• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

We are inching along, but not as quickly as we (or you) would like. If you have already donated, thank you so much. If you haven’t had a chance, consider skipping the coffee this week and drop CounterPunch $5 or more. We provide our content for free, but it costs us a lot to do so. Every dollar counts.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Reason India’s Dalits Hate Gandhi

The reason India’s Dalits hate Gandhi is that, to the Dalits, he helped preserve the caste system, or Varna, in post independence India.

To understand India you must understand caste, or what the real word is for this religious  practice, Varna. To start with in the Indian language of Sanskrit, Varna literally translates into the word “color”. Your varna, your color, determines your status in society, something that under the belief in reincarnation is determined by your actions in a previous life.

Under the system of Varna if you are from one of the Dalit “castes”, let say the very lowest status or “untouchables” it is because you are being punished by God for sins in a previous life in your present reincarnation.

Under Hindu religious beliefs, those of the lowest, mainly darker, Varna, have a religious duty to obey and serve those in the “high castes”, mainly lighter skinned Brahmins/Priests, the Kashatrya/Warriors or the Vaishas/Merchants like Gandhi, a distinctly “upper caste” name.

If you are an untouchable, say, forced to clean the public toilets, you are breaking “Gods Will” if you rebel against this status, something that will be enforced on your children after you and their childen after them. Accept your varna, be a good servant to the high castes and you will be reborn someday as one of them, or so goes Hinduism.

The practice of Varna is the only religious practice that all Hindus adhere to with a multitude of gods, worship services and holy books being observed throughout Hinduism. There is no Bible, Torah or Koran in Hinduism rather a multitude of day to day practices in many ways completely different in various Hindu communities across India.

Only Varna, “color”, is practiced by all Hindus.

To this day this religious practice is observed by most Hindus with even as many as 80% of Dalits believing in Varna.

Dalits call themselves Dalits because they reject what they have been historically called, “untouchables”, though most other oppressed peoples in India are included in the title. The word comes from the “dal”, crushed lentils, that is India’s staple food, as in a crushed and broken people.

Most of the leadership of India’s Dalit community see Gandhi as the main force in preserving the practice of Varna in post independence India for his opposition to reserved voting rights for India’s Dalits in India’s post independence constitution. This means all castes can vote for the elected Dalit leaders, for those seats in the Indian Parliament reserved for “minorities”.

Dalits believe that if only Dalits could vote for Dalit leaders than a more truly representative selection would take place. This is where Gandhi drew the line, that allowing Dalits to chose their own leaders directly was not to be allowed, and he went on his famous hunger strike to the death to prevent this from happening.

The Dalits leader, Dr. Ambedkar, finally gave in, accepted Gandhi’s demand and Dalits lost the  right to directly chose their own leaders. This loss of choice is what Dalit leaders say is what is most responsible for preserving Varna in India after independence. Without Dalit leaders chosen directly by Dalits there has been no one to fight for Dalit rights by the effective outlawing of varna through the enforcement of the Indian Constitution authored by the Dalit leader Dr. Ambedkar, or so most Dalit leaders will tell you. After over a half century of independence India’s Constitution is still not being enforced with only a fraction of positions reserved for Dalits in employment and education being filled.

One thing is for sure and that is caste/varna is king in India’s almost half a million villages where caste infested Hindus dominate society and Dalits are forced into the most menial and degrading professions. Even drinking water from the wells reserved for caste infested Hindus is forbidden.

Most Dalit’s lives in post-Gandhi India remain one of misery and hardship with basic education for their children still just a dream. Being unable to even chose their own leaders directly through reserved voting and with Gandhi playing such a pivotal role in this happening is the reason India’s Dalits hate Mohandas Gandhi.

More articles by:

Thomas C. Mountain attended Punahou School for six years some half a dozen years before “Barry O’Bombers” time there. He has been living and writing from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain at g_ mail_ dot _com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 22, 2019
Gary Leupp
The Kurds as U.S. Sacrificial Lambs
Robert Fisk
Trump and the Retreat of the American Empire
John Feffer
Trump’s Endless Wars
Marshall Auerback
Will the GOP Become the Party of Blue-Collar Conservatism?
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Trump’s Fake Withdrawal From Endless War
Dean Baker
Trump Declares Victory in China Trade War
Patrick Bond
Bretton Woods Institutions’ Neoliberal Over-Reach Leaves Global Governance in the Gutter
Robert Hunziker
XR Co-Founder Discusses Climate Emergency
John W. Whitehead
Terrorized, Traumatized and Killed: The Police State’s Deadly Toll on America’s Children
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A World Partnership for Ecopolitical Health and Security
Binoy Kampmark
The Decent Protester: a Down Under Creation
Frances Madeson
Pro-Democracy Movement in Haiti Swells Despite Police Violence
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Challenges Logging and Burning Project in Methow Valley
Chelli Stanley
Change the Nation You Live In
Elliot Sperber
Humane War 
October 21, 2019
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Wolf at the Door: Adventures in Fundraising With Cockburn
Rev. William Alberts
Myopic Morality: The Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Sheldon Richman
Let’s Make Sure the Nazis Killed in Vain
Horace G. Campbell
Chinese Revolution at 70: Twists and Turns, to What?
Jim Kavanagh
The Empire Steps Back
Ralph Nader
Where are the Influentials Who Find Trump Despicable?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Poll Projection: Left-Leaning Jagmeet Singh to Share Power with Trudeau in Canada
Thomas Knapp
Excuses, Excuses: Now Hillary Clinton’s Attacking Her Own Party’s Candidates
Brian Terrell
The United States Air Force at Incirlik, Our National “Black Eye”
Paul Bentley
A Plea for More Cynicism, Not Less: Election Day in Canada
Walter Clemens
No Limits to Evil?
Robert Koehler
The Collusion of Church and State
Kathy Kelly
Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition
Charlie Simmons
How the Tax System Rewards Polluters
Chuck Collins
Who is Buying Seattle? The Perils of the Luxury Real Estate Boom
Weekend Edition
October 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Where’s the Beef With Billionaires?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and the Violence of Environmental Decline
Paul Street
Bernie in the Deep Shit: Dismal Dem Debate Reflections
Andrew Levine
What’s So Awful About Foreign Interference?
T.J. Coles
Boris Johnson’s Brexit “Betrayal”: Elect a Clown, Expect a Pie in Your Face
Joseph Natoli
Trump on the March
Ashley Smith
Stop the Normalization of Concentration Camps
Pete Dolack
The Fight to Overturn the Latest Corporate Coup at Pacifica Has Only Begun
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Russophobia at Democratic Party Debate
Chris Gilbert
Forward! A Week of Protest in Catalonia
Daniel Beaumont
Pressing Done Here: Syria, Iraq and “Informed Discussion”
Daniel Warner
Greta the Disturber
M. G. Piety
“Grim Positivism” vs. Truthiness in Biography
John Kendall Hawkins
Journey to the Unknown Interior of (You)
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail