Sarvodaya Karnataka Party, which was founded as a part of Karnataka’s alternative political experiments, merged with Swaraj India in early 2017. Devanoora Mahadeva, who was the president of Sarvodaya Karnataka, is one of Kannada’s eminent writers. He was conferred with the Padma Shri as well as the Sahitya Academy award returning both in protest against the growing intolerance in the country. This special interview, by writer-thinker Rahamat Tarikere, articulates Devanoora Mahadeva’s experiences and ideas regarding social movements and alternative politics.
methodology of your political thought you refer to Gandhi, Lohia and Ambedkar.
The one missing in this list is Marx. Is it not possible for Marxist thought to
join in as a force in alternative politics?
Why not? What I am saying is that Indian communists have
become stagnant, that’s all. Here communism needs to assimilate India and find
its own words and actions. Isn’t it so? That’s not happening. It’s like a goods
carrier just carting a consignment. If you become like a tape recorder as soon
as you start to speak, then how will it work? Doesn’t life transcend logic?
You are very
drawn to Gandhiji, in fact even your party’s name Sarvodaya too seems to have come
from there. But do you think this is the reason why Dalits, who are tethered to
the historic Gandhi-Ambedkar debate, have distanced themselves from you?
You seem to be plotting to distance me from the Dalit
community through this very question (laughs)
This is what happens if we place Gandhi and Ambedkar within the contemporary
period, understanding and seeing them only as bodies. If we let go off logic, transform them into energy and look
at their intentions and hopes then we won’t have that problem. If we distill
them into spirit, into a cocktail that high could win over the world. A long
time ago at Manipal when I had to speak about Gandhi, I weaved in Ambedkar bit
by bit. There, U R Anantamurthy was translating it into English for the
audience, who didn’t know Kannada and his eyes started brimming with tears. After
I finished speaking, Anantamurthy said ‘Internally, I used to be a bit annoyed about
Ambedkar; but today Ambedkar has a home in me.’ he said. What do you say to
Is the Sangh
Parivar saffronising Ambedkar now?
True, true. First they tried to trample and liquidate him,
painted him black. The more Ambedkar was trampled on the more he sprouted in
people’s minds. The sangh parivar
people, imposters, are now painting him saffron and are scheming to use him. Today
everyone wants to paint Ambedkar with their colours. If there is a betrayal
inside it’s not good for anyone.
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