Ganpat Rai Bheel (Author Bio)

Published: 12 March 2021| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/bnsch25c85.2
Contributor:
Ghulam Hussain

Description

Ganpat Rai Bheel (39) is an organic intellectual, a prolific essayist, columnist, translator, and an Ambedkarite activist. Bheel writes in local newspapers in Sindhi on everyday Dalit politics. He has published about 210 essays/articles in local newspapers in Sindhi and Urdu languages on the problem of caste among Dalits and Muslims, Dalit politics and activism, and actively defends the Dalit cause. He has also edited an autobiography of Mama Faizoo (Faiz Muhammad Sheedi), an Afro-Sindhi and a member of several splinter local Black and Dalit associations during his lifetime. In 2016, he also translated B.R Ambedkar’s biography from Urdu to Sindhi and published it with Pakistan Dalit Adab Forum. Some of his essays have been translated into Urdu, Hindi, and English. He also co-authored a Dalit Manifesto in 2016 for Dalit Sujaag Tehreek, a group of anti-caste activists who strived to the mainstream anti-caste narrative. In addition to that, he also issues a magazine Pakistan Dalit Adab, a quarterly newsletter from the platform of Pakistan Dalit Adab Forum and Scheduled Caste Federation of Pakistan (SCFP). He published and edited Dalit Adab consistently from 2007 to 2018. Owing to financial constraints, Bheel could not have published Dalit Adab, and SCFP is also now almost a dormant organization. Nonetheless, he continues to influence local Dalit activism through his essays in newspapers, and social media blogging. He has also edited and published other Dalit organization’s literature such as Kolvansh, a newsletter of Pakistani Kolhi Itehad, and the newsletters of Bheel Intellectual Forum (BIF); the local caste-based associations of Dalits. Presently, Ganpat Rai Bheel is translating the works of B.R. Ambedkar, and writing a book on ‘Being Dalit in Pakistan’ in which he mounts the critique of Sindhi nationalist politics from the Ambedkarian perspective. In his writings, Ganpat Rai draws parallels between Sindhi nationalism and Hindu nationalism and shows how the empirically existing problem of caste is buried under Ashrafiya-Savarna hegemonic ideology. No wonder, Bheel’s essays have been neglected by the dominant intellectual lobbies, and his perspective on Sindhi nationalist politics has been derided as archaic, and destructive of Sindhi national whole. The writing and publication of this book will be a great booster for local Dalit activism to negotiate issues of political representation with conviction and certitude.

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Anthropology, Narrative Discourse, Biography

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