The Mooknayak's Meena Kotwal Set to Take Centre Stage: Presenting on 'Dalit History and Gender Formation' at University of California

Meena Kotwal, the founder of The Mooknayak, an online media platform dedicated to addressing the concerns of Dalits, tribals, minorities, and marginalized communities, has received an invitation from the University of California, Santa Cruz, to share insights into her experiences, as well as discuss the various issues and challenges faced.
The Mooknayak's founder Meena Kotwal will speak on 'Dalit History, Gender Formation'
The Mooknayak's founder Meena Kotwal will speak on 'Dalit History, Gender Formation'

New Delhi- Meena Kotwal, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Mooknayak, has received an invitation from the University of California to address the theme 'Dalit History and Gender Formation' at an event held on the Stanford University campus.

Confirming the invitation, Meena Kotwal took to social media to thank anti-caste icons. She said, “Thanks to the efforts of iconic figures such as Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Phule, Fatima, Periyar, and Savitri Mai, a Dalit laborer’s daughter can now freely express her opinions both within the nation and globally. The legacy of Dr. Ambedkar, epitomized by The Mooknayak, empowers the marginalized and oppressed to raise their voices.”

Providing information about the program, Meena also said, “During my stay in California from April 26th to May 8th, I welcome any friends interested in meeting up or arranging a gathering to reach out via message, call, or DM.”

The discussion on 'Dalit History and Gender Formation' will be available for online streaming starting Wednesday, May 1st. The event will be facilitated by Anjali Arondekar, Professor of Feminist Studies and Founding Director of the Center for South Asian Studies at UCSC.

The discussions on Dalit History and Gender Formation are supported by the Center for South Asia at Stanford University, serving as the primary platform for South Asian studies.

The Center for South Asia (CSA) fosters academic exploration of the South Asian region, encompassing Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Within this framework, faculty and graduate students engage in diverse disciplinary research to further the understanding of South Asia.

Learn More About Meena Kotwal’s Work:

Throughout her illustrious career, Meena has garnered experience at various esteemed media organizations, including 'BBC Hindi,' where she demonstrated her journalistic prowess. Her work has been recognized by distinguished outlets such as Deutsche Welle (DWNews), a prominent German media platform.

Additionally, her contributions have been featured in prestigious publications like 'The New York Times,' 'Le Figaro,' 'Voice of America,' 'Khaleej Times,' 'Arab News,' 'Jordan News,' and many others.

In 2023, Meena Kotwal delivered speeches at the University of Michigan, Harvard, and Columbia University. Furthermore, she has been honoured with awards from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication Alumni Association (IIMCAA) for Feature Reporting, Developmental Reporting, and Investigative Reporting.

As a journalist hailing from a marginalized community in India, Kotwal's motivation to establish The Mooknayak stemmed from her personal encounters with caste-based discrimination.

Her journalistic endeavours are deeply rooted in amplifying the voices of underrepresented groups, including Dalits, backward classes, women, indigenous peoples, LGBTQ+ communities, and minorities.

Following her vocal criticism of mainstream media organizations for perpetuating caste-based biases and facing subsequent ostracization, Kotwal took the initiative to launch The Mooknayak in January 2021. This independent online media platform derives its name from the newspaper founded by Babasaheb Ambedkar in 1920, symbolizing a beacon for the marginalized—the voiceless.

A recent survey conducted by Oxfam and Newslaundry Media Institute revealed that The Mooknayak boasts the most diverse newsroom in digital media, with 54 percent of its journalists originating from Dalit and backward communities.

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