The doctor and the saint

By Arundhati Roy

This was originally written as an introduction to an annotated edition of Dr. B.R Ambedkar's iconic text - 'Annihilation of caste'.

Revolutions can begin, and often have begun , with reading.

If you have heard of Malala Yousafzai but not of Surekha Bhotmange, do read Ambedkar.

In india only 10% of the crimes against Dalits are getting reported, and even that 10% is a large number.

The so called system & police maintain the peace by upholding the caste system. Annihilation of caste is a breach of peace.

Unlike other abominations like racism, sexism and apartheid, caste system is not challenged by international forums. Because it is strongly fused with Hinduism. And Hinduism with it's good looking outfits - like vegetarianism, Gandhi and non-violence, yoga etc. - have a international acceptance. Another reason is that the caste system is not colour coded like racism, so it is hard to get noticed, at-least from the outside. Also unlike apartheid, the caste system has admirers in high places.

Most of the Indian intellectuals think that caste system is an internal problem, and left leaning Indian intelligentsia try to force-fit this into reductive Marxist class analysis, making caste even hard to see.

Some castes like the Mahars, the caste to which Ambedkar belonged, had to tie brooms to their waists to sweep away their polluted footprints

  • Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s - Wikipedia

  • Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. Wikipedia

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