Put Dalits on Equal Pedestal

Dr Suresh Mathew Dr Suresh Mathew
17 Oct 2022
A government which proclaims ‘sabka saath’ cannot wash its hands off the present situation as attacks on Dalits have sky-rocketed during its period.

“All beings experience pain and misery during their lifetime,” says the first of the Four Noble Truths of Lord Buddha. What he said is about the normal life of every human being. But the pain and misery inflicted on the Dalits in this country are atrociously man-made; they are the callous creation of fellow human beings; they are the consequences of the crude social hierarchy to keep certain castes subjugated for ever so that some others can reap the benefits of it. But times have changed. The suppressed classes are no more willing to lie down and be subjected to humiliation and torture. The conversion of a few thousand Dalits to Buddhism in Delhi recently is an open declaration that they cannot be taken for granted anymore. It is an expression of their resoluteness not to put up with unspeakable cruelty perpetrated on them. 

The caste system is not intrinsic to Hinduism, though in course of time it has become part and parcel of the religion. Experts opine that it was borne out of the overbearing nature of Aryans to keep their identity intact. Its vice-like grip became stronger and stronger to the extend that caste got embedded by birth, with no way to come out of it. This also became a tool to deny certain sections their human rights and fundamental rights. Caste-related outrageous practices got religious sanction with Manusmriti prescribing gruesome punishments to Dalits who even dare to place themselves on the same seat with a man of high caste. This is just one of several retributions prescribed to Dalits. The attacks on them in various parts of the country are the result of fundamentalism eating into the soul of Hinduism.

It seems the recent conversion of Dalits to Buddhism has opened the eyes of right-wing Hindu leaders. They have realized that things are going out of hand. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s plea to strive for a casteless society is a clear indication that ground is slipping beneath their feet; there is a realization among Hindu leaders that it may not be possible to keep intact the vicious-grip of caste hierarchy; they also fear that more desertions could happen if attacks on Dalits are not reined in. Moreover, Bhagwat’s assertion that certain orthodox practices are inimical to the society and untouchability should be removed seems to be a confession that the brutal attacks on Dalits and the rise in honour killings are an affront to civilized society. But the moot point is ‘who will bell the cat?’ Who will stop those who indulge in caste-related violence in their tracks. 

A government which proclaims ‘sabka saath’ cannot wash its hands off the present situation as attacks on Dalits have sky-rocketed during its period. The attackers have been emboldened as the accused in brutalizing Dalits have not got the punishment they deserve. Dalits get further disillusioned and their anger boils over as they are subjected to ‘street justice’ with the law-enforcing authorities looking the other way. Pious talks and hollow assurances are not enough to douse the embers of anger burning in the hearts of Dalits. They look forward to a level-playing field on the ground. They need to be equally treated. They need action on the ground. 

Lord Buddha Dalits Buddhism Delhi caste system human rights Hinduism Issue 43 2022 Online news Indian Currents

Recent Posts

Rajiv Gandhi was somewhere in West Bengal when the Intelligence Bureau alerted him about the assassination of his mother and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
apicture A. J. Philip
30 Jan 2023
Republic Day celebration in India has become an exhibition of India’s military might with the display of the latest arms, weapons, tanks, warplanes, etc.
apicture Jacob Peenikaparambil
30 Jan 2023
Law often faces its death knell at the altar of interpretation. These days, everyone who can read
apicture Dr G. John
30 Jan 2023
In a series of lectures in Vigyan Bhavan in 2018 Mohan Bhagwat spoke in a language due to which many insiders and many commentators outside the Sangh
apicture Ram Puniyani
30 Jan 2023
Juveniles lodged in child care institutions have been reported to be getting more aggressive instead of getting reformed because of abuse
apicture Aarti
30 Jan 2023
Swamy Dayanand was a bare-footed friar minor. He was clad in saffron robe. He lived on the food people gave him as a pilgrim.
apicture IC Correspondent
30 Jan 2023
Flow is the psychology of optimal experience. It is like being in ecstasy or being lost in concentration. Nothing else matters.
apicture P. A. Joseph
30 Jan 2023
When man comes to power, he comes with a suitcase full of weaknesses, and one of them is adulation!
apicture Robert Clements
30 Jan 2023
A witness has to take an oath before deposition in a court of law in the country. The oath is as follows, although the language varies from court to court
apicture A. J. Philip
23 Jan 2023
Recent statements emanating from Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar and Lok Sabha Speaker
apicture Jacob Peenikaparambil
23 Jan 2023