V. T. Rajshekar

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V. T. Rajshekar, in full Vontibettu Thimmappa Rajshekar, also known as V. T. Rajshekar Shetty, (born 1932) is a controversial Indian journalist[1] who is the founder and editor of the Dalit Voice,[2] which has been described in a release by Human Rights Watch as "India’s most widely circulated Dalit journal".[3]

He is himself not a Dalit, he is the son of late P.S. Thimmappa Shetty, who retired as the Collector of South Kanara District. He is from well-known Vontibettu Beedu family belonging to the higher caste Bunt community.[4]

He was formerly a journalist on the Indian Express,[3] where he worked for 25 years. He is the founder of the 'Dalit Voice' organisation[5] a radical[6] wing of the broader movement for Dalit interests.[7] He is also the author of a great number of pamphlets and books, mainly published by his own organisation.

Positions and Dalit Voice[edit]

Main article: Dalit Voice

Started in 1981, Dalit Voice is a periodical launched by Rajshekhar. Under Rajshekhar's leadership the Dalit Voice organisation formulated an Indian variant of afrocentrism similar to that of the Nation of Islam in the USA but it is different from other magazines in many aspects. It is notable for the radical Antisemitism it preaches and also its link to Afrocentrist ideologies.[8] The book declares the Indian castes as nations within the nation of India. It argues for the strengthening of each caste.[9]

Controversy and criticism[edit]

Dalit Voice has published articles about 'Zionist conspiracies' regarding Hitler and the Third Reich.[10][11] They have also supported the Iranian regime and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust.[12]

Given his upper caste origins, many of his detractors have questioned his commitment to the Dalit cause.[13]

Passport confiscation[edit]

In 1986 Rajshekar’s passport was confiscated because of "anti-Hinduism writings outside of India". The same year, he was arrested in Bangalore under India’s Terrorism and Anti-Disruptive Activities Act. Rajshekar told Human Rights Watch that this arrest was for an editorial he had written in Dalit Voice, that another writer who republished the editorial was also arrested, and that he was eventually released with an apology.[3] Rajshekar has also been arrested under the Sedition Act and under the Indian Penal Code for creating disaffection between communities.

Personal life[edit]

Rajshekar was married to Hema Rajshekar until her death. His son Salil Shetty works for Amnesty International in London.

Books and pamphlets[edit]

  • Dalit Movement in Karnataka
  • How Marx Died In Hindu India
  • Why Godse Killed Gandhi
  • Hindu Serpent And Muslim Mongoose
  • Dialogue Of The Bhoodevatas
  • Bhoodevtavon Ki Batchit in Urdu
  • Mahatma Gandhi and Babasaheb Ambedkar: Clash of Two Values: The Verdict of History. Bangalore: Dalit Sahitya Akademy, 1989
  • Dalit: The Black Untouchables of India (foreword by Y.N. Kly). Atlanta; Ottawa: Clarity Press, c1987 (Originally published under title: Apartheid in India. Bangalore: Dalit Action Committee, 1979)
  • Apartheid in India: An International Problem, 2nd rev. ed. Publisher: Bangalore: Dalit Sahitya Akademy, 1983
  • Ambedkar and His Conversion: a critique. Bangalore: Dalit Action Committee, Karnataka, 1980
  • Judicial Terrorism
  • India As A Failed State
  • Aggression On Indian Culture
  • Development Redefined
  • Caste – A Nation within the Nation
  • India's Intellectual Desert
  • The Zionist Arthashastra (Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion)
  • Brahminism In India And Zionism In West
  • India's Muslim Problem
  • India On The Path To Islamisation
  • Dalit Voice – A New Experiment in Journalism
  • Brahminism
  • Weopons To Fight Counter Revolution
  • Riddles In Hinduism by Babasaheb Ambedkar
  • Know The Hindu Mind

Awards[edit]

  • In 2005 Rajshekar received the London Institute of South Asia (LISA) Book of the Year Award.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rawat, V. B. (2006). "Reservation Debate: A Great Opportunity To Restrengthen Dalit Bahujan Alliance". Counter Currents. Archived from the original on 15 May 2006. 
  2. ^ Dalit Voice About Us. Dalitvoice.org. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  3. ^ a b c Human Rights Watch Article. Hrw.org. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  4. ^ Discussion in his autobiography, cited in Shetty, Athradi Amrrita (January 2006). "Architect of revolutionary thoughts". Dalit Voice. Archived from the original on 4 January 2009. 
  5. ^ Dalit Voice Website listing Rajshekhar as the founder
  6. ^ Sikand, Yoginder (2004). Islam, Caste and Dalit-Muslim Relations in India. Global Media Publications, New Delhi Pg. 98.
  7. ^ Poliakov, Léon (1994). Histoire de l’antisémitisme 1945–93 (P.395). Paris. 
  8. ^ African Studies Review, Vol. 43, No. 1, Special Issue on the Diaspora (Apr., 2000), pp. 189–201 online
  9. ^ Interview by Yoginder Singh Sikand
  10. ^ dalitvoice.org. dalitvoice.org. Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  11. ^ Dalitvoice article at the Wayback Machine (archived September 28, 2007) See "Abuse of History" Hitler not worst villain of 20th century as painted by "Zionists"
  12. ^ Defeat in Iraq & fall of Bush: India warned to quickly adjust to big changes in West Dalit Voice Article
  13. ^ Dalit Voice Vol 24, No. 15 see "'Socialist Brahmin' calls DV casteist" and "Editor answerable only to DV family, not prostitutes of vaidiks". Dalitvoice.org (2005-06-16). Retrieved on 2011-07-07.
  14. ^ "Award for book on Dalits". The Hindu. 8 October 2012. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013.