So many visitors !! Inter-caste must be a serious issue. Serious enough- to rationalise our “mate selection” (more appropriately match- selection), to relate our ‘attraction’ to our societal acceptance, examine our own biases; may be.
More serious to that, I found, hardly there was any response. Somehow it made me wonder, how could it evade so many visitors while it invoked such emotive responses from three of them. It is quite surprising because this is what we have been doing all these years. For thousand of years, we accepted whatever diagnosis they had for us, and observed what ever was prescribed. We could not ask “why”. Or did we ? Did we fight for it, for the right to question, for the right to dissent ? We must have, we just don’t know how often. Its just that the winner gets to write the history. But as I said, we must have fought for our rights generations after generations, at least few of us. It can be one explanation for the practice of violent repression of any un-caste-like act of a lower caste but not of an “upper(sic) caste” -you keep a gun for the wolves not the sheep. Another explanation would be, we were expendable.
And as the world knows it, one fine day we got the rights, the democratic rights, everything that the law of the land guaranteed for those behind the high walls and glass doors. Did we fight for it ? Nobody cares ! It got canvassed under “freedom struggle”. We fought and replaced British colonialism for democracy, guaranted equality !! Dr. Ambedkar was the chief architect of the constitution of India. Was he a pratriot ? There is a long and studied silence after that question mark. Sometimes there is a well calculated ‘Yes’.
So why don’t we question now ? Why don’t we register our dissent ?
Dalits are slowly but steadily moving into Buddhism. The odour of Hinduism when dissected was so repulsive that we didnt have time to look if it was dead or alive. Conversion just remained a formality. Even if Buddhism is not reached, as in some parts of India, distance from Hinduism is rapidly expanding. But more to religion, I anticipate embracing Buddhist culture.
” It is interesting to note that attaching special importance to discussion and dialogue moved with other Buddhist principles, wherever it went. ” says Amartya Sen in “The argumentative Indian”. He further goes on to say that, the four Buddhist councils held at different time in ancient India, were largely aimed at settlling disputes between different points of view-religious social and civic, drew delegates across place and schools of thought. That wolrd’s first printed book( that is actually dated) was published by for Buddhists “for universal free distribution. That countries where Buddhism has survived has a greater general literacy.
Our change of faith need not be mere switching Idols. Lets replace the The Buddha’s picture with a book on Buddha (May be Buddha and His Damma) and incorporate Buddhist culture of heterodoxy. Let our religious affairs be participatory and constrictive. Let your kid ask a Bhikku, “is it okay not to tonsure for a monk ? I have not read Buddha and His Damma much. Once I do, I will re-examine my position here. But for me,as of now, the inhibition to opine is the ghost of our past. If we seek to break the shackle, we need to make ourselves restless with questions. And we will raise the dust to the sky, cause nobody can arrest the storm.
“‘The registering and proposing of doubt has a double use’, Bacon said. One use is straightforward: it guards us ‘against errors’. The second use, Bacon argued, involved the role of doubts initiating and furthering a process of inquiry, which has the effect of enriching our investigations. Issues that would have been passed lightly without intervention, Bacon noted, end up being ‘attentively carefully observed’ precisely because of the ‘intervention of doubts’. (Amartya sen, paraphrasing Francis Bacon).”
Indifferentism is the worst kind of disease that can infect a people, said Dr. Ambedkar. And we would not like to be a mass of diseased people, ‘d we ?