NOTICE

We regret to inform you that activities of CCRSS have been disrupted in July 2013, following the dismissal of two members of the research team: Asha Ogale and Lata Bhore. Both women had been assigned tasks on project “Grindmill songs in rural Maharashtra” by the Managing Committee of the Centre for Cooperative Research in Social Sciences (CCRSS) at its 22 Sept. 2009 meeting, which the late Hema Rairkar and I attended. Ms Ogale has been working on translations and updates of the Grindmill songs database (hdl:11041/sldr000735) with the technical assistance of Lata Bhore and Rajani Khaladkar.

Hema Rairkar and Guy Poitevin had initiated this project with the support of international institutions. Despite the betrayal of their ideals and the embezzelment of available funds by Kanad Joag and associates, we have been successful in resuming translation/editorial work with the same team working on donated equipment. Results and work in progress are displayed on the site: http://grindmill.org.

No comprehensive justification of the dismissal of the team has been provided so far. A member of CCRSS Committee, I was not consulted. The concerned persons received plain notifications via SMS sent by Mr. Kanad Joag on 1 May 2013. Given the opening balance of 1.4 million Rupees (circa 30,000 euros) in CCRSS’s provisional budget for 2010, it is obvious that the annual provision of 100,000 Rupees for this project had rendered it sustainable for many years.

To clarify the situation, on 8 June 2013 I sent an electronic message to Mr. Joag urging him to increase the pace of editorial/translation work before we lost contact with specialists of this unique cultural heritage. Mr. Joag’s reply raised a few questions unrelated to his management of the research team. On 16 June he announced that a meeting of the CCRSS Committee would be called in September. I never received notice of any meeting.

I reminded Kanad Joag to send an update on work done on the Grindmill songs database, as had been done on a yearly basis for the curation of the SLDR archive. He never sent this material. Fortunately - despite his refusal to cooperate - a copy was collected in August 2013 by French visitors from the Pune office, and this was safely received. This copy has been used as a source for the on-line publication: http://ccrss.org/database.

On 7 July 2013 I sent a message by electronic mail and by post to the current (and former) members of the CCRSS Managing Committee:

I also sent copies to Guy Poitevin and Hema Rairkar’s relatives and friends engaged in the continuation of work they had initiated under the banners of GDS, VCDA, CCRSS and GPIM. My message contained replies to all questions raised by Mr. Joag, and urged him to resume the research project based on the evidence that funding was still be available – unless CCRSS funds have been misused or misappropriated. (A copy of my message will be sent on request. Please email: secretariat(at)ccrss.ws.)

None of my questions have been answered. I received indirect information that the ‘CCRSS Committee’ (?) had confirmed the dismissal of Ms. Ogale and Ms. Bhore. Later, Dr. Brouwer assured me that he had checked the account books and had found nothing irregular. (Nevertheless, one wonders what happened to the 1.4 million Rupees!)

It is my duty to state publicly that, to the extent of my knowledge, the CCRSS is currently managed by individuals who are pursuing a personal agenda unrelated to the original mission of its founder members Guy Poitevin and Hema Rairkar.

As far as the archive is concerned, it should be made clear that the funding of research-action projects allowing the collection of recorded material came from public institutions such as UNESCO and the Netherlands Ministry for Development Cooperation. Consequently it has the status of a ‘public archive’ as per the French Code du patrimoine (Heritage Code) with which SLDR is complying. This applies to the following items:

Dated 28 January 2014, updated 21 April 2015

Bernard Bel
Research engineer
Curator of the Speech & Language Data Repository (SLDR/ORTOLANG)
Member of the Managing Committee of the Centre for Cooperative Research in Social Sciences (CCRSS)
Co-Ed., Communication Processes, Sage Publications:

  1. Media and Mediation
  2. The Social and the Symbolic
  3. Communication, Culture and Confrontation