Dalit rage on the boil
Imagine this, some drunkard defaces a statue of Ambedkar in Kanpur, in the state of UP. A thousand kilometers away, a mob of 6000 stop a train, ask the passengers to get down, and set the train on fire. This in addition to three deaths, 60 injuries, damage to 91 buses, curfews in major towns, and more. Why did this happen ? Why are the Dalits so angry ?
I think by far CNN-IBN has become the premier news channel. Yesterday, they had a discussion about the dalit violence in which Arun Kamble, and Udit Raj were present. NDTV was busy talking about yet another criminal case involving beautiful rich people (the Nitish Katara case). Check out the interview here.
The statue incident only provided the spark, the Dalits were already furious at the Khairlanji murders. What went wrong ? Is it wrong to cover the shocking Khairlanji murders with blood curdling photographs of the raped victim ? Did the media go overboard ? Is it wrong to “shock” a nation into action ? Did they play on the already weak psyche of the Dalit ?
I shudder to think what would happen if anti nationals like Islamic terrorists, Naxals, Maoists, or the underworld decide to exploit the situation. We all know the drill right, circulate a few shocking CDs, a few graphic pictures (which can be downloaded from the net), a few propaganda flyers, build up rage in the minds of radicals, and you are set. There are enough extremists who are well versed in the above. In fact, there are already signs that the underworld is fishing in troubled waters. Chotta Rajans brother listed as accused in Mumbai
Responsible folks must sit down and address the root causes for Dalit rage. Isnt one of the most dramatic schemes of social justice helping. By law, 1/4th of all doctors and engineers and educated people must be Dalits in India. Isnt that reaching the needy or first time beneficiary ? If it did reach the ‘stone throwing’ dalit, then what is the reason for such rage.
So what is the reality. Is primary education so broken that the average Dalit student is unable to compete even for reserved seats ? If that is the case, then the government should think twice about investing 25,000 crores in creating management and technical seats for OBCs, and instead channel it to schools in Dalit areas.
The writing on the wall is clear. It is imperative that Dalits (not even STs) must be the primary focus of all social justice programs. Everyone else – whether OBCs or Muslims or STs are secondary. This is so because the constitution orginally only envisaged social justice programs for Dalits. The government must spend 25,000 crores for OBCs in the least important area of tertiary management and tech education only AFTER the Dalits have been taken care of at the primary and secondary education level. Indeed, everyone irrespective of caste must be taken care at the primary and secondary level – but Dalits especially so because there is clearly not enough qualified in the community to make even the reserved quota in some institutes.
I have said in the past on this blog, that I would even support increasing the quota for dalits, if it can fast track them into the mainstream. The spanner in the works, is that even quota for Dalits must be monitored to ensure that all communities benefit in a fair (not necessarily proportional) manner. This is why sub quotas within the Dalit community is a welcome step. If there are more Dalit candidates than available seats, then the creamy layer must be excluded in favor of first time or poor beneficiaries.