A cow mania has been set in motion in…

In the second part of the Indian Writers Forum conversation with Githa Hariharan, eminent writer Nayantara Sahgal talks about the intolerance of Hindutva forces towards the minorities, the connection between the Hindu Mahasabha (the RSS’s ancestor) and the European fascist dictatorships, and how, for writers, there’s no avoiding the political.

In today’s India, a kind of cow mania has been set in motion by the ruling party, where gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes) are supposed to protect the holiness of the cow. The Dalits recently rose up in a big uprising, saying “If the cow is your mother, you look after her. We will not lift cow carcasses any more.” This would have delighted the hearts of Mahatma Gandhi and Ambedkar.

Bezwada Wilson & TM Krishna in conversation with Nilanjana Roy

Bezwada Wilson & TM Krishna in conversation with Nilanjana…

This conversation with Bezwada Wilson and TM Krishna was part of the Indus Conversations series by Tulika Books, 11 December 2016. TM Krishna, a carnatic music vocalist and social commentator, and Bezwada Wilson, National Convenor of the Safai Karamchari Andolan, are recipients of the 2016 Ramon Magsaysay Awards. TM Krishna was honoured for his work toward “social inclusiveness in culture”, and his sustained efforts to bring music and arts to the marginalised sections of society, particularly in the underdeveloped rural areas of Tamil Nadu. Bezwada Wilson has spent his life campaigning against manual scavenging. He founded the community based  Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA) to fight for the eradication of manual scavenging.
The conversation of the two awardees with writer Nilanjana Roy probes a range of issues from the meaning of liberty and equality, and nationalism and freedom, to the experience of caste based discrimination, and the role of art in changing our perpectives of the world.