Satyamev Jayate: Jaat is for a lifetime.. Dalit tag remains forever!
Talking about untouchbility and claiming that it still exists in the 21st century does seem like an overstatement and many of the urban youth fail to believe that discrimination exists.. well I too was a part of this cult, Satyamev Jayate however, changed my view point.
‘Jaat’ (caste) is not just a word but a lifestyle, a wound which causes pain to a few, for the rest of their life. Dalit and fighting for their cause, has today become a common topic of discussion among the elite literate class. But often, the cause, the crux of the matter is lost. The main problem, according to me is that too much of discussion is happening.. is Dalit reservation required? Are they making use of the facilities provided to them? Is it fair to the general class who has merit? These discussions do not pave any path for action.
We are often lead to believe that education is the key to a bright future. Urban youth, the ones who have facilities are often heard talking about how education and not caste decides one’s career, one’s lifestyle, one’s dignity and pride. You will be shocked to hear that, in spite of getting a good education, the mark of being a ‘chamaar’, a ‘bangi’ does not leave you even after one’s death.
Mid-day meals, a government initiative to promote primary education in both urban and rural areas also promotes this castism. Dalit students are made to sit separately due to the common belief that the presence of a Dalit will pollute the food of others. More interestingly, Railways are the main reason for the presence of manual scavenging in India today. the dirt left at the tracks have to cleaned.. and the job is given to a Dalit. If you do question why.. the answer which will echo everywhere is, “it is what they were born to do”.
We live in a close knitted society, wherein many of the social injustices are presented as a ‘given’, something unchangeable, unquestionable. The case is the same when it comes to Dalit. Since childhood we are taught about untouchbility.. maybe in a subtle form. Don’t go near the cleaning lady.. you will get dirty; Give the servant tea/coffee in a separate glass least it gets polluted. A child, at a tender age learns these evils and grows up to support them unconsciously.
We now need to stand up and face these evils.. accept that it does happen and turn a blind eye towards it. In our own locality, let us not treat these people like outsiders.. they too are made of flesh and blood like ourselves. Let us fight against this dirty race of upper caste and lower caste. Give a chance to everyone.. let humanity reside and unite India. It’s over six decades since our independence, however, these Dalit or so called ‘lower’ caste people have never tasted the sweetness of freedom. They are still a gulaam, still bound in the chains of manual scavenging, cleaning the drains, dirt and filth.
I will just leave you with one thought: the dirt they clean is ours.. yours and mine. How it is then that they are the ones who are dirty and untouchable. They are infact those who make our life a bed of roses which we experience everyday. We, sitting in our homes lead a comfortable life. We cringe at the site of dirt, most of us even refuse to wash our own dirty lingerie.. how it is then that we treat those who clean our dirt everyday have to pay such a high price for their livelihood.