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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Love knows no boundaries

1 Aug 2007, 1930 hrs IST ,

Tarun Vijay
Love is the only factor in our lives that finds fulfilment in just giving. Those who love god love all His creation too and those who say they are atheists love noble values and nature, which to me is equivalent to surrendering before something beautiful and aesthetic beyond human sensations, to borrow Pluto's words. But in our everyday life, a life which touches Haneef's smile back home and Sanjay Dutt in Arthur Road Jail, we continue with a mindless journey enveloped in political issues, often going against our professed faith's enlightening dictates and the voice of conscience. At least the way we, the Hindus treat our own people, often wrongly termed as low castes, is a shame and shows an embarrassingly un-Hindu attitude. And all this happens when there can't be more loftier and elevating ideals that we, the Vedic people have on this universe. We say and believe that Ram lives in every creation, even in stones. We worship god in form of idols, made of marble, but refuse to see the same Ram in living humans if they belong to the same so called low caste. In spite of the proven fact that they are our own, our flesh and blood and soul mates, we find it a great 'newsworthy' achievement if one of them becomes a president, a chief justice or a chief minister or a temple brings the Govinda to their habitat. It happens because such a thing is still an exception and not a normal, usual happening. Young couples are killed, humiliated to the extent that they commit suicide or expelled from biradari (community) and the village for committing the sin of marrying outside the caste. The so called high caste people, who to me are the real low caste people if castes have to be decided by their behaviour, have ensured that while speeches are delivered and public funds allocated for their 'upliftment' (a derogatory colonial word used by the political illiterates), they remain outside of every decision making forum and no gateway to a new brave word is opened to them in a natural, obvious manner. And no use quoting Manusmriti, scripture, Ramayana or Mahabharata to show that untouchability was never a part our dharma, our society. That's true, but shouldn't we be more concerned about applied doctrines rather than the written ones? What's the use of such quotes if we still find the discrimination against our grain? Amrit Lal Nagar, a great litterateur has written a novel based on his more than thirty years of research amongst the scheduled caste people, especially amongst those who were called Bhangis previously. He concluded that these were the Shishodias, Rajputs and when Turks defeated them, they asked accept Islam or get punished. The Rajputs accepted the punishment that was to carry night soil on their heads. It's an un-Indian practice brought here by Turks and Moghuls, that's what he says. This is an area of extensive research though. Their numbers are almost negligible in media-print or channels, in the highest political bodies of every single party, with an exception of the one which is their creation, their priests are different, their presence is nil amongst the high echelons of the dharma they profess , their contribution to the freedom struggle and protection emancipation of religious tenets is completely absent in our textbooks and schools and religious mathas , their educational institutions are run in a most despicable way and not a single great soul preaching harmony has established a centre of excellence devoted to remove the educational backwardness from these sections who are otherwise richer, brilliant and more stronger in culture, civilisational traditions and physical prowess.
Revolt. That's the only key to change and let people hear what you want to say. Inspite of all the efforts of great souls like Shahu Chatrapati, Tukdo ji, Samarth Guru Ramdas, Ravi Das, Meera ( who didn't choose any so called high caste guru but Ravi Das centuries ago), Nanak, Vivekananda and Gandhi, we had to have Ambedkar embrace Buddhism to make society listen to the voice of deprived sections. He was a great patriot and a social harmoniser, hence he refused to be lured by Islamists or the Christian proselytizers, and wrote a wonderful book Thoughts on Pakistan, but that's for another day's column. Ambedkar didn't want to poison relations between various castes and advocated a harmonious society. Exactly what Dr. Hedgewar preached and applied. Contrary to the hateful diatribes of some of the so-called champions of the deprived sections, there are a number of Hindu organisations bringing a silent revolution worth taking note of. Swadhyaya Pariwar, Mata Amritanandmayi's bhakti movement, Nirankaris, Swaminarayan movement, Gayatri Pariwar, Swami Satyamitranand Giri's Bharat Mata Mandir movement, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Vivekananda Kendra and the millions of RSS workers and their affiliates like Deen Dayal Research Institute under Nanaji Deshmukh are working to crate an egalitarian society refusing to accept or practice caste based discriminations. Yet time and again we see our weaker sections assaulted and bruised. It's because perhaps we, the Hindus are the most hypocritical society. Ask yourself, how many deprived friends you had in school in college, during preparing for entrance exams? How many you have today? In a marriage ceremony or on an auspicious occasion, or even on a sad moment, do we have some one whom other would identify as the low caste person? Visit any media mela , a talk show, a general debate, a political party's convention or a president's or PM;s banquet, how many would be representing these classes? There would be enough number of identifiable Muslims, specially underlined these days, leaders of different hues, but in a very natural and obvious manner, deprived ones would be simply absent. Like women were called to such forums only to express on women's issues, deprived are called only when there is a gang rape or a shoot-out, so that there is a burst of anger and that certainly makes a better copy. It's the obsession for a copy, my dear that enlists them and not their own merit and status. This exclusion has got into our blood, the so called upper caste blood, on an average scale, as exceptions are found everywhere. I can't forget an experience years ago when as an activist of a tribal organization Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram I went to work in the heavily tribal union territory of Dadra Nagar Haveli. Second day, a local sub-inspector, a big gun in such remote and backward areas, called me and almost for an hour asked all questions about my family and education, topping it with his last sermon, 'why are you wasting your life for these people (the hate shown in his eyes when he uttered-these people), whatever you do, they wont change. Better find a career at this young age.' I wished to shoot him down that very moment without any remorse. He was in a tribal area, getting his salary out of a tribal sub plan and here he was discouraging a young man to work for them as these 'wretched' people wont change. I remembered Victor Hugo's lines in Les Misérables , as if written only for our deprived people "an ineffable smile beam on those pale lips and in those dim eyes." The police, bureaucrat, leader and the common Indian is especially rude to these fellow Indians, at any given time. Any fault in the office would be blamed on someone who is a 'schedules caste or tribe' in familiar words-these people are never up to the mark ,get promotions just because of their status, work nothing and all that you know. No body is interested in finding a solution or doing his bit. Cursing them has become a habit turning many of the deprived an avowed foe of the rest or becoming hateful. Its so natural, that a so called high caste walla will never understand. The discrimination on the basis of birth is bad in every sense. This has to go if Hindus want to survive as Hindus. True there are economically weaker segments amongst Brahmins also and one has to read an illuminating article of a reputed French journalist Francois Gautier regarding how Brahmins are cleaning toilets or sweeping roads and earning two meals by a days hard work, their woes should also be addressed through strong measures like any other India deserves. Though I feel doing any kind of work by any caste walla is fine unless one is pushed to a particular job just because he or she was born in a different family, the politics of appeasement and vote banks has taken its toll on societal fabric and helping deprived classes along with all the economically weaker sections through empowering them in the best possible manner is not the goal of the political masters, but to keep them segregated, never create a situation for their inclusion of the mainstream of progress and upward mobility and have them isolated for the votes seems to them the only attractive and a shorter way to reach corridors power. Still I can sense a strong wind of change is coming, especially by the younger generation belonging to all sections . It's this generation that has the courage and a will to say an emphatic 'no' to all such bakwas practices. They may refuse to go to a temple where deprived are not allowed, nay, they would proclaim, going to temples is not at all necessary, neither building the new ones, unless such discriminations are done away completely. My Ram resides in a human being more than in a structure of bricks and marble. All it needs is a strong will, in Danton's famous words "To Dare, to Dare Again, Ever to Dare!" Let the love for nature and Ram also envelope deprived, Dalit and tribals too, then alone being a Hindu would be complete
Readers Opinion
Love knows no boundaries
Ktej , USA , says:

Very timely and well-written article. If this is not a wake-up call, what will it be? Good job, Tarun and TOI. Keep it up!7 Aug, 2007 0106hrs IST

garima dixit , usa , says:

I agree with the author. But what is conspicuous and yet unspoken is the role of the media and the designs of the political mind. The lower and middle sections of the working society do not make much difference. The high society is too involved in being above all, and it would be ludicrous to expect anything from them. People do not have, in this age, the time to form an opinion. Their opinion is an amalgamation of what is already being served to them. What we need is pure simple "Gaandhigiri" and what is meant by that is the simple act of being considerate to the other human being without taking into accounts his caste and religion. Caste and religion will then cease to matter. 4 Aug, 2007 2304hrs IST

surendra nath tiwari , new jersey, usa , says:

Great article, Tarun ji. I like your line `We are the most hypocritical society`. Anyone who works in right earnest for people sees it everyday; amongst his relatives, amongst politicians and general folk, amongst friends and foes, alike. It almost seems like we need to develop a social-character. Keep reminding us of our follies and hope we will learn someday. 3 Aug, 2007 2018hrs IST

raynah sivaraman , manila , says:

"Discrimination on the basis of birth is bad in every sense"; "Ram resides in human beings". It doesn't sound too genuine, and seems to have a political motive, but still, it's a good start.3 Aug, 2007 1441hrs IST

tejasvi , seoul , says:

Excellently put, Tarun. Casteism is a scourge of our society and needs to be shunned in every form. I believe 80% of all religious conversions will stop if we get over this. This situation can only be changed completely when politicians stop playing vote bank politics. 3 Aug, 2007 0725hrs IST

pancham , haryana , says:

I am writing this with the most regret and shame as being a Hindu myself. Today our country is changing and we often hear people say that it is for the best. But do we realise what is happening in our own homes? Today not a single soul can show courage to stand against the so called religious teaching of the so called social workers. Let me ask you a question, when did love become a sin if lord Krishna did it? How did being a member of any class (lower or upper) matter when lord Rama lived 14 years in a forest despite him being a prince? Why can't we live under a free sky without the fear of getting stopped if trying to express ourselves? When did art and literature turn into obscenity and since when did people start to behave like wardens more than the up lifters of the society? What do we expect to see in our future when we do not even respect our present? We usually say that our economy is bad but how easily do we forget the seed of corruption that we plant in the minds of our youth. How can we think of a clean and crime free nation when we ourselves are not following laws? These are some questions everybody thinks at any point of any day and then we forget. Just the same way as we forget our responsibilities. This problem is even more heightened by the use of God's pure name in sleazy politics. Today I, as a simple student and a citizen of this country, ask our media persons and civilians to join hands and start a movement to change our future so that we may not have to stand before our children with our heads low. I know that this is just another emotional appeal by another emotional man, but, I ask you how many emotional men have to write how many speeches before we get some help from you to voice a normal man's voice in public. Please help bring peace and prosperity to our nation. This is "our" responsibility.2 Aug, 2007 0341hrs IST

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