Dalits: The real Bharatiyas
While the UN Conference on Racism was on in Durban, Bharat Jhunjhunwalas article, 'Discuss caste', related to the Dalit issue, seemed to lack basic direction. Some time ago when I attended a seminar on "Whether non-Dalit writers can write Dalit literature?" in Lucknow, I found that non-Dalit writers argued that they could also write Dalit literature and Dalit writers argued that they could not.
Articles by other non-Dalit writers on Dalit issues only proves one point-that non-Dalit writers can not write dispassionately while dealing with Dalit issues. In fact, non-Dalit writers become prejudiced while treating Dalit issues and strongly emerge as status quoists. A western scholar has this to say about the varna intelligentsia: That when they are asked about Indian philosophy, they start narrating the historically unestablished stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata. They premise their credentials as philosophers on such knowledge, which in truth they are actually not.
Mr Jhunjhunwala stands in that class of prototype philosophers. Whereas the world, stepping into the 21st Century, is avowing Human Rights and the principles of equality and fraternity, Mr Jhunjhunwala is advocating, on the other hand, that the already rusted and rejected vertical varna system of Brahmanical ideology be followed by other civilisations as the best tool of good social governance.
Mr Jhunjhunwala must realise that abroad, India is known by the principles of equality and fraternity expounded by Buddha and not by the varna system and its by product-the caste system which deprives human beings of even their basic human rights. The world community knows very well that the varna system is a vertical social system which discards equality from its definition and therefore is an epidemic for society and worth of dumping sealed, like nuclear waste.
While boasting positive features of varna system and caste system. Mr Jhunjhunwala betrays ignorance when he describes the Brahmanical Social Order and denominates Dalits as the fourth varna. He must update his knowledge pool to accommodate the fact that Dalits are not part of a Brahmanical four-fold varna system and are thus not Hindus. Mr Jhunjhunwala is mistaken in considering Dalits as Shudras. Dalits have always struggled against Brahmanism; they have been dubbed as untouchables by Brahmins as they have never adhered to the philosophy of Brahmanism. On the other hand Shudras, over a long period of struggle against Brahmanism, have accepted it, albeit unwillingly, and that is why they are kept on the lowest rung of the Brahmanical social order. They comprise that class of people for whom Brahmins earmarked numerous inhuman provisions in their Shastras to control them ideologically so that they could not revolt against Brahmanism in the long run. Brahmins never succeeded in bringing untouchables, the so called Dalits, into their vertical system, as the latter never accepted the inhuman principles of Brahmanism and kept on harnessing the principles of equality and fraternity. So Dalits are not just downtrodden; they are a symbol of the propagation of equality and fraternity, not only in India but worldwide. And that is why Dalits find themselves unified with the world community at Durban, whereas Brahmanical philosophers were singled out and exposed before the world community.
If Dalits have lived through the ages with their Brahmanical counterparts, as avers Mr Jhunjhunwala, it is with hope of liberating their country-Bharat-from the clutches of Brahmanical people, the aliens. And for this Dalits have polarised with Shudras to form a larger Bahujan ideology. This is the only ideology that will rule India. It is time for the likes of Mr Jhunjhunwala to be one with Bahujan ideology and ponder Dalit issues with perspicacity, and on the premise of logic.