In early 1990s, when Government of India decided to partially implement the recommendations of Mandal Commission, recommending 27% reservation for the 52% socially and educationally backward classes of Indian population, India witnessed unprecedented violent reaction across the country. Media organs like newspapers, magazines etc overtly supported the violent agitation.
In fact editors of many newspapers became the anti-reservation activists and actively suppressed the voice, concerns and viewpoint of those supporting the cause of the social justice. Then in 1991, the leadership of Mukti and other progressive youth joined hands together and decide to work to create alternative media platform so that the voice, viewpoints and concerns of neglected and ignored could be placed before the nation.
This committee was named as the Committee for Alternative Dalit Media. It re-published Baba Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s first newspaper Mooknayak as Navamooknayak and later got it registered as Abhimooknayak, which acquired prominent space in Dalit discourse.
Soon, it was realised that building alternative Dalit Media was an arduous task and that this issue needs to be addressed in its full dimensionality rather than confining itself to publishing a monthly newspaper. Therefore, it was decided to rename the Committee for Alternative Dalit Media as the Centre for Alternative Dalit Media (CADAM) for long term creative interventions to address the issues of social, cultural and educational emancipation.
As a result, Centre for Alternative Dalit Media (CADAM) was registered in May 1995 as a society under the Society Registration Act 1860 in New Delhi with a vision to institutionalise the work among the disadvantaged sections, particularly the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Castes, Socially and Educationally Backward Classes, Minorities and other socially excluded sections of Indian Society.