The Rampant Cases of Untouchability and Caste Discrimination
The murder of a child belonging to the scheduled caste community in Saraswati Vidya Mandir school, Sayala, in district Jalore is a crude reminder about the caste system and untouchability persisting in our educational institutions even after the 75th year of independence. This is utterly disgraceful and outrageous. All the hoopla and drama over our ‘greatness’ and ‘great’ ‘culture’ is exposed when we see such brutalities in our society and then its justification.
I have mentioned many times that caste discrimination and untouchability exist in India and they are rampant. This is the only commonality between North and South, East and West and that is the violence and contempt against Bahujan.
The Rajasthan government must act and send a strong message against the culprit. It is not merely the issue of filing a case against the culprit, Mr Ashok Gehlot must order a survey of all the schools, private, government, Vidya Mandirs etc to find out the number of SC-ST students studying there and the treatment meted out to them. Saraswati Vidya Mandirs are normally RSS-affiliated schools but the media has cunningly hidden this fact under the guise of a ‘private’ school. I am not sure whether this Rajasthan school is an RSS affiliate or not but what is important is to take the school administration to task. After all, Chail Singh can not do it without the knowledge of the school administration.
A few days back, we had a case from Uttar Pradesh when a junior teacher in Uttar Pradesh school was abusing the woman principal who happened to be a scheduled caste which only showed how caste mind exists among us all. As we are celebrating 75th Independence Day, we will find that many Dalit Sarpanches are not allowed to hoist flags in various Panchayats in Tamil Nadu. That a Dalit in a power position is not accepted in all models of India is purely racist and casteist. Whether secular model or Hindutva or Dravidian or left, India will have to show its commitment to eliminating caste discrimination and untouchability as without absolute uprooting of these brutal and violent practices, we can not claim to have a civilised society. Hiding the facts from the public or purely ignoring the issue will not help. Our national will need to reflect on creating an egalitarian social order where the mind remains without fear and everybody gets an opportunity to grow and participate in our national life. It is not a big deal and the Manuwadis need to just think a bit, embrace the constitution in a real sense and become Manavwadis.
Writer Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a Political commentator, human rights defender and activist. He is also the author of a book titled ‘Contesting Marginalization’
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