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
Weekend Edition
April 03, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Omar Shaban
Gaza’s New Conflict: COVID-19
Rob Urie
Work, Crisis and Pandemic
John Whitlow
Slumlord Capitalism v. Global Pandemic
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Strange Things Happening Every Day
Jonathan Cook
The Bigger Picture is Hiding Behind a Virus
Paul Street
Silver Linings Amidst the Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Control of Nature
Louis Proyect
COVID-19 and the “Just-in-Time” Supply Chain: Why Hospitals Ran Out of Ventilators and Grocery Stores Ran Out of Toilet Paper
Kathleen Wallace
The Highly Contagious Idea
Kenneth Good
The Apartheid Wars: Non-Accountability and Freedom for Perpetrators.
Andrew Levine
Democracy in America: Sorry, But You Can’t Get There from Here.
Ramzy Baroud
Tunisia Leads the Way: New Report Exposes Israel’s False Democracy
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the State-of-Emergency Pandemic
Matthew Stevenson
Will Trump Cancel the Election? Will the Democrats Dump Joe?
Ron Jacobs
Seattle—Anti-Capitalist Hotbed
Michael T. Klare
Avenger Planet: Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Mother Nature’s Response to Human Transgression?
Jack Rasmus
COVID-19 and the Forgotten Working Class
Werner Lange
The Madness of More Nukes and Less Rights in Pandemic Times
J.P. Linstroth
Why a Race is Not a Virus and a Virus is Not a Race
John Feffer
We Need a Coronavirus Truce
Thomas S. Harrington
“New Corona Cases”: the Ultimate Floating Signifier
John Grant
Is the Pandemic Patriarchal?
Victor Grossman
Corona and What Then?
Katie Fite
Permanent Pandemic on Public Lands: Welfare Sheep Ranchers and Their Enablers Hold the West’s Bighorns Hostage
Patrick Bond
Covid-19 Attacks the Down-and-Out in Ultra-Unequal South Africa
Eve Ottenberg
Capitalism vs. Humanity
Nicky Reid
Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 2: Panic On the Streets of Tehran
Jonas Ecke
Would Dying for the Economy Help Anybody?
Jeff Mackler
Capitalism is the Virus!
Andrew Moss
Incarceration, Detention, and Covid-19
Farzana Versey
Prayers, Piffle and Privation in the Time of Pandemic
Will Solomon
In the New Dystopia
Dean Baker
The Relative Generosity of the Economic Rescue Package: Boeing vs. Public Broadcasting
Dr. Leo Lopez, III
We Need a Lot More Transparency From the CDC
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Reflections on a Glass of Homemade Cider
Rashid Nuri
Homegrown Crisis Response: Who Grows Your Food?
Mark Luskus
Worst Case Scenario: Healthcare Workers Need Masks, ASAP
Volker Franke
The Virus That May Bring us Together
Mitchell Zimmerman
A Q & A on the GOP’s Call for Elder Sacrifice
Olfat al-Kurd
COVID-19 Could Be Catastrophic for Us: Notes From Gaza
Eileen Appelbaum - Roesmary Batt
Hospital Bailouts Begin…for Those Owned by Private Equity Firms
Nabri Ginwa
Carcinogens
Jill Richardson
Efficiency vs. Resilience
Lee Ballinger
Eddie Van Halen and the Future of Humanity
David Yearsley
Beset by Bach
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail