I am writing a series (on and off) of blogs on – against – the caste system of India (include black skin for other parts of the world). This is another installment in the series.
Last week, there was a shocking news that Dr Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead. In brief Dr Dabholkar was working against the superstitions in India. If I remember it correctly, his program was once aired on Discovery Channel also. I remember watching some program more than 10 years back. At that time, I never thought that there are so many challenges in India and this (superstition) is a big problem. But yes it is; otherwise why would a simple person be killed for running a social cause. The problem at times is we do not want to change. We accept many things as given and NORM – which Dr Dabholkar wanted to change. When I heard about him in English media the word used was – rational! A good word, rationality asks for a reason. Reason for accepting any belief.
I would ponder on rationality Vs spirituality or rationality and spirituality in future.
So, according to Wiki, Dr Dabholkar started his social work with Baba Adhav’s “One village – One well” agitation. Though more on this agitation is not readily available (Google search page 1) on the net. The title of this agitation suggests this – each village should be supplied water from one well. This seems very naive agitation. Let me tell you – in India there are villages or places where you have one well for untouchables and one well (perhaps one for each caste) for other community. This is the challenges on which I have been writing lately. This all does not stop just here. There are different temples (of same Gods) for untouchables and rest of the community. What more irrational one can ask for? The creator of all is divided by castes. Bhagvat Geeta says soul does not die, it comes back to life after the body dies. What if soul of a Brahmin dies and born as untouchable and vice versa?
I remember reading that Dr Ambedkar had to face immense discrimination. His container of water (Matka) in his office was separate. Why? Because he was an untouchable. He had to fight this war whole life. We in India define people by their ancestry and not by their action. We define people by their skin color (world over) and not by their character. We define people by their social status and not their thoughts.
Effectively we have to fight many battles for becoming a more just, equal and inclusive society. Dr Dabholkar was fighting on the superstitions which needs to continue and the other is – equality on financial and social status. All this needs change in mindset – solution? For me it is spirituality.