29th Annual Dr. Ramanadham Memorial Lecture: Caste, Equality and Democratic Rights


 29th Annual Dr. Ramanadham Memorial Lecture on


Dr. Anand Teltumbde

Dr. Uma Chakravarti

5 PM, Saturday, 6 September, 2014

N.D. Tiwary Bhavan (next to Gandhi Peace Foundation), Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg, near ITO crossing, Delhi
PUDR invites you to the 29th Annual Dr. Ramanadham Memorial Lecture. Dr A. Ramanadham, a pediatrician and civil liberties activist was the Vice President of APCLC. On 3 September, 1985, he was killed in his clinic in Warangal by a group of men from a policeman's funeral procession. Since then, this day has been observed as a day to uphold the struggle of civil liberties and democratic rights. On this occasion, PUDR has always held an annual lecture on an issue concerning people's rights and democracy. This year, we wish to examine the issues related to caste oppression in the context of equality and democratic rights.
Various constitutional provisions, along with provisions in other laws, were expected to deal with the denial of access to land and other means of livelihood, social exclusion and oppression that people on the lower rung of the caste hierarchy daily face. These include an entire gamut of provisions from reservations in elections, government jobs and education, to distribution of agricultural land and creation of assets for livelihood, as well as penal provisions to effectively deal with caste-based crimes, specifically the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. 
Far from removing the ritual and material inequalities faced by Dalits and putting an end to persecution, the oppression of Dalits continues to be the hallmark of modern Indian polity as well as its society. Persecution by the agencies of the state, by itself and in collusion with the existing structures of power in society, has deepened caste inequality and caste violence.
In the context of the demand for annihilation of caste by Dr BR Ambedkar, there is need to once again critically examine the initiatives of the Indian state and the demands of the movements that represent Dalits. This 29th Annual Ramanadham Memorial Lecture will focus on what lessons this experience holds for the democratic rights movement.
Please circulate this invitation to friends who may be interested.
In solidarity,
Asish Gupta
D. Manjit
(Secretaries, PUDR)