An India Inside/Out event by CeMIS and the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.
The Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) and the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung welcome Bezwada Wilson from the NGO Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA). Bezwada Wilson is a legendary anti-caste activist and leader of sanitation labor castes’ struggle against the brutal racism that forces those born into these castes to clean human feces, a practice the government of India euphemistically refers to as “manual scavenging.” Though banned by law, the practice continues. India’s caste-dominated police and political system refuses to crack down on cities that perpetuate this evil, and make little effort to protect the victims from this dangerous and degrading destruction of human life and potential.
Following Wilson’s presentation, he will join Manuela Ott (Dalit Solidary Network), Michael Gottlob (Amnesty International, Germany) and Thenmozhi Soundararajan (Equality Labs and Co-founder Dalit History Month) for a panel discussion on the role of international solidarity and activism in calling the Indian government to account.
After the panel discussion, Rasika Ajotikar (singer/songwriter/ethnomusicologist) will perform songs from an anti-caste cultural movement that evolved in the western region of India.