Dalit Chronicles (Mar 31, 2008)

‘Only Brown Sahib allowed’
HardNews Magazine – New Delhi,India
He is Kanhaiya Lal Sanwariya, a ‘dhobi’ by caste, a Dalit, to make it worse. The gentleman has a Masters in Social Work, a Diploma in Labour Law, …

Caste Christians yield for now
Newindpress – Chennai,Tamil Nadu,India
VILLUPURAM: Amidst tight security, funeral procession of a Dalit Christian was undertaken on the Church Road in Eraiyur on Sunday. …

Public hearing on atrocities against SC/ST today
Ahmedabad Newsline – Ahmedabad,India
Ahmedabad, March 30 With the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act failing to bear much fruit in Gujarat, the Centre for Dalit …

Helping the helpless
Malaysia Star – Malaysia
Dalit children playing in a broken house on the outskirts of the city of Lucknow in India. “Today, the Indian government welcomes those who want to help the …

6 Dalit freedom fighters get recognition
The Daily Star – Dhaka,Bangladesh
Research and Development Collective, a non-government organisation, gave honorary awards and mementos to six freedom fighters of the Dalit community for …

Can child be Dalit, if father is not?
Times of India – India
NEW DELHI: The social justice ministry wants Dalit status for a child born to a non-SC father and a Dalit mother, despite the law ministry terming the move …

Death of a Dalit girl goes unnoticed
Merinews – New Delhi,India
Does the ‘low profile’ rape and brutal murder of a seven-year-old Dalit girl in Kaushambi district of Uttar Pradesh on March 16, concern nobody, …

5 thoughts on “Dalit Chronicles (Mar 31, 2008)

  1. I was born a Hindu, and I had no choice about that. But I will not die a Hindu!”

    Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

    I being a ardent follower of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, I wish to say that my Country Celebrated it’s 60th Independence last month on August 15th with Lot’s of Glory and pride all over the India and abroad by all Indians, But people like me never had that joy to celebrate this pride and joy due to ” A State Of Mind” of Upper Castes in India” Caste cannot be abolished by Inter Caste dinners or Inter Caste marriages. Caste is a state of mind. It is a disease of the mind. The teachings of the Hindu religion are the root cause of this disease as we observe Untouchability as part of our religion.”—–Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

    Dalits or untouchables are still considered outcasts in India and remain impoverished, discriminated against and segregated. Although the practice of “Untouchability” was abolished in 1950, it remains and is very much alive in India. The caste system in India is over 2,000 years old and is tied with the religion of Hinduism, so it is not going down easy. India has one of the world’s largest democracies but the Dalits or so called “untouchables” do not generally feel that they have been given fair treatment.

    Today we all read in News papers and watch on all TV Chanel’s this Breaking News of Allahabad High Court Justice S.N.Srivastava, is a Kayasta by Caste which consider as upper Caste in Hindu caste system in India, and who had retired on September 4, five days after passing the order.” Please see the “A State of Mind ” of upper Caste Justice Srivastava, what kind of Justice 260 millions Dalits will get in the hands from these people for our community in our life time.. ?

    Indian politicians and all other educated people call that ours is the largest democracy in world and see what they do it? Our elected members of parliaments think after HOUSE ADJOURNED INDEFINITELY under the shadow of a possible mid term elections, the monsoon session of Parliament was called off on Monday the September 10, 2007 four days ahead of schedule. Some of the members of parliament write these kind of letters to press and people of India. see Below:-

    “As we write more than 25 million of our countrymen are homeless because of the floods,” it begins and goes on to remind how thousands of farmers have been forced to end lives across the country. The letter draws leaders’ attention on ever-widening gap between rich and the poor. “India Inc is growing rapidly, but India rural is grappling with myriad of insurmountable problems. Are we concerned about this,” the letter asks the leaders. Reminding MPs of the loss of business hours and revenue in Parliament due to wrangling and disruptions, it says the cost of running the house is Rs 22,089 per minute and “we have already lost a few cores in the current session.”

    The group also seems to be worried about the cost of electioneering. “It is estimated that the cost for conducting a mid-term poll would be to the tune of Rs 2,700 Core,” it says and reminds those election-eager leaders that only 180 of the 530 MPs from the last Lok Sabha have managed to get re-elected. Recalling how political parties on the two side of the spectrum have joined hands in Germany to save another election, MPs wonder why that can’t be done here. “Let us remember that we are the largest democracy. We owe it to the people who elected us for five years to successfully complete our term,” the letter cautions.

    Oh my Brothers and sister please be Awake ….Time is running out we all have to act positive and get away from all these Dharma-Shatra of Bhagawat Gita and 33 Millions Gods of Hindu Caste system , follow the Dr. Ambedkar’s Eight fold Path of Divine Light and Nirvana.

    Dhamma is the role model. Dr.Ambedkar – Man of the Millennium and Buddha – The Greatest Human Scientist Ever Lived On The Planet. Let us tread on the path of these ideals and make our life journey successful. They tell us “as to why we live on this planet, What is the object/goal of life that we live on this earth/planet.

    We get all satisfactory answers from Dr.Ambedkar’s Buddha. You can read Dr. Ambedkar’s book, “Buddha & His Dhamma” before giving good by to this planet/earth, I request you earnestly, so that your ideals would be enhance to higher level and would be able to tackle such questions efficiently, because, “History is always one sided account,” as stated by Napoleon. Hence, let us read our great men’s literatures, our marvellous histories to have more vision of life.

    “It may be in the interest of others to be your masters, but why should it be in your interest to be their slaves?”

    Today’s Ambedkarites may have reduced their mentor to a symbol central to their electoral campaign, but history will view Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar differently — as a man whose genius extended over a diverse array of human affairs. Born to Mahar parents, Babasaheb would have been one of the many untouchables of his times condemned to a life of suffering and misery had he not doggedly overcome the oppressive circumstances of his birth to rise to pre-eminence in India’s public life. Ambedkar was, of course, a towering leader of the Untouchables, but he was also much more – a patriot, scholar, thinker and founding father of the Indian Constitution.

    Ambedkar started the Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha and the Samaj Samanta Sangh for the uplift of untouchables. He led processions and dharnas for his community, demanded separate electorates for them, and parted ways with Gandhi violently differing with Gandhi’s approach toward the Untouchables. Finally he left the Hindu fold embracing with thousands of his followers the more egalitarian faith of Buddhism.

    Babasaheb Ambedkar raised the banner of Buddhism and brought back to his motherland the Buddha who suffered an exile for over twelve hundred years. Ambedkar, a man of provocative learning, challenged opponents of Buddhism to hold discussions with him, and was confident that he would defeat all Pandits. He propagated Buddhism in India and made the provision for the study of Pali in the Indian constitution. The Government of India declared Buddha Jayanti a public holiday mainly through his efforts. Dr. Ambedkar was the greatest pioneer of Buddhist revival in India.

    Amedkar was Bharat Ratna in the refuge of Tri-Ratna Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Therefore all Ambedkarites must call themselves as Buddhist and nothing else. Thus Ambedkar’s whole life and mission was a practical contribution to humanistic Buddhist education in India and not just intellectual and philosophical which is common these days. Though he was not a Buddhist by birth but by practice and at heart he was a Buddhist.

    “I, for one, truly believe that individuals can make a difference in society. Since periods of great change such as the present one come so rarely in human history, it is up to the each one of us to make the best use of our time to help create a happier world for new generation to live with peace, freedom and love for mankind on planet earth. This century is the most important century of humankind”, said His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

    In 1935, Dr. Ambedkar made the bold pronouncement, “I was born a Hindu, and I had no choice about that. But I will not die a Hindu!” This sent a tremor throughout much of India. For the next twenty years, leaders of other major religions, mainly Muslim and Christian, tried to lure him. During this time, Dr. Ambedkar investigated these other religions to discover which offered Dalits the most advantage and protection.

    By 1956, he had reached his decision. On the full-moon day of October in that year, in a public ceremony in Nagpur, he led 500,000 Dalits in taking precepts and accepting Buddhism as their new faith. The precepts were administered by the Arakanese monk, Ven. U Chandramani.

    Dr. Ambedkar clearly explained why he preferred Buddhism to all other alternatives. Primarily, he found three principles in Buddhism which no other religion offered. Buddhism teaches wisdom, as against superstition and supernaturalism; love and compassion in relations with others; and complete equality. Considering Marxism, Dr. Ambedkar recognized that the communist movement had shaken the religious systems of many countries, but he did not see that it had provided a solution. Not only failing to eliminate poverty, Marxism, he said, used poverty as an excuse for sacrificing human freedom. Dr. Ambedkar said that Buddhism teaches social freedom, intellectual freedom, economic freedom and political freedom–equality not only between man and man but also between man and woman.

    Dr. Ambedkar felt it was necessary to preserve Buddhism in India and to protect it from corruption by Hinduism. He exhorted his followers to swear not to regard Vishnu, Shiva, Rama, Krishna, or any of the other Hindu deities as gods nor to worship them. He denounced as malicious propaganda the Hindu claim that Buddha was the incarnation of Vishnu. Dr. Ambedkar vowed never to perform any Hindu ceremony or to offer food to Brahmins. He promised never to act against the tenets of Buddhism. Following his example, New Buddhists proclaim their belief in the equality of all people.

    Since Dr. Ambedkar’s renunciation of Hinduism, millions of Dalits have followed suit and taken refuge in Buddhism Most converts have come from Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. According to the 1990 census there were 6.4 million Buddhists in India. Five million of these were in Maharashtra, the remainder includes traditional Buddhist populations in the hill areas of northeast India (West Bengal, Assam, Sikkim, Mizoram, and Tripura) and high Himalayan valleys (Ladakh District in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and northern Uttar Pradesh), as well as Tibetan refugees. This was a 35.9 percent increase since 1981, making Buddhism the fifth largest religious group in the country. New Buddhist communities have experienced significant social changes, including a marked decline in alcoholism, a simplification of marriage ceremonies, the abolition of ruinous marriage expenses, a greater emphasis on education, and a heightened sense of identity and self-worth.

    With much love,peace and compassion,
    Yours in the mission,
    Nishikant” Dhammadutta”

    April 10, 2008,Pune, India.

  2. “Human Rights, Social Justice and Equality”

    * Nishikant Waghmare

    “Noble is your aim and sublime and glorious is your mission. Blessed are those who are awakened to their duty to those among whom they are born. Glory to those who devote their time, talents and their all to the amelioration of slavery. Glory to those who would reap their struggle for the liberation of the enslaved in spite of heavy odds, carpine humiliation, storms and dangers till the downtrodden secure their Human Rights.” – Dr. B.R.Ambedkar.

    In a country where everybody is supposed to have equal rights and opportunities, we read in newspapers everyday about some atrocity being committed against Dalits (Dalits are denied right to food, water, education and liberty) Despite policies for social inclusiveness and equality, the upper castes are still at the top of the social order and the Dalits are at the bottom. India cannot progress unless this issue is addressed with justice.

    Untouchability, caste-system and hierarchical discrimination have taken roots in the subconscious of the India psyche. We are the sinners who have misused God, religion, myths and scriptures to make this happen. Gandhi’s saying that ” Untouchability is a sin” Swami Vivekananda’s describing it as ” lunatic” and Dr. Ambedkar’s statement “I shall not die as Hindu when Untouchability exists”- none of these seem to shock us. The biggest problem of our society is that since we have made discrimination itself a value, untouchability appears” natural” to us and therefore does not seem to be a problem of discrimination.

    India got Independence 60 years ago, till today Dalit has to suffer for basic needs for their day to day living i.e. drinking water, food, shelter and right to live as human being in the Indian society. The untouchables “Dalits” were denied even human Rights, which are essential for a bare existence of human life. They were not allowed to drink water from public well; and even their shadow was supposed to pollute the so-called upper castes. The Hindu social order made the life of the Dalits miserable in every sense of the term. The Hindu Dharmashastra gave sanction to this evil Caste system and practice of Unthouchability. This continued for the Centuries. …

    Then arose on the horizon Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, the liberator of the Millions of downtrodden in India. He made abolition of the Caste system and Untouchability a Mission of His Life. Perhaps it would take a rebirth by the Mahatma Gandhi to end the abominable evil of Caste. As He himself had said;” If I do not want to attain Moksha, I do not want to be reborn. But if I were to be reborn, I should be born an Untouchable…. not as Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya or Shudra But as an Atishudra, a Bhangi.”

    The late former President of Tanzania Mr. Julius K. Nyerere had said;’ When the vote is a human Rights and bread is a privilege of the few, democracy is a mockery. It cannot be an instrument of peace and harmony because it is not an instrument for justice. The surest way to build and to maintain peace within and between nations is to work for justice-justice for all persons and all groups. “Peace is a product of justice. They work for peace who works for justice.”

    Nations have come and gone, Empires founded on might and force have flourished and perished but the Empire of the Dhamma founded by the Buddha, on love, compassion and reason, still flourishes and will continue to flourish. …2.

    The Buddha established a classless society by opening the gates of the Sangha to all deserving individuals, making no distinction between Caste and Class. The fundamental principle of Buddhism is Equality…Buddhism was called the religion of the Shudra’s… there was only one man who raised his voice against separatism and Untouchability and that was Lord Buddha… Buddhism is the only religion, which does not recognize Caste and affords full scope for progress.

    The reason for the success of India’s multicultural society is that there is no glass ceiling. Everyone, whatever his religion or language, can aspire to the topmost position. Thus, India today has a Muslim president, a Sikh prime minister, a Sikh chief of the army staff, and a Christian as the president of the ruling Congress party. Effective reservation in government and public sector today is hardly 15% of which 10% is in the category of attendants, drivers, watchmen, clerks, etc. Only 5% are in the higher echelons of services like IAS and IPS. Can this percentage of reservations be responsible for the decline of effectiveness?

    “Our greatest enemy is poverty and not human beings if we want to progress, we will have to fight poverty. There is a need for people to understand that poverty is their common enemy and not another human. Our enemy is poverty! It is the root cause of our problems and it should be the object of our fight. We must eradicate poverty and illiteracy and reduce inequality within upper- castes and Untouchables of India.

    Former President of India Mr. K.R.Narayanan’s rise to the important if largely ceremonial role of President from the Dalit caste was a remarkable achievement. Many saw it as an affirmation of India’s democratic roots. The caste system was banned in 1950 but centuries of tradition made it difficult to break entrenched attitudes.

    A Nation of more than 1.15 Billion People, where Untouchables are treated as animals, they have no right despites policies for social inclusiveness and equality, those belonging to the upper castes are still at the top of the social order and the dalits are at the bottom of the heap, With disparity and their right to food, water, education, temple entry, many Dalit families are facing starvation in India.

    Globalization has brought nations closer. It has triggered IT revolution, racism is a new social issue the world has come to debate. Slowly the issue of caste too will become just as debatable. India will soon emerge as a formidable world economic power, applauded and celebrated, the country will also have become a subject of social auditing.

    Although the practice of “Untouchability” was abolished in 1950, it remains and is very much alive in India. The caste system in India is over 2,000 years old and is tied with the religion of Hinduism, so it is not going down easy. India has one of the world’s largest democracies but the “Untouchables” do not generally feel that they have been given fair treatment.

    There is no nation on earth that Human beings are treated as animal due to practice of caste system. This way we cannot develop as a Nation if there is no social peace, justice and social economic. Our civil society as a whole with a problem of inequality and oppression faced by a Dalits the most vulnerable section of our society. India cannot truly prosper and progress unless these issues are addressed with justice. ..3.

    Our UPA Government’s Common Minimum Programme wish to give Humane Face to underprivileged people of India and better life to all citizens by 2020. Independence India @ 60 Dr.Manmohan Singh, became the first sitting Indian Prime Minister to openly acknowledge the parallel between the practice of “Untouchability” and the Crime of Apartheid and he described. “Untouchability is not just Social Discrimination; it is a Blot on Humanity

    “An India in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country, in whose making they have an effective voice, an India in which there shall be no high class and low class of people, an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony”-Mahatma Gandhi.

    Dr.Ambedkar was also the first person in India to tell the world that untouchability is part of the caste system. And caste is the foundation on which Hindu religion stands. So all those persons like Vivekananda, Gandhi etc., who wanted to reform Hinduism, failed because Hinduism is not amenable to reform. One cannot reform Hinduism keeping intact the caste. If you touch caste, the whole edifice of Hinduism collapses, because Hinduism is nothing but caste. Gandhi failed because he wanted to abolish untouchability keeping caste as it is. Caste is an extension of untouchability with one Hindu caste (jati) being untouchable to the other. In Karnataka, there is a sub-caste (Satanis) among Brahmins which is treated as untouchable by the rest of Brahmins –forming the apex of the caste pyramid.

    Gandhi knew this but did not like to put his hand into this beehive because he knew the bees will bite him all over. He wanted to reform Hinduism without touching the privileges that caste confers on its title-holder.

    Ambedkar was the first person in India to point out these unpleasant facts. That is why he became the most hated person in India, while Gandhi was elevated as Mahatma. We leave it to history to pronounce its judgment on Untouchability, therefore, is not confined exclusively to the Untouchable (Dalits).

    “I tell you, religion is for man and not man for religion. If you want to organize, consolidate and be successful in this world, change this religion, […] the religion that does not teach its followers to show humanity in dealing with its co-religionists is nothing but a display of a force. The religion that teaches its followers to suffer the touch of animals but not the touch of human beings is not a religion but a mockery. The religion that compels the ignorant to be ignorant and the poor to be poor is not a religion but a visitation!”—-Dr. B.R Ambedkar

    In India there are approximately 280 million Dalits. This means that nearly 28% of the population is Dalit. It also means that in a country, where everybody is supposed to have equal rights and opportunities, one out of 4 persons is condemned to be Untouchable. “You can’t do much about your family you are born into. You can do something about your own educational qualifications but you can’t change your family. And if that is going to be held against people, it is going to be a long road indeed.”

    The human history will forever remember Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar as the emancipator if the millions of downtrodden people languishing for centuries in ignorance and all-pervasive destitution. It was Dr.Ambedkar whose singular and relentless fight against the oppression and exploitation bred by the age-old caste system and untouchability that became the source of inspiration to millions of his followers world-over and showed them the path of liberation.

    “I have never claimed to be a universal leader of suffering humanity. The problem of the untouchables is quite enough for my slender strength. I do not say that other causes are not equally noble. But knowing that life is short, one can only serve one cause and I have never aspired to do more than serve the Untouchables.” Bodhisattva Babasaheb Dr. B.R.Ambedkar.

    Dr Ambedkar believed that in democracy revolutionary changes in the economic and social life of the people are brought about without bloodshed. The conditions for that are as follows: (1) there should not be glaring inequalities in society i.e. privilege for one class; (2) the existence of an opposition; (3) equality in law and administration: (4) observance of constitutional morality: (5) no tyranny of the majority: (6) moral order of society: (7) public conscience.”

    Addressing the Constituent Assembly, he suggested certain devices essential to maintain democracy: “(i) Constitutional methods (ii) not to lay liberties at the feet of a great man (iii) make political democracy a social democracy.”

    Empowering India “Bring into the mainstream all those kept out”? It involves the establishment of a social-political order in which no discrimination takes place on the basis of race, caste, creed or sex and where all citizens enjoy equal opportunities and at least an acceptable minimum quality of living.

    Dr. Ambedkar is one of the most famous Indians of the last century. Father of the Indian Constitution and one of the greatest Indian intellectuals and political agitators, Dr. Ambedkar was born into an “Untouchable” Caste.

    An empowered India bereft of the respect for women, values of civilised existence and morality will collapse in the face of the disaffection and discontent of those who have suffered for centuries. Day in and day out we take pride in claiming that India has a 5000-year-old civilization. But the way the Dalits and those suppressed are being treated by the people who wield power and authority speaks volumes for the degradation of our moral structure and civilized standards.

    Education is a change agent. What kind of change and progress can we anticipate if the education system is burdened with stereotype of the inherited merit of the few? How do we expect Universities to flourish and compete so long as we keep them as islands of caste prejudices and vanities?

    The only substitute to quota and reservation is to create a more egalitarian social order guaranteeing equal opportunities to all and, simultaneously, to fight against all sources of inequality, exclusion and discrimination.

    I (author) would like to see in near future “My One wish in life [is] that during my Lifetime [the] Caste System from Indian society must go and all humans are treated as one.” One Human family.

    *Nishikant Waghmare, Director-Asia & Pacific, Airline Ambassador, UN NGO, USA,Peace Representative, The world peace prayer society, UN,NGO,USA. & Officer of Special Duty-World Peace Centre MIT, Pune. This Paper Presented in World Peace Congress, 2008 at MIT Pune- January 30, February 2, 2008. nishinirvana@yahoo.com

  3. Poverty is the enemy, not humans.

    Written on October 27th, 2007 in Humanitarian text

    Linked with Nishikant Waghmare – India.

    Received by mail:

    From: Nishikant Waghmare
    Date: 25.10.2007

    Nishikant Waghmare wrote on October 25th, 2007, as a comment to an emission on ‘BBC World’ about Dalits of 14th of October 2006:

    There is greater awareness among the Dalits today.

    “Prime Minister Singh has rightly compared ‘untouchability’ to apartheid, and he should now turn his words into action to protect the rights of Dalits,” said Professor Smita Narula, faculty director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at New York University School of Law, and co-author of the report. “The Indian government can no longer deny its collusion in maintaining a system of entrenched social and economic segregation.”

    Dalits endure segregation in housing, schools, and access to public services. They are denied access to land, forced to work in degrading conditions, and routinely abused at the hands of the police and upper-caste community members who enjoy the state’s protection. Entrenched discrimination violates Dalits’ rights to education, health, housing, property, freedom of religion, free choice of employment, and equal treatment before the law. Dalits also suffer routine violations of their right to life and security of person through state-sponsored or -sanctioned acts of violence, including torture.
    Caste-motivated killings, rapes, and other abuses are a daily occurrence in India. Between 2001 and 2002 close to 58,000 cases were registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act – legislation that criminalizes particularly egregious abuses against Dalits and tribal community members. A 2005 government report states that a crime is committed against a Dalit every 20 minutes.

    Poverty is the cruse to mankind. It is a black spot on forehead and blot on Humanity. The first sitting Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to openly acknowledge the parallel between the practice of “Untouchability” and the Crime of Apartheid you described. “Untouchability is not just Social Discrimination; it is a Blot on Humanity.” Our greatest enemy is poverty and not human beings if we want to progress, we will have to fight poverty. There is a need for people to understand that poverty is their common enemy and not another human. Our enemy is poverty! It is the root cause of our problems and it should be the object of our fight. We must eradicate poverty and illiteracy and reduce inequality within upper- castes and Untouchables.

    “Our greatest enemy is poverty and not human beings. If we want to progress, we will have to fight poverty. There is a need for people to understand that poverty is their common enemy and not another human. Our enemy is poverty! It is the root cause of our problems and it should be the object of our fight. We must eradicate poverty and illiteracy and reduce inequality within upper- castes and Untouchables of India. Promote world peace through prayer. “May Peace Prevail on Earth”!

    Nishikant waghmare, Mumbai India, October 25, 2007.

  4. Equal Rights And Opportunities

    By Nishikant Waghmare

    05 November, 2007
    Countercurrents.org

    “An India in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country, in whose making they have an effective voice, an India in which there shall be no high class and low class of people, an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony”
    -Mahatma Gandhi.

    In a country, where everybody is supposed to have equal rights and opportunities, where as every day we read in news papers that ” Dalits are denied right to Food: Report today’s DNA Mumbai November 3, 2007 page13,I am sorry to state that every day there is some News Item or TV channel report on dalits atrocity, when we the people of India as a civil society will change our mindset and treat all human beings as equal and give them dignity.

    A Nation of more than 1.15 Billion People, where Untouchables(Dalits)are treated as animals, they have no right despites policies for social inclusiveness and equality, those belonging to the upper castes are still at the top of the social order and the dalits are at the bottom of the heap, With disparity and their right to food, water, education, temple entry, many Dalit families are facing starvation in India.

    Globalisation has brought nations closer. It has triggered IT revolution, racism is a new social issue the world has come to debate. Slowly the issue of caste too will become just as debatable. India will soon emerge as a formidable world economic power, applauded and celebrated, the country will also have become a subject of social auditing.

    Although the practice of “Untouchability” was abolished in 1950, it remains and is very much alive in India. The caste system in India is over 2,000 years old and is tied with the religion of Hinduism, so it is not going down easy. India has one of the world’s largest democracies but the “Untouchables” do not generally feel that they have been given fair treatment.

    There is no nation on earth that Human beings are treated as animal due to practice of caste system. This way we cannot develop as a Nation if there is no social peace, justice and social economic. Our civil society as a whole with a problem of inequality and oppression faced by a Dalits the most vulnerable section of our society. India cannot truly prosper and progress unless these issues are addressed with justice.

    Our UPA Government’s Common Minimum Programme wish to give Humane Face to underprivileged people of India and better life to all citizens by 2020. . Independence India @ 60Dr.Manmohan Singh, became the first sitting Indian Prime Minister to openly acknowledge the parallel between the practice of “Untouchability” and the Crime of Apartheid you described. “Untouchability is not just Social Discrimination; it is a Blot on Humanity.”

    Why the upper castes are not interested in giving up caste? Because caste (jati) helps him to exploit his fellowmen better — as it has a theological sanction under the Hindu religion. If the law of the jungle is that a strong animal shall devour the weak (otherwise called laissez faire or the survival of the fittest), in the jungle of Hinduism this law has the blessings of its sacred scriptures. That is why in India wealth is getting accumulated in the bands of top 10% to 15% of the upper castes and the rest are getting pauperised. And yet there is no public debate on the merits of caste anywhere, not even among our university eggheads.

    If any body raises caste issue in any “intellectual seminars” such a fellow is dubbed biased, prejudiced if not a nuisance-monger–and laughed at. Every avenue of debate–media., public platform—is in the hands of the upper castes who gained a lot by holding on to caste. So we can’t expect this upper caste nation to put a dagger into its own stomach. That means the future is gloomy.

    Ambedkar answered this long time ago. He said that the Hindu society was incapable of producing a Voltaire. Caste, it is claimed is being pushed into the political arena. But by claiming that caste and race are two different things (they are as every student of sociology knows – but casteism is akin to racism – and this is what is being denied by implication) the Indian anthropologists have voluntarily jumped into the political arena.

    Unfortunately what Ambedkar said many years ago is still true even today.

    Babasaheb was also the first person in India to tell the world that untouchability is part of the caste system. And caste is the foundation on which Hindu religion stands. So all those persons like Vivekananda, Gandhi etc., who wanted to reform Hinduism, failed because Hinduism is not amenable to reform. One cannot reform Hinduism keeping intact the caste. If you touch caste, the whole edifice of Hinduism collapses, because Hinduism is nothing but caste. Gandhi failed because he wanted to abolish untouchability keeping caste as it is. Caste is an extension of untouchability with one Hindu caste (jati) being untouchable to the other. In Karnataka, there is a sub-caste (Satanis) among Brahmins which is treated as untouchable by the rest of Brahmins –forming the apex of the caste pyramid.

    Gandhi knew this but did not like to put his hand into this beehive because he knew the bees will bite him all over. He wanted to reform Hinduism without touching the privileges that caste confers on its title-holder.

    Ambedkar, was the first person in India to point out these unpleasant facts. That is why he became the most hated person in India, while Gandhi was elevated as Mahatma. We leave it to history to pronounce its judgment on Untouchability, therefore, is not confined exclusively to the Untouchable (Dalits).

    In India there are approximately 280 million Dalits. This means that nearly 28% of the population is Dalit. It also means that in a country, where everybody is supposed to have equal rights and opportunities, one out of 4 persons is condemned to be Untouchable. “You can’t do much about your family you are born into. You can do something about your own educational qualifications but you can’t change your family. And if that is going to be held against people, it is going to be a long road indeed.”

    In general one can say that being a Brahmin means that you are more privileged. This can imply having a good education and, accordingly, a more powerful position in the society. Being born as a Dalit you will be less well off and because of less education you will have a less good job. In daily life there are a lot of consequences of being a Dalit .

    United States Congressman Christopher Smith, said that for all the progress India has made over the years, it was highly regrettable that the lot of these ‘untouchables’ remained in such a terrible state as they continued to be victimised under the yoke of a shameful caste system.

    Dalits are poor, deprived and socially backward. Poor means that they do not have access to enough food, health care, housing and/or clothing (which means that their physiological and safety needs are not fulfilled). They also do not have access to education and employment. With deprived we would like to underline the injustice they face in every days life. Officially, everybody in India has the same rights and duties, but the practice is different. Social backwardness, lack of access to food, education and health care keeps them in bondage of the upper castes.

    The reason for the success of India’s multicultural society is that there is no glass ceiling. Everyone, whatever his religion or language, can aspire to the topmost position. Thus, India today has a Hindu President, a Muslim Vice-President, a Sikh Prime Minister, a untouchable Chief Justice of India and a Christian as the President of the ruling Congress Party.

    The human history will forever remember Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar as the emancipator if the millions of downtrodden people languishing for centuries in ignorance and all-pervasive destitution. It was Dr.Ambedkar whose singular and relentless fight against the oppression and exploitation bred by the age-old caste system and untouchability that became the source of inspiration to millions of his followers world-over and showed them the path of liberation.

    “I have never claimed to be a universal leader of suffering humanity. The problem of the untouchables is quite enough for my slender strength. I do not say that other causes are not equally noble. But knowing that life is short, one can only serve one cause and I have never aspired to do more than serve the Untouchables.” Bodhisattva Babasaheb Dr. B.R.Ambedkar.

    I (author) would like to see in near future “My One wish in life [is] that during my Lifetime [the] Caste System from Indian society must go and all humans are treated as one.” One Human family.

    “If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive …” – Eleonora Duse

    Create A Global Wave of Compassion!

    Wisdom and compassion – The way forward!

    May Peace Prevail on Earth!

    With Much Love,

    NISHIKANT WAGHMARE nishinirvana@yahoo.com

    Director-Asia & Pacific -Airline Ambassador UN NGO

    Peace Representative- The World Peace Prayer Society UN NGO

    22 Rajnigandha, Juhu Scheme, Mumbai-40004,Cell: 9820228023.

    http://www.worldpeace.org http://www.arlineamb.org November3, 2007.

    http://www.countercurrents.org/waghmare051107.htm

Leave a Reply