Category Archives: Equal Rights

Caste Discrimination in India


Even today, in some parts of India, you can see such sign posts in-front of the temples.

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किसकी चाय बेचता है तू – ब्रजरंजन मणि


किसकी चाय बेचता है तू

~ ब्रजरंजन मणि

अपने को चाय वाला क्यूँ कहता है तू

बात-बात पे नाटक क्यूँ करता है तू

चाय वालों को क्यों बदनाम करता है तू

साफ़ साफ़ बता दे किसकी चाय बेचता है तू !

खून लगाकर अंगूठे पे शहीद कहलाता है

और कॉर्पोरेट माफिया में मसीहा देखता है

अंबानी-अदानी की दलाली से ‘विकास’ करता है

अरे बदमाश, बता दे, किसकी चाय बेचता है तू !

खंड-खंड हिन्दू पाखंड करता है

वर्णाश्रम और जाति पर घमंड करता है

फुले-अंबेडकर-पेरियार से दूर भागता है

अरे ओबीसी शिखंडी, किसकी चाय बेचता है तू !

मस्जिद गिरजा गिराकर देशभक्त बनता है

दंगा-फसाद की तू दाढ़ी-मूछ उगाता है

धर्म के नाम पर बस क़त्ले-आम करता है

अरे हैवान बता तो, किसकी चाय बेचता है तू !

धर्मपत्नी को छोड़ कुंवारा बनता है

फिर दोस्त की बेटी से छेड़खानी करता है

काली टोपी और चड्डी से लाज बचता है

अरे बेशर्म, किसकी चाय बेचता है तू !

काली करतूतों से शर्म नहीं करता है

कोशिश इन्सान बनने की ज़रा नहीं करता है

चाय वालों को मुफ्त में बदनाम करता है

अरे मक्कार अब तो कह दे, किसकी चाय बेचता है तू !

अपने को चाय वाला क्यूँ कहता है तू

बात-बात में नाटक क्यूँ करता है तू

चाय वालों को क्यों बदनाम करता है तू

साफ़ साफ़ बता दे किसकी चाय बेचता है तू !

~

Here’s the English transliteration (and translation) of the poem:

Kiski Chai Bechata Hai Tu (Whose Tea Do You Sell)

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What Mahatma Jotiba Phule Said


Mahatma Jotiba Phule

Mahatma Jotiba Phule

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What Guru Kabir Said


Guru Kabir

Guru Kabir

Guru Kabir

Guru Kabir

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What are the prospects of democracy in India? – By Dr. B. R. Ambedkar


The subject assigned to me is, “What are the prospects of democracy in India?” Most Indians speak with great pride as though their country was already a democracy. The foreigners also, when they sit at a dinner table to do diplomatic honor to India, speak of the Great Indian Prime Minister and the Great Indian Democracy.

From this, it is held without waiting to argue that where there is a Republic, there must be democracy. It is also supposed that where there is Parliament which is elected by the people on adult suffrage and the laws are made by the People’s Representatives in Parliament elected after few years, there is democracy. In other words, democracy is understood to be a political instrument and where this political instrument exists, there is democracy.

Is there democracy in India or is there no democracy in India? What is the truth? No positive answer can be given unless the confusion caused by equating democracy with Republic and by equating democracy with Parliamentary Government is removed.

Democracy is quite different from a Republic as well as from Parliamentary Government. The roots of democracy lie not in the form of Government, Parliamentary or otherwise. A democracy is more than a form of Government. It is primarily a mode of associated living. The roots of Democracy are to be searched in the social relationship, in the terms of associated life between the people who form a society.

What does the word ‘Society’ cannot? To put it briefly when we speak of ‘Society,’ we conceive of it as one by its very nature. The qualities which accompany this unity are praiseworthy community of purpose and desire for welfare, loyalty to public ends and mutuality of sympathy and co-operation.

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Are these ideals to be found in Indian Society? The Indian Society does not consist of individuals. It consists of an innumerable collection of castes which are exclusive in their life and have no common experience to share and have no bond of sympathy. Given this fact it is not necessary to argue the point. The existence of the Caste System is a standing denial of the existence of those ideals of society and therefore of democracy.

Indian Society is so imbedded in the Caste System that everything is organized on the basis of caste. Enter Indian Society and you can see caste in its glaring form. An Indian cannot eat or marry with an Indian simply because he or she does not belong to his or her caste. An Indian cannot touch an Indian because he or she does not belong to his or her caste. Go and enter politics and you can see caste reflected therein. How does an Indian vote in an election? He votes for a candidate who belongs to his own caste and no other. Even the Indian Congress exploits the Caste system for election purpose as no other political party in Indian does. Examine the lists of its candidates in relation to the social composition of the constituencies and it will be found that the candidate belongs to the caste which is the largest one in that constituency. The Congress, as a matter of fact, is upholding the Caste System against which it is outworldly raising an outcry against the existence of caste.

Go into the field of industry. What will you find? You will find that all the topmost men drawing the highest salary belong to the caste of the particular industrialist who owns the industry. The rest hang on for life on the lowest rungs of the ladder on a pittance. Go into the field of commerce and you will see the same picture. The whole commercial house is one camp of one caste, with no entry board on the door for others.

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Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on discrimination in Education, Charity and Industries


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Also check - What Guru Ravidas said on Vedas and Education. (Photos)

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Also check – What Winston Churchill said on untouchables. (Photos)

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Also check – Wallpapers on Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

Charity

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Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Pariwartan Sthal (Ambedkar Park) Lucknow


Watch movies on Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in Hindi, English and Tamil from here.

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The Annihilation of Caste


A scanned image of the front page of Dr. Ambedkar’s speech in text format. He was scheduled to deliver this speech to a conference in Lahore, but could not. The conference organizers cancelled his invitation as it felt the contents of the speech were too radical for the time. Dr. Ambedkar later released the speech in written format, and it became one of his most famous work – title, ‘The Annihilation of Caste’. In this work, Dr. Ambedkar discussed the problems in ending the caste system in India, and how those problems could be countered.

The Annihilation of Caste

The Annihilation of Caste – Front Page

If you’d like to read the text, Columbia University in the City of New York has designed a special e-text format of the speech for easy readability and cross-referencing at http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/mmt/ambedkar/web/index.html

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Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar – Marathi Songs


 

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27th January in Dalit History – Dr Ambedkar before Southborough Commission: Fight for separate electorate


27 January 1919: Dr. Ambedkar submitted a memorandum and gave evidence before the Southborough Commission. The memorandum was attached as a supplementary in the commissions report.

In the examination of Dr. Ambedkar‘s views the commission found that he had unmistakenly presented the division of Hindu society into touchables and untouchables. If a particular community had a majority of votes in a constituency, there was no need for that community to have separate communal representation. If the untouchables had a majority of votes in a particular constituency, he would not ask for communal representation. It was because they were in a minority and would always remain so on a uniform franchise that he asked for separate representation. He was opposed to any system under which the representatives of the depressed classes were drawn from other classes. His justification for asking for a low qualification for franchise was that as a result of being untouchable, the untouchables had no property; they could not trade because they could not find customers. He remembered a case in which a Mahar caste woman was taken to the police court for selling watermelons. In the mills in the Bombay Presidency the untouchables were not yet allowed to work in the weaving department: in one case an untouchable did work in the weaving department of a mill saying that he was a Mohammedan, and when found out, he was severely beaten. The definition of an “untouchable” as a person, who would cause pollution by his touch, was a satisfactory one for electoral purposes. It was not the case that some castes were considered to be untouchable in some districts and touchable in others.

In the whole Bombay Presidency there was one B.A. and 6 or 7 matriculates among the depressed classes. The proportion of those who were literate in English was very small, but not much smaller than in the case of the backward classes. The depressed classes especially the Mahars and the Chamars, were fit to exercise the vote. He would also give them the votes by way of education. He could find at least 25 or more men amongst them who had passed the 6th or the 7th Standards of a High School, and, although the number was not large, the 9 seats which he suggested for the depressed classes could be filled from amongst them. Such a candidate in practical matters would be as good as a graduate although the latter might be able to express himself better.

He suggested large constituencies for the depressed classes'; if such large constituencies had been accepted for the Mohammedans he did not see why they were not practicable in the case of the depressed classes.

In order to obtain the required number of seats for the depressed classes he would reduce the number of seats suggested by Government for the Mohammedans, from 38 to 10. This reduction was justifiable, as on the population basis the Mohammedans were only entitled to 20 per cent of the seats. He did not consider the Congress League Pact as binding on all.

In the evidence he piointed out that Untouchables were persons to whom certain rights of citizenship had been denied. For instance, it was the right of every citizen to walk down the street, and if a man were prevented from doing so, even temporarily, it was an infringement of his right. Whether a man was prevented from exercising his rights by law or social custom, made very little difference to him. Government had recognised custom and persons belonging to the untouchable classes were not employed in Government service.

His view was that British rule in India was meant to provide equal opportunities for all, and that in transferring a large share of the power to popular assemblies, arrangements should be made whereby the hardships and disabilities entailed by the social system should not be reproduced and perpetuated in political institutions. As regards the exact position at present, he admitted that, for instance, at the Parel school which was meant for the depressed classes, there were many higher-caste pupils, who came there because it was a good school. Similarly as a professor he, being a member of a depressed class, had pupils of all classes and found no difficulty in dealing with his higher caste pupils. If the untouchable classes were recognized by Government by the grant of seats, their status would be raised and their powers would be stimulated. He was not very particular about the number of their seats; all he wanted was something adequate.

Dr. Ambedkar

Dr. Ambedkar

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