“CLOSING DOWN DV” – A DEBATE
When OBCs are not interested why DV should bother about them ?
V. DHANAPAL, MADRAS
It is a happy news that the DV has got a ‘breather’. The “Closing down DV” Debate can now come to an end, we have to think of ways to avoid this situation in the future. To this effect, I have identified, out of my one year immersion in DV and DSA books, some flaws in our strategy, which need to be corrected.
Our journal is named Dalit Voice and claims to ‘educate’ Dalits, while there is hardly any education to Dalits in DV. All other things are there in it: evils of Brahmins and Brahminists and their corruption, causes of OBCs and their caste power, causes of Muslims and their minority rights and talks of Bahujans. Even there are some farfetched things like Jewish conspiracy, “Jews of India”, World War-III, etc. This is hardly any education to empower Dalits.
OBCs uninterested in DV: OBC will never be curious to see what is DV about. You yourself agree that there is hardly any OBC patronage. Same thing can be said about Muslims. Even some Muslims consider your expression of Dalits and Muslims as blood-brothers as racist. Some Dalit Muslims want to distance themselves from Dalits by calling themselves Pasmanda.
Divided Dalits: When there is so little for Dalits in DV, Dalits cannot be expected to patronize it. Still only Dalits are asked to foot the bill, none other, as the name is Dalit Voice not OBC or Muslim or Bahujan Voice. Whatever you write in the cause of OBC and Muslims are unread by the intended readers and mostly go waste, all at the cost of Dalits. All these pages can be used for the Dalit cause. Further, Jews can be left alone. There is no justification at all to neither link Jews with the Dalit problem nor coin the expression of “Jews of India”.
If Dalits are to regain their lost human rights and defend themselves from further oppression and suppression, it is in their own hands. They can do it in spite of all obstacles, if only they stand united. They can hope for only little help from others. Currently Dalits are divided so much. It would be better if you concentrate more on Dalit education, to bring about this unity, to empower them to overcome the obstacles.
Practical guidance: What Dalits need from DV is some practical guidance and coordination. In this aspect, I had sent you a poem, four issues back, about the wrong vocabulary of “higher” and “upper” when speaking about castes. You are yet to publish it. You could use the word Bania or landholder or Brahminist or BC or caste name itself or anything.
As for the project “educate”, first of all, essential parts of Dr. Ambedkar’s writings can be simplified, made into 2-3 page articles and published, to bring his works to all Dalits, quickly and briefly. I can contribute in this aspect, as I have read almost all his writings available in Ambedkar.org on Dalit issues and made some notes. Also we can ask all our DV family members to come up with other useful articles of ‘education’.
Dalits may be also shown how their meagre spare money, spare energy and spare time are wasted for unproductive and counterproductive purposes like religions, political rallies, fan clubs, banners, etc. thereby keeping them suppressed perpetually. They can be shown how, united among themselves, they can create new wealth individually and cooperatively, create all sorts of private and group enterprises, device new and powerful mechanisms to dissuade and repel aggressions, reclaim their full share of constitutional rights, etc. Gradually they can reach a position in the society where they can be proud of their progress and their historical tormentors would be ashamed of themselves. I wish DV embarks on this new path, right from the coming issue, along with Dalits, accompanying them all the way.