I came across an interesting discussion Group named ZESTCaste that started in September 2004. Here's how they describe themselves.
ZESTCaste is a no-holds-barred mailing list to reflect contemporary discourses on the subject, promote new thinking, and make accessible the research done on caste over decades. It is also a platform for caste activists and academics to network amongst themselves.
ZESTCaste will also give space to news reports about caste issues, as well as the academic research by scholars who hide themselves in universities.
The list begins at a time when India is debating the issue of caste-based reservations for 10 million jobs in the country's organised private industries. ZESTCaste is run under the Human Rights Initiative of SPACE or the Society for People's Action, Change and Enforcement.
More such discussion groups are needed to think about complex issues like caste and how we can deal with such issues in today's age.
While reading about ZESTCaste, I also came across another discussion group named ZESTAlternative which looks at alternative ways of being. Here's how they describe themselves.
What do Mohandas Gandhi's spectacular asceticism, Masanobu Fukuoka's natural farming, Ivan Illich's appropriate technologies, Noam Chomsky's political pacifism, Vandana Shiva's eco-feminism, Black Elk's visionary shamanism, Chinua Achebe's novels and Isaac Newton's occultism have in common? They can all be understood as attempts to provide alternatives to a reductionist, scientific world-view, one that is so dominant today that it is inconceivable that there could be alternative ways of being.
We all have misgivings about the modern age. And we have been made to believe that science, and only science, has the answer to the problems it creates. Members of ZESTAlternative hope to give voice to such misgivings by exposing each other to important critiques of the modern world, and providing alternatives to the existing systems - systems of education, medicine, technology, agriculture, language, media, art, culture, history, and, why not, even dissent.
Lets regain our diversity - start with one Alternative article every alternate day. Members respond to articles but don't initiate new discussions, because ZESTAlternative is like a study circle which spends more time listening than talking.
Kudos to the organisers of these lists.