By Anil S
17 Dec 2009 07:31:41 AM IST
We swear by the Buddha, not Yuddha: Limbale
KOCHI: "The Dalit Movement has an ideology of Buddha, not of Yuddha.
We don't support violence, even if it's from our own people. We
believe in democratic and human values, not in weapons. Weapons bring
only short-term solutions, while humanity and brotherhood are the
This was Dalit writer and activist Sharankumar Limbale talking to
'Express' about the recent attacks on Dalits and related issues of the
Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM) in Varkala.
Limbale is a familiar figure among Malayalam readers after
'Akkarmashi', his autobiographical work, was serialised in a magazine.
The regional director of Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open
University, Pune, was here to attend a seminar on Dalit writing at the
Cochin University of Science and Technology.
Limbale said he was not in touch with the DHRM. "I came to know of the
atrocities against Dalits at Varkala from the media. It's shocking
when a Dalit is attacked in a State where the Left is in power. And
when it happens in a highly-educated society, it is even less
acceptable. It's an insult to the entire humanity. Dalits in Kerala
still live in the 16th century," he said. Asked how violence by Dalits
can be justified, Limbale said the question was one of dignity of
Dalits. "I'm not aware of the entire episode. However, violence could
not be supported, be it from Dalits or towards them. If my people are
wrong, I'd say they are wrong," he added.
Two of Limbale's books, 'Akkarmashi' and 'Hindu', have been published
in Malayalam. Three more - 'Bahujan', the 5th edition of 'Akkarmashi'
and a collection of essays on Dalit writing - will be published in
January, along with an English edition of 'Hindu'.
On reports of Dalits being wooed by extremists like Maoists, he says:
"I don't support Maoists, but I've a deep sympathy for them".
"They should come out of hiding and enter the political mainstream.
They should fight in a democratic way," he signs off.
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