Nowadays, the battle for supremacy between Dalit leaders and organisations has risen. The recent episode between Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and former IAS officer and State Information Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad and Madhukar Kamble, trustee of the People’s Improvement Trust, in connection with the demolition of the historic Ambedkar Bhavan, exposes these leaders’ intention towards community. Anandraj Ambedkar alleged that Mr. Gaikwad was behind the demolition. Ambedkar Bhavan is where Dr. Ambedkar founded the Buddhist Society of India, and all its records were inside. The printing press which Babasaheb set up in 1947 and where several of his books were printed has also been destroyed. Several handwritten manuscripts were inside, but other Dalit leaders did not bother to protect them. It’s not a matter of Ambedkar, the juniors or others, but Dalits all over India is divided over the issue. They have lots of internal disputes also. Hardly anyone of them is bothered for their community or its welfare. They are working like election gunny pigs.
Ambedkar Bhavan has been demolished as it had become dilapidated and BMC had given notice to the Trust under section 354. Construction of a new, grand building of 17 floors will start soon. This will be the central headquarters for weaker sections as desired by Babasaheb. The Chief Minister performed the bhoomipujan on April 14 and called upon the Trust to complete the construction within two years. Anyway, the new building is coming up or not is debatable but the big issue is that things which are written by Babasaheb or old intellectual properties needs to be treasured. However, these leaders are materialistic for other incentives than caring for their patron is for sure.
Even after 65 years of independence, you will not find the fate of Dalit changed much. The term “Dalit” has different meanings for different people. The most common use of the term is to define people who were once known as “untouchables”, separated from the rest of the society by the caste system. Nevertheless Babasaheb strongly believed that, Dalit is the one who believes in equality, practices equality in his or her life and protests inequality wherever he or she sees it.
This redefinition challenges Dalits to be more democratic in their own lives, both in terms of inter sub-caste discrimination and sexism; allows for the inclusion of Dalits from different religious backgrounds (Dalits who have converted to a different religion, but still suffer discrimination); and allows for the inclusion of people who are not from the “untouchable” castes, but still believe in values of equality.
Today, the word Dalit, across Indian languages means poor and oppressed people. As it refers to those who have been broken, ground down by those above them in a deliberate way. There is also clearly an inherent denial of pollution, karma and justified caste hierarchy to the word itself. This constitutional identity, however, is exclusive and fails to capture the true picture. Dalits who have converted from Hinduism to another religion have no longer qualifying as SCs, although their status in the society often remains the same. Moreover, Dalit movements in contemporary India are not uniform and each articulates a particular identity, be they Christian Dalits, Neo-Buddhists or Muslim Dalits. Hence, Dalits should not be seen as a term just to describe a caste community, rather it should be viewed as a symbol of change and liberation, as a progressive ideology, helping the Dalit movement to achieve its end results. Increasingly used as a suffix, Dalit is a part of the identity of a person that holds certain values—those pertaining to equality and humanism. However, these Dalit leaders are locking horns around the country leaving all the practices and preaching aside. Every political party has Dalit leaders to save their face by pulling Dalit votes. These Dalit leaders mortgage their integrity and compromised the entire community for power gluttony. That’s the reason; you will find two entirely opposite class in Dalits, one very rich and the other very poor and underprivileged. Let it be Mayawati, Manjhi, Paswan, Kadam or Athavale, none of them actually ever exclusively stood for the rights of their community. But, to gain a political mileage, they are exploiting their own people and community. Presently, I see Dalit’s condition are more worrisome than ever before because the war lords of Dalits are more interested in cutting one another’s throat than serving the community.
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