Dhrubo Jyoti

Dhrubo works as an edit resource and writes at the intersection of caste, gender, sexuality and politics. Formerly trained in Physics, abandoned a study of the stars for the glitter of journalism. Fish out of digital water.

Articles by Dhrubo Jyoti

Two years since Covid lockdown: What migrant crisis taught us

At the time, many worried that migrant workers would carry the virus from cities to the countryside but with the exception of some districts, there was no major connection between the exodus and a spike in infection.
A group of migrant workers from Madhya Pradesh walk along NH-24 (near Nizamuddin Bridge) to Sarai Kale Khan Bus stand in New Delhi, amid the Covid-induced nationwide lockdown, on March 29, 2020. (Ajay Aggarwal/HT photo)
A group of migrant workers from Madhya Pradesh walk along NH-24 (near Nizamuddin Bridge) to Sarai Kale Khan Bus stand in New Delhi, amid the Covid-induced nationwide lockdown, on March 29, 2020. (Ajay Aggarwal/HT photo)
Updated on Mar 24, 2022 11:24 AM IST
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Review: Vimukta by Dakxin Bajrange and Henry Schwarz

This first collection of creative texts on communities that were criminalised 150 years ago by the Criminal Tribes Act includes plays, translated excerpts and autobiographical sketches. These pieces offer vignettes of the life of these communities in post-Independence India where the policing and criminal justice systems continue to discriminate against them
A suspected dacoit belonging to the denotified Phanse Pardhi tribe at Bandra police station in Mumbai in a picture dated 1 September, 2005. (Vikas Khot/HT)
A suspected dacoit belonging to the denotified Phanse Pardhi tribe at Bandra police station in Mumbai in a picture dated 1 September, 2005. (Vikas Khot/HT)
Published on Mar 04, 2022 11:24 PM IST
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Tamil Nadu amends law to punish cops for harassing LGBTQ people

Tamil Nadu has amended the legislation that governs it’s police force and inserted a clause banning any harassment of LGBTQIA + people.
“No police officer shall indulge in any act of harassment of any person belonging to the LGBTQIA + Community and the persons working for the welfare of the said community,” said the order issued by the government.
“No police officer shall indulge in any act of harassment of any person belonging to the LGBTQIA + Community and the persons working for the welfare of the said community,” said the order issued by the government.
Updated on Feb 18, 2022 05:36 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Social Justice Matters | Dalit women reporters and their lessons on merit

  • Khabar Lahariya's uncompromising quality holds lessons for the arguments around merit, which denies Dalits their rightful place in educational institutions and organisations.
A still from Writing With Fire.
A still from Writing With Fire.
Published on Feb 15, 2022 08:55 PM IST
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IIT professor moves NCBC to probe caste complaint

In July last year, Vipin P Veetil accused four professors of IIT Madras of caste bias, alleging that he was not permitted to teach an elective course in his first year of joining
In his letter to the NCBC, Veetil said he wanted the commission to hold an independent inquiry into his complaint
In his letter to the NCBC, Veetil said he wanted the commission to hold an independent inquiry into his complaint
Updated on Feb 05, 2022 07:22 AM IST
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No evidence of caste bias against faculty: IIT panel

The three-member panel, which was set up on July 2 after Vipin P Veetil accused four professors of the department of humanities and social sciences of caste-based harassment and bias, also noted that the lack of “desirable processes” may have led to misunderstandings.
Despite repeated calls and emails, the IIT didn’t comment on the issue.
Despite repeated calls and emails, the IIT didn’t comment on the issue.
Updated on Feb 04, 2022 06:39 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Social Justice Matters | What a Dalit girl’s rape trial tell us about caste

Years-long litigation is a common feature of the Indian justice system. Still, it is particularly extractive of Dalit victims and their families, who often lack the economic heft and social support to assemble a strong team
The National Crime Records Bureau reported in 2020 that the court pendency rate of cases under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act stood at 96.5%, and that at the end of that year, 177,379 cases under the special law were pending trial. Only 216 of the 50,000-odd cases of crimes against SCs resulted in a conviction that year (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The National Crime Records Bureau reported in 2020 that the court pendency rate of cases under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act stood at 96.5%, and that at the end of that year, 177,379 cases under the special law were pending trial. Only 216 of the 50,000-odd cases of crimes against SCs resulted in a conviction that year (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Jan 31, 2022 01:07 PM IST
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We knew we were onto something: Wknd talks to the directors of Writing with Fire

Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s new documentary is about a newspaper run by Dalit women in rural UP. It’s won prizes at Sundance and made the Oscars shortlist. Shadowing these women was extraordinary, but Writing with Fire was not an easy film to make, they say.
Thomas, 35, and Ghosh, 38, have been working together since film school in 2008. They set up their studio, Black Ticket Films, in 2009, and married in 2015. ‘We made the decision early to do work that resonates and never compromise on the dignity of our subjects. That’s our core ethos,’ says Thomas. (Photos courtesy Ihne Pedersen)
Thomas, 35, and Ghosh, 38, have been working together since film school in 2008. They set up their studio, Black Ticket Films, in 2009, and married in 2015. ‘We made the decision early to do work that resonates and never compromise on the dignity of our subjects. That’s our core ethos,’ says Thomas. (Photos courtesy Ihne Pedersen)
Updated on Jan 14, 2022 07:45 PM IST
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Social Justice Matters | Of caste-based discrimination in India's officialdom

  • A growing genre of scholarship and reports indicates that Dalit and marginalised groups are facing significant headwinds in government services
Over the last decade, the Centre has repeatedly told Parliament that the numbers of scheduled caste and tribe officers in the top echelons of government services are far lower than their respective population shares(File Photo)
Over the last decade, the Centre has repeatedly told Parliament that the numbers of scheduled caste and tribe officers in the top echelons of government services are far lower than their respective population shares(File Photo)
Published on Jan 08, 2022 01:19 PM IST
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Social Justice Matters | How a pride walk in Palampur is breaking stereotypes

  • The pride walk at Palampur shattered the long-held notion of LGBTQIA+ activism being centered in big metropolises
The first pride in the hill state was on December 15 in Palampur(Himachal Queer Collective)
The first pride in the hill state was on December 15 in Palampur(Himachal Queer Collective)
Published on Jan 01, 2022 05:51 PM IST
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The year ahead: Seven states in poll position

With a population over 200 million cutting across caste and communities, and 80 Lok Sabha seats and 403 assembly seats, Uttar Pradesh wields disproportionate power in the country’s politics.
The next biggest state, Maharashtra, has 48 Lok Sabha seats and 288 assembly segments. (HT Photo)
The next biggest state, Maharashtra, has 48 Lok Sabha seats and 288 assembly segments. (HT Photo)
Published on Jan 01, 2022 05:06 PM IST
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Seven states in poll position

While UP assembly elections will be the most keenly watched political event of 2022, Punjab is particularly important as it birthed a movement that effected a reversal of three farm laws.
The assembly elections this year could alter the nation’s political dynamics.         (HT Photo)
The assembly elections this year could alter the nation’s political dynamics.         (HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 01, 2022 04:46 AM IST
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A TIME OF CHURN: HEALTH CRISIS TO FARM CHAOS

2021 will be remembered for the second wave of the pandemic and the harsh lessons it held for the government, politicians and citizens. The year of the once-in-a-generation health crisis also saw a strong political fightback from regional parties, and a farm agitation that forced a retreat...
2021 will be remembered for the second wave of the pandemic and the harsh lessons it held for the government, politicians and citizens. (HT)
2021 will be remembered for the second wave of the pandemic and the harsh lessons it held for the government, politicians and citizens. (HT)
Published on Dec 31, 2021 06:22 PM IST
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122 students from central institutes died by suicide in seven years: Centre

total of 122 students from central government-run higher education institutions, including the IITs and IIMs, have died by suicide over the past seven years and roughly half of them belong to marginalised castes or tribes.
A total of 122 students from central government-run higher education institutions, including the IITs and IIMs, have died by suicide over the past seven years.
A total of 122 students from central government-run higher education institutions, including the IITs and IIMs, have died by suicide over the past seven years.
Published on Dec 21, 2021 12:26 AM IST
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Social Justice Matters | To end manual scavenging, acknowledge caste as a factor

  • 97% scheduled castes. 1% scheduled tribes. 1% other backward classes and 0.9% others. This was the breakup of the caste backgrounds of manual scavengers
Manual scavenging is one of India’s foundational blots, and there is little to say about it that’s not been written already.(HT PHOTO)
Manual scavenging is one of India’s foundational blots, and there is little to say about it that’s not been written already.(HT PHOTO)
Updated on Dec 17, 2021 09:35 PM IST
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Social Justice Matters | Why some transgender groups want horizontal reservation

While there is no question that transpersons face hurdles in accessing education, employment and health care, some community activists are questioning why the government is lumping all transpersons across caste in the OBC category
They argue that their caste and gender identities cannot be seen as separate from each other, and that the transgender communities are not casteless (Raj k Raj/Hindustan Times)
They argue that their caste and gender identities cannot be seen as separate from each other, and that the transgender communities are not casteless (Raj k Raj/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Dec 09, 2021 06:04 PM IST
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321 die cleaning sewers in 5 years: Govt to Lok Sabha

The government told Lok Sabha that there were no reports of manual scavengers being engaged in India at present
Manual scavenging is banned in India. The caste-based practice was proscribed in 1993, but activists allege it continues clandestinely and overtly. (Representation image)
Manual scavenging is banned in India. The caste-based practice was proscribed in 1993, but activists allege it continues clandestinely and overtly. (Representation image)
Updated on Dec 08, 2021 02:04 AM IST
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Social Justice Matters: What Ramachandra Manjhi tells us about caste, art

What makes his triumph more remarkable is the burden of caste he carries. Manjhi is Dalit, and Naach is an art form patronised by Dalits and lower-caste communities in the heartland
The 96-year-old man from Chapra in western Bihar had become the first artist from the Naach tradition in eastern India to be conferred the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
The 96-year-old man from Chapra in western Bihar had become the first artist from the Naach tradition in eastern India to be conferred the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 24, 2021 02:16 PM IST
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Social Justice Matters | On gender, the conservative backlash hits classrooms

The NCERT pulled down a teachers’ training manual on integration of transgender or gender non-conforming students in schools from its website
The NCERT module, which was put together after months of discussion and research, had lofty aims (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)
The NCERT module, which was put together after months of discussion and research, had lofty aims (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 11, 2021 02:49 PM IST
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Social Justice Matters | Is the electoral system in India unjust to Dalits?

Indian elections are a remarkable feat for a new democracy. Yet, the country’s marginalised castes continue to get a raw deal when it comes to their representation, and the system of reserved constituencies is flawed at best
One of the most important consequences of the universal adult franchise was the addition of millions of voters from marginalised castes who likely got added to the electoral rolls (AFP)
One of the most important consequences of the universal adult franchise was the addition of millions of voters from marginalised castes who likely got added to the electoral rolls (AFP)
Updated on Nov 04, 2021 02:34 PM IST
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How ‘caste bias’ in Bikaner college snuffed out a family’s hope

“He is gone,” she whispers – pointing towards the kitchen where she would make bathua and besan barfis every time her son, 20-year-old Pradeep Meghwal, came home from his college in Bikaner. “It was his favourite,” she says. “And I will never make it for him again.”
Pradeep Meghwal’s family showing his certificates.( HT photo)
Pradeep Meghwal’s family showing his certificates.( HT photo)
Updated on Nov 03, 2021 01:01 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, Bikaner

A lifetime of nation building

  • The legacy of Sukumar Sen, the architect of the modern Indian election, goes far beyond party symbols, indelible ink, and ballot boxes.
CEC Sukumar Sen (left) and PS Subramanian, secretary to the commission, examine ballot boxes in October 1951. PIB Photo Division
CEC Sukumar Sen (left) and PS Subramanian, secretary to the commission, examine ballot boxes in October 1951. PIB Photo Division
Updated on Oct 29, 2021 05:26 PM IST
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Social Justice Matters | India must have a caste census

For seven decades, India has made policies that are either caste-blind or aimed at helping marginalised castes, but without any hard data on the numbers of castes other than Dalits. This lack of data on the relative strengths of castes has now fuelled the demand for a caste census
The implications of a full caste census are manifold. It will give us more accurate data on the strengths of communities and help in policymaking (Sambit Saha/HT Archive)
The implications of a full caste census are manifold. It will give us more accurate data on the strengths of communities and help in policymaking (Sambit Saha/HT Archive)
Updated on Oct 27, 2021 12:49 PM IST
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India’s first voter readies for a new challenge

  • Negi holds the unique record of being independent India’s first voter and has exercised his franchise in the last 70 years in every local, state and national election
As the summer of 1951 dawned on the newly independent country, India’s first election commissioner, Sukumar Sen, was worried.
As the summer of 1951 dawned on the newly independent country, India’s first election commissioner, Sukumar Sen, was worried.
Updated on Oct 25, 2021 03:12 PM IST
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By, , Kinnaur/shimla

A classroom and a nursery of new democracy

The village of Kalpa, then called Chini, went to the polls months ahead of the rest of the country because the remote village with roughly 60 families would get cut off by snowfall in early November.
Shyam Saran Negi, 102, independent India’s first voter who has participated in all elections since 1951.(Reuters)
Shyam Saran Negi, 102, independent India’s first voter who has participated in all elections since 1951.(Reuters)
Updated on Oct 25, 2021 04:29 AM IST
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ByDhrubo Jyoti and Gaurav Bisht, Kinnaur/shimla

Caste and EWS quota: The political calm, the legal storm and what we don’t know

Two years on, a series of legal moves have led to renewed churn about EWS quotas – their utility and rationale
India’s Constitution was amended for the 103rd time to implement EWS quotas. It’s high time we get some clarity about this important move (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
India’s Constitution was amended for the 103rd time to implement EWS quotas. It’s high time we get some clarity about this important move (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 19, 2021 01:35 PM IST
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Amend discriminatory info on LGBTQIA+: NMC to institutes

The advisory referred to a Madras high court judgment last month that said “queerphobia” – prejudicial and abusive attitudes and behavior towards the community – was rampant in medical education.
In an advisory, the National Medical Commission (NMC) said various medical textbooks, especially those in forensic medicine, toxicology and psychiatry contain unscientific and derogatory remarks against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual people. (HT PHOTO)
In an advisory, the National Medical Commission (NMC) said various medical textbooks, especially those in forensic medicine, toxicology and psychiatry contain unscientific and derogatory remarks against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual people. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 14, 2021 12:35 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

College teacher sentenced to life imprisonment for minor girl’s rape in Raj

The victim, the daughter of a primary school teacher in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, was found dead inside a water tank on the roof of her college in 2016.
A local court in Rajasthan sentenced a college teacher to life imprisonment for raping a Dalit minor girl in 2016. (Representational image)
A local court in Rajasthan sentenced a college teacher to life imprisonment for raping a Dalit minor girl in 2016. (Representational image)
Updated on Oct 13, 2021 06:14 AM IST
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A new deal on caste: The battle over reservations in promotions

For a nation to progress, caste is important to eradicate. But its perpetuation is also beneficial to many powerful communities
The Supreme Court is currently hearing a bunch of petitions on the policy of reservation in promotions for SC/STs in government jobs (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
The Supreme Court is currently hearing a bunch of petitions on the policy of reservation in promotions for SC/STs in government jobs (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 12, 2021 11:53 AM IST
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Three convicted in rape case that shook Rajasthan

New Delhi: A court in Rajasthan on Friday convicted three people for the rape and suicide of a Dalit girl in a college in 2016 -- a case that had sparked widespread public anger and conversations on caste discrimination and women’s safety
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Oct 09, 2021 07:58 PM IST
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Tuesday, May 17, 2022