Monday, September 13, 2010

[ZESTCaste] What should Indian nationalism mean for dalits?


Dear All,

I notice a continuous stream of accusations at dalits as anti-
national. I want to present a dalit viewpoint on India's post-
independence reality and seek your views on this.

Despite their horrible pre-independence conditions, dalits chose to
align with India instead of choosing yet another partition. Dr.
Ambedkars visionary first speech in the constituent assembly clearly
proclaims the nationalistic fervour of dalits. This speech can be
reviewed from the following link after the section of Jayakars

The present system of reservations was created by Congress as a
compensation for Dr. Ambedkars demand for separate electorates.
Dalits continue to bear the results of Gandhi's blackmail of
Ambedkar into signing the pune pact which gives them stooges of non-
dalits as representatives.

Indias post-independence development strategy has resulted in an
upper caste oligopoly of value chains in the private sector. This
oligopoly includes manuvadis christians and muslims too. This
oligopoly consciously and unconsciously discriminates against dalits
and relegates them to low value jobs/businessses. Due to this the
economic growth of India has increased the inequality in India
instead of reducing it. Unless dalits are enabled and empowered to
participate in the economic growth, the economic growth of India
will continue to increase the inequality rather than reduce it.

In the 2001 census there was a detailed section on the condition of
dalits. The situation of dalits is horrible as described in that
document. The following analysis is based on this section and based
on analysis of data and articles in the media.

Just 10% of dalits work in government, and public sector. 90% dalit
dalits work in organised and unorganised private sector. For these
90%, literacy, property ownership, healthcare, insurance, finance or
even non-discriminated access and participation in social resources
and social life in general remains marginal. While the situation has
improved in urban areas, the evidence from rural areas is

Despite independence, masaccres like Gohana, Jhajjhar, Tsundur and
many others go practically unpunished and even uncried for compared
to the long gone Jallianwala baug massacre which is posited by
Indian media as something that all Indians are supposed to cry over.
Dalit viewpoints are inadequately represented or misrepresented by
the media, where dalits are scare in ownership and management.

Elections are rarely free, fair and non-violent, the media is
hostile to dalit viewpoints due to lack of dalits among media owners
and managers, illiteracy and poverty of dalits is used to misguide
them, the pune pact ensures that radical dalits never get elected
and only subservient dalits get elected.

The courts too have recently slid into the support of non-secular
ideologies hostile eventually of the basic principles of the
constitution. The Obiter dicta of Justice Dharmadhikari posted on
this group is a recent example.

The economic dependence of dalits on non-dalits continues due to no
change in rural areas. The executive starting from elected
representatives and ministers down to lower level functionaries too
have become aligned with upper caste elites and consume the major
portion of development funding as confessed by Rajiv Gandhi.

But non-dalits continue to be hostile to ANYONE FROM ANYWHERE who
seeks to enable and empower dalits. If Christians seek to enable and
empower dalits in exchange for conversions, manuvadi hindus call
them anti-national and seek to stop them. Same is true about
Muslims. If dalits seek help of USA, US and UN in enabling and
empowering themselves, because Indians and India have not enabled
and empowered them such dalits are labeled anti-national.

If 90% dalits not got much out of independence, what is the exact
expectation of those who have benefitted out of India's independence
from them? What should India mean to them according to Indians like
you? Is there any substantial freedom for dalits in this context,
defined as Amartya sen does? What then should being Indian mean to
dalits according to Indians like you?

I raise this question with you as to "what should Indian nationalism
mean for dalits". As a dalit, I sincerely seek your views on
this question which has bothered me for years.



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