Atrocitynews Special: The problems of caste and problems of people

29Sep08

Editor

Khailanji massacre occurred exactly 2 years before. On this very day in 2006, four members of a Dalit and Buddhist family were killed mercilessly by the caste Hindus. The agitation that followed showed not the anger of people against the caste system, but genuine need to look at the issue of the caste system and end it. The fact that the there is no consensual solution to the caste system. Babasaheb negotiated the rights for the untouchables and secured the mandate to end the practice of untouchability by processing Article 17, which was further given force by the Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 and the Prevention of Atrocity Act subsequently. The strong legal framework is established through the constitution of India. There is a provision for achieving social and economic democracy through various state mechanism.
The single most factor that affects India to be a democratic nation is the caste system. The revolution that is going on in India for democratisation through constitutionalism has achieved certain things which will further enhance and speed struggle for full democratisation. How to achieve that is the most pressing and important question that is facing the pro-democracy and pro-humanistic individuals and groups in India. There are ample examples in the history of the world that how a few people assumed the power in the name of suffering masses and poors, but gave rise to reign of Terror, hatred and in the end, more violent societies that destroyed the exploiters and exploited equally.
We have to work out the solutions peacefully and work through the realities of the societies and process the problems of the caste and people through creative solutions. There is always a danger in creating two categories, that is “we” against “them”. To find the method to work through these opposing categories is very very essential and important. Pragmatically, we have to use the categories to help those who suffer not only due to the categorisation, but due to system of oppression that leads to these categorisation. The Buddha warned 2550 years back that symbols, languages, ideologies and ideas have tremendous powers to create social suffering. They create a perpetual cycle of hatred and violence in which people perish and suffer.
Working through this needs a way that will not create further polarisation of people into violently opposite camps ready to get rid of another by either scheming against them or destroying them altogether. The followers of Babasaheb have no hidden scheme or intention to destroy the people, but it has an open scheme or agenda to topple the Varna system and break it altogether. This is not a simple task, but once the scheme is made public and voiced, what is left with the people who practice caste system is to either accept it or oppose it. Babasaheb made his scheme clear, and there are people who are opposed to this scheme. They are not just opposed to scheme of new India, but also practice the caste system strongly. In this situation, we are left with options that we need to look at. One of the options is political solution. The political solution includes organising politically, but not creating polarisation in terms of warring camps, but as Babasaheb said politics is not academic, we must take into consideration the factors that puncture the great momentum that Babasaheb created by making his followers more politically conscious than any other community in India. To stick to one party, one agenda and one leader is very important to flex employ the political device for ending the caste system.
One of the option is social solution. This is the everlasting one, but it is also a very difficult one as the people are fragmented by caste. The common minimum denominator that can achieve the social unity amongst the followers of Babasaheb is undoubtedly Buddhism. If the followers of Babasaheb become Buddhists all over India, they have something very positive to work with and identify with. There has to be a clear cut emphasis on people becoming Buddhists and having a common identity, which will not pull their moral down, but uplift them to think in terms of enlightned mind and identify with what is the highest and supreme in the human life, that is an enlightened mind.
Another option is fighting through civil society movements which involves awakening people of the worst forms of violence like Khairlanji due to the caste hatred. This involves campaigning for change through legal means and their effective implementation. The important device of reservation is very important to fight the caste out. To make people from all different caste to participate in the common processes that affect all of us.
On this day, that 29th September, we should all remember how torturous the caste system is by thinking about such massacres and many more like Lakshmanpur Bathe and all other places in India. This day can be remembered as ” End Caste Day” and we must remember that the deaths of Bhotmange family will not go in vain as the family represented ” Self Respect” and confidence in the Buddha and Babasaheb.
We would like to place following resolutions before the people for their consideration:
1. 29th September should be remembered as the ” Jati Ucchatan Day”.
2. A memorial should be constructed at the site of Massacre
3. The school in which Priyanka was studying should be named as ” Priyanka Bhotmange Samajik Nyaya School, Andhalgaon”
4. Those people who have been let free should be further probed and booked under POA act
5. Scholarship for young Dalit girls in the name of Priyanka Bhotmange
At the same time, we must work with the solutions that Babasaheb gave us to end caste system.


One Response to “Atrocitynews Special: The problems of caste and problems of people”

  1. Fight should go on >>


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