Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Don’t ignore and avoid Dalits’ upsurge; they are no longer subservient to upper castes

The thousands of Dalits from Bihar, UP, Haryana and Punjab assembled at Jantar Mantar under the banner of Bhim Army to protests the atrocity on them by upper caste people in a village of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. In the clash between Dalits and Upper caste people, a man was allegedly killed and several other injured. According to a report several Dalit houses were allegedly burnt and vandalised by the upper caste people. Dalits allege that the police favour upper caste people. To protest the atrocity at Shabirpur village in Saharanpur of UP, a large and assertive crowd of Dalit youths under the leadership of Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad, who is reportedly accused in Sabirpur village violence, congragated at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Bhim Army is led by a young man of promise. His name is Chandrashekhar Azad. Mahesh Jingani, who had spearheaded the protest against the flogging of Dalits in Una, also attended Dalits’ protest at Jantar Mantar. The crowd of Dalits at Jantar Mantar mostly comprised youths. It clearly appeared from the behaviour of Dalit youths at the protest site that they were no longer dependent on the old Dalit politicians in different political parties to espouse their interests and causes. In the present day politics of the country, we see three towering leaders of Dalits. They are BSP supremo Mayawati, Lok Janshakti Party Supremo Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan and Union Minister and Republican Party (Athwale Group) supremo Ram Das Athwale. Up till now, they have used Dalits to get political prominence, prestige and posts in the country and based their politics on them. But they have done no substantial work for them. They have only given to Dalits the false promises and when the question of benefits arose, they turned towards their brothers, sons and daughters. The ground reality in villages of the country about Dalits is that they have not even availed the reservation benefits so far. The reservation benefits either have been availed by the sons, daughters, brothers and other relatives of Dalit leaders or by those who are well off in the society among them. With the formation of Bhim Army, the Dalit youths are no longer dependent on their traditional leaders. Now, they themselves assert to get their due. The large participation of Dalit youths in the protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi amply reflects their upsurge and assertion. They are no longer prepared to be dependent on political leaders of their community. Bhim Army had not invited any Dalit leaders of any political party to address them. As far as the media is concerned, it clearly appears that it overlooks the interest of the people who are on the margin in the society. Dalit youths had held protest in the heart of national capital, but media almost over looked it willfully. The English electronic media almost blacked Dalits’ protest at Jantar Mantar out. Hindi news channels played the news about Dalits’ protest a little. Media must not play a partisan role. It is seen that if any incident good or bad involving celebrity occurs, TV news channels play the news about it for 24 hours. This shows that Media too are on the side of the people who are well off in every respect. The Bhim Army is an eye-opener for Dalit leaders of different political parties. It also appears that the Dalit youths have realized that without asserting themselves before the government, they cannot get their due. So, it is good that society is changing and the voice of Dalits can no longer be suppressed. This is transformational period and Dalits are also on upward movement. Some of the Dalit youths are well educated and vocal enough to present their demands before the government of the day. The established Dalit leaders like Mayawati, Ramvilas Paswan and Ramdas Athwale can no longer use them for the sake of votes only.

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