I always read your postings with great taste and try to correct myself often. Your previous posting on Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar was nice. what i felt was that Dr Ambedkar wanted to give a blow to the higher caste people but he never wanted to sever himself from Hinduism. That's why he opted to protect the Indian-ness of the Dalits.
At the end of this posting you have quoted Dr Ambedkar as saying
"Ours is a battle not for wealth or for power.
It is a battle for freedom. It is a battle for the reclamation of human personality."
- Dr BR Ambedkar
The battle of freedom for the Dalits is necessary but you should also know that the biggest enemy among other things for the Dalits and tribal people today is the liquor. I have seen lakhs of Dalit families ravaged simply because of liquor. You may hold the upper caste responsible even 60 years of independence but from my experience I feel that the Dalits should be first freed from liquor.
My experience as crime reporter in Chhattisgarh was that majority of the criminals arrested are from the backward communities. They commit crimes in a fit of rage when they are under the influence of liquor. Most of the farmers committing suicide are also drunkards.
The irony is that the Indian state which claims to be a welfare state considers liquor (Excise revenue) as a major source of income. Majority of the upper caste people stay away from liquor while entrapped are the Dalits, backwards and the Tribals.
If you have to wage a war for the freedom of the Dalits and other backward communities, you should launch a movement against liquor.
I would like to recall the poverty my family had seen till 1974 but it was our resolve not to stoop ourselves to the level that we become tipplers, saved our family. It is not the poverty alone but the other evils that come along with poverty are dangerous. Here your commitment to your Samskar or your values plays a vital role in saving.
G MANJU SAINATH __._,_.___
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