Published

‘Culture of Downloading’ in Khandesh region and the Story of Transfer of Media – An Auto-Ethnographic Study.

Author:   Shiva Thorat
Publication Date:  2016
Journal:  SARAI, Centre For the Study of Developing Societies
Abstract:  

In this auto-ethnographic study, I am a data source, along with other ‘downloading workers’. I have already contacted a few of them. I will be looking at five places: Khandesh-Shirpur which is a tehsil in Dhule district, Dhule, the headquarter, Boradi – a village, Jalgaon town Jalgaon district, and Malegaon in Nashik district. Of these, Malegaon came into focus for various reasons including Malegaon Ka Chintu (2010) a Television serial and Supermen of Malegaon (2009), a documentary. I have selected these places because of the diversity they present vis-a-vis the ‘downloading culture’. All these places have a variety of communities, religions, castes and creed that have their own choices for ‘downloading or transferring the media’.


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The Limits of Jugaad: Innovating and Occupational Identity in Khandeshi Cinema.

Author:   Shiva Thorat
Publication Date:  2016
Journal: SubVersions Volume 4. Issue 1.
Abstract:  

I argue that there is more to Jugaad than ‘solving and fixing a problem’. Within the framework of a historiography of Khandeshi cinema, problems have inspired innovative responses even as new ways to hack the system emerged. The problem in this case is caste and its attendant set of issues. In spite of the innovations brought to Khandeshi cinema by the ex-untouchable castes, the caste practices and the caste status of these communities persists, begging the question. The innovative potential of Jugaad and its social relevance given that the (power) structure and the social relations of the society are perpetuated by people’s occupations, is put to test. The innovators of Khandeshi cinema played important roles on and off screen. Dalit-Bahujans have been producing the ‘screen’ with the dint of their skills and innovations. That a Khandeshi cinema exists as an enterprise and a culture is due to them. Yet, their innovative and creative abilities have been negated. Ilaiah’s (2004) idea of ‘spiritual fascism’ rings true, with the elite occluding the power that the innovators produced for the cultural enterprise called Khandeshi Cinema.


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The ‘Screen’ of Khandeshi Cinema.

Author:   Shiva Thorat
Publication Date:  2015
Journal: SubVersions Volume 3. Issue 1.
Abstract:  

The screen can be understood as the metaphorical plane that in turn generates the physical plane through the ‘will’ of a subaltern collective. Onto the physical plane are projected the desires and differences of the collective. This can be argued in the case of Khandeshi cinema whose subaltern character lies in its struggle to constitute a ‘screen’. This struggle stretches from the political economy of its location, the status of the language it uses, to the history of its form. What began as a series of music videos in the Ahirani/Khandeshi has now attained self-awareness of its function as cinema. It can boast of the constitution of ‘Deewane’ interested in this cinema in spite of the perception that the cinema in question is unconventional. In spite of a territorial character, this phenomenon gathered enough attention in a decade that it has attracted the attention of the entertainment industry forcing it to respond to such an emergence. This paper based on textual analysis of prominent films and interviews of the people involved in this cinema, seeks to understand the process of the production of the ‘screen’ through the perceptions of its producers as well as its patrons while examining therein the equations of gender, class and caste.


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Jugaad and Tactics

Author:   Shiva Thorat, Amit Rai, Anisha Saigal
Publication Date:  2015
Journal: Society and Space
Abstract:  

The social practice of everyday hacking, digital and mobile workarounds, information piracy, illegal copying and sharing—in a word, jugaad culture—is an increasing feature of post-liberalization India. But it has a history that must be understood as always involving repeatedly forgotten experiments in techno-perceptual assemblages. This history is marked by regimes of surplus accumulation that over time have effected a seemingly permanent separation of the body from what it can do. Our research into jugaad returns to this question of affect by situating social practices that remain untimely to the regimes of neoliberal development, enforced austerity and perpetual debt.


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खान्देश, सिनेमा आणि खान्देशी सिनेमा – एक दृष्टीकोन

Author:   Shiva Thorat
Publication Date:  2014
Journal: Abhivyakti, Media for Development. Page no. 94 to 98
Abstract:  

संभाजी भगत म्हणतात कि ‘अकलेचे तारे तोडणारे साहित्य हे कधीच वस्तुस्थिती दाखवणार नाही, आणि जे कुणी वस्तुस्थिती दाखवील ते बंडखोर ठरविले जातील.’ महाराष्ट्राचे साहित्य ही एका विशिष्ट वर्गाची मक्तेदारी बनून राहिली आणि त्याचेच reflection म्हणजे आत्ताचा सिनेमा त्यात काही चित्रपट-सिनेमे अपवाद आहेत. जे वस्तुस्थिती दाखवतात पण तेही बोटांवर मोजण्याइतपत. असो, तर सिनेमा, सिनेमास फिल्म, मुव्ही, पिक्चर, चित्रपट आणि असे भरपूर नावं देण्यात आलेली आहेत. जागतिक सिनेमा हा नुसता आस्वाद घेण्यापुरता मर्यादित नसून तो समाजाची कल्पना, गांभीर्य आणि वस्तुस्थितीशी निगडीत आहे. सिनेमा हा चांगला की वाईट हे ठरवणं खूप subjective झालं आहे. ज्या प्रकारे साहित्य आणि कला नेहमीच गांभीर्याने घेतली जाते. त्याचप्रकारे सिनेमालाही घेतले जाते. सिनेमा चांगला कि वाईट याबाबतीत नेहमी संभ्रम राहिला आहे. खासकरून mainstream सिनेमा बाबतीत. प्रादेशिक सिनेमा हा खालच्या दर्जाचा मानला जातो. खासकरून ते सिनेमे जे लोकांची, समाजाची, व्यवस्थेची उघडी-नागडी रूपे दाखवतात..


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Dalit Aesthetics in Digital Mumbai

Author:   Shiva Thorat, Amit Rai, Rachna Ramesh Kumar
Publication Date:  2019
Book: Orient Blackswan
Abstract:  

How do Dalit politics and culture engage with the digital practices? This paper presents different answers to this question. We have attempted a neat synthesis of these differences but the conversation is ongoing, it is in process. In what follows, two different conceptions of politics, and a practice of problem posing are articulated and schematically presented. No synthesis has been attempted as yet, as it would do violence to the process at this point. This lack of synthesis bears some relation to what Shiva Thorat and Rachna Kumar have articulated as the ‘mixed’ nature of Indian Dalit politics: mixed modernities, mixed technologies, mixed subjectivities, mixed politics. We are thus avoiding answering the question what is Dalit politics, by posing an epistemological and ontological question of the digital forms of Dalit practice. We also signpost here at the outset that these mixed, non-synthesized formations are attempting to find a resonation, rather than pre-given unity through experimental practices.


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The unsure stage of Indian democracy…

Author:   Shiva Thorat
Publication Date:  2019
Book: Orient Blackswan
Abstract:  

The current regime is advocating the dream of Ram Rajya by trying to cover it with a false layer of liberalness, but at the same time imposing the core philosophy of Hindutva or Hinduism that has its roots in Manusmriti. Look at the people in the government, cinema industry, real estate, big factories, and companies working with big data and digital algorithms, multi-billionaires like Ambani; how are all these people for the Ram Rajya? We the people of India might not necessarily listen to these people, but we need to understand the crux of the matter. What disturbs me about the case of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) is the sentimentality of its supporters towards this aspiration of Ram Rajya. Several of these people are prominent cosmopolitan figures who have routinely supported the RSS and paid tributes to the domestic Indian Hindu culture. I am anxious because I can see how the future is likely to be affected. People protesting against CAA/NRC are bringing Gandhi together with Babasaheb, but I remember what Babasaheb said to Gandhi during their debates on Poona Pact when Gandhi expressed his concern about Akhand Bharat and Ram Rajya; Babasaheb simply told him, “I have no homeland”.


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Lalu Yadav and his lone fight against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)

Author:   Shiva Thorat
Publication Date:  May 15, 2020
Book: Orient Blackswan
Abstract:  

The recently exposed Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud involving Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi who are at large and facing zero consequences of stealing Rs. 13,500 crores from taxpayers of this country: it has been clear who supports Nirav Modi and his scam that started in 2009, just after the UPA government of Dr Manmohan Singh began. Vijay Mallya of Kingfisher is another example. The 2G spectrum scam (in which A. Raja has been acquitted because the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) “failed” to produce evidence) is yet another. When compared, these scams cost the regular taxpayer a lot more than the Fodder Scam. The scams in procurement Defence weapons and vehicles put the country in a much more vulnerable position. Yet it is very rare to see the people behind theseb scams get sentenced. If we scrutinise and study scams both national parties–BJP and Congress–are (upper-caste) brothers-in-arms.


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ये बम्बई है, मालूम…

Author:   Shiva Thorat
Publication Date:  Dec 15, 2019
Book: Orient Blackswan
Abstract:  

कामासाठी गावाकडून मुंबईत आलेल्या सर्वानांच नोकऱ्या पाहिजे होत्या. शिक्षणाचं प्रमाण कमी. कार्यकुशलता नाही. भांडवल नाही म्हणून BMC ची कचरा उचलणे, गोळा करणे, फेकणे, गटारीत उतरणे, गटारींना साफ करणे, संडास साफ करणे, मुळदे उचलणे-फेकणे अशी कामे पदरात पाडून घेतलीत. म्हणजेच मनुस्मृतीने आणि वर्णाश्रमाने गांडीला बांधून दिलेला झाडू आणि तोंडाचे मडके गेले पण कामं तीच राहिली. या खालोखालच वॉचमन, गार्ड, हेल्पर कंत्राटावर किंवा रोजंदारीवर काम करीत दलित समाज जिवंत आहे. काही लोक डॉक्टर, इंजिनिअर, वकील किंवा एखाद्या कंपनीत मोठ्या हुद्द्यावर काम करणारा म्हणजेच पुढारलेला मनाला जातो किंवा जाते. कचऱ्यामधून प्लास्टिक कागद, भंगार गोळा करून गुजराण करणाऱ्याला पोरी भेटणे कधीच अवघड गेलं नाही. ज्यांचे नवरे कामाला नाहीत अशा बायका धुणीभांडी, भाजी-मच्ची विक्री आणि आता आता ऑफिस ची कामे थोड्या फार फारकत करतात. १९६०-६५ ला पहिली पिढी आली. आता त्या पिढीची नातवंडे कॉलेज ला किंवा मग कुठे तरी मॉल मध्ये, मॅकडॉनल्ड्स मध्ये, ऍमेझॉन, फ्लिपकार्ट किंवा मग इतर छोट्या-मोठ्या प्रकारची कामे करतांना दिसतात. घरच्या गरिबीला न हरता तिसऱ्या पिढीतील काही टक्के जनता ही पॉलिटिक्स कडे ही वळली आहेत. काही नशेत बेकार झालीत तर काही राजकीय दृष्ट्या सजग झाली आहेत. या वस्त्या त्या अर्थाने डोळे उघळूनच आहे. पिचलेला दलित समाज आणि त्याची परिस्थिती अशी का झाली आहे याच उत्तर त्याच्याकडे नाहीये. त्याच्याचमुळे त्याचा एकटा चालो रे चा आवाज त्याला गिळंकृत करत असतो. त्याच्या खटपटीला एक दिवशी स्पॉट स्फोट होतो. कधी काय तर कधी कोण त्याचं लक्ष्य बनत असतो. बाबासाहेबांच्या पुतळ्याची विटंबना, अत्याचाराची बातमी किंवा मग काही ही कारण त्याला मुंबई बंद पडायला भरपूर असत. ३ जानेवारी २०१८ रोजी मुंबई बंद आणि महाराष्ट्रभर धर पकड हे त्यांचं फलित होतं.


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Striker: Four pockets, 18 coins, 1 queen and 2 strikers

Author:   Shiva Thorat
Publication Date:  November 23, 2019
Book: Orient Blackswan
Abstract:  

When an employment agency robs Surya and others, the agents hold Jaleel responsible. When Surya’s bag gets stolen, the thief is Jaleel. Chandra (Anup Soni) — Surya’s brother is beaten up by Jaleel at a busy intersection. Surya’s mother (Seema Biswas) who is a proud housewife of a Marathi family is humiliated by Jaleel in front of the entire Malwani community. Surya’s sister Rajani (Usha Jadhav) is also harassed by Jaleel.


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