Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Lama Rangdrol on Buddhism, African Americans and Dalits: In Conversation with Re-Markings

‘Bridges between Oppressed People’:

A Conversation with Lama Rangdrol
Nibir K. Ghosh
Lama Rangdrol, born a Negro in American Jim Crow, is today founder of Rainbowdharma, an international Buddhist collective. His pioneering book, Black Buddha, is a classic in American Buddhism. His Cambodia pilgrimage film, Festival Cancelled Due to Heavy Rain, was honored for filmmaking excellence (HIFF). He is a career counselor with a degree in music and advanced certificate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (London). His teacher Khempo Yurmed Tinly, was abbot of Zilnon Kagyeling Monastery (Dharamsala). He is the first African American to travel and teach Buddhism in Europe, lecture on the Sri Vijayan Empire, travel throughout Maharashtra, and lecture at Columbia University’s 125th Ambedkar celebration. In this conver-sation, Lama Rangdrol dwells at length on his firsthand experience and perception of African Americans in the U.S. and the Dalits in India.

Ghosh: On his return to India after his educational trip to U.S.A., Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had inspired and encouraged several Dalit scholars to go to the U.S.A. to study African American literature and to interact with activists in the field. How were you first drawn to Dr. Ambedkar?

Rangdrol: I am not, nor have I ever been an activist per se. Instead, I became aware of Dr. Ambedkar after realizing the shortcomings of Western psychiatry. Occidentalism has an inherent inability to heal the human condition, especially those who are multi-generational descendents of Occidental conquest. I came to this conclusion after a quarter century of work (1973-2000) in psychiatric nursing and counseling. Over the decades I found the Western model to be resistant. Its approaches disallowed an assertion of humanism that challenged Western exclusionism. There was no room for so-called “Alternative” approaches such as African religions, indigenous Shamanism, or Ambedkar’s Buddhist model of individuated liberation.

Many of the hundreds of cases I worked, especially those involving people of color, hit the “Occidental Wall.” The “Wall,” in a capitalist society, begins and ends with financial coverage for treatment. If an approach is not covered by insurance it may as well never have existed in human history. Then as now, the Western system lacks the ability to lead an African American to the study of Ambedkar as a form healing the vestige of multigenerational racial oppression. It chooses to differentiate the generalized Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) from the Afrocentric specific Posttraumatic Slave Syndrome. The latter inferring Occidentalism is a perpetuating factor of past and present psychosocial injury. To the Occidental system, a lifetime of being Black in America is not a contributing factor to stress-sensitive illness such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimers, liver & kidney disease, mental disease and so on. In fact, to assert the contrary can be the cause of professional disrepute and employment termination. Consequently, even the most privileged well-resourced African American in need of relief meets resistance.

Ghosh: What ways did you visualize to counter this kind of resistance?

Rangdrol: Over the decades it became clear the Occidental model had to be transcended. The matter, for me, was one of integrity at a deeply personal level. I thought about the psycho-spiritual escape velocity necessary to exit Occidentalism itself. A revolutionary contemplation for those who’ve spent centuries isolated in Occidentalism due to generations of slavery and Jim Crow and an Abrahamic biased Civil Rights era. Then as now, there remains no Western Ambedkarism approach related to alleviating slavery’s lingering in the African American mind. In fact mere discussion of African America’s “vestige of slavery” among Western psychology proponents can evoke rousing debate among Occidentalists. They resist the notion. By resisting they perpetuate avoidance of Occidental accountability for its legacy of heinous acts against humanity.

In response to the controversy I left the profession. I began a deeper search. One that was capable of healing me and my people. Buddhism stood out among many. I investigated it. After 2 years of forest retreat and three years of supervised practice in Oakland California’s African American community, an African American Buddhist colleague sent me a copy of an Ambedkar speech. I don’t recall the title. The writing piqued my interest. On first read it was obvious Ambedkar’s writing was a master plan for Dalit psycho-spiritual liberation from the internal onus of Untouchability. What was seemingly unconquerable in the Dalit mind was put asunder one didactic sentence after another. Ambedkar’s brilliance leapt from the pages like a blazing light. After recovering from his stunning rebuke of Untouchability, I immediately engaged my word processor’s “Find/Replace” function. I substituted “African American” for “Dalit”, “Occidental” for “Hindu”, “slavery” for Untouchability, and so on. The result was both liberating and suffocating. The processor translated Ambedkar’s passion for Dalit liberation into an awkward yet tantalizing discourse on African American liberation from the ill effects of Occidentalism. The fatal flaw of so-called “Western Buddhism,” “Engaged Buddhism,” and all of their Occidentalist variations were laid bare. The unadulterated linguistic reframe of Ambedkar revealed vestige of Occidentalism in the African American mind that was synonymous to Hindu Untouchability’s vestige in the Dalit mind. Ambedkar’s model ridded sovereignty of Untouchability in the Dalit mind. Hence, ending the sovereignty of Western Eurocentrism in the African American was logical. 

I felt choked. It was clear such writing was blasphemous to Western Buddhism’s full-on effort to define migration of Buddhism to the West as Eurocentric dominant. From their point of view, liberating the African American mind from Occidentalism is anathema and reprobate to the Western world’s notion of Occidental supremacy. Though Ambedkar had made this Dalit-Negro connection early on, its truth was beyond Negroes immersed in the Jim Crow era to fully appreciate, let alone act upon. Nor does it fit today’s Western model of Buddhism’s migration to America by Eurocentrists.

Despite the perennial defense of Occidentalism in Western Buddhist thought, the thrilling truth is African America’s map to the “Ambedkar Underground Railroad” has been found. The Black Mind can finally encounter the sensibility of Ambedkarism through readily available technology. This revelation is conspicuous to anyone that directly reframes Ambedkar into the African American idiom. Discovering this was my consummate “Aha!” one that defined Babasaheb’s contribution to African America’s emancipation from the psycho-spiritual and cultural vestige of Eurocentric conquest.

Ghosh: You consider yourself a student of Ambedkarism. What aspects of the life and teachings of Dr. Ambedkar impressed you most? What led you to undertake a 1,000 mile journey teaching and traveling throughout Maharashtra?

Rangdrol: Occidentalism has defined Buddhist meditation on behalf of its own interests. I’ve abandoned the need to find Ambedkarite intersection with them. My approach is very different from Western Occidental Buddhist converts. Their effort is to selectively absorb Ambedkar into newfound Western Buddhist traditions. However, at best, the relevance they find in Ambedkar leads African American Buddhist practitioners to a dead end.

Ghosh: In what way?

Rangdrol: African American practitioners seek Buddhist liberation that includes relief from the trauma of living among descendents of their enslavers. This is true even among the Occidentalist sponsored “Buddhist of Color” movement affiliated with Western Buddhist organizations. The epitome of African American practice, in particular, includes de-fanging the Western world’s vestige of racial dominance in their minds. Ambedkar’s respite for the African American meditator in no way perpetuates servility to discriminatory and oppressive forces born in Untouchability or the American slave experience. Any medi-tative practice to the contrary is a dead end for emancipator relevance of Buddha’s teachings in the African American mind.

Ambedkar’s Buddhism in the West is not and will never be one of patronizing Occidentalism in the African American mind. It doesn’t have to. Favoring Eurocentrism over African American awakening is antithetical to Ambedkarism, particularly in light of his well-documented championing of the American Negro interest. My work has been one of defining Ambedkarism transcendent of Occidental superiority in America. I study Ambedkar from the standpoint of his inclusiveness in the most humanistic way. He was born a Hindu. But he worked on behalf of all Indians subjugated by Casteism. The term “Dalit” is defined as any Indian subject to hegemonic oppression based on caste. His definition of Casteism included oppressive caste forces among Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, tribals, and so on. “Dalit” is therefore an inclusive term. When he outlawed Casteism in the Indian constitution it was an admonishment of hegemonic caste dehumanization regardless of religious or secular justification. Occidentalism is therefore more akin to Caste by virtue of its analogous interest in perpetuating hegemonic oppression of disparate groups. Both Occidental and Indic hegemonies lack intersection with liberating oppressed people from their respective hegemonic oppression.

Ghosh: What common traits did you notice between “Ambedkar’s caste critique” and the African American viewpoint?

Rangdrol: Ambedkar’s liberative writings are applicable to African America’s quest for equality and justice under the law. The breadth of his intent is the most impressive aspect of Ambedkar’s writing. He laid down comparative analysis on Untouchability and American slavery. The American Negro was included definitively. In my view this demonstrated intent to reach beyond Indic and Eurocentric applicability. Ambedkar’s discussion of Untouchable/Negro symbiosis proved his concern was for the inclusive liberation of humankind. As victims of dogged oppression, Dalits and African Americans must reckon the mutuality of their struggle. Ambedkar suggests working together is the means to shirk the cloak of hegemonic oppression on both continents. Indic and Western civilization remain absolutely in control of information concerning the condition of their oppressed masses. The only true source of discourse is face to face among the oppressed. Considering the distance between us, one quickly realizes the role finances play as a tool of oppression. Poor masses of the world do not have financial means to meet. Consequently, when the opportunity arose to visit the Dalit world I took it.

During my journey I met as many Dalits as possible. I travelled throughout Mumbai, from the height of Dalit society to slum neighborhoods noxious with burning heaps of trash. After Mumbai, I travelled by car, bus, motorized rickshaw, train, plane, and on foot. I also spent time meditating in ancient Buddhist caves such as Ajanta, Ellora, and lesser known holy places. In addition to visiting ancient auspicious places I visited museums that displayed Ambedkar’s personal artifacts, and of course Deekshabhoomi where his ashes are interred. Along the way I taught about Buddhism and African Americans in open air Dalit community settings, homes, Buddhist centers, and slum viharas. The experience moved me greatly. It was the only way to meet the living legacy of Ambedkar face to face. Throughout the journey I felt I’d escaped Occidental hegemony to visit a renowned community who understood what escaping hegemony means. It was the most liberating experience of my life.

Ghosh: During your travel through Maharashtra, did you notice discrimination on Caste lines to be a reality even in the contemporary context of “India Rising”?

Rangdrol: Not only did I witness discrimination in the present sense of day to day life, I met the legacy of Untouchability face to face. By legacy I mean the elders, women and children whose stories were written in their affect as human beings. This was particularly true in the slums. My career experiences with long-term incarcerated individuals in American mental institutions were incomparable to the severity I witnessed among the most downtrodden of Dalit India. The human condition of India’s Dalit slums were even worse than the poverty I encountered during my travels in Cambodia where American president Nixon had vowed to bomb back to the Stone Age. In India for example, the question of barbarity toward Dalit women was not whether it occurred, but how persistently horrific its extent was. The sunken-eyed shuffled walk of a speechless elderly Dalit woman was so resonant with barbaric victimization, it defied need for discussion. African American Buddhists need to appreciate that Zombie-like life exists in Dalit India.  Not from exotic neurologic flesh-eating diseases. Rather, from inconceivable brutality meted out by lawless individuals who enjoy the protections of Caste privilege. If not for resilience of the Dalit community I fathom no individual could survive Untouchability’s several thousand year crush of humanity to dust.

The safety of Dalit slum life is welcomed relief compared to the vulnerability of life in rural India. This is similar to relief American slave’s sought by huddling around Christianity and seeking sanctuary in plantation life rather than risking violent retribution for affiliating with African culture or trying to escape from slavery altogether. Dalit migration to the sanctuary of slums correlates to the metaphoric reason Harriet Beecher Stowe’s character became “Tom” living peacefully in plantation life.

Whether one accepts the comparison of American slave conditions to Dalit slum living or not, a unique distinction stands out in the Dalit Buddhist slum experience. On the skewed door of many a plywood-walled tin-roofed hovel the blue Dharma wheel persisted. It was a symbol of hope, of connectedness to the aspirations of Ambedkar. It was there among the broken rock-shard paths cackled by chickens, feral dogs and goats that I met Ambedkar’s Buddha. In fact, it is the only time I experienced levels of devotion that transcend the onus of humanity’s worse degradation. This is not to say progress hasn’t been made. It is simply fair to point out such progress has occurred against the odds in the face of dehumanizing resistance. As such I think the presence of Ambedkar in India’s slums epitomizes our world’s indomitable yearn for human salvation in the face of unthinkable duress.

Ghosh: What insights did you gain from such interactions with reality of Dalit life?

Rangdrol: What I learned from this journey was the sincerity of Ambedkar’s aspiration to uplift the human condition. His call for human dignity was so significant that today’s “India Rising” cannot be realized without including his aspirations. The great struggle being waged by Casteists and Occidental forces to appropriate Ambedkar’s legacy is based in this. They cannot claim to have achieved democracy, equality and liberty without him. It’s also clear, having met the Dalit world personally, that no hegemonic force on earth is powerful enough to claim uplift while dismissing Ambedkar’s contributions.

Ghosh: The activist model provided by the Black Panther movement inspired the creation of the Dalit Panther movement in Maharashtra, India.  What were the salient features of the Black Panther movement?

Rangdrol: I was born during America’s Jim Crow era. My teenage years were spent during the time the Black Panther Movement came to prominence. I saw Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Angela Davis, Malcolm X and all other activist icons of the era speak on television as it happened. They along with others such as King, JFK, etc. inspired me. It’s fair to say, at the time, the Panthers were a small part of a larger less-credited grassroots movement. Television shows such as Soul Train, Alex Haley’s Roots, R&B music’s Soul impresario James Brown’s “I’m black and I’m Proud,” writers such as James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka) and so on were part of an African American political, artistic and sociological full court press. Sports figures such as Jim Brown and Muhammad Ali were also inseparable from what author James Baldwin described as a societal wide “slave revolt.” The Panther’s activist model has gained notoriety over time but their role was a cog in a much greater wheel of mass activism. The scale of activism was in fact so massive it garnered vehement obstruction by America’s most powerful surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting and disrupting domestic political organization  Cointelpro (COunter INTELligence PROgram).

In context, the Panther Movement was concentric with Black America’s attempt to set limits on racially justified harm to Black America. Limits were established as an expression of self-determination, survival and  self-directed uplift. During the era, the Panthers’ contribution inspired my generation to create our own identity. They made identifying with Blackness popular, if not revolutionary.

The Panther’s interpretation of Black identity was very different than those presented in our school’s history books. Like India’s protection of upper caste children’s shame, dominant culture America’s rendition of history was presented in a way not to shame its dominant culture children. My 2016 testimony before the California Department of Education spoke to the issue of dominant culture protectionism that leaves minority children to discover the truth of Eurocentrism and Occidentalism outside the secondary educational system. India’s dominant culture attempt to soft pedal Casteism in American textbooks was subsequently defeated. A generation of students was saved from what for African Americans had been little more than a primer for later encountering the reasoning of Woodson’s 1933, “Mis-Education of the Negro.” Panther’s promotion of Mao’s Red Book was revolutionary in its time. But it lacked the deeper discourse on African Americana by  Woodson, Dubois, Frederick Douglas, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes and so on. In context, the Panther’s were propagandists. They understood the shock value of heightened rhetoric, public stunts, and media manipulation. Some might say they were more Edward Bernays1 than their intellectualist and artist predecessors.

African Americans in my generation were traumatized when we found out our textbooks had been soft-pedaled on the heinous severity of slavery and Jim Crow. It was as though we’d been taught America’s Grand Canyon was a modest valley, only later to find out it was an immense expanse. My testimony before the Department of Education questioned the validity of similarly traumatizing the present generation of Dalits in America. What possible reasoning, knowing the injury of my generation, could there be to soft-pedal the barbarity of Casteism to a generation of Dalit American children and their peers?

Protecting upper Caste Hindu American children from shame offered little mercy to American Dalits and barred conspicuous truth from American children on the whole. Effecting California Department of Education’s deliberation on text book language was an example of Dalit/African American commonality spoken of by Ambedkar. Racial segregation in America and India’s Casteism share common ground. The Panthers played a pivotal role in articulating oppression for both communities. Their voice resonated internationally, including Dalits’ struggle against Caste oppression. But it was Ambedkar’s writings that served as the portal through which I and perhaps many others can deepen cross-cultural mutuality.

The vestige of discrimination passed from one generation to another is the common element between segregation and Caste. The mentally-discursive story line of oppression woven into both communities from birth is consequential. African American James Baldwin adroitly asserted, “Just put me next to an African and you’ll see the difference.” By this he inferred persons of African heritage are not inherently afflicted with the vestige of inferiority to Eurocentric dominant culture. Baldwin proposed Blacks raised in the Occidental American experience are victims of a unique Occidental psycho-spiritually racialized hierarchy imposed upon them from birth to death. In other words, Blacks born into Occidentalism live in a condition analogous to Dalits born into Caste oppression and synonymous with all oppressed people born into similar conditions. The common relevance of Ambedkar’s liberative discourse is easily seen from this point of view.

Ghosh: What common elements do you find between the effects of segregation on the basis of color in America and that prompted by the Caste divide in India?

Rangdrol: Defeating discrimination in the political sense is not a remedy for the underlying psycho-emotional legacy. As long as the vestige of oppression’s injury is passed through generations, its ills live like a dormant flower bulb in the earth waiting for its next season to arise. The mind afflicted with oppression, particularly when passed to children, is the common element between the effects of segregation on the basis of color in America and that prompted by the Caste divide in India. It cannot be healed by political camaraderie with Casteists, Occidentalists, Secularists or any other legacy of brutal subjugation however earnest the ideology. This is particularly true of Marxist/Leninist (Communist) leaning Panther ideology. Ambedkar attests to this in his November 20, 1956, World Buddhist Conference speech, “No doubt the communists get quick results…. But I have no doubt about it [The Buddha’s way] as I the surest way.” Babasaheb placed Buddhist persuasion through moral teachings above Communist means of abrogating fraternity and liberty for the sake of expediency. Dalit activists that advocate the Pantherism nexus are out of context with Ambedkar’s clarity on the issue. Secondarily, Dalit American Pantherists, contrary to Ambedkar’s advisement, invite the same anti-Marxist invective to America’s Ambedkarite Movement that destroyed the American Panther organization in the first place. However consternating Ambedkar’s adherence to Buddhism may be to expediency of the Dalit cause in America, his culminating refuge in Buddhism remains inseparable from Ambedkarism’s core values.

Ghosh: Could you please elaborate?

Rangdrol: I believe Babasaheb knew the very nature of oppressed identity needed to be undone in afflicted communities. Whereas changing the mind is the most difficult endeavor a human being can partake, need for liberating from oppressive identities stands out among Dalit and African communities. The questions must be asked, “Who are we outside what has happened to our families? What is the universal approach that will liberate people of the world from carrying the iron ball of oppression as an identity? Do we, as a human experience, have the will to become more than the politic of what has happened to us?” However existential these questions may appear, I believe Ambedkar’s approach in theory and practice, including the moral teachings of Buddha he ultimately turned to, are globally significant.

Ghosh: According to you, to what extent have the numerous legislations brought about in both America and India helped curb discrimination on racial and Caste lines respectively?

Rangdrol: In my view the Constitutions of both countries are sufficient to curb discrimination respectively. Legislations derived therefrom are incidental. Each Constitution has pith language on equality, justice, fraternity, liberty, citizenry, individual human rights, and so on. The problem is enforcement, not derivative legislations. Both countries have extremists who mete out injustice whether they are in power or can levy influence on those who depend on them for political and financial relevance. By extremists I mean individuals who believe their personal, religious, financial, racial and Caste/class interests supersede constitutionality. Their goal is to perpetually circumvent constitutional principle and law. Therefore, the Upper Caste that cites ancestor worship of Vedic and Smriti as reason to circumvent constitutional law is no different than the American White Nationalist who claims supremacy of European ancestor’s Biblical principle to the same end.

The structure of legislation is persistently vulnerable by design. Its democratic principle of majority rule is subject to dismissal, undermine corruption, reversal and disavowal to say the least. History, not I, records this in fact. In America we know this from a long history of violating constitutional legislations (Treaties) with our indigenous population. Contemporary African American Scholars’ claim of a New Jim Crow era in America is another example.

Ghosh: How, in your view, did Ambedkar address this issue while framing the Indian Constitution?

Rangdrol: I believe Ambedkar became aware of this through trial and error that included authoring India’s Constitution only to see it abused and disregarded by entrenched Upper Caste extremism. Without the uphold of constitutional rule of law, legislations offered little hope of liberating the common Dalit from the intimacy of day to day dehumani-zation. His final assault on Untouchability was rebuke of Hindu ancestral worship of the Vedas and Smritis. To onlookers this appears to be religious conversion to Buddhism. However the Buddhist world knows there is more to Ambedkar’s reasoning. He added tenets of Refuge for Dalits that were in direct rebuke of Vedic religion and ritual including, “18. I shall renounce Hindusim.” His public demonstration of the ability to divest oneself of oppressive childhood conditioning was as powerful as the Refuge ceremony itself.

This is why it’s appropriate to say Ambedkar’s Buddhism is not the only religious destination for humanistic uplift. The world will never be entirely Buddhist. I think he knew that. Ambedkar’s contribution, more profoundly, was the ability to point out where the mechanism of perpetuating oppression persists. It is in the individual mind and demands to be carried forward as an identity. Therefore, Ambedkar’s solution for himself and Hindu Dalits en masse was only a model. It was something to show that the impossible was in fact possible. The work now, and for future generations, is for people of various faiths and beliefs to find Ambedkar’s model in the context of their own situation. Applying Ambedkar’s model to one’s own situation is the ultimate legislation.

Ghosh:  For over a half-century now, there is no leader worth the name who can take the place of either Malcolm X or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Would you agree that there is a severe crisis of leadership in the African American community?

Rangdrol: What we learned from King/Malcolm was movements’ vulnerability to undermine via assassination. Since then there’s been a loosely knit decentralized leadership structure. Some leaders are public. Others work in the micro-cultures of community, faith, and legislative settings. Locally based low profile leadership is a modern strategy based on survivability. No one is in a hurry to claim a dominant leadership role because of the proven history of subversion through fatality. Increase of technological surveillance has also played a role in lowering the profile of leadership. Today, all transmittable communications are subject to metadata capture. African American political activity has a history of being intensely surveilled for the purpose of political undermining. It’s smart for African American leadership survival to no longer seek mass exposure of the highly public King’s Dream speech or Malcolm’s blistering Harlem Street corner rant. The community benefits from return to low tech means, informal one to one chats, couriers and the like. Unfortunately, those outside America no longer have access to African America leadership discourse. To them, there may appear to be a void of leadership. Yet leadership of the Black vote has been instrumental in electing and re-electing America’s first Black President. Some say the first female presidential candidate was unsuccessful due in part to decrease in the Black vote. These results suggest Black leadership is influencing African American participation in a strategic and meaningful way. To say there’s a leadership crisis or that African American participation in the American democratic process is happenstance may not be accurate. African America, like all oppressed communities in the world, operates within the conditions it finds itself. Necessity dictates it must evolve. High profile oratory leadership once thought essential to the global reach of Black politic is a bygone era.

Ghosh: Dr. Ambedkar had reiterated through his own life that “people don’t sustain the struggle for life until they get educated.” If one were to go by current statistics, there are more African Americans in jails than in schools today. From the standpoint of an African American and a Buddhist, how do you think can such a dismal situation be overcome? 

Rangdrol: Faith. The future is filled with hope. President Obama, a Black president, commuted over 1,000 sentences. Some of the incarcerated African Americans had multiple life sentences without chance of parole. They now have an opportunity to make tremendous contributions to humanity. There is concern the incoming adminis-tration may undermine its predecessors legacy. The same was said about Ambedkar’s legacy following his untimely death. Yet, today we are in discussion of his most intimate thoughts. As a Buddhist, I cannot succumb to the notion of permanence. Things are imperma-nent, they change. Many in my generation never imagined an African American president possible. It happened. In my view, there is no dismal situation. There are only endlessly changing circumstances. One might recall “Detroit Red,” an ordinary incarcerated Black man. While “doing his time” he studied world culture and African history in the prison library. The fact that street thug Detroit Red emerged as Malcolm X is the kind of miraculous turn of events Buddhists believe in. Malcolm was not Buddhist. Nonetheless his metamorphosis was miraculous and inspiring. Buddhism is not a faith of pessimism and foregone conclusions. We acknowledge potential for change no matter how it manifests.

*To be continued...
·         Dr. Nibir K. Ghosh, Chief Editor, Re-Markings, is UGC Emeritus Professor in the Department of English Studies & Research at Agra College, Agra. He was Senior Fulbright Fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A. during 2003-04. His current engagement is on “Buddhist Perspectives in Contemporary African American and Dalit Writings.”

Re-Markings Vol. 16 No.2 March 2017

Copyright © Nibir K. Ghosh

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Bose: Immortal Legend of India's Freedom - New Critical Orientations Re-Markings Special Number Vol. 16 No.1 January 2017

In what turned out to be a mega-event, Professor Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History, Harvard University, USA Launched the glittering Re-Markings Special Number titled Bose: Immortal Legend of India's Freedom - New Critical Orientations at Agra on 18 March 2017. Along with him who graced the function were Dr. Arvind Dixit, Vice Chancellor, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Agra, Dr. Anil Rajan, Dr. M.C. Gupta, Prof. Abdul Shaban (Dy. Director, TISS, Mumbai),  Prof. Shankar Dutt (Sangeet Natak Academy, Patna), Prof. Asim Siddiqui, Group Captain JPS Chauhan, Omkar Sane, Dr. Dev Vrat Sharma, Mr. Debashish Chakraborty (Director, ADRDE, Agra),  Swami Sujayanand (Ram Krishna Mission, Kolkata), Prof. Muniba Sami, Prof. Sugam Anand, Prof. A. Karunaker, Dr. Sunita Rani Ghosh, Dr. Harendra Yadav, Dr. Devashish Bhattacharya, Col. Shiv Kunjru, Mr. Arun Dang, Mr. K.K. Kapoor, Mr. K.C. Srivastava, Mr. Ameer Ahmed, Mr. Dheeraj Goyal, Atul Sharma, Balesh Singhal, Mr. Harendra Dubey, Mr. Devjeet Majumdar, Shubhra Arora, Ms. Rashmi Arora, Tara Sami Dutt, Mr. S.P. Farsaiya, Mr. Sandeep Arora (Executive Editor) and Prof. Nibir K. Ghosh (Chief Editor, Re-Markings), Mr. Subir Ghosh (Secretary, Agra Club), Amit Roy, Sumita Roy, Mrs. Mala Ghosh,  among many others. As a fitting finale to the event, Prof. Sugata Bose sang "Suno re suno" in his inimitable voice and style to the standing ovation of the audience. The program came to a close with Dr. Shobhi Mathur singing "Ekla Cholo re" by Rabindranath Tagore.

For copy of the Special Bose Number contact Prof. Nibir K. Ghosh at (Website )