Dialogue and Discourse
- A documentary of 45 minutes on Mahima Dharma, of Orissa,’The Undying Flame’ has been prepared. It has portrayed their cultural narratives and its role in developing subversive cultural and political consciousness among marginalised communities. Bhima Bhoi, born in 1845 was a saint poet. Currently there are many divisions of Mahima Dharma. Earlier, in census reports it was treated as an independent religion but now it is clubbed with Hinduism. It was Brahmanised but now it’s reemerging as a Dalit movement. It’s impact is palpable in the Naxal movement and Dalit movement.
- Another Documentary film ‘Desh Birana’ was made. This film is based on the role of popular sects like Kabirpanth ,Ravidas panth, Satnami panth, Shiv Narayani panth widespread in the Hindi region, who helped in the democratization of Dalit life. This film has documented the interaction of Marginalised community with these sects, which have led to the formation of cultural notions of social justice within marginalized communities that is sustaining them in their struggle against the social, cultural and political exclusion which they face in their everyday life. Marginalized cultural creativity portraying their cultural narratives have also been highlighted in this documentary. The popular sects of marginalised communities of North India and their role in developing subversive cultural and political consciousness among Dalits and marginalised communities has also been focused.
- DRC has produced another documentary “GOONJ”on the mode of Dalit Popular writings and life history of those Dalit writers on whom it had organized village conferences. The documentary starts with narrating the potential of the Dalit popular booklets, which are published in small towns and qasbas and sold in large numbers in footpaths, fairs, by street vendors, at political rallies, and in Chetna Mandaps (small bookstalls run by Dalits). Mostly written by semiliterate Dalits who live in small qasbas and villages of Uttar Pradesh, these booklets have great emancipatory potentials as these reflect the aspirations of Dalits living at the grassroots and their desire for democratic participation. The documentary narrates the life stories of Dalitwriters selected for the first four village conferences who were themselves victims of or witness to social inequities and brings out the signs of hope and optimism in Dalit literature, affirming that identity and assertion are worthy social and cultural projects. It tries to highlight the objective behind the writings of Dalit popular writers which is to circulate ideas about Dalit emancipation in different states of north India, both among the educated sections and the illiterate ones who are unable to read the booklets themselves. The documentary is aimed at the dissemination of this objective of the writers of Dalit popular booklets, which would definitely go a long way in broadening the Dalit public sphere and also help to enhance the participation of Dalits in the democratic processes of the country.
Photo Exhibition: The photo exhibition on Images and Ideas (Drishyalok) Lokpriya Panth Evam Dalit on September 10, 2013 put up by the Dalit resource Centre of the GB Pant Social Science Institute. This photo exhibition is based on the study conducted by the Dalit Resource Centre of the institute for its project ‘Cultural Resources and Forging a Democratic Order: Marginalised Groups in Northern India. It focuses on the daily life and cultural expression of the religious sects popular among the dalits, like Kabir Panth, Ravidas panth, Satnaami Panth, Shivnarayani Panth and Mahima Panth. These photographs depict the role of the popular sects in the formation of democracy among the marginalized sections of the society in five states: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.