Letters from the new anti-caste abecedary | Hindustan Times
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Photos: Letters from the new anti-caste abecedary

Updated On Sep 02, 2022 06:17 PM IST
  • There’s a new way to learn the alphabet. It doesn’t have to be A for Apple. A new anti-caste abecedary features Dalit icons and iconic events from ancient and contemporary history. It's A for Ambedkar, who crafted the Constitution of India and championed Dalit rights; B for Buddha, to represent the neo-Buddhist, equality-for-all movement propagated by Ambedkar; C for Chokhamela, a 14th-century Dalit poet, and so on. The abecedary was commissioned, via a fellowship grant, by Party Office, an art and social space in New Delhi; curated by writer and translator Yogesh Maitreya, who is also the founder of Panther’s Paw Publication; Sunil Awachar, a Dalit poet and professor of Marathi in Mumbai University, did the art work; and Kshitija Chavan aka Coral wrote the descriptors for each letter.
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K is for Khairlanji, the massacre in which members of the Scheduled Caste Bhotmange family were tortured and hacked to death by fellow villagers for filing a police complaint over a land dispute, in the village of Khairlanji in Bhandara district, Maharashtra, in 2006.(Image courtesy: Anti-Caste Alphabets; Sunil Abhiman Awachar, Coral and Panther’s Paw Publication) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Sep 02, 2022 06:17 PM IST

K is for Khairlanji, the massacre in which members of the Scheduled Caste Bhotmange family were tortured and hacked to death by fellow villagers for filing a police complaint over a land dispute, in the village of Khairlanji in Bhandara district, Maharashtra, in 2006.(Image courtesy: Anti-Caste Alphabets; Sunil Abhiman Awachar, Coral and Panther’s Paw Publication)

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L is for the Laxmanpur Bathe Massacre of 1997, in which 58 Dalits, including children and a pregnant woman, were killed, allegedly by the members of the right-wing militia Ranvir Sena, at Laxmanpur Bathe, a village in Bihar. The incident was said to have been retaliation for a 1992 massacre of upper-caste people in a neighbouring village.(Image courtesy: Anti-Caste Alphabets; Sunil Abhiman Awachar, Coral and Panther’s Paw Publication) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Sep 02, 2022 06:17 PM IST

L is for the Laxmanpur Bathe Massacre of 1997, in which 58 Dalits, including children and a pregnant woman, were killed, allegedly by the members of the right-wing militia Ranvir Sena, at Laxmanpur Bathe, a village in Bihar. The incident was said to have been retaliation for a 1992 massacre of upper-caste people in a neighbouring village.(Image courtesy: Anti-Caste Alphabets; Sunil Abhiman Awachar, Coral and Panther’s Paw Publication)

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S is for Shahu Maharaj: This letter commemorates the pro-Dalit ruler who lived over a century ago. He became king of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, in 1894, and in 1902 became the first ruler to roll out caste-based reservation in modern India. Amid stiff opposition, he instituted a 50% reservation for Dalit and backwards classes in educational institutions and government jobs.(Image courtesy: Anti-Caste Alphabets; Sunil Abhiman Awachar, Coral and Panther’s Paw Publication) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Sep 02, 2022 06:17 PM IST

S is for Shahu Maharaj: This letter commemorates the pro-Dalit ruler who lived over a century ago. He became king of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, in 1894, and in 1902 became the first ruler to roll out caste-based reservation in modern India. Amid stiff opposition, he instituted a 50% reservation for Dalit and backwards classes in educational institutions and government jobs.(Image courtesy: Anti-Caste Alphabets; Sunil Abhiman Awachar, Coral and Panther’s Paw Publication)

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T is for Thulasi Helen: She floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee and is called the Lady Muhammed Ali of India. Thulasi Helen is a former boxer from Chennai. She ran away from home at 14, to escape child marriage, and worked her way up the boxing ranks, winning her first YMCA championship in 2000. She even beat Olympic medallist Mary Kom in 2011.(Image courtesy: Anti-Caste Alphabets; Sunil Abhiman Awachar, Coral and Panther’s Paw Publication) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Sep 02, 2022 06:17 PM IST

T is for Thulasi Helen: She floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee and is called the Lady Muhammed Ali of India. Thulasi Helen is a former boxer from Chennai. She ran away from home at 14, to escape child marriage, and worked her way up the boxing ranks, winning her first YMCA championship in 2000. She even beat Olympic medallist Mary Kom in 2011.(Image courtesy: Anti-Caste Alphabets; Sunil Abhiman Awachar, Coral and Panther’s Paw Publication)

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Y is for the Yeola Declaration: At a conference attended by over 10,000 Dalits at Yeola, in Nashik in 1935, Ambedkar made the declaration to renounce Hinduism.(Image courtesy: Anti-Caste Alphabets; Sunil Abhiman Awachar, Coral and Panther’s Paw Publication) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Sep 02, 2022 06:17 PM IST

Y is for the Yeola Declaration: At a conference attended by over 10,000 Dalits at Yeola, in Nashik in 1935, Ambedkar made the declaration to renounce Hinduism.(Image courtesy: Anti-Caste Alphabets; Sunil Abhiman Awachar, Coral and Panther’s Paw Publication)

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Q is for Dalit, Queer and Proud: This letter depicts Hindustan Times staffer Dhrubo Jyoti, lawyer Akhil Kang and professor Dhiren Borisa (then a doctoral student), who held up hand-painted signs with the words Dalit, Queer and Proud on them at the Delhi pride parade in 2015, as a statement of identity and visibility.(Image courtesy: Anti-Caste Alphabets; Sunil Abhiman Awachar, Coral and Panther’s Paw Publication) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Sep 02, 2022 06:17 PM IST

Q is for Dalit, Queer and Proud: This letter depicts Hindustan Times staffer Dhrubo Jyoti, lawyer Akhil Kang and professor Dhiren Borisa (then a doctoral student), who held up hand-painted signs with the words Dalit, Queer and Proud on them at the Delhi pride parade in 2015, as a statement of identity and visibility.(Image courtesy: Anti-Caste Alphabets; Sunil Abhiman Awachar, Coral and Panther’s Paw Publication)

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