Many gurus and motivators say it is we ourselves who make our own destiny. The maxim may be true elsewhere but certainly not in India. The society and environment in India is extremely disabling for Dalits. While in the west the most pronounceable discouraging factor that block an individual is poverty while in India it is social system that decides who does what. Dalits are at the receiving end of this spectrum.
The Manuwadi social order has destroyed talents of hard working Dalit youths through its veritable chamber of confinement called caste system. Despite this throughout the history of India Dalit youth have shown what they are capable of when an opportunity is given.
We would never have been a hero like Dr. Ambedkar had British not pulled his father out of caste system and provided him a job in Army. Little Ambedkar had his secure school education in the army camp that British established and the rest are history. When it comes to nation building post independent India, Ambedkar is far ahead than other thinkers and freedom fighters. But he is not accorded the same status as Gandhi and Nehru.
The battle of Bhim Koregaon stands witness to the story of Dalit bravery; how a 900/1000 trained Dalit youth defeated 20000 ‘upper caste’ soldiers of Peshwa of Maharastra under able guidance of British Army general and helped them conquer the last forte that marked total control of India by British. This incident has been skipped in the history books as the Manuwadi historians don’t want this humiliation to be taught to the kids or even remembered.
If we go further back to history we have a Dalit hero called Eklavya, who acquired mastery over archery by just watching from a distant place how Aryan warfare teacher Drano was teaching his disciples. In an informal shooting competition Ekalavya completely routed Drono’s favorite and best archer Arjun.
When Drano heard this what did he do?
He asked Ekalvya’s right thumb as gift as the latter has learnt his skill by watching Drano teach his Aryan disciples. The manuwadi Drano did not like the superior ability of a non-aryan. Anyway, Eklavya presented his right thumb as gift and never to be heard after that.
I have narrated the above incidents in the context of recent murder and rape of an extremely talented poor Dalit girl in Rajasthan. The girl has own an award of excellence from Rajasthan state chief minister Vasundhara Raje and was undergoing training to realize her dream of becoming a teacher. Before she could realize her dream she was raped by an “upper caste” teacher, murdered and was thrown into water tank. The teacher did his heinous crime in connivance with the Brahmin lady warden of the hostel. Once again a Dalit talent was killed before it bloomed.
As expected the police is giving the incident a color of suicide though rape has been confirmed. The teacher is taken to police remand for only 5 days for a heinous crime like this. I know there is no hope for justice because justice sides with who wield power and dominance.
The unabated crime spree against Dalits in India should give us time for self introspection. Ambedkar has bared Indian society naked. State machineries are never going to help us. So, we must stop trusting them. We don’t matter to them but our votes. We have to fight the battle of our own.