When public health activists get questioned about casteist practices- they dont like it

——— Forwarded message ———-
From: Ravi Narayan <chcravi@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 5:22 PM
Subject: In confidence
To: Amit sen <amit37064@yahoo.com>, Abhay Shukla <abhayshukla1@gmail.com>, “Dr.B.Ekbal Bappukunju” <drbekbal@gmail.com>, Anant Phadke <anant.phadke@gmail.com>, “Sarojini N.B” <sarojinipr@gmail.com>
Cc: Mira Shiva <mirashiva@yahoo.com>, Amitava Guha <amitava45@gmail.com>, Narendra Gupta <narendra531@rediffmail.com>, Ameer Khan <ameer@sochara.org>, Ameerkhan <vijayameer25@rediffmail.com>, S Srinivasan <chinusrinivasan.x@gmail.com>, Gopal Dabade <drdabade@gmail.com>, “Dr.B.Ekbal” <ekbalb@gmail.com>, rakhal gaitonde <rakhal.gaitonde@gmail.com>, Renu Khanna <sahajbrc@yahoo.com>, Mohan Rao <mohanrao2008@gmail.com>, sudhaaidwa@gmail.com, Thelma Narayan <thelma.narayan@gmail.com>, Thelma Narayan <thelma@sochara.org>, Joe Varghese <vakkan2000@yahoo.com>, sundar2 <sundararaman.t@gmail.com>, Prasanna Saligram <Prasanna.saligram@sochara.org>, binayak sen <sbinayak60@gmail.com>, “sunil@theant.org” <sunil@theant.org>, Chander Sj <chandersj@sochara.org>

Dear Ekbal, Amit, Abhay ,Sarojini,Anant and JSA friends,

You must have all got this letter forwarded by Vijay and written by Premdas attacking, sochara, and even jsa etc

My colleagues in SOCHARA and many JSA friends in Karnataka from several organisations – all addressed in Premdas’s letter have been subjected to an  experience of a ‘witch hunt’  by a small group of JAAK members who formed a SWG and suddenly began using the dalit card and calling many of us and our organisations brahmanical and many other similar epithets and so on in a very ‘disruptionist and excluding’ style of functioning  over a year or more.The tone of his letter is representative of this trend.
This group  controlling the SWG in JAAK, has been  rather undemocratic in its style of functioning and decision making.Gopal, the chairperson resigned a few weeks ago not able to take this style of functioning by this group of ‘hijackers’ , who have no experience of networking or of the inclusive ethos of jsa which is what brought us all together and kept us all together all these years.Many others have also resigned from SWG recently because of this matter.Abhay and others have also experienced some of these styles in recent encounters with the group.
 Chander and Prasanna – in keeping with the sochara- inclusive network  tradition tried to bring all the individuals/groups feeling excluded or attacked- together over the last few weeks to evolve some consensus towards more inclusive styles of functioning and decision making.This next meeting called by them on the 1st of Feb,mentioned in Premdas’s communication is to bring a collective message on behalf of the excluded groups to JSA meeting in Nagpur so that perhaps a group of seniors in JSA can volunteer to sort out this unexpected and painful development.  I would request you all not to respond or give credence to this communication by Vijay or Premdas,  till you have heard from the sochara reps as well .Perhaps Premdas and Vijay must also be advised not to use the JSA yahoo group for this sort of personalised attacks etc
Last year ,after I had been subject to one of these attacks personally through some similarily circulated e- mails, I had tried to suggest an informal meeting to explore these differences between people in a spirit of trust and respect. I am no longer a team member of sochara but an adviser and I had presumed that not only I have known most of the people involved in this matter but that I had some credibility built over years of social activism, inclusive networking and fairplay!!However this request was just ignored and the matter got worse involving more and more people with an arrogance and language that was totally unacceptable! Thelma also tried  to respond to all this with her usual cool and evidence based responses but to no avail.
I have already kept many of the senior JSA core group members informed about this matter which has been very painful especially since it involves sochara ex members and fellows who have experienced great support , solidarity , respect and trust over the years from all of us in sochara.. Chander and Prasanna are attending the Nagpur meeting and will share the experience of a whole lot of JAAK members of this matter.
I feel very bad to write such a communication about a group of activists from our own movement but sometimes for the sake of truth and solidarity one has to step out of ones comfort zones to take such a step. Thanks for your solidarity in advance.
Best wishes

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