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No one is always right, even if they are so-called Dalits...

Author: Krishan Tyagi
Publication: Mirrortomirror.org
Date: January 7, 2018
URL:    http://www.mirrortomirror.org/weekly-comment-detail.php?name=No%20one%20is%20always%20right,%20even%20if%20they%20are%20so-called%20Dalits...

Observing a Shaurya Diwas (Valour Day) emanates either from a general acceptance of inferiority, or from the desire to humiliate the other community.  The resort to triumphalism is not a normal and mature action undertaken by civilised people.  Also mature and strong people would not react to a weaker community observing a day of victory against them.  The British do not come and register their protest when Indians celebrate martyrdom of Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar or the successes of Subhash Chandra Bose against the Raj.  Britain allows such celebrations by Indians to take place even on its soil.  People from the former ruling classes believing in equality accept their ancestors did commit excesses and could have been defeated too.

 As Mahars still call themselves Dalits (meaning, the Oppressed People), observing a Shaurya Diwas means they are making a statement – ‘We also defeated you once!’  Of course, as British soldiers, using British weapons!

 Is this statement and this mind-set of self-declared (and accepted by many) leaders of Mahars, or the so-called Dalits, really going to help these communities of India to achieve equity or equality in the society!  Does this statement not reflect a deep-down feeling of inferiority in these communities, which is baseless too?

 Indian Media in general has interpreted the observance of Shaurya Diwas as symbol of the Dalit assertion.  For instance, on Friday on Left, Right and Centre on NDTV, Ankita Mukherjee just did not challenge Jignesh Mevani who believed the observance of the so-called Shaurya Diwas Dalits asserting themselves (READ MORE).  The question is - Asserting what?  Celebrating victory over Peshwas and Marathas is asserting superiority, not equality.  Is that’s what they really meant!  Furthermore, is rejoicing an Indian defeat at the hands of the British an assertion to equality or admission to treachery?

 In a short article posted on 05/01/2018 on newsexpress100.com, Chairperson of All India Hindu Jatav Mahasabha Shant Prakash Jatav wrote: “The valour shown by the Chamar Regiment shines far superior to the Shaurya Diwas observed by Mahars.”.  Mr Jatav wrote, ‘Whereas in 1818 Mahars strengthened the British by joining the East India Company, in 1943 the Chamar Regiment as a part of Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA) created history by inflicting a crushing defeat on the British.”  Mr Jatav expressed his sadness to see that the Mahar community is carrying the burden of colonisation even after two hundred years in the name of Shaurya Diwas. ‘Mahar community leaders forget the Mahar soldiers of the East India Company did not fight for themselves, but for the British.  The Shaurya (valour) shown on the battle-field was neither theirs nor for their community – it belonged to the British.’, said Mr Jatav.

 We hope the mainstream media is able to see the warped thinking of the Mahar leaders and the so-called Dalit leaders like Prakash Ambedkar and stop treating them with kid gloves. 

  Incidents of caste repression do take place in the Indian society.  It is a big country, with immaturity and ignorance, plus power game, all around.  However, each case must be seen and dealt with individually on its merits.  Every person born in the so-called lower castes must not be seen as a victim.  They are not.  And, every person born in the so-called upper castes is not the perpetrator either.  To achieve equality, Indian State and media need to treat each person individually rather than as ‘a member of a caste’.   Being a ‘Leader of Dalits’ or a ‘Dalit Thinker’ is as casteist as being a ‘Leader of Kshatriyas’ or a ‘Kshatriya thinker’.  In the West, Black racism is considered as dangerous as White racism.
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