Category Archives: Women RIghts

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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Obama in India – Welcome to the real India!


Everyone on Twitter and Facebook is busy welcoming Obama to India. Here is my welcome to Mr. President.

Welcome to India – the land of caste system.

Welcome to India – where we didn’t invent anything but founded caste system that has killed millions of people since invented.

Welcome to India – where we don’t allow fellow human beings to enter the same temples and where we worship animals and plants but mistreat fellow human beings.

Welcome to India – where Dalit kids at schools are forced to do toilet cleaning work.

Welcome to India – where Dalit students in schools are purified by sprinkling cow urine on them.

Welcome to India – where Dalit women are seen and treated as only sex objects.

Welcome to India – where Dalit people are killed just because they had same name as some upper caste people had.

Welcome to India – where Dalit homes are separated by walls in the villages.

Welcome to India – where Dalits have to remove their shoes while passing in front of upper caste homes.

Welcome to India – where Dalit students’ scholarships aren’t issued on time.

Welcome to India – where Dalit homes are burnt daily, just because they are Dalit.

Welcome to India – where food cooked by Dalit women isn’t accepted by so called upper caste students.

Welcome to India – where Dalit kids are made to sit separately in schools.

Welcome to India – where Dalit women are paraded naked, raped and forced to commit suicide.

Welcome to India – where Dalits are offered menial jobs and exploited at workplaces.

Welcome to India – where Dalit students seats at colleges are filled by upper castes having fake Dalit certificates.

Welcome to India – where Dalit students seats in colleges are left unfilled.

Welcome to India – where there are separate barber shops for Dalits.

Welcome to India – where Dalits have to sip tea from separate tea cups.

Welcome to India – where there appear caste wise columns in matrimonial pages.

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Welcome to India – where Dalits have to wait for years to get justice in courts.

Welcome to India – where Dalits are shown as degraded characters in movies.

Welcome to India – where Dalits have separate office timings.

Welcome to India – where to Dalits’ home there is no postal delivery, just because upper caste Postman don’t want to go there.

Welcome to India – where Dalits and Muslims are denied renting homes, even in metro cities.

Welcome to India – where Dalit and Muslim are kept in jails for years without any crime.

Welcome to India – where shankracharyas are caught for the involvement in rapes, murders and killings.

Welcome to India – where there are still thousands of devidasis (temple prostitutes).

Welcome to India – where Dalits are forced to work as manual scavengers.

Welcome to India – where statues of Dalit leaders are maligned or destroyed.

Welcome to India – where  21 Dalits were slaughtered by the Ranvir Sena in Bathani Tola, Bhojpur in Bihar and no justice was delivered ever.

Welcome to India – where 23 Dalits were massacred in Jehanabad (Bihar) by Ranvir Sena and no justice was delivered.

Welcome to India – where Kherlanji, Badaun etc massacres happened.

Welcome to India – where police can rape innocent girls and still be free.

Welcome to India – where Melavalavn massacre, TN, happened. 6 Dalits were killed by so called upper caste people.

Welcome to India – where 16 Dalits were killed in Muthanya incident, Kerala.

Welcome to India – where 58 innocent Dalits were killed at Laxmanpur Bathe, Bihar and no justice was delivered.

Welcome to India – where Bant Singh case of Punjab happened.

Welcome to India – where 42 innocent Dalits were killed in Kilvenmani massacre, TN, by the gang of upper caste landlords.

Welcome to India – where Dalits are boycotted in villages.

Welcome to India – where Dalits change their names/surnames to escape caste discrimination.

Welcome to India – where Dalit kids are forced to play in separate play grounds.

Welcome to India – where job openings come with – ‘Dalits need not to apply’.

Welcome to India – where Dalits, Muslims can’t buy flats in a colony and ads come with – ‘only for Brahmins’.

The list of atrocities and crimes committed against Dalits and minorities is endless… Welcome to the real India!

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तब तुम क्या करोगे?


यदि तुम्हें,
धकेलकर गांव से बाहर कर दिया जाय
पानी तक न लेने दिया जाय कुएं से
दुत्कारा फटकारा जाय चिल-चिलाती दोपहर में
कहा जाय तोड़ने को पत्थर
काम के बदले
दिया जाय खाने को जूठन
तब तुम क्या करोगे?

यदि तुम्हें,
मरे जानवर को खींचकर
ले जाने के लिए कहा जाय
और
कहा जाय ढोने को
पूरे परिवार का मैला
पहनने को दी जाय उतरन
तब तुम क्या करोगे ?

यदि तुम्हें,
पुस्तकों से दूर रखा जाय
जाने नहीं दिया जाय
विद्या मंदिर की चौखट तक
ढिबरी की मंद रोशनी में
काली पुती दीवारों पर
ईसा की तरह टांग दिया जाय
तब तुम क्या करोगे?

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Free A Dalit Child – One by One


Please spread it.

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11th January in Dalit History – Dr. Ambedkar had started the war to spearhead Hindu Code Bill


11 Jan 1950: Dr. Ambedkar addressed the 2nd session of Siddharth College Parliament in Bombay (present Mumbai). At another function which he addressed he was presented with a golden casket containing a copy of India’s constitution by the Bombay SC Federation.

After his great triumph in the Constituent Assembly in spearheading the preparation of Constitution of India, Dr. Ambedkar returned to Bombay but brought with him a new battle cry, the Hindu Code Bill which he had revised & submitted to the Constituent Assembly in October 1948. Work on revising & codifying Hindu Law had been going on for the last ten years. Dr. Ambedkar transformed it & parts of the Code Bill relating to joint family & women’s property became a nightmare to most Members of the Select Committee.

As soon as Dr. Ambedkar touched the Code & became its spokesman intelligentsia all over India was driven into two camps, on one side was Manu & other Dr. Ambedkar. Dr. Ambedkar started the war on 11 January 1950 when he addressed the 2nd session of the Siddharth College Parliament in Bombay. He said that it would be wrong to describe the bill as either radical or revolutionary. He said the Bill do not oppose orthodox practices while according sanction to new ways of progress. He said the govt must endeavor to prepare a Civil Code for the benefit of the country as a whole and the Hindu Code was a step in that direction. He said it was beneficial from the country’s oneness that the same set of laws should govern Hindu social & religious life. He said the modifications were based on Hindu Shastras & Smritis.

hindu code

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Ghar wapsi to which caste?


Cartoon from Mumbai Mirror

Cartoon from Mumbai Mirror

Hinduism is based on caste system, so Mumbai Mirror is right in asking ghar wapsi to which caste?

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Jai Bhim Comrade – Documentary


Jai Bhim Comrade, shot over 14 years, follows the music of protest of Maharashtra’s dalits. India’s Dalit (oppressed) castes were abhorred as “untouchables”. It captures the brutal reality of oppression against dalits and people’s struggle. In 1997, a statue of Dr. Ambedkar in a Dalit Rambai colony in Mumbai was desecrated with a garland of footwear. As residents came onto the street, police fired resulting in the death of 10 residents.[1] Vilas Ghogre a poet and singer, hung himself in protest. Through poems and songs, it covers that moment and goes on to explore events that unfolded in the aftermath. (Synopsis from Wikipedia)

Watch the full documentary from -

Jai Bhim Comrade

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Stop trying to be a DOWRY slave


Almost everyone is talking about new T.V. serial ‘Satyamev Jayate’, Aamir Khan and dowry system. Though I have not seen a single episode of this serial but I think I am somehow connected with the discussions because my parents are worried about my marriage and are searching a ‘perfect match’. Few weeks ago; I and my friend, Ravi, were talking about the marriage and why shouldn’t we? Everyone is getting married; many of my and his college friends got married and even produced offspring! My friend seemed quite worried as he was ‘turning 30’ within weeks and was still unmarried. We were discussing, teasing and chuckling over all the aspects of marriage, yes all the aspects, if you get me right. While discussing we reached to a point where ‘dowry’ came to picture.

dowry

“On my marriage, I will never ask for dowry or even a single paisa.” I only need a good girl, who can understand me. I said to my friend.

“Yes, then you will never get married. Why don’t you need money, you are an engineer so you have price tag. If you will not ask for dowry, get your facts right that you will probably not get married.” He nonstop told me a story that one of his engineer friend said to his future parents-in-law that he don’t want a single paise as dowry and his future parents-in-law got suspicious if boy really work as an engineer or not or if something is wrong with the boy? And finally his parents-in-law-to-be broke the marriage.

Further trying to be serious my friend told me that there is no need to demand, there are ways devised since our forefathers to extract money from the girl’s parents. You just need to be up to date and move with the world!

I couldn’t understand the meaning of ‘up to date’ and asked him to let me know how to be up to date and move with the world?

He replied, okay, now suppose you want money and you are not able to ask it directly from the girl’s parents. You don’t even need to say it, you just mention your bank account number few times and give your bank account number, all will be set and her parents will understand! And yes, while giving bank account number don’t forget to say. “Main to Sadhu aadmi hu, paise ko hath nai lagata.” (I am a saint and I don’t touch money!)

Next, before marriage just tells your parents-in-law that if you want that your daughter don’t travel on feet, you know that how hard it is to walk these days in sun, if you want that your daughter don’t travel in crowdy buses, please give car to her. And yes, Maruti is not a good brand these days and has lost its share value, I love General Motors. Don’t forget to mention – I don’t need car and I can do it without it, or I will only be driver for your daughter.

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“I Have a Dream” for Dalits of India


There is no nation of Indians in the real sense of the world; it is yet to be created. In believing we are a nation, we are cherishing a great delusion. How can people divided into thousand of castes be a nation? The sooner we realize that we are not yet a nation, in a social and psychological sense of the world, the better for us. – Dr B R Ambedkar

As all of us welcome year 2012 and greet each other with open arms, I visualise a dream. I have always said that I am a dreamer. Yes, I do have a dream, a dream (Begumpura) that Guru Ravidas saw about 650 years ago for everyone or a dream (Utopia) that nourished by Dr Ambedkar or I have a dream that Martin Luther King Jr. saw for the blacks of America. Here is my dream for Dalits of India almost along the same lines what Guru Ravidas, Dr Ambedkar, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others saw for better world.

I have a dream that one day; Dalits will break the chains of caste discrimination and free themselves from the chains of slavery that has ruined Dalits for thousands years. Yes, it’s my dream to see casteless society. I do also dream that Dalit houses won’t be set on fire or Dalits won’t be boycotted anymore. Dalits won’t be killed for the same name as of upper caste people or Dalits won’t be forced to change their names or Dalits won’t hide their names to escape caste discrimination. I also dream with open eyes that untouchability will become history and there will be no untouchable.

Searching for a Dream? (Photo Credit: Ravi Shankar Suman)

I have a dream that one day; for Dalits justice won’t be delayed or justice won’t be just another word or justice won’t be alien to Dalits. I anticipate that Dalits won’t be told to wait, wait and wait bit more for justice; a wait that always meant never. A day won’t be far when everyone will be treated equal and will live with dignity and pride. That will be the day, when Buddha will smile upon India again!

I have a dream that one day; Dalit women won’t be paraded naked, raped or forced to commit suicide for nothing wrong. Not only the Dalit women but whole women society will not be forced to do menial jobs. Women won’t be disrespected, exploited, neglected or won’t be treated as a sex-object only in Indian society. I dream that one day, equality will come in all spheres and women suffering will come to end.

I have a dream that one day; Dalit students won’t be made to sit separately in classrooms, or won’t be discriminated and forced to commit suicide in schools and colleges. A day will come when Dalit students won’t be purified via sprinkling cow urine on them and Dalit students’ seats won’t be left unfilled in schools and colleges. No Dalit student will be forced to do cleaning work in schools, no student will deny food cooked by Dalit cook and Dalit students will be able to use the same playing grounds as other caste students do.

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India and Prostitution – My Experiences and Thoughts


I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved. – Dr B R Ambedkar

“Sahib ladki chahiye kya? Saste mein dila dunga”(Sir, do you want a girl? I’ll get you one for cheap.) came a voice from the behind when first time I had visited Dalhousie – hill station in HP – back in the summer of year 2004. It was my first ever encounter to such a situation, I ignored the person and kept on moving but I couldn’t ignore the words that person had said. Since then, I’ve sometimes tried to imagine a life of prostitute. Have you ever wondered about a prostitute’s life? Did you know that at present there are more slaves than any-time in the world history? Saddening but truth is that we are living in a “Slave World”. No matter the slaves are from bonded labor, farms or flesh trade, all these forms of slavery put big question marks on our nation integrity.

Story of Metropolitan Cities: New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai

Did you know that sex industry is one of the biggest ($100billions per year) and fastest growing (criminal) industries? It has grown 17 times in last 15 years.    

Falkland Road, Mumbai (Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Mark)

My second encounter with sex workers was in year 2008, the time when I was in Mumbai. One evening, I was with one of my friend and we were walking down the street. My friends knew the girls standing along the side of road are sex workers and we stopped just few meters away from those girls. We wanted to see the way system works; few men in the car came and stopped in-front of the sex workers and both parties started talking, after few seconds girl jumped into the car and car flew away to the undisclosed located or to the renowned hotel! This incident made me more curious about the lives of sex workers. I wanted to know the conditions in which these girls work – nobody wants to be a victim of violence – what made these girls sex workers and what Indian Governments are doing to prevent this dreadful trade.

So, to fulfill my quest I decided to visit, read and talk to my friends about the places where flesh trade goes on. I knew a decent person will never company me and righteous person will look at me with the eyes of suspicion (no-matter how many times they might have dipped their beaks and satisfied their balls), so very few friends worked with me.

Prostitution is a reality and if you get a chance, try to visit the GB roadred light areas in Delhi – the capital of India, it’s just across the railway station but is the mysterious world, or give a visit to Sonagachi - red light area of Kolkata – another business hub of India or the story of notorious Flakland road of Mumbai or Kamthipura is not so unknown to all. Sonagachi is named after in-famous Sufi saint Sona Ghazi – he wouldn’t have ever imagined in his wildest dreams that he will become (in)famous for such things one day!

People from all strata of society – leaders of society, students, blue, white collar professionals, rickshaw pullers, almost people from every profession – visit these red light areas to satisfy the uneasiness of their balls and do hanky-panky!

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