Sunday, 28 May 2017

The temples of modernity - Chennai trip

I took the children to Kapaleeshwarar temple in Mylapore. The children and other people in the village like going to temples, and this is a very old, beautiful temple. They went to the sactum sanctorum and stayed through the aarti. And then sat and had some prasadam. On the way out we bought bangles and earrings from the bunk shops lining the roadside, We returned content.

Yesterday I passed FabIndia, a fancy elite glass walled ethnic store that I usually do not go to as it out of my budget. I cannot enter that spotless glass an aluminium place with all my village children - they are too poor and ordinary and the gatekeeper I fear will not allow them in.
I hate these temples of Modern India - FabIndia and suchlike where the untouchables are kept out by invisble unbreakable glass walls. I also do not enter them 
Aparna Krishnan Since when the Dalits 'permitted' into Kapaleeshwarar temple ? Is it recent ? Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula ?
Komakkambedu Himakiran not sure when that temple opened up. but most temples opened up in the 1920s-40s period thanks to efforts of many people. 
Aparna Krishnan The temple entrry has been won through much struggle. Good. The current struggle has to be against elite shops and elite restaraunts. I wonder is the modern Dalit leaders are taking these on. I suspect not. It is easier to keep abusing castism and temples, than take on this - which might also need personal change.
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan While the other is against caste .. This is against all powerful money and is caste agnostic
Komakkambedu Himakiran Caste becomes Classte in the cities. The caste oppression and prejudices can be seen in the policy making at all decision making bodies. That's why we have a pro automobile industry policy at the cost of neglect of public transport. That's why we have a private sector exclusive education promoting policy at the cost of Govt, open for all education. That's why have promotion of SEZs and tax sops for mostly upper caste owned corporates rather than a remunerative pricing policy for farmers.
Komakkambedu Himakiran The list is endless....
Aparna Krishnan Your list proves more classism, and less castism. That the two overlap in many spaces I agree. But many of those who oppose caste, and even drop caste names, choose to ignore the growing class bias in society , and also refuse to face their complicity in (and their benefitting from) it.
Aparna Krishnan It is easier to bash the Other - here caste and the Brahmin !
Komakkambedu Himakiran Our class differences stem from traditional caste differences. 

In the Varnasharamam system, education, political power & trade were controlled by 3 groups while the rest were meant only to toil for the the first 3 groups. 

Post independence, reservations, land ceiling & nationalisation of banks were measures to break this stranglehold of the 3 upper caste groups over the rest. 

Just see who opposes reservations, who favors corporates and all the big GDP talk, who supports big dams, commodification of natural resources by private sector and you will find that caste hasn't gone anywhere in the cities. It merely has added a layer of class.
Vidyasankar Sundaresan Class is not another layer on top of caste. It is a different kind of hierarchy that sometimes cuts across caste and sometimes goes along with it. The Khobragades are also dalits, you know. And the kudumi Vadhyar from the village is also totally unwelcome in the swanky shop in the mall.
Aparna Krishnan Very broadly speaking, the kudumi vadiyars progeny become upper class - english speaking - non kudumi - IT engineers. I think there is a broad overlap Vidyasankar of caste and class, with definite exceptions built in.
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan In malls and the high end shops , they just want people who can pay that is it.. They are not worried about anything else .. 
Manoj Singhvi Fab India sources much of its products from tribal artisans . So it is in a way channeling money from the moneyed to the impoverished , hard working workers . This is desirable .
Aparna Krishnan Sure. But spaces need to be the kind that will be able to accomodate the rich and the poor. Not the ExclusiveClubs.
Manoj Singhvi I read your post regularly and your angst for a equitable world . I am aware that you are an alumna of a college , students die for . 
I believe only quality education can narrow the socio economic divide . Instead of disparaging the rich , the poor should be helped to break the income ceiling .
I admire you for your empathy and dedicating your life to empower the poor.
Aparna Krishnan my college is part of an irrelevent history. every livlihood and every skill and wisdom needs equal statua and economic vaibility. Trying to make everyone an engineer will also mean we need to live on sweet air. A farmer and a weaver should be compensated equal to an engineer.
Palanivelu Rangasamy Don't you think that your college gets reflected in every moment of your life?
Aparna Krishnan no. i hope my village does.
Palanivelu Rangasamy There is a difference between being 'wishful' and 'realistic'. As long as you use English, computer, etc., etc., your college is manifest in every moment of your life. I would say that you use it differently, but just impossible to bury.
Himanshu Rai Sharma Fab India's procurement practices are quite suspect ,not good word of mouth reviews from producers cooperatives. Bodo Weaver's had to fight them in court for cancelled orders worth 40 lacs which they had completed after taking loan.
Aparna Krishnan Himanshu Rai Sharma cannot stand elite spaces that debar the poor - explicitly or implicitly !! whether their trade practices are fair or unfair.
Gangadharan Kumar FYI - A bit about Fabindia. "Today, with a pan-India presence, Fabindia is the largest private platform for products that derive from traditional crafts and knowledge. A large proportion of these are sourced from villages across India where the company works closely with the artisans, providing various inputs including design, quality control, access to finance and raw materials".
Aparna Krishnan Thats not the point. The point is of spaces which are exclusive to the rice.
Gangadharan Kumar As a general point, I agree. In the case of FabIndia, did you try to go in and did they stop you? If not, you can't attribute that to them.
Aparna Krishnan The glass walls are inpenetrable and invisble.
Aparna Krishnan More important than food and livlihood is dignity. I claim spaces where all can feel free and welcome equally. Many urban upper class spaces are exclusive.
Himanshu Rai Sharma Procurement practices of fabindia are quite suspect I have had very bad reviews of it from genuine Bodo Weaver's based Ngo in Assam.
Jagga Lalgudy Owned by Ford Foundation, Louis Vuitton, World bank president - awesome pedigree. 

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