Rights And Opportunities
By Nishikant Waghmare
05 November, 2007
"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"
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
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 [email protected]
Director-Asia & Pacific
-Airline Ambassador UN NGO
Peace Representative- The
World Peace Prayer Society UN NGO
22 Rajnigandha, Juhu Scheme,
Share Your Insights
it! And spread the word!
Here is a unique chance to help this article to be read by thousands
of people more. You just Digg it, and it will appear in the home page
of Digg.com and thousands more will read it. Digg is nothing but an
vote, the article with most votes will go to the top of the page. So,
as you read just give a digg and help thousands more to read this article.