AMBEDKARITE DALIT MOVEMENT
Movements developed under the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar in Maharashtra and other part of India he had characteristics of all four types of social movements through as it’s best it was revolutionary in terms of society and redemptive in terms of individuals. He says Brahmanism and Capitalism are our two enemies by Brahmanism he could not mean the power, privileges and interests of the Brahmins as a community. By Brahmanism he means the negation of the spirit of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. In that sense, it is rampant in all classes and is not confined to the Brahmins alone though they have been the originators of it. (‘Times of India, 14th February 1938’). He was having a great vision of development that emphasised the creation of a modern society of abundance, his aim was creating society free from suffering and his readiness to take best from the heritage was radically different from a Gandhian orientation to the traditional village and limitation of needs. He says that Dalits or the ex-untouchables had a crucial role to play in defeating Brahminic Hinduism and opening the road to a society of equality and Liberation. Dr Ambedkar adopted Buddhism which can bring complete internal (spiritual) change Ambedkar’s Philosophy was enlightened Philosophy that could describe as “Social Liberation”. Thus in Maharashtra the centre of Ambedkar’s efforts, the Dalit Movement remained limited and confined by the boundaries of Jatis.
Marxism remain stuck in the theoretical ideology of Maoism even at the end they used to see Ambedkar as a ‘petty-bourgeois ‘Whereas Ambedkar always had a broader economic, social and cultural programme of political power.
Current status of Dalit Movement
Dalit movement shares a broad concern for asserting Dalits right to life, livelihood and dignity and process of democratisation, these concerns are rooted in regional specifities of oppressive and exploitative structures.
Khairlanji massacre which happen in Maharashtra on 29 September 2006 become a landmark for many movements and agitation across India. Bhotmange family was a family of five 2 sons and one daughter Husband and wife; they were brutally killed in a planned attack by a group of non Dalit they were one of three Dalit families in the village dominated by the OBC’s. With 780 people in the village and about 170 households, 120 km from Nagpur in Bhandara district of Maharashtra. The members of the family were dragged from their hut, paraded naked, tortured, maimed, sexually assaulted Raped and killed. They were taken in a cart around the village and their bodies thrown in different parts of the village. Only father of the children Bhaiyyalal could escape the deadly attack, as he was away from home.
Background of the Incidence
According to fact finding team the upper caste dominated village Panchayats has consistently refused to enter Bhaiyyalal name in the revenue records, they were preventing him from building a pucca house. On the two occasions when he tried to build it, the construction was demolished and he was threatened with dire consequences if he ever attempted to build his house again. Farming is the predominant occupation of the village with 373 hectares of land, of which 262 hectares over 70% are under irrigation from Pench canal. In Khairlanji, 178 families own agricultural land. Though they are mostly marginal landholders, owing to assures irrigation the villages harvest multiple crops such as rice, wheat and pulses, six years ago, Mr. Doma Bhimte sold his 0.60 hector land to Bhotmange family. When villagers asked 0.40 hector land for a pathway, Bhotmange family happily gave it but caste Hindu villagers also asked remaining land, but Mr. Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange, the head of the family refused to give in to the demands of the caste Hindus. Due to this reason, he was beaten up by the caste Hindus.
Role played by administration/ Dalit Leadership
In the case the local politicians are also supposed to be involved in citing the villagers of Khairlanji in attacking the Bhotmange’s. Here all like police and other administrative peoples like doctors those who have done the PM of the body everybody were under the influence of the Politician, several reports have severely indicate senior police officials and doctors attempt to cover up the rape of Surekha and Priyanka Bhotmange. The congress party led Maharashtra government has also been criticized for its tardy response to the atrocity, which handed over the enquiry to Central Bureau of Investigation.
These politicians those who was there in power not done much to respond to such case and when people get more violent post Khairlanji then the Maharashtra Home Minister claimed that the protests were the work of ‘Naxalities’ and ‘Maoists’. Things are not better nationally, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of Prime Minister Manmohan Sing, busy attending summits proclaiming India as the ‘next super power’ had little time for the Bhotmange or even to publicly condemn the Khairlanji atrocity. The rising incidences of attacks on Dalits in Congress ruled state is an indicator of how cut off the party, which leads the UPA coalition, is from the grassroots of the country.
Insensitivity at the top levels of the police department towards communal atrocities and sends totally wrong signals to the police machinery in the state. The medical authorities committed ‘extremely serious neglect, during post-mortem of Priyanka Bhotmange’s family. The district authorities such as district magistrate, superintendent of police and civil surgeon remained aloof and indifferent throughout the subsequent of events hence allowing the crimes and subsequent manipulation of evidence. The delay in responding to the atrocity should go to the timid and opportunist Dalit leadership both in Maharashtra and in the country. The incidence was happen on the fiftieth anniversary of Dhammakranti- Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism-the organisers were kept quiet about the massacre lest the issue go out of hand in such a large gathering.
The incidence was also an eye opener about the defunct Dalit political leadership. The leadership was not only conspicuously absent but the section of them has been even co-opted into mainstream parties like the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party and even the Shiv Sena. The real tragedy of the Dalit leadership is that it lacks a strategy for social transformation, indeed even for translating Dalits’ organisational strength into bargaining power on a secular, egalitarian platform. None of our political Dalit leaders combines Ambedkar’s dual agenda- of Dalit representation and inclusive social change.
Mr Shivraj Patil home minister at that time while addressing the interstate council meet called by PM end up with lot of promises; he also talked about tightening the police machinery as it is found to be wanting in reining in perpetrators of Dalit atrocities. As per the analysis, all our Dalit leaders because of their personal aspirations joined with congress and other parties and are confined with their party’s ideology; they can’t go against their party’s high command order.
Social justice minister Meira Kumar also pointed out that the conviction rate in cases registered under the protection of Civil Rights Act is a mere 3.75 % and 75 to 77% of cases of crimes against Dalits remain pending despite the existence of special and designated courts, Union Home minister Shivraj Patil, who was also present at the conference, also acknowledge that the system was not delivering justice or existing laws for SC/STs should be changed or tightened. They don’t feel shame of agreeing with the fact that actually the law or judiciary system is not working properly but nothing such concrete stems could taken by them which will strengthen law and judiciary, either because of unwillingness or because of party’s limitations’.
Role played by Civil Society
According the Report on Prevention of Atrocities against SCs prepares by NHRC 2004 presents detail of the way in which the civil society presents itself. In India civil society itself becomes he beneficiary of Caste based order and helps perpetuate the existing unequal social reactions and frustrates attempts to democratize the society because of this arrangement dominant classes will have assured of social control over people who can continue to abide by their commands without any reaction or protest.
The uncivil nature of civil society presents before us a great challenges where the need then to become rises above the discourse of civil and constitutional rights and address the failure of largest democracy of the world. That’s why Dr. Ambedkar the constitutional maker also has distinct between social democracy and political democracy “one person having one vote” and “one person having one value”.
Causes of Atrocities
The measure issue as we are aware about is our Caste but in several case wise there are some other issues which also needs attention. The initial dispute was regarding land his land was surrounded by land of other OBC farmers, but this issue is not only an issue of land lot many issues like power dominance, gender etc. Bhotmange family originally had 7 acres on which they grew rice and cotton and two acres had already been taken away in 1996 to build road so that neighbouring farmers from the ‘higher’ castes could drive the tractors through the land. Gajbhiye and Bhotmange family undoubted acquired some upward mobility, like owning land and were comparatively prosperous-economically, educationally and socially the reasons behind such atrocities are mostly economic. Upper caste Hindus does not take kindly to the economic prosperity of Dalit families. This family was facing oppression from entire village for 17 long years and the main reason for it was the land they owned.
As Mr Anand Teltumbede in his article wrote that most of the civil servants relating with the case was all Dalits and also belongs to the same sub-caste as that of Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange’s. So nobody will actually blame to upper caste people for exercise prejudices against the Dalits it seems that the entire network fails at one point of time.
Another similar kind of Incident: Gohana massacre in Haryana was a recent example of Dalits butchered in the hands of Jats. These incidents are more prevalent in areas where Dalits have tried to assert their rights and especially, on issues of agricultural land.
There is no single movement which can claim that is based on Ambedkarite Ideology. The incident, which took place on 29th September 2006 Khairlanji village, in Bhandara district, State of Maharashtra, sent shockwaves all over the country in India. Post Khairlanji there was great agitation and confrontation against the Atrocity, in various places people got united, youths were out on the streets asking for justice, till this issue was raised in UN, in all above stakeholders we have seen they all have certain types of limitations and boundaries but youths don’t have any limitations they can act rationally and creatively to take issues like this and other issues which are bothering them and for their benefits.
Though there have been a major change in particularly education and governmental employment, Along with modernity, traditional social identity, the traditional social order and hegemony, hierarchy continues to impact social identity, location of individual, access to resources, mobility for education, funds, allocation of budget, implementation of policies the interpersonal relationships get severely affected, so the Dalit assertions for Dignity Liberty and justice and quest for transforming social structure on the principle of justice, equality and liberty is become a quest.
Why Youths in Movement?
The premises on which our new youth movement will be based on are on Dr. Ambedkar’s philosophy which he tries to explain in only three words, “Liberty Equality and Fraternity”. To achieve these long term vision of Dr. Ambedkar, Youths play a very important role in society, since they are the future of our country, youths are dynamic, energetic and ration in thinking that what we need in the youth movement we don’t need blind followers we want youths those who are ideologically strong or are willing to work for the betterment and empowerment of their society.
Our movement will be on the premises of being Apolitical and not to enter in electoral politics at early state it can be our long term goal, not to merging or no coalition alliances with any of the political parties. This movement will be completely governed by youths themselves and there will be no interference by any external parties, except the invitation by the Youth’s themselves.
Our Objective can be:
Gathering information regarding different professional courses and facilities or policies avail for the SC scheduled caste.
Capacity building of youths in several skills, like public speaking negotiation skills, Advocacy skills etc.
Studying several issues regarding Dalit Rights like, Right to Food, Right to life, strengthening the SC/ST (PoA) Act 1986, and proposing amendments and monitoring implementation.
International scholarships and opportunities to study in abroad for higher education.
Different avail opportunities on developing small scale business ventures.
The Internet technology is growing in India, social networking portals, chatting and blog sphere is developing an alternative media activity technology has change lot of things now the new movement which is emerging is virtual movement or also we can called cyber movement don’t know how effective it can be but yes at least we can reach more people at a time.
Indian Ambedkarite youth has tremendous edge as per as personal goal setting is concerned either due to legacy of Dr Ambedkar’s life or due to magnitude of the problem the society is facing. Ambedkarite youth believe in Dr. Ambedkar’s philosophy he says people those who suffer the most carry less material risk but high potential to transform the world creatively. Ambedkarite youth driving the wagon of youth movement in this century is quite under –accepted view. But this youth movement which w are expecting should not be limit till cyber or virtual technological gadgets, movements cannot happens on web but it can be use as one of the creative mode to reach out to people it is just a means.
Youths are active in mobilising people around issues such as Dalit Rights, Land Rights, Bonded labours, caste and atrocities etc youths can organised and participate in Dalit movement they are the ones who can make difference and can try promoting changes in the society and can bring revolution we should not forgot that there is still hope for our country, to establish society based on Liberty Equality and Fraternity to create an Egalitarian society, to create a casteless society. But for that these youths should be tie up together with one singular Ideology they should be driven by Ambedkarite ideology they should bring clarity of thoughts in the youths.
I am proposing these objectives just to give a broad idea what can be expected, but it will be completely depend on the youths themselves what programmes should be initiated what objectives can be set to achieve our vision. Before this youths has only come on road when there was any atrocity that was a sudden retaliation by the youths, but now we will come together and come on road to ask our Rights, our money, budgetary allocation of funds SCP, before this only NGOs has done the job and they have work for their own interest and boundaries but now we youths will come together and will stand for own Rights and Rights of marginalised.
Who has the Youth has the future