Row over ‘untouchable’ Indian dog

21/09/2011

BBC South Asia

24 September 2010 Last updated at 19:26 GMT

Row over ‘untouchable’ Indian dog

Police in India are investigating claims that a Dalit woman has been ordered to pay compensation to the high-caste owners of a dog she fed.

Sunita Jatav with Sheru

Sunita Jatav fed Sheru some leftover bread

The woman says the village council wants her to pay a fine of 15,000 rupees ($330) for feeding the dog, which the owners have now kicked out. They are reported to have said the dog is “untouchable”, but deny being motivated by caste considerations. Although widespread, discrimination against Dalits is an offence in India. Dalits, who make up nearly 20% of the Indian population, say little has changed despite the government enacting various laws banning caste-based discrimination. ‘He got very angry’ The incident took place in Malikpur village in Morena district in central Madhya Pradesh state. “I made some roti [Indian bread] and took it to my husband who works in a farm. After I had fed him, we had some leftovers which I gave to the dog,” the Dalit woman, Sunita Jatav, said. She said the owner of the dog, Amrutlal Kirari, saw her feeding him. “He got very angry and said ‘You’ve fed my dog, it has become an untouchable now’.” Mrs Jatav said Mr Kirari left the dog, a black mongrel called Sheru, tied to a pole outside her house. On Monday, the village council met and decided that Sheru had been defiled and hence Mr Kirari should be paid 15,000 rupees as compensation, Mrs Jatav alleged.

On Tuesday, she approached the district collector of Morena who ordered an inquiry into the incident. Senior police officer in the area, Baldev Singh, told the BBC that he was investigating the matter. He said Mr Kirari had alleged that after eating the bread, Sheru fell ill. Mr Kirari said he abandoned the dog at Mrs Jatav’s house so she could look after it and nurse it back to health, Mr Singh added. Dalits – formerly untouchables – are considered at the bottom of the Hindu caste system. Any discrimination against them is an offence and punishable by law.

Courtesy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11403486

 

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ಜಾತೀಯತೆಗೆ ಬುದ್ಧ ಪರಿಹಾರ: ದೇವದಾಸ್:ರಾಜ್ಯ ಮಟ್ಟದ ಬೌದ್ಧ ಸಮಾವೇಶ

13/06/2011

ಹಾಸನ, ಜೂ.12: ಗೌತಮ ಬುದ್ಧನ ತ್ಯಾಗ ಮತ್ತು ಅವನ ಪಂಚಶೀಲ ತತ್ತ್ವಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಬ್ಬರು ಮೈಗೂಡಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಅಗತ್ಯ ಇದೆ ಎಂದು ದಲಿತ ಸಂಘರ್ಷ ಸಮತಿಯ ರಾಜ್ಯ ಸಂಘಟನಾ ಸಂಚಾಲಕ ಎಂ.ದೇವದಾಸ್ ಹೇಳಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಹಾಸನದ ಅಂಬೇಡ್ಕರ್ ಭವನದಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದ ಪ್ರಬುದ್ಧ ಭಾರತ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣಕ್ಕಾಗಿ 2550ನೆ ಬುದ್ಧ ಜಯಂತಿಯ ಅಂಗವಾಗಿ ರಾಜ್ಯ ಮಟ್ಟದ ಬೌದ್ಧ ಸಮಾವೇಶ ಉದ್ಘಾಟಿಸಿ ಮಾತನಾಡಿದ ಅವರು, ಬುದ್ಧನ ತತ್ತ್ವಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಬ್ಬರು ಪರಿಪಾಲನೆ ಮಾಡುವುದರಿಂದ ದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಶಾಂತಿ ನೆಲಸಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯ ಎಂದು ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯಿಸಿದರು.

ಹಾಸನದ ಅಂಬೇಡ್ಕರ್ ಭವನದಲ್ಲಿ ರವಿವಾರ ನಡೆದ ಪ್ರಬುದ್ಧ ಭಾರತ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣಕ್ಕಾಗಿ 2550ನೆ ಬುದ್ಧ ಜಯಂತಿಯ ಅಂಗವಾಗಿ ರಾಜ್ಯ ಮಟ್ಟದ ಬೌದ್ಧ ಸಮಾವೇಶ ಉದ್ಘಾಟಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವ ಗಣ್ಯರು.

ಹಾಸನದ ಅಂಬೇಡ್ಕರ್ ಭವನದಲ್ಲಿ ರವಿವಾರ ನಡೆದ ಪ್ರಬುದ್ಧ ಭಾರತ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣಕ್ಕಾಗಿ 2550ನೆ ಬುದ್ಧ ಜಯಂತಿಯ ಅಂಗವಾಗಿ ರಾಜ್ಯ ಮಟ್ಟದ ಬೌದ್ಧ ಸಮಾವೇಶ ಉದ್ಘಾಟಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವ ಗಣ್ಯರು. ಇಂದಿನ ಜಾತೀಯತೆ, ಅಸ್ಪಶತೆ ಸೇರಿದಂತೆ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಪಿಡುಗುಗಳಿಗೆ ಬುದ್ಧ ಪರಿಹಾರ ಎಂದು ದೇವದಾಸ್ ನುಡಿದರು.ದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ತಾಂಡವಾಡುತ್ತಿರುವ ಭ್ರಷ್ಟಾಚಾರದ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ಬೀಗಿಳಿದು ಹೋರಾಟ ನಡೆಸಬೇಕಾದ ಅನಿವಾರ್ಯ ಸೃಷ್ಟಿಯಾಗಿದೆ. ಬುದ್ಧನ ಆದರ್ಶಗಳನ್ನು ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಪಾಲಿಸಿದ್ದರೆ ಇಂದು ಅಣ್ಣಾ ಹಝಾರೆ ಮತ್ತು ಬಾಬಾ ರಾಮ್‌ದೇವ್ ಹೋರಾಟ ಆರಂಭಿಸುವ ಅಗತ್ಯ ಉದ್ಬವಿಸುತ್ತಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ ಎಂದವರು ಹೇಳಿದರು. ಮನುಷ್ಯನಿಗೆ ಎಷ್ಟೇ ಆಸ್ತಿ-ಪಾಸ್ತಿ ಇದ್ದರೂ ನೆಮ್ಮದಿ ಅತಿಮುಖ್ಯ. ಬುದ್ಧನ ತತ್ತ್ವಾದರ್ಶ ಪಾಲಿಸುವುದರಿಂದ ಶಾಂತಿ ಮತ್ತು ನೆಮ್ಮದಿ ಕಂಡುಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯ ಎಂದು ದೇವದಾಸ್ ತಿಳಿಸಿದರು. ಬೌದ್ಧ ಗುರು ಬೋದಿದತ್ತ ಬಂತೇಜಿ ಮಾತನಾಡಿ, ಗೌತಮ ಬುದ್ಧನ ತತ್ತ್ವಾದರ್ಶಗಳು ಸರಳ ಮತ್ತು ಸುಸಂಸ್ಕೃತವಾಗಿವೆ. ಹಾಗಾಗಿಯೇ ಸಂವಿಧಾನಶಿಲ್ಪಿ ಡಾ.ಅಂಬೇಡ್ಕರ್‌ರು ದಲಿತ ತತ್ತ್ವದಿಂದ ಬುದ್ಧತ್ವದೆಡೆಗೆ ನಡೆಯಬೇಕೆಂಬ ಆಶಯ ಹೊಂದಿದ್ದರು ಎಂದರು. ಸಮಾವೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾವಿರಾರು ಮಂದಿ ಬೌದ್ಧ ಅನುಯಾಯಿಗಳು, ದಲಿತ ಕಾರ್ಯಕರ್ತರು ಭಾಗವಹಿಸಿದ್ದರು.

http://vbnewsonline.com/MainNews/57321/

ಭೈರಪ್ಪರಿಂದ ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮದ ವೌಢ್ಯಗಳಿಗೆ ಬೆಂಬಲ: ಸಿಎನ್ನಾರ್

24/01/2011
ಸೋಮವಾರ – ಜನವರಿ -24-2011

ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು, ಜ. 23: ಎಸ್.ಎಲ್.ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರು ಬಹುತೇಕ ತಮ್ಮ ಎಲ್ಲ ಕಾದಂಬರಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮದ ಅರ್ಥವಿಲ್ಲದ ವೌಢ್ಯ ಆಚರಣೆ ಗಳನ್ನು ಬೆಂಬಲಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ ಎಂದು ಪ್ರೊ.ಸಿ.ಎನ್. ರಾಮಚಂದ್ರನ್ ವಿಷಾದಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ನಗರದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಪರಿಷತ್‌ನ ಸಭಾಂಗಣದಲ್ಲಿಂದು ನವಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಪ್ರಕಾಶನದ ವತಿಯಿಂದ ಹಮ್ಮಿಕೊಳ್ಳ ಲಾಗಿದ್ದ ಡಾ.ಕೆ.ಎಲ್.ಗೋಪಾಲ ಕೃಷ್ಣಯ್ಯ ಅವರ ‘ಡಾ.ಎಸ್.ಎಲ್.ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರ ಕಾದಂಬರಿಗಳೊಡನೆ ಧರ್ಮ-ಕರ್ಮ ಜಿಜ್ಞಾಸೆ’ ಕೃತಿಯನ್ನು ಅನಾವರಣ ಗೊಳಿಸಿ ಅವರು ಮಾತನಾಡಿದರು.
ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರು ತಮ್ಮ ಗ್ರಹಭಂಗ ಕಾದಂಬರಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ವಿರುದ್ಧವಾಗಿ ಮರುಮುದುವೆಯಾಗುವ ಕ್ಯಾತಾಯಿನಿಗೆ ಮೂರು ಸಲ ಅಕಾರಣ ವಾಗಿ ಗರ್ಭಪಾತ ಮಾಡಿಸಿ ಸಾಯಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

‘ದಾಟು’ವಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಜಾತೀಯತೆ ಯನ್ನು ವಿರೋಧಿಸುವ ದಲಿತ ಸಮುದಾಯದ ಮೋಹನ್‌ದಾಸ್‌ನು ಗರ್ಭಗುಡಿಯನ್ನು ಪ್ರವೇಶಿಸುವಾಗ ಮೂರ್ಚೆ ಹೋಗುತ್ತಾನೆ. ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮದ ನಂಬಿಕೆಗಳ ವಿರುದ್ಧವಾಗಿ ಈಜುವ ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಂದು ಪಾತ್ರಗಳು ಅವಸಾನ ಹೊಂದುವಂತೆ ಚಿತ್ರಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಎಂದು ಅವರು ಆರೋಪಿಸಿದರು.

ಕವಲು ಕಾದಂಬರಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕೂಡ ಬೈರಪ್ಪನವರು ಸ್ತ್ರೀಪಾತ್ರಗಳೆಲ್ಲವೂ ಹಣದಾಸೆಗಾಗಿ ಯಾರಿಗಾದರೂ ತಮ್ಮ ಮೈ ಮಾರಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವಂತೆ ಹಾಗೂ ತಮ್ಮ ಗಂಡಂದಿರನ್ನು ವಿನಾಕಾರಣ ಕಾನೂನಿನ ಇಕ್ಕಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಸಿಲುಕಿಸುವ ಖಳ ಪಾತ್ರಗಳಂತೆ ಚಿತ್ರಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ಅವರು ನಮ್ಮ ದೇಶದ ಕಾನೂನುಗಳನ್ನು ಇನ್ನೊಮ್ಮೆ ಅಧ್ಯಯನ ಮಾಡುವುದು ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದು ಎಂದು ಅವರು ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯಪಟ್ಟರು.

ಯಾವುದೆ ಧರ್ಮ ಎಲ್ಲ ಕಾಲ ಘಟ್ಟದಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದೆ ರೀತಿ ಇರಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯ ವಿಲ್ಲ. ಆಯಾ ಕಾಲದ ವಿವಿಧ ವರ್ಗಗಳು, ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಸ್ಥಿತಿಗತಿಯನ್ನು ಆಧರಿಸಿ ಧರ್ಮ ಸ್ಥಿತ್ಯಂತರಗೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಲೆ ಇರುತ್ತದೆ. ವೈದಿಕ ಧರ್ಮವು ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕ ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮಕ್ಕಿಂತಲೂ ಪುರಾತನ ವಾದ ಇತಿಹಾಸವನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿದೆ. ಹಿಂದೂ ಎಂಬ ಶಬ್ದದ ಕೂಡ ಪರಕೀಯ ರಿಂದ ಬಂದುದಾಗಿದೆ ಎಂದರು.
ಬುದ್ಧ ವೈದಿಕ ಪುರೋಹಿತಶಾಹಿ ಧರ್ಮವನ್ನು ವಿರೋಧಿಸಿದರೆ ಹೊರತು ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮವನ್ನಲ್ಲ. ಕಾಲಕಾಲಕ್ಕೆ ಬದಲಾಗುವ ಧರ್ಮ ನಮ್ಮನ್ನು ರಕ್ಷಿಸು ತ್ತದೆ ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ನಂಬುವುದಾದರೂ ಹೇಗೆ ಎಂದು ಅವರು ಪ್ರಶ್ನಿಸಿದರು. ನೂರಾರು ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ಮುಸ್ಲಿಂ ಮಹಾರಾಜರು 2 ಸಾವಿರ ದೇವಾ ಲಯಗಳನ್ನು ನಾಶಗೊಳಿಸಿದರು.

ಅವರ ವಾರಸುದಾರರಾದ ಇಂದಿನ ಮುಸ್ಲಿಂರು ಈ ದುಷ್ಕೃತ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಬಲಿಯಾಗಬೇಕೆಂಬುದು ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರ ಆವರಣ ಕಾದಂಬರಿಯ ವಾದವಾಗಿದೆ.

ಆದರೆ ಫರ್ಗುಶನ್ ಎಂಬ ವಿದೇಶಿ ವಿದ್ವಾಂಸ ಶೇ.99ರಷ್ಟು ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮದ ಅನುಯಾಯಿಯಾಗಿದ್ದು ಕೊಂಡು ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮದ ಕುರಿತು ಸಾಕಷ್ಟು ಗ್ರಂಥಗಳನ್ನು ರಚಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಆದರೆ ಅವರು ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮದ ವಾರಸುದಾರರಲ್ಲ ಎನ್ನುವುದನ್ನು ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರು ಗಮನಿಸಬೇಕು ಎಂದು ಅವರು ಹೇಳಿದರು

Courtesy : Varthabharathi

http://vbnewsonline.com/Benguluru/41448/


OBC RESERVATION Gujjar community continues protests over demand for jobs reservations

02/01/2011

Gujjar community continues protests over demand for jobs reservations

2010-12-24 13:20:00
Jobs for Experience Candidates Only Register Now & Get Best Job MatchedHTCareers.in/Reliance_Jobs
 

Hundreds of members of the ethnic Gujjar community continue to stage protests in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan over a demand for reservation of jobs in government and educational institutions.

The Gujjars have been demanding a separate five percent quota in government jobs and educational institutions.

Shouting anti-government slogans, hundreds of protestors carrying banners and placards took out a march in Mathura district of the state on Thursday.

They threatened to block the supply of milk to neighbouring northwestern Rajasthan state and national capital New Delhi.

“We will take our five percent reservation from the state government at any cost. The milk supply from Mathura district to Rajasthan and Delhi will be disrupted. Gujjars are united for this cause,” said Harcharan Singh, a Gujjar community leader.

Irate Gujjars blocked the national highway and burnt effigies.

“The government had assured us 5 percent reservation but they have not kept their word. Till the time our demand is met, we will continue with our protest. Initially the protest was at state level, now it has gone inter-state,” said Sahib Singh Deshwar, a protestor.

The fresh round of agitation began on Monday (December 20) after Gujjars blocked railway tracks in Rajasthan.

Meanwhile, additional paramilitary forces have been deployed in Dausa district of Rajasthan, the epicenter of the protests.

The agitation for reservations began in 2007, during which many lives were lost.

On Wednesday, the Rajasthan High Court turned down the longstanding plea of the community on reservation.

Rejecting the petition filed by Gujjar leaders, the Court also directed the provincial government to collect data on the status of education and economic welfare of the Gujjar community within a year.

The Indian Government reserves about half of all seats in state colleges and universities for lower caste people and tribal groups to flatten centuries-old social hierarchies, in what has been called the world’s biggest affirmative action scheme.

The Gujjar community comes under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category but now they seek to be reclassified under the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes (socially disadvantaged and lower caste people) grouping.

The scheme has been criticised for accentuating caste identities in India, where discrimination on caste is banned in the Constitution.

Some critics say the reservation system masks India’s failure to provide good universal education and social equality.

A year ago, Gujjars in Rajasthan fought police and members of another caste that already qualifies for job reservations.

After these protests, a state government committee said it would spend rupees 2.8 billion (67 million dollars) improving schools, clinics, roads and other infrastructure in Gujjar areas. But the Gujjars rejected this option. (ANI)

 

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110101/jsp/opinion/story_13360497.jsp

 


Dalit sisters make it to judicial services in male-dominated Haryana

24/12/2010

 

Dalit sisters make it to Haryana judicial services
Meenu and Yachana Sarswal with their father after being selected into judicial services.
YAMUNANAGAR: Haryana is celebrating the success of Dalit sisters, Meenu and Yachana, who were recently appointed judicial officers.

The girls from Musimbal, a village in Yamunanagar district, are an inspiration for thousands to dream big in a state infamous for its skewed sex ratio.

The girls have a sister, Rajni, who has an MBA and is a bank officer. Their father, Raghuvir Ram, is proud of his daughters and says he never felt the lack of a son. He was always happy raising his daughters. Raghuvir works for a nationalized bank in Chandigarh. His wife had a government job.

”In a society where sons and daughters are seldom treated as equals, we never let them feel they were at a disadvantage. Parents must be proud of their daughters and help them flourish,” Raghuvir says.

Likewise, the girls are proud of their parents, who always motivated and helped them to move ahead and achieve their targets. ”They always supported and motivated us, so that we could be successful and do something better for society,” said Meenu, a law post-graduate from Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Her sister Yachana, who also has an LLM from the same university, is keen to do something special to save the girl child.

”With the spread of education we can eradicate all evils from society. The female sex ratio can be improved only by educating women,” said Yachana, who made it to the judicial service in her first attempt.

Read more: Dalit sisters make it to judicial services in male-dominated Haryana – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Dalit-sisters-make-it-to-judicial-services-in-male-dominated-Haryana/articleshow/7154041.cms#ixzz1941GMdLm

 


Recasting Hinduism for the 21st century

24/12/2010

It is important that Hindus take the lead in acknowledging the damage that caste discrimination does and resolving to tackle it

rao

India Dalit HinduDalits at the National Conference of Dalits in New Delhi. Photograph: Manish Swarup/APCaste has become the convenient “hook” to hang the Hinduism portrait since Hinduism, that “rolling caravan of conceptual spaces”, is too complex a religion/way of life for the “people of the book” who have reigned supreme the past two millennia. Unfortunately, caste being the complex conundrum that it is, Hinduism almost always is seen through the prism of caste. 

In a newly published report, the Hindu American Foundation tackles the issue of caste discrimination, and of the immediate and urgent need for Hindus to acknowledge that caste is not an intrinsic part of Hinduism; that continuing caste-based discrimination is a major human rights problem; and only Hindus, through reform movements, through an activist agenda, and through education can rid Hindu society of the scourge of caste-based discrimination.

While there will be naysayers in the Hindu community, who wish to get into their bunkers and fight a rearguard battle to “defend” Hinduism from what they see as a concerted campaign of vilification by Christian missionaries, Muslim fundamentalists, Marxist Hindu haters, and a global-capitalist-western hegemony, it is important that Hindus bell the casteist cat themselves. In this regard, the HAF report points out that caste-based discrimination is a serious human rights issue in the Indian subcontinent, and that over 160 million people, whom the Indian government categorises as “scheduled castes” (SCs), suffer from discrimination by not only a variety of Hindu caste groups but even by “upper caste” Christians and Muslims after they have converted to Christianity or Islam.

The Indian constitution, whose chief architect, BR Ambedkar, was himself a member of the scheduled castes, outlaws “untouchability” – the act of segregating and ostracising a social group by literally prohibiting physical contact with members of the SCs. Alas, India is hobbled by a weak and sometimes dysfunctional judicial system, and therefore acts of discrimination against the SCs (or Dalits, as many of them prefer to call themselves) either go unpunished or ignored.

Other lawlessness in India goes unpunished but the challenge of dealing with caste-based discrimination has been the most disheartening. This is especially so in rural areas where caste dynamics continues to play havoc. In 2008, for example, according to the Indian government, there were 33,615 human rights violations of various types – from the denial of entry into temples to denial of service in wayside restaurants, and from bonded labour to the exploitation of women.

HAF’s report therefore begins with an important point: that Hindus must acknowledge that caste arose in Hindu society, that some Hindu texts and traditions justify a birth-based hierarchy and caste bias, and that it has survived despite considerable attempts by Hindus to curtail it. It notes that caste-based discrimination represents a failure of Hindu society “to live up to its essential spiritual teachings,” that divinity is inherent in all beings, and that caste is not an intrinsic part of Hinduism.

Sure, untouchability is practiced not just by Hindus in India and Nepal but by non-Hindus in Yemen, Japan, Korea, France, Somalia, and Tibet. But the sheer number of people who are discriminated against in India makes this a uniquely Indian and Hindu problem. Fishing in India’s troubled waters are therefore missionaries who for long have sought to make India Christian, and the left/Marxist forces in India who see only Hinduism as a problem but not religion per se. In recent decades, and especially after George W Bush became president, there was a surge in monies funneled into India for planting churches and converting Hindus. Organisations like the Dalit Freedom Network, led by and catering to mostly Christians, have gone on overdrive and sought to categorise SCs as non-Hindus and therefore arguing that they are not converting Hindus to Christianity.

HAF’s report, a first of its kind by a modern Hindu advocacy group, provides readers a handy but grand sweep of the problem of caste – from its origins to its role in the past and at present, its use and abuse, and reform movements from the earliest by the likes of Basaveshwara to the great 19th- and 20th-century reform movements like the Arya Samajmovement, and reformers like Jyotiba PhuleNarayana GuruMahatma Gandhi, and others.

Noting that there are defenders of the caste system, not just the curmudgeon and cruel among Hindus, but the likes of Voltaire and Diderot who fought against the monotheistic intolerance of Christians and Muslims, to sociologists like Louis Dumont who argued that the “distribution of functions leads to exchanges”, to the great Indophile,Alain Daniélou who argued that caste does not equate to “racist inequality but … a natural ordering of diversity,” the HAF report argues that a birth-based hierarchy is unacceptable, that inequities against and the abuse of the Dalits/SCs is a human rights issue, and that the solution to this social ill is available within Hindu sacred texts themselves, and that Hindus should be at the forefront of putting an end to the system of birth-based hierarchy as well as taking the lead in energising the Dalit community to fight discrimination.

As the British seek to draft a new bill of rights, and from what one hears,equate caste with racism, similar to what was sought at the United Nations Durban conference on racism and racial discrimination, as western Europe and US-based missionary groups ratchet up the calls for actions and sanctions against India, and as we move into a new era of global interaction, it is time for Hindus to act.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/dec/21/india-hindu-dalit


Untouchability: Drink your own water, dead dog or no

24/12/2010

BANGALORE: The village well is where castelines cut deep between the `we’ and `they’ notion in Waganagere village of Gulbarga. While the upper castes have their own wells, the pariahs living on the outskirts have one well. Take it or leave it.

Located in a dry region where drought is common, there are no natural lakes or even a river close by. The usual sources of water are tubewells and wells. But these sources of drinking water are not accessible to the dalits and the only well for almost 120 dalit households usually has very little water, according to the National Law School of India University’s Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy.

Citing one instance, the study says a dog had fallen into this well and died. The dalits were left with no option, but to consume the toxic water after removing the carcass. “Even in such inhuman conditions, dalits are not allowed to enter the main part of the village and fetch water from the tubewells situated inside the village, where the upper castes live,” the study says.

While detailing how the village has clearly segregated sources of drinking water for different castes, the NLSU study also talks of how in extreme cases of drought, the upper castes do allow dalits some water. Except that the water is poured into the dalits’ pots from a distance, to prevent them from using the well!

Village Waganagere is just one among such extreme cases of caste prejudice in a state known for its royal Mysore and Vijayanagar kingdoms. At 126, Gulbarga district has the highest number of cases registered under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989 in Karnataka.

In Bommanahalli village of Gulbarga district, the dalit population of 20 households experiences untouchability in many forms. Non-dalit castes here are mainly Brahmins, Kurubas, Ayyanars and Muslims. The Dalits mainly consist of the jatis Madaru and Holeyaru, both Scheduled Castes, and reside on the fringe of the village in a separate colony.

There are segregated water sources for dalits and non-dalits in this village too. “All sources of drinking water are not accessible to dalits. They have separate tubewells. When there is scarcity of water, the dalits are not allowed to directly draw water from the well or tubewells. One of the upper caste members would pour water into their pots,” the study says.

Life and later

The great divide is not confined to the living: even graveyards are segregated for dalits and non-dalits. In the event of a death in any dalit household, the body is paraded. The procession is strictly prohibited from entering the residential areas of the upper castes. There has been no violence on this issue, as the geography of the village and location of dalit households and their graveyard allows for dalit processions to parade the body out of the way of the other castes. Hence, there are no conflicts over access to burial grounds.

Harvest and forget

Dalits are not allowed to enter the houses of non-dalits, except when it is convenient, such as harvest season, when manual labour is required to transport the crops. Even then, the employed dalits have restricted access: while delivering the harvested crops, they are allowed entry only till the verandahs of upper caste homes.

Wedding feasts

During marriages and other celebrations, non-dalits are served food inside the house. Later, the lower castes are served, but at a distant place. The food is not offered in the plates and tumblers served to the rest of the guests; they have to bring along their own tableware.

The upper castes also demand that a separate cook be hired to prepare food exclusively for the lower castes. And the clincher: the ingredients for the feast, and the cost, are to be borne by the dalits themselves!

Read more: Drink your own water, dead dog or no – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Drink-your-own-water-dead-dog-or-no/articleshow/4839520.cms#ixzz193rFmKMA