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The Uncouth Face of Untouchability
|by G Swaminathan|
This week’s topic of ‘Satyameva Jayate’ touched the most touchy and sensitive subject of Untouchability in India. It is, indeed, a matter of shame that India is still fostering this obnoxious practice in many parts of the country. It is another depressing fact that neither the government nor the activists do anything in the most deserving cases while many who have come up in life also try to avoid themselves seriously involved in the uplift of the unfortunate souls.
As usual, the miserable voyages of some of the achievers like Dr Kaushal Panwar who is surprisingly a professor in Sanskrit at the Delhi University and Mr Wilson who had been toiling for the people who are still employed for manual removal of the night soil in this blessed land. In this particular subject, especially, the higher caste, namely the brahmins will be blamed for all the atrocities played on dalits and the cast Hindus are left untouched.
Fortunately, Aamir Khan showed the worst sides of this practice prevailing in other religions like Islam, Christianity and Sikh in India not exclusively blaming the Hindu’s alone through the detailed interview of Stalin K Padma and his movie clips. It also brought out the profound views of a brahmin, Justice (Retd) CS Dharmadhikari. His witty asides and valid arguments for creating a society free of caste, creed and religion are the most welcoming aspects.
India once again proved to be a land of people with lot of mental blocks and queer psyche; the slogan of creating a casteless society has led to the formation of political parties with a strong support and fanning of caste feelings. The policies used for reservation has resulted into several other unexpected shocks and misdeeds. The same caste and untouchability which are used for harassing a man or a woman are also used as a weapon to create hatred among the society. The show also brought the lethargy and indifference of the governments in taking serious steps on the issue except harping on reservation policy.
The discussions and the show have been handled with great care and restraint by Aamir Khan and it was specifically heartening to see almost the entire audience for this particular episode was youth. The comment by a girl from the audience towards the end of the program was indeed poignant that the development of a city or society should not be based on the number of malls, multiplexes, metros; but the checkpoint should be on a casteless society without any discrimination.
Certainly, a utopian dream in India.
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07/12/2012 10:12 AM