Category Archives: Caste Discrimination

21st April (2010) in Dalit History – Mirchpur Dalits Killings


A perpetual war is going on every-day in every village between the Hindus and the Untouchables. —Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

Mirchpur, a village in district Hissar of Haryana. On the morning of 21 April, 2010, 18 Dalit homes were torched and 2 Dalits—17-year old Suman and her 60-year old father Tara Chand—were burnt alive. It was pre-planned attack on the Dalits by Jat community and police didn’t help Dalits at all. Khap panchayats supported Jats that led Dalits to leave the villages.

Mirchpur Dalits Killings

Mirchpur Dalits Killings

On 24th September, 2011 Delhi court held only 15 of the 97 people guilty of various criminal acts. It is shameful that rest of the people got away without any punishment. Justice was denied to Dalits once again.

Read more about the incident from here, here and here.

Watch a short documentary on the same incident.

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Dr Ambedkar’s idea of India and his legacy


– By Mangesh Dahiwale

Babasaheb loved India. His love is expressed in his service to India. Babasaheb quoted Leo Tolstoy to make the same point: those who love can only serve. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, people follow him and look at him as their source of inspiration. On his 124th birth anniversary, two major political parties are competing to co-opt him. The Indian National Congress declared an yearlong celebration. The RSS, which is the mother of BJP, is publishing “Collector’s issue” on Babasaheb. Ironically, Babasaheb was opposed to their brands of nationalism and their idea of India. The emergence of Babasaheb in the current situation is natural in the way polity of India is conceived in the constitution as democratic republic. In India, “We, the people” are supreme. Who are we in this “we, the people”? The answer to this question is all of us born in this country. We constitute the Indian republic. Well, at least, constitutionally, if not in practice. But this abstract idea that we constitute India is liberating for citizens of this country. The people of India elect their representatives by casting votes every five years. This is a big achievement for Indians to be able to chose who will govern them.

Dr. Ambedkar

Dr. Ambedkar

Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War in United State remarked that constitution will rule whatever is below it and destroy whatever is above it. The constitution gives that power to us. On to this question, Babasaheb directed his entire energy as to who is the ruler of India. He opposed the British Raj. His scathing remarks on exploitation of natives, his analytical criticism of Raj’s social policies, and his objective analysis of British policy are testimonies to his criticism of the British Raj. He didn’t want India to be ruled by the British. To him, it was exploitative and undermining natives of India. He was also opposed to Congress’s brand of India. Since 1937, Indian National Congress came to power in the Central Assembly and majority of the provinces of British India, their rule was similarly exploitative and it was not for “We, the people of India”. Indian National Congress was supported by the capitalists and media even during this period. They won the elections since 1937. The Indians that made Indian National Congress and larger population of Indians they ruled reflected the clear social fact of India. The Indian National Congress was elitist and led by the upper castes, mainly the Brahmans and Banias. This is the reason why Jotiba Phule was opposed to the Indian National Congress. Here lies the importance of Jotiba Phule, who created a platform for the politics of Bahujans. He was the progenitor of the idea of India ruled by the Non-Brahmans and by the current implications not by the axis of Brahmans and Banias.

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Saint Tukaram Said


Saint Tukaram

Saint Tukaram

Time will submit to slavery
from illusionís bonds we’ll be free
everyone will be
powerful and prosperous –
Brahman, Ksatriya, Vaishya, Shudra
and Chandala all have rights
women, children, male and female
and even prostitutes.

– Saint Tukaram

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Why Brahmins Hate Reservation? – By Periyar E. V. Ramasami


Communal representation is the accredited right of every nation and its government. It is the common right of all citizens belonging to every community. The main motive of the principle of communal representation is to eradicate the unequal status amongst the citizens. Communal representation is a ‘boon’ to create a society of equals. When there are communities which are forward and progressive; hampering the well being of all the other communities; there is no other go but to resort to the system of communal representation. It is by this way the suffering communities could begin to heave a sigh of relief. The need for the prolongation of the system of communal representation will automatically cease and it will be found absolutely unnecessary to continue the policy any longer, when all the communities are made as equals.

Read also – Why wearing Thaali (Mangalsutra) is disgraceful – By Periyar E. V. Ramasami

Excepting the Bráhmin community all other communities started to demand for communal representation soon after the talk of representation of Indians in governance began. For a long time, except the Brahmin community all other communities carried on agitation urging the government to implement the policy of communal representation.

Jinnah, Periyar and Ambedkar

Jinnah, Periyar and Dr. Ambedkar

The Brahmins, particularly the Brahmins of Tamil Nadu stooped to many ways to put hurdles and create obstacles against the implementation of the policy of communal representation. They pursued trickish methods and conspired many times against the communal representation policy which was a boon to all downtrodden communities.

Read also – Periyar linked caste to religion

One could understand the Brahmins opposing the communal representation policy, if at all they had openly come forward to list out the evils of uplifting the down trodden people. All those who oppose simply said ‘no’, and no one explained why? So far no one has clearly listed out the reasons for opposing the policy of reservation. What is wrong in making all people as equals? What is wrong in giving equal opportunities for all? If there is nothing wrong in creating a socialist society, and if it is undeniable that the present society composed of unequal should be made progressive; what else can be done without creating reservations based on population through the communal representation policy. Could it be denied that there are weaker section in the society?

Read alsoPeriyar was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for the publication of his book ‘Ponmozhigal’ (Golden sayings)

Moreover, when we have allowed the classification of the society based on religion, caste and community; we cannot stand in the way of the people demanding special rights, based on religion, caste, and community. There is nothing wrong on their part or of any community in safeguarding their interests. I don’t see anything dishonest in that.

The casteism made the people go backward. Castes spell more and more ruination. Castes have made us low and have-nots. Till all these evils are eradicated and everyone attains an equal status in life, the proportional representation policy based ‘on population is indispensable. Many communities have entered the field of education only recently. All should be enabled to read and attain a civilised stage. Our people should take to education and read well. Our people should get their due share in the public services and in all other fields according to their percentage in the total population.

In this country out of 100 people only three are brahmins. Sixteen percent of the population are Adi-dravidas. 72 perent of the population are non brahmins. Should not the jobs be given to all in proportion to the population?

(Source : Collected works of Periyar E.V.R. Pg. 165-166)

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20th March in Dalit History – Mahad Satyagraha


Mahad Satyagraha was a satyagraha led by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on 20 March 1927 to allow untouchables to use water in a public tank in Mahad (currently in Kolba district), Maharasthra, India. The day (20 March) observed as Social Empowerment day in India.

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Flyer published before Mahad Satyagraha in 1927

Flyer published before Mahad Satyagraha in 1927

mahad chavdar tal satyagrah-dr bhimrao ramji ambedkar

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Mahatma Jotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule’s contribution towards women empowerment


To celebrate Women’s Day without recognizing the contribution of Dr. Ambedkar, Savitribai Phule, and Mahatma Jotiba Phule is hypocrisy and shameful act. Here are few of the highlights of work done by Mahatma Jotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule for women empowerment.

Also read – Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and International Women’s Day

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule

  • On 1st Jan. 1848, India’s first school for girls was started at Bhide’s wada in Pune by Mahatma Jotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule.
  • On 28 January 1853: First ever infanticide prohibition home of India was started by Savitribai Phule.
  • Savitribai Phule started Mahila Seva Mandal in 1852, which worked for raising women’s consciousness about their human rights, dignity of life and other social issues. She went on to organise a successful barbers strike in Mumbai and Pune against the prevailing practice of shaving of widows’ heads.
Bhidewada

Bhidewada, where India’s first school for girls was started by Savitribai Phule and Mahatma Jotiba Phule

  • On 28 January 1866, Vishnushastri, inspired by Phule’s  movement opened an institution to promote widow  remarriage. The institution (a society) was known as Punar Vivahtojak Mandal(remarriage association).
  • At a time when even the shadow of untouchables was considered impure, when the people were unwilling to offer water to thirsty untouchables, Savitribai Phule and Mahatma Jotiba Phule opened the well in their house for the use of untouchables.

Read also – Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s fight for women’s rights

  • Savitribai Phule was the first Dalit woman, in-fact the first woman whose poems got noticed in the British Empire. Savitribai Phule was the mother of modern poetry stressing necessity of English and education through her poems.
  • Did you know? On 16th Nov. 1852, Phule family was honoured by British government for their works in the field of education and Savtribai was declared as the best teacher.
  • In 1863, first ever orphanage home was started by Mahatma Jotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule, hence gave protection to pregnant widows.

Read also – Book Review of “A Forgotten Liberator : The Life and Struggle of Savitribai Phule”

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India and Untouchables


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Read also – Know how much our forefathers suffered because of caste system

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Read also – Dr. Ambedkar as an Economist

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Holi – A Festival To Commomorate Bahujan Burning


Holi – What is it and how did it originate?

It is well known that Holi forms one of the important festivals among the Hindus. It is supposed to be festival of Shudras, and is one of the three most important ones in India, the others being Dasera and Diwali. The Dasera is in honour of killing of Ravana and Divali is in honour of killing of Narakasur and noted pesant king Bali. The purpose of Holi, indirectly, is concerned with killing of Hiranyakashyap. The important elements of the festival of Holi are as follows:-

1. A pyre is burnt.
2. Abuses are showered on people, and other obscenities are observed. Dirt, mud etc. is smeared.
3. Festivities are indulged in to celebrate the victory.

Also check – Some Random Thoughts on Diwali – Say No To Diwali

Traditional Account

The puranas give an account of hokika burning. The traditional story is that a powerful King Hiranya Kashyapu sent his sister Holika to kill his ten year old only son Pralhad, as he was worshipping Barhmnic god Vishnu against his wishes. Holika had a cloth which could resist burning. She sits with Pralhad on a pyre. The wind blows wrapping Pralhad with the cloth and Holika is burnrd to death. Holi is supposed to be celebrated to commomorate this event.

Say No To Holi

Say No To Holi

Purpose of writing puranas

Dr. Ambedkar avers that “This literature arose during the period subsequent to the triumph of Brahmins under the leadership of Pushyamitra” (p.257 W&S vol.3) Original authors were non-brahmin sutas, but later they were ousted by brahmins who made monopoly of it. At that time they were finally edited and extra new subjects, apart from five traditional ones, were incorporated. [W&S vol 3, p.255]. But if you consider the fact that the majority of people were only allowed to know either by reading or hearing, and mostly by hearing, only these so called scriptures and nothing else, it becomes evident that the purpose of these books was rather more for false appeasement rather than information or enlightenment, let alone their progress and liberation, so that they don’t aim and strive for any higher literature. The real purpose of Puranas was to misled the dalitbahujan masses regarding their aspirations to knowledge, to curb down their desire for more information and limit their desires to their paltry needs. BSO has always done that and even now, we see that. An example of Gandhi admonishing the savarna leaders for accepting Agnibhoj, an untouchable in the Congress ministry by saying that this will increase the aspirations of these lowly born harijans is well known.

Check also – Raksha Bandhan: Another form of Slavery

In practice, the stories in Puranas were used to present a make shift explanation for unexplainable capture of Buddhist monuments by the Brahmnical priests and to tell the dalitbahujans that the Brahmnical values are their own, when in fact, the masses were opposed to these values. It was also used to regularize the usurpation of Buddhist temples and tirthas, and thus misleading masses about their real history and heritage.

The above quoted story of Holika is nothing but an eyewash to hoodwink the dalitbahujans. This becomes clear from two cardinal facts. These are:-

1. That the fire for burning the holi is brought from an untouchable. [Ghurye: Caste and Race in India, 1969, Popular Prakashan Bombay, p. 26]

2. It is noteworthy that the festival of rejoicing ends by touching an untaouchable and the taking a bath. [“Rigvedi”: marathi book – “aryaachya sanaancha prachin va arvachin itihas” p. 366, 1979, pradnya patha shala mandal, Wai-dist. Satara, M.S.]

There is no satisfactory explanation of these vital clues in this festival in the traditional story of Holika and Pralhada.

Obscenity of Holi

The second aspect of Holi is abusing the people. This goes on from about 15 days before the festival begins and goes on till the culmination of atrocities on the second days of holi. This certainly is a relic of old “Hindu” tradition of adding insult to the injury inflicted upon the old rivals of Hinduism, i.e. Jains and Buddhist. The Jains have somehow, adapted themselves and accepted the supremacy of brahmins, but the Buddhist did not and hence are condemned to be the Untouchables.

Present day obscenity

It is camouflaged in fish pond ceremonies and All fools’ conventions and the like, the original traits are seen even today.

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Brahmins and Beef Eating – What Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Said


(Excerpted from Chapters 11 to 14 of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s 1948 work The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables?)

The Census Returns [of 1910] show that the meat of the dead cow forms the chief item of food consumed by communities which are generally classified as untouchable communities. No Hindu community, however low, will touch cow’s flesh. On the other hand, there is no community which is really an Untouchable community which has not something to do with the dead cow. Some eat her flesh, some remove the skin, some manufacture articles out of her skin and bones.

Check alsoFew Posters against Beef Ban.

From the survey of the Census Commissioner, it is well established that Untouchables eat beef. The question however is: Has beef-eating any relation to the origin of Untouchability? Or is it merely an incident in the economic life of the Untouchables? Can we say that the Broken Men to be treated as Untouchables because they ate beef? There need be no hesitation in returning an affirmative answer to this question. No other answer is consistent with facts as we know them.

The-Architect-Of-Modern-IndiaIn the first place, we have the fact that the Untouchables or the main communities which compose them eat the dead cow and those who eat the dead cow are tainted with untouchability and no others. The co-relation between untouchability and the use of the dead cow is so great and so close that the thesis that it is the root of untouchability seems to be incontrovertible. In the second place if there is anything that separates the Untouchables from the Hindus, it is beef-eating. Even a superficial view of the food taboos of the Hindus will show that there are two taboos regarding food which serve as dividing lines. There is one taboo against meat-eating. It divides Hindus into vegetarians and flesh eaters. There is another taboo which is against beef eating. It divides Hindus into those who eat cow’s flesh and those who do not. From the point of view of untouchability the first dividing line is of no importance. But the second is. For it completely marks off the Touchables from the Untouchables. The Touchables whether they are vegetarians or flesh-eaters are united in their objection to eat cow’s flesh. As against them stand the Untouchables who eat cow’s flesh without compunction and as a matter of course and habit.

In this context it is not far-fetched to suggest that those who have a nausea against beef-eating should treat those who eat beef as Untouchables.

There is really no necessity to enter upon any speculation as to whether beef-eating was or was not the principal reason for the rise of Untouchability. This new theory receives support from the Hindu Shastras. The Veda Vyas Smriti contains the following verse which specifies the communities which are included in the category of Antyajas and the reasons why they were so included

L.12-13 “The Charmakars (Cobbler), the Bhatta (Soldier), the Bhilla, the Rajaka (washerman), the Puskara, the Nata (actor), the Vrata, the Meda, the Chandala, the Dasa, the Svapaka, and the Kolika- these are known as Antyajas as well as others who eat cow’s flesh.”

Generally speaking, the Smritikars never care to explain the why and the how of their dogmas. But this case is exception. For in this case, Veda Vyas does explain the cause of untouchability. The clause “as well as others who eat cow’s flesh” is very important. It shows that the Smritikars knew that the origin of untouchability is to be found in the eating of beef. The dictum of Veda Vyas must close the argument. It comes, so to say, straight from the horse’s mouth and what is important is that it is also rational for it accords with facts as we know them.

The new approach in the search for the origin of Untouchability has brought to the surface two sources of the origin of Untouchability. One is the general atmosphere of scorn and contempt spread by the Brahmins against those who were Buddhists and the second is the habit of beef-eating kept on by the Broken Men. As has been said the first circumstance could not be sufficient to account for stigma of Untouchability attaching itself to the Broken Men. For the scorn and contempt for Buddhists spread by the Brahmins was too general and affected all Buddhists and not merely the Broken Men. The reason why Broken Men only became Untouchables was because in addition to being Buddhists they retained their habit of beef-eating which gave additional ground for offence to the Brahmins to carry their new-found love and reverence to the cow to its logical conclusion. We may therefore conclude that the Broken Men were exposed to scorn and contempt on the ground that they were Buddhists, and the main cause of their Untouchability was beef-eating.

The theory of beef-eating as the cause of untouchability also gives rise to many questions. Critics are sure to ask: What is the cause of the nausea which the Hindus have against beef-eating? Were the Hindus always opposed to beef-eating? If not, why did they develop such a nausea against it? Were the Untouchables given to beef-eating from the very start? Why did they not give up beef-eating when it was abandoned by the Hindus? Were the Untouchables always Untouchables? If there was a time when the Untouchables were not Untouchables even though they ate beef why should beef-eating give rise to Untouchability at a later-stage? If the Hindus were eating beef, when did they give it up? If Untouchability is a reflex of the nausea of the Hindus against beef-eating, how long after the Hindus had given up beef-eating did Untouchability come into being?….

DID THE HINDUS NEVER EAT BEEF?

TO the question whether the Hindus ever ate beef, every Touchable Hindu, whether he is a Brahmin or a non-Brahmin, will say ‘no, never’. In a certain sense, he is right. From times no Hindu has eaten beef. If this is all that the Touchable Hindu wants to convey by his answer there need be no quarrel over it. But when the learned Brahmins argue that the Hindus not only never ate beef but they always held the cow to be sacred and were always opposed to the killing of the cow, it is impossible to accept their view.

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Dalits/Adivasis ignored in union budget 2015


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Also read – Dalits/Adivasis left out, ‘Sab ka Vikas’ only for corporates

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Budget cuts to affect education, health and women’s development most. Dr. Ambedkar had asked governments to spend most on education and health but shame on government for ignoring these two important areas! Seems like government doesn’t want to educate people because then they will start demanding their rights. We strongly condemn such a sick mentality of government.

Budget cuts

Budget cuts

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