The Cure of Untouchability
I have a question,
What is untouchability?
Is it only about the outcastes?
or can anyone get affected?
Why was it practiced?
Why is it still in practice?
Don't we have any,
Cure of untouchability?
When nature made no difference in humans,
Who are we to be discriminatory?
Colors, appearances, or behavior,
is it necessary, to stamp an identity?
Who is ill?
Who needs the cure?
Did untouchables decide themselves to be low?
Or was it the oppressor's strategy??
Practiced since the birth of religion,
Is god to be blamed?
For the hierarchy of castes,
for the practice of discrimination?
Education was in denial,
Excluded from society, even from public spaces,
Basic human values, human rights were in denial.
Do you remember the agitation of Ambedkar?
his vision for an equal, free, independent India,
to uplift the depressed,
to give them the power of representation,
Dated 20th March 1927.
A prominent part of his revolution,
A struggle representing basic human rights,
Ambedkar and thousands of untouchables,
drank water, the purest form of nature.
Do you know, what happened later?
Water was purified shamelessly
with 108 pots of cow-urine and cow-dung,
Just because untouchables drank water.
Can a human not be treated equally as a human?
Why a human is treated lower than an animal?
is there a need for law??
to justify basic rights of a human?
Think for yourself,
Who is ill? Who needs the cure?
and decide what must be the cure?
cow urine, cow dung, or water?
and what is the purest form of nature?
The Cure of Untouchability
I have been eagerly waiting to write about the Mahad movement through my poems, it is one of the major agitations led by Dr. Ambedkar. It makes me sad to know about the aftermath of the movement. What must Dr. Ambedkar would have felt when he got to know that after they all drank water from the Chavdar lake, upper-caste men purified the lake with 108 pots of cow urine, cow dung. Isn't this heartbreaking? Not just that, before the purification when upper-caste men realized that untouchables have drank the water, they spread the rumor that untouchables are planning to enter the temple, because of this rumor untouchables had to face violence while returning to the conference camp.
In 1924 Mahad municipality opened the lake for untouchables, when untouchables tried to drink water they were not allowed to drink it. Hence, in 1927 a conference was organized and the mass movement was led. It is not just about Chavdar Lake, it is about every basic need, public space, basic human rights, which untouchables were denied of. Along with upper-caste men, people from other religions, even animals were allowed to drink water, but not the untouchables. After the whole incident upper-caste men filed a case in court against the untouchables claiming Chavdar lake as private property, that case took nearly a decade and ended in favor of the untouchables and the lake was open for all.
In our country cow is treated as a goddess, and cow-urine, cow dung is used for purification. If really cow-urine is so pure if really it has scientific benefits, why does the untouchability exist? If the upper-caste men drink cow-urine, why hasn't it purified their minds? Why their mind is impure, discriminatory, egoistic?
The famous meme which goes "aap thak gaye honge, jal lijiye" is really accurate, upper-caste men should drink water instead of cow-urine and remember water is pure, water represents equality, and should remember what Ambedkar said, that this movement is not about the water but is about the basic human rights. I might seem angry and agitated, but isn't this the truth? Shouldn't one give importance to basic human rights and equality??
One must read Dr. Ambedkar's writings and volumes and enlighten themselves.
"The aim of abolishing untouchability alone without trying to abolish the inequalities inherent in the caste system is a very low crime. Let us remember not failure but low aim is a crime. Let us probe the evil to its very roots and be not satisfied with mere palliative to assuage our pain. If the disease is not rightly diagnosed the remedy will be useless and the cure may be postponed." Volume 17 Part 1 (BAWS)
Equality is the only cure of untouchability. Dr. Ambedkar has strived hard in his life for equal representation, for an equal India, from Annihilation of Caste to The Constitution of India, he succeeded in spreading equality through the law. He even protected the rights of the downtrodden by providing fundamental rights.
Another important issue I want to address is who were the untouchables? and who are they now? Aren't what we call today dalits were the untouchables? Dalits still face untouchability now and then. Why do they face it? Being a Dalit is a low aim, is a crime. Shouldn't one must get out of the identity of dalit? How long does one need to hold the caste? From tomorrow i.e. 1st April people will be celebrating Dalit History Month, what for? what is the reason? Who are dalits? Do people celebrate April as dalit history month because Ambedkar was born on the 14th of April? Think yourself was Ambedkar a dalit? He died a Buddhist, not a Dalit. There is no such word as 'Dalit' in the Constitution of India, dalit is not even a caste, then what is this pride about? If dalit is merely a political identity, one must need to channelize their thoughts, ideas, principles, and re-understand the teachings of Buddha, Krantisurya Jyotiba and Sau, Bharat Ratna Dr. Ambedkar and Manyavar Kanshiram.
Also to note 31st March 1990, Dr. Ambedkar was revered with the Bharat Ratna Award, the highest award for his contributions to society, for his service to the nation.
Thank You for reading.
Rethink, revise your ideas, your belief, your principles.