I get this picture in the email today and thought I must share it with everyone.
Isn’t it true? Years after year, Dalits have been denied of their rights, their dignity. They are kept at the lowest rung. Years after year, Governments have betrayed Dalits and Dalits’ trust. Now is the time to wake up and make our community aware of the discrimination Dalits’ facing in all the spheres. Unless we unite and raise voice against injustices, nothing is going to happen, wake up!!
If you want to destroy a society, destroy its history and the society will get destroyed automatically – Dr. Ambedkar.
On 26th July, a statue of Behan Mayawati was broken in Lucknow; a day later, three statues of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar were broken in Azamgarh and on 30th July, another statue of Dr. Ambedkar was vandalised in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. All this is not new and has been happening to Dalit leaders’ statues, Dalit idols or icons, Dalit places and Dalit history since ages. Numerous Dalit saints/gurus were killed – such as Sant Chakardhar, Sant Namdev, Sant Tukaram, Guru Ravidas, Sant Chokhamela; people even tried to kill Mahatma Jyotiba Phule & Shahuji Maharaj. Dalit history has been maligned and distorted since ages. Historians are supposed to be free from fear, to be sincere, open minded, open hearted truth seekers & also courageous enough to show the truth at any cost. But it is the misfortune of Dalits of India that historians have shown a distorted picture & never showed truth to the people. Being Dalit, we have been taught to hate ourselves, we have been taught that Dalits’ don’t have any history; we have been taught Dalits can’t do any good. Who taught you all this? Upper caste people did.
Dr. Ambedkar’s followers were putting up statues of him in slums and villages even when he was alive but the first official statue of Dr. Ambedkar was set up in 1962, in Mumbai (Bombay) at the Institute of Science crossing. And then came the moment when Dalits started asserting and in 1966, Dr. Radhakrishnan (President of India) inaugurated Dr. Ambedkar’s statue in the Parliament building complex (New Delhi). In Uttar Pradesh, one research study shows that the very first Dr. Ambedkar statue was installed with the contribution of Dalits in around 1966 on the outskirts of Allahabad, and Dalits of Kanpur didn’t take much time to install another statue on the same lines. We must not forget that many installations of Dr. Ambedkar’s statues were opposed by upper caste people with stone pelting or boycotts but Dalits showed courage and didn’t move back. Dalits knew that statues of Dalit idols will stand as a major feature in the Dalit-Bahujan movement. And in all those statues Dr. Ambedkar will stand aloft. How can we forget the struggle and sacrifice of our forefathers?
Statues of Dalit icons are built by Dalit people with their own money and contributions, not with the money from the state as Gandhi-Nehru statues are being made in India. So, why are Dalit icons’ statues being broken and damaged? Statues represent a crucial point in the aspirations of Dalits towards democracy, aspirations of Dalits towards equality and justice. Dalits gather around these statues, get organised, organising functions and all these gatherings give them strength to believe in themselves and get inspired by other fellow Dalits. All these attempts to demolish Dalit icons’ statues is an attempt to demoralise Dalits, deprive Dalits of their rich history and rob them of what Dalits have been able to gather after years of struggle.
Besides, to honour these backward-born great “Saints, Gurus and Seers”, various magnificent spots, memorials, museums, parks, etc have been constructed in the state, on which the total budgeted government amount spent is even less than 1%; the remaining funds having spent on law and order, crime control, development and public welfare activities.
In the last four years, the central government did not release on time its share payable to the state totalling Rs. 21,385 crore. If this amount had been paid by the centre in time, achievements of the state government could have been far far better.
Not only this, the “special economic package’ of Rs. 80,000 crore sought from the central government for the total development of the state, especially Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal in view of the poor and pitiable economic conditions inherited from the previous governments, no money was received from the central government at all.
Thereafter, under government’s new development strategy several major projects /schemes on the PPP-model, like the Ganga Express-way, Yamuna Express-way and Upper Ganga canal were prepared to spur development in the state in which no central investments were involved except a departmental ‘no objection ‘ from them; the centre, however, did not cooperate even in this matter.
And yet, with “ correct mobilization of resources and improved financial management” the state government generated an atmosphere