Sathy Angamaly :Dalit Activist In English and Foreign Language Institute defamation case was filed against 5 Dalit students and they are given prison sentence defamation case was filed against 5 Dalit students who had protested against casteist discrimination we hear that the professors there, especially Prof Meenakshi Reddy, there have role in this discrimination including the death of Rohith Vemula, as well as other deaths in Kerala of Rajani S Anand, Neethu and several other students students who are faced with casteist discrimination in our education institutions either drop out or are pushed to suicides we are seeing such a reality in our educational institutions against this, as we understand that this is clearly rooted in caste prejudice, against this, the people who have come to the film festival, dalits students and dalit social workers have come together and we are doing this protest, and we request all to join us Prominent Dalit activist Mrudula Devi will now talk to us about this protest In EFLU 5 students were included in defamation case and they were imprisoned one of them is Ravichandran who is also the founder of Dalit Camera Ravichandran who is son of a manual scavenging worker worked his way to a phd and found Dalit Camera, which has become a major channel for Dalits if you see clearly defamation cases doesn’t earn jail sentences then why these 5 students were sentenced to prison? it is because they were Dalits, one law for Dalits/Adivasis, another law for civil society why do we see such a discrimination here? Also about IFFK, the international film festival of Kerala, which is growing in artistic and cultural arena, we want to say that here dalit identity is being celebrated, is being shown as something to be sympathized with, is being commercialized while Dalit identity is being celebrated, no new Dalit heroines are coming up, this in an industry where the first heroine was a dalit actress – PK Rosy certain beauty constructs are used to reject Dalit heroines when 63 lakhs is spend to import Dalit heroines here with white make up while there are artists who have art alive in their body while laughing and crying, for example our Kalabhavan Mani, when such artists are there and when they are being kept away and our Dalit identity is being marketed and sold, in such film festivals we also express our protest against it here. After Rohith Vemula’s death one question we heard from civil society is whether the Dalit activists came on stage only after a death, Here when our 5 students are being imprisoned over defamation case we are standing with them. We won’t let more suicides happen over academic pressure In artistic and cultural fields we want more Dalit presence Our social collective is protesting with these two demands here We have with us our brothers here, many who are famous in different fields We invite the civil society also to join our protest, to convey our ideas to the society End Casteism EFLU do justice Expel Meenakshi Reddy Meenakshi reddy is Appa Rao’s successor We want to live with dignity in our land India is a democratic country, not a Hindu nation In our motherland no one should teach us patriotism Don’t teach us patriotism We need land to stand with strong steps in our mother land We want justice We want knowledge This is no one’s charity It is espoused in our Constitution Chinchu Ashwathy : Dalit Queer Activist Throughout India we see this discrimination against dark skinned people and Dalits and the problems they face In recent times we had a movie “Kattapanayile Rithik Roshan” in Malayalam We just need to see that movie to understand the malayali attitude towards Dalits I believe it was a movie which shared the beauty concepts of a dark skinned man There we are shown dark people who believe in the beauty standards of fair skinned people who use skin ligthening creams Looks like they haven’t seen people like us who take pride in our dark skin So these beauty standards need to change or at least movies need to stop preaching them Here another set is waiting to rate us on our patriotism They scrutinize who are sitting, whey they are sitting and teach us patriotism On top they teach morality in the theatre, we shouldn’t laugh while watching movie, shouldn’t sit with friends and watch movies We shouldn’t comment, all of these people are here to teach us, we don’t need to be teached I am a Queer person and a Dalit Here I saw most movies under the Gender Bender series and it is sad that they are doing teaching even there They say if Hormone treatment is done or if Beauty enhancing products are used then life will be destroyed and other issues will be there So the Transgenders in kerala should not use these products Why are you teaching these, understand about human desires, understand about personal freedom People live as per their interests, let us understand such interests and interconnects between people It is in such contexts that we understand Dr Ambdekar, I stand as an Ambedkarite by following the Social Democracy principles he preached That me and you are equal and we can have a society where religion, caste and gender shouldn’t seperate us, such a society was envisioned by Dr Ambdekar Ajay Kumar : Dalit Activist In the path towards a good democracy that Dr Ambdekar taught us about, we are having such protests. In India, different institutions here, we need to understand that the law works very fast in cases involving Dalits and Adivasis For atrocities against Dalit and Adivasis we have SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act After the law was enacted in 1989 till now the law and order system here couldn’t even ensure a 2 percent conviction under that law But in the name of small potests, strikes or conceptions we see Dalits and Adivasis being hounded and lead to a path towards death Rohith Vemula’s histroy tells us this In the same line, in EFLU, in the name of criticism expressed in a interview to Dalit Camera channel, which has emerged as a voice of Dalits Court has asked these people who have raised criticism This might be the first group of people in India to have go to jail for a defamation case It is not a coincidence that they are Dalits and so we should do protest in all possible venues