When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie: Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Upper caste Hindus were Aryan invaders and Dalits original Indians
Dalits and Kashmiri Muslims – Similarities
Shudra renamed Harijan and not Hindu was acceptable to ‘Bapu’
I am born a Hindu. I will not die as one.
Baba Sahib, a humanist, philosopher philanthropist, declared that the bourgeoisie (capitalism) and Brahmanism are the twin enemies of the people. In the present context, nationalism is being invoked in a coercive manner spreading fear and terror among people. Ambedkar, the principal architect of Indian Constitution, in his numerous writings reflected on nationalism and gave valuable insights.
Dr Ambedkar stressed “If Hindu Raj does become a fact, it will, no doubt, be the greatest calamity for this country. No matter what the Hindus say. Hinduism is a menace to liberty, equality and fraternity. On that account it is incompatible with democracy. Hindu Raj must be prevented at any cost.” According to him the pet slogan of Hindutva, Hindustan for Hindus was more than just arrogant. He later took to task VD Savarkar for advocating the cause of Hindu Rashtra, calling the Muslims as the ‘other’, yet denying them the right to their own separate nation”.
Charged with this selfish idea of class domination, upper caste take every move to exclude the lower classes of Hindus from wealth, education and power. This attitude of keeping education, wealth and power as a close preserve for themselves and refusing to share it, which the high caste Hindus have developed in their relation with the lower classes of Hindus, is sought to be extended by them to the Muslims. They want to exclude the Muslims from place and power, as they have done to the lower class Hindus.”
In fact, he categorically wrote that nationalism became the core plank to take a stand against the struggling humanity within the country and thereby creating fertile conditions for the upsurge of rank communalism. Indeed, what he wrote before Independence has become a grim reality today. The communal fascist forces have not only secured state power at the Centre but also control and command the state apparatus and their functions at the national level to serve their sinister design.
Dr Raja of Communist party of India quoting Baba Sahib wrote that the governing class in India always raised the cry of nationalism/Bharat mata is in danger. Under the present dispensation at the Centre and several States, Make in India is witnessing concentration of wealth in a few hands, growing inequality, galloping unemployment, farmers’ suicides and widespread disenchantment of the youth and all sections of the toiling people.
Some of the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the RSS are now invoking nationalism in a coercive and recurrent manner. They underline the point that nationalism is in danger and it is important to inculcate the spirit of nationalism among citizens, particularly students, to safeguard our unity and integrity. The slogan Bharat Mata ki Jai is being used by them as the only symbol of nationalism and it is asserted by the leaders of the BJP that recitation of this slogan by Indians affirms their credibility as nationalists; describing everything else as anti-national.
Thomas C. Mountain, a champion for Dalit cause, says Indians still believe that Dalits are being punished by God for sins in a previous life. Under the religious codes of Hinduism, a Dalit’s only hope is to be a good servant of the high castes and upon death and rebirth they will be reincarnated a higher caste. This is called varna in Sanskrit; the word “varna” translates literally into the word “color” from Sanskrit.
High castes represent a small minority in India, some 10-15% of the population, yet dominate Indian society in much the same way whites ruled South Africa during the official period of Apartheid. Dalits often use the phrase Apartheid in India when speaking about their problems. Dalits are the victims of economic embargos, denial of basic human rights such as access to drinking water, use of public facilities and education and even entry to Hindu temples.
Why do Dalits hate Gandhi?
Thomas C. Mountain further says that Gandhi is actually one of the most hated Indian leaders in the hierarchy of those considered enemies of India’s Dalits or “untouchables” by the leadership of India’s Dalits. The Dalit leadership I work with recieved many tens of millions of votes in the last national election in India. To start, Gandhi was a so called “high caste”. High castes represent a small minority in India, some 10-15% of the population, yet dominate Indian society in much the same way whites ruled South Africa during the official period of Apartheid. Dalits often use the phrase Apartheid in India when speaking about their problems.
Devdasi, generally Dalits, literally means a female who serves Dev a deity (an idol). Devdasi is wedded to the idol in the temple and the main job assigned is to serve the temple and become a source of entertainment for male custodians of that temple. A widow soon after losing her husband is handed over to temples in the Hindu holy cities of Banaras, Brindavan, Mathura and Gangasagar in Bengal to serve and who finally become prostitutes to earn their living. Gangasagar in Bengal is the point for rivers flowing from three holy cities mentioned above merge into the sea.
To register their grievances, a large rally was held (June 13, 2007) by Dalits in Bannappa Park, Bangalore for eradication of social evils. The issues focused were Dalit rights, caste oppression, untouchability, overall improvement of living condition of Dalits and more importantly retrial of the accused in the brutal massacre of seven Dalits burnt alive at Kambalapalli in Kolar district on March 11, 2000 and eradication of prevailing inhuman devdasi system. In Hinduism, devdasi lasses married to deities, are dedicated to worship in the service of the deity or a temple for rest of their life.
Talking about devdasi culture, Nash Colundalur wrote in the Guardian on January 21, 2011 that Parvatamma is a devdasi, or servant of god, as shown by the red-and-white beaded necklace around her neck. Dedicated to the goddess Yellamma when she was 10 at the temple in Saundatti, southern India, she cannot marry a mortal. When she reached puberty, the devdasi tradition dictated that her virginity was sold to the highest bidder and when she had a daughter at 14 she was sent to work in the red light district in Mumbai.
An overview of the treatment meted out to Dalits
Cops beat Dalit to death for applying Holi colours on upper caste in Jharkhand: Hindustan Times
Dalit man killed in Shirdi over Ambedkar ringtone on his cell phone: Hindustan Times May 23, 2015
Two die as Dalit family set afire in Haryana INDIA: The Hindu
Dalits continue to flee Shabbirpur- The Hindu May 08, 2017
180 Dalit families convert to Buddhism in riot-hit Saharanpur: Kabir Agarwal May 20, 2017
At his alma mater, B R Ambedkar’s name finds no place in list of illustrious’ alumni: Indian Express April 14, 2015
On June 13, 2015 a minor Dalit girl beaten up as her shadow falls on high caste muscleman, Chattarpur, Madhya Pradesh: Press Trust of India, June 16, 2015
Upper caste men urinate in Dalit youth’s mouth in Tamil Nadu: PTI
Jats crush 3 dalits under tractors in Rajasthan: PTI
Backward class youth thrashed, paraded naked in Uttar Pradesh
In several remote pockets of India, people from the lower caste are forbidden to come in contact with those belonging to the higher rung so much so that they can’t share their food, cook for them or even look them in the eye. It is even forbidden for their shadow to fall on higher caste people, who consider it as defiling or polluting: PTI
A Dalit’s house in Daulatpur village was burnt as he did not say Ram Ram to an upper caste man: January 15, 2017 Hindustan Times
Dalit youth beaten up, tortured and his genitals torched, forced to eat excreta allegedly over land dispute. The victim was admitted to a local hospital: IBNLIVE News September 19, 2014
A 17-year old Dalit girl Alka was killed on spot when two groups fired at each other. The incident took place in Budha Saifi village in Bharathana area – IBNLIVE
A Dalit old man was charred to death in Hamirpur for seeking to visit a temple where Dalits are barred and a 28 year old child committed suicide in Hyderabad Central University.