By Dirgha Raj Prasai
Talks have been held in Nepal from all quarters to end the trend of discrimination (unsociability) on ethnic terms. There are no discriminations in cabinet, parliament, government offices, industries, organizations, meetings-assemblies, educational institutions, education, hotel, club and social organizations. This discrimination is nowhere to be found in the national level. However, the problem remains intact. This trend has a deep root in remote villages and towns. The possibility is not there that the discrimination could be ended with minor efforts. The efforts undertaken by the Dalit leaders, albeit entering the parliament through the act of proportionality and being appointed in the parliament, cabinet and commissions, has done little to emasculate the continuing discriminatory trend. The human right activists have been passing their time by presenting working papers at bigger hotels. The civil society runners, marred with the disease of taking money from political activists and foreigners, have not shown any concern towards gender-discrimination. Those making a living by using the Dalits' issues think that it is achievement to walk carefree by giving only speeches.
We can find so many evidences that the villages of Doti (Nepal) have a persisting belief that if Dalit drinks milk blood will flow from the cow and buffallo's nipples. This is why the residents of Doti do not sell milk. The villagers use powder-milk when making tea and milk cannot be found in teashops. When travelling to Bajang and Bajura it was the same disease afflicting them. A Dalit is obliged to wash the teacup after drinking tea from it in a shop. The political leaders are well-aware of the situation but they do not speak. Dalits are the people that craft and embroider the jewels in a temple but they are the ones forbidden from entering it. In reality, their failure to complain of this is a lacking factor in their capability. In the Sunar village in Kalanki, Kathmandu the Lord Shiva's temple was erected by the Sunar (goldsmith) people and they are carrying out the rituals of prayers in the temple. On the auspicious days of Shivaratri, and the Monday of Sawan (almost 17th July-31st Aug.) and so on, it is thronged by all castes including Bhramins, Chetris and all castes- there is no stench of discrimination. So, the Dalits also, themselves, must contribute in reforming the society.
Seven years ago, Jaggi Prasad Upadhaya of Hollu village in Mugu district, committed suicide by throwing himself into Karnali River after the Maoist activists forcibly made him drink water touched by an untouchable. His body was found 18 days later in a state with a Bed (Hindu's religious rule) book strapped around his neck for emancipation. Similarly, in 1999, villagers in Putalibazaar of Syangja district, near by Pokhara, socially boycotted Priest Ram Chandra Koirala after the latter preached Gayatri Mantra to 27 Dalit youths at a week long preaching of religious epics and hymns (Saptaha Purana). Since that time, that village has witnessed the passing of many festivals of Dashain, Tihar, Bratabandha and wedding ceremonies but no one has invited Priest Ram Chandra. And no one has attended the ceremonies he has held. His mother and father say that they do not like to eat what he touches. The state and Dalit organizations could not confer award on such a great social reformer, who preached Gayatri Mantra to untouchables and challenged the prevailing discriminatory trend, and present him forward as an icon.
Likewise, some years ago Ram Maya Bishwokarma (Kamini) had bought a Buffalo in Dhankuta Bazaar with an intention to earn a living by selling its milk. But no one bought the milk saying she was an untouchable. Once at statue of Goddess (Devithan) of Taplejung my birth village, a goat had been sacrificed for religious purposes. Afterwards, it was touched by a person with surname Bishwokarma (an untouchable), the meat of that goat was handed over to someone else and the untouchable committing the religious blasphemy beaten. But, the non-Dalits seeing a beautiful Dalit girl do not feel any remorse from exercising erotic relationship saying that the blood of Dalits and non-Dalits are the same, but when it comes to marriage they back off. Even if anyone dares, that person will have to face a social boycott. They will make him suffer. Another of such misfortunes is the practice of discriminatory exercises, which are rampant among Dalits.
If the government declares an incentive to provide employment and award as a motivation to those ready for inter-caste marriage with Dalits, it could be one of the bases to end this discrimination. If Nepal's political parties, social organizations and religious Groups go to villages with determined programmed it can make a huge impact in the rural level. But the political parties are not ready to launch any campaigns in this direction as yet. The parties passed the proposal of declaring Nepal a discrimination free nation through the reinstated parliament in 2006. This only became an act of throwing dust into the eyes. How can a deep embedded disease lasting for eras be removed by passing a resolution motion at the parliament?
The discriminatory trend persisting in India after so many years of its liberation and Nepal gives us a feeling of inhumanly discrimination. Although the state has adopted a policy of providing shelter to untouchables to end the trend of unsociability through laws and constitution in India, a bridegroom of such untouchable caste, who mounts a horse during a wedding procession, is beaten and banned in rural level.
The impact of this is seen in Nepal. Out of the total population of 24 million, around 4.5 million are untouchables (Kami, Damai, Sarki, Kusule, Pode, Chamar) etc. In legal terms the Muluki Ain of 1963 played a big contribution in eradicating gender discrimination and the taboo of untouchable. However, all sides must work to materialize it in pragmatic use. The government ought to take a special attention towards this and run programmed by holding onto the root of the problem.
A Dalit analyst Bharat Nepali writes-'The participation of Dalits, women and Janajatis is equally important un the daily administration in driving this country towards the righr direction, good governance and development. In the present context ' social inclusion has become a precondition by all means for the full participation of women, Dalits, disabled indigenous nationalists and the poor in the social and economic life of the nation. Dalits are socially excluded, educationally disadvantaged and economically and politically marginalised. The Dalit community in Nepal is not only discriminated in the use and access to public utilities and places but also excluded from the legal systems and public policies. They relate to making legal provision for meaningful exclusion of Dalit'.
This discrimination is not a product of any religious beliefs. There is no discrimination in Veda (the great Hindus books) by classification of people as untouchables. The trend of untouchable took a form of tradition due to the problems that aroused from prisoners of war, those who were chided by the state and those socially boycotted to the kith & nine sexual relations. Although it has written in Manusmriti, in which it is mentioned that those who lost the war, those sold and those who had accepted slavery were put into the Shudra strata with an intention of making them suffer and bringing about a division in Human race, it looks as if it was designed to make the POWs and socially boycotted people suffer.
We all know, the Americans may also not drink the water touched by Iraqi POWs out of fear. Even though Christianity preaches of equality shunning caste-based discrimination in its policy, before the black race in South Africa were subjected to a ban from using the road, rail and bus used by whites. The blacks were not allowed to study in a school attended by whites. To eradicate this South African leader Nelson Mandela had to spend 26 years in prison. So it will not be easy to transform the flaws prevalent in Christian, Jews and Muslim and other religions. In the context of Dalit's Problem in India, a scholar Mamoona Ali Kazmi writes- 'India which is propagating itself to be a true democracy with rich civil rights, is ignoring that its Dalits or untouchables still suffer from deplorable caste discrimination and are deprived of even basic rights such as right of life and security. No country can claim itself to be a democracy until and unless it has a civilized society and equality as democracy is not only a governing system but also it provides guarantee for citizens constitutional and human rights. So, how can India claim to be a big democracy where the minorities being the citizens are not enjoying the liberty and freedom and live as second class citizens?' Unknowing, some Dalits in Nepal and India have converted Christian from Hindu. But they have not gain prestige and they have been puzzling in Christian society. So many Dalits are returning in their original society-Hindu.
Mr. Dave Makkar releases-'The department’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating a complaint it received in August that Harvard rejected an INDIAN Asian- American candidate for the current freshman class based on race or national origin, a department spokesman said. The agency is looking into a similar August 2011 allegation against Princeton as part of a review begun in 2008 of that school’s handling of Asian-American candidates, said the spokesman, who declined to be identified, citing department policy. “Clearly, both whites and Asian-Americans are discriminated against vis a vis African-Americans and Latinos,” said Roger Clegg, the center’s president. “At some of the more selective schools, Asians are also discriminated against vis a vis whites.' http://bullyingbyeducators.blogspot.com/
United Hindu Front sponsors-'40 Christian families in Western UP reverted back to Vedic Hindu Dharma yesterday jettisoning fanatic belief that those who do not believe in some son of God would go to eternal Hell. Of these 40 families, one member from each family will receive training as Purohit from Agniveer so that they become respected Brahmins and are able to conduct religious and social rituals. Also they would be able to conduct Vedic induction ritual for others. This is our way of slapping the faces of Cartelism and blind evangelization.'
In Nepal termed as a garden of four castes and 36 classes by Prithvi Narayan Shah, Jagannath Temple was erected at the southern side of Tundhikhel, Kathmandu to end the social crime of untouchables. Then in course of its inauguration the King Rana Bahadur Shah had attempted to transform all Nepalese people into a single caste by organizing a communal party for Bhramins, Chetri, Newar, Tamang, Gurung, Kiranti, Kami, Damai, Sarki, Kasule among others. Then the hardcore Bhramins had spread a rumour that the king had said mad. So the rife- Orthodoxy cannot be ended by a mere verbal commitment. A revolutionary programmed ought to be brought by the state to end discrimination. The eradication of the discrimination will be possible only after running a psychological and revolutionary campaign with a joint effort between the state and the state's all sectors from the rural level. I hope in from 2021, the government must create an environment conducive to formation of joint committees comprising political party activists, local organizations and Dalit leaders to end such flaws and discriminatory trend.