Stop The Increasing Violence Against Dalits by Vidya Bhushan Rawat
0 comments | by Vidya Bhushan Rawat
Prime Minister does not leave an opportunity to quote Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. RSS has been calling him ‘pratahsmarniya’ and Amit Shah has been going to have food at the ‘Dalit’ localities. BJP has been going wild on its Dalit outreach programme and there is nothing wrong in politics to strengthen its outreach but the question is how would you like Dalits to respond to you. Do you want them to be partner in arms with you or you just would like them to be a tailender just to strengthen your ‘Hindutva’ cause and be counted as Hindus for the purposes of data manipulations.
Last year, it was Una in Gujarat, the videos of which went viral but our over active mahapurush had no words to speak about it. It looks as if he has closed his eyes. He only tweet his meetings and photographs of others who visit him. Una’s incident has been termed as ordinary by none other than another champion leader who once upon a time was considered to be a ‘prime ministerial’ material but today a pale shadow of his past. Now, his entire focus remain to protect his family politics in Bihar and for that he is ready to campaign for BJP in Gujarat.
But despite all this political demagoguery and deceitfulness, the violence against Dalits under this government has increased manifold. They are being targeted everywhere right from the educational institutions where a systematic effort has been made to create obstacles for their scholars so that they are kept out of the decision making bodies under various pretexts. The systematic violence unleashed by the brahmanical manuwadi forces inside these institutions need to be exposed at every level and must continue. Freedom of expression, right to freethought and organise political gatherings are under severe threats in these institutions. Victimisation is at different levels and harassment is done through various notices sent to the students.
The incarceration of Chandra Shekhar Azad under the National Security Act is well known. He is in a bad health and admitted to the hospital but we are unable to provide him due support. Parties like BSP have kept conspicuously silent on the issue. I mentioned these are not the time to lose young dynamic leaders like Chandra Shekhar or others but if Dalit Bahujan forces remain confined to family leadership and with autocratic behaviour these young Ambedkarite will look some where else and we will only have to blame ourselves. Even if he is not joining a party or may not belong to your thoughts, Chandra Shekhar’s case is a clear case of human rights violation and must be looked into. It is a blatant and open contempt of order of Allahabad High Court which gave him bail. The problem is that the powerful dominant forces the nitty gritties of administration and legalities to get benefit for them. Thus, those who are unable to follow these legalities become culprits and all those who have strength, power, money to get it done become the honorable citizens of the country like those who have their money stashed at different banks abroad with their companies opened up in Panama and Paradise. They have lost nothing in the entire expose. By the time the agencies reach them, it is too late or they are gone.
The physical violence against Dalits have increased so much that the goons and thugs are making videos themselves. I decided not to put all these violent videos at my time line because I feel it is a deliberate attempt to humiliate a community. These videos should be used in court of law to make a point but we should be careful of their spreading because watching them make you feel helpless and pathetic, you may get angry if you are sympathetic but many are there to enjoy this and make further. We are becoming a society which is enjoying the helplessness of people and using it to kill their dignity.
Yesterday, another video has surfaced from Nizamabad district of Telangana where a mining mafia belonging to the Hindutva party humiliated two Dalits by canning them in public and forcing them to dip in a mud water. This video is also made by the thugs who want to spread it across so that the other people dare not to complain against them. We have not heard anything from Telangana chief minister who is unique in his announcements in the assembly, many time, people dont know whether he is speaking as drunk or usual. The two chief ministers of Andhra and Telangana did everything to create obstacle to get justice for Rohith Vemula. We cant expect much from them but what is more disturbing is that inability of those who we look for support to do anything on it. So far no case against the Reddy Goons there as well as the Thakurs in Saharanpur.
Is it too much to expect from political or those who claiming leadership or now time has come people should form local support committees everywhere rather than waiting from some Messiahs paratrooping from Delhi or state capitals. It would be good once these local support groups with lawyers, activists, teachers, journalists are formed and that confederate into an all India campaign for justice. Probably, to look for like minded allies and supporters with a common minimum programme.
I have said many time that Bhakts are not merely a Modi phenomena. It exists across party level which blinds us and convert our entire thoughts into a very narrow level. Apart from being Bhakts, there is another disease which is our ‘ego’ and larger than life self image. Many want to go to particular places just to speak, others want to capture the platforms and confine a group of their own coterie while a big numbers are those who wait for some ‘famous’ people with great adjectives, descend from their heavenly places to do a ‘favor’ to people. We all have our own confines and there is nothing wrong in having them and enjoying that but there are many occasions when we need to come out and should be ready to just sit in the public and allow others to speak. Most of the time, fight is not on issues or ideologies but on personal equations and egos. Once we acknowledge that we all come from diverse background, different shades and regions so differences are bound to happen but as long as they are democratic in nature and allow people to sharing spaces, we can achieve much more than we have done so far.
The problem of making individual heroes is too much in our society. We make one hero and most of them are accidental but we keep on making them the sole champion of India’s unity, secularism, inclusion.. so in all, India have only 10-15 heroes who our facebook members circulate everywhere in who said what. Individuals are important but over emphasising on them and pushing them also happen through a deeply designed agenda of denying the similar people right to speak at a platform. As long as this gap remain, we dont think we will be able to fight against such forces. India need to cleanse the system which has endemic diseases. It is not just a war between BJP and Congress even when we feel the Hindutva is the biggest threat to our unity and integrity but then the war is bigger to cleanse every political party and democratise it. We dont need to believe that India can survive with two political parties or a few activists, as we need thousands of good intentioned activists, diverse ideologies that believes in equality and democracy as well as many many democratic parties which have space for youngs of all shades. The work is harder but need to be done otherwise the Manuwadis will always have the upper hands. They will make videos and we will only make them viral. They are enjoying state patronage and therefore can abuse to anyone, threaten any one and nothing happen to them. It is time that we not only work for a democratic polity but also democratise our own spaces and it will not be possible if they remain elitist and exclusive club of a few ideologues. Ideologies have to be democratised and freed from the clutches of ideologues so that people discuss on them not to insult or humiliate others who may not know that much but to share knowledge to make a better understanding.
Violence on India’s Dalits and other communities happen because of the nature of its polity which is exclusively in the hands of dominant communities who are not democratic and highly brahmanical in nature. Unless we democratise our social structure, democratic polity will be a dream and violence will continue to happen as the same politicians who suffer from anti Dalit feelings rule us and behave in very similar way. Caste arithmetic ensure that every issue of justice is converted into a vote bank issue and the real issue disappear. I am looking for political parties when they can stand up and tell these so called powerful communities to behave according to 21st century as feudalism has no place in democratic polity. True adherence to values of our republican democratic constitution alone can survive India otherwise as a political nation we may be united but our heart will never meet with more violence and counter violence will only weaken nation’s resolve to fight the real issues of poverty, illiteracy, casteism and bigotry.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter @freetohumanity Email: email@example.com