By Lilu Paul
The Kerala state chapter of the National Dalit Christian Watch (NDCW) on May 27 organized a media orientation programme via the Zoom platform.
The program was set up to introduce everyone to the Dalit Christian Digest, a web portal that earnestly tries to bring out genuine testimonies and stories of the Dalit cause that is overlooked by mainstream media.
Fr. Devasagayaraj Zacharias, former secretary of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Backward Classes, Office of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, explained the need for such initiatives as discrimination and structural backwardness of Dalits are being exacerbated day today in India.
“This type of endeavors that recounts the reprehensible agony of Dalit cause must be a severe requisite of the present-day,” he said.
He also urged the participants to put their efforts into the web portal as such the resolute fights for justice as well as success stories ought to be resonated in the portal.
Subsequently, a discussion was held. Bishop Dr. Selvadas Promoth, the head of Bible Faith Mission church while offering his genuine cooperation to the web portal elucidated the importance of the localized histories of Dalit protests particularly in the context of Kerala.
Justine T Varghese (Research Scholar, Mahatma Gandhi University) suggested a collective interference onto the discourses of issues such as caste-based and justice deniable incidents which always seem by the law and order institutions as unsubstantiated.
Priya Chacko, a pioneer of Dalit Christian Movements in Kerala, explained the need for a platform to open up about the humiliations and the violence suffered by Dalit women in society.
“The very nature of patriarchy-casteist fortitude of upper-caste men pull back the Dalit women socialites from active social engagements,” she said.
During the discussion, an opinion had come up to incite young persons to write into the web portal.
“They must be more cognizant of the changing trajectory of caste in the present world,” a participant said.
After the discussion, Dr. Richard Devadoss (National Convener of NDCW) in his concluding remarks appreciated the participants for their noteworthy responses.
He also urged them to take up the task of the portal and to introduce more persons to proliferate the same in a wider horizon.
Shibi Peter, the national coordinator of NDCW, thanked the gathering.
As many as 20 people attended the webinar amidst the complicit condition of weather and rainfall.