Dalits demands are simple: Righting the wrong of the past

The Joint Political Dalit Struggle Committee is formed by the Dalit parliamentarians from political parties, including the ruling parties, NC and CPN-UML and the opposition party CPN-Maoists, within the framework of the minimum common understanding among them for ensuring Dalit rights. All three major parties, in principle, are deemed to be committed to Dalit rights. Dalit people have never questioned about that. Majority of Dalit people have been unconditionally supporting the respective parties of their heart and expect the parties to address the questions of their just demands. Especially, the ruling parties NC and CPN-UML are expected to respond positively to rightful demands of Dalits made through the peaceful demonstrations. Still, the government machinery under the same ruling parties struck heavily on the peaceful demonstrators on August 3, using brutal police force injuring several Dalit parliamentarians and activists in unprecedented manner to suppress the peaceful demonstration for their demands. This may be surprizing to ordinary bystanders, but not to Dalit communities, who by virtue of their extreme tolerance to centuries of oppression and discrimination know the reality very well.
The ground reality is that all the major political parties where most of the Dalit parliamentarians belong to are headed and run by those of very Dalit friendly leaders, whose traditional Brahministic value loving families and cronies want the status quo of caste discrimination to prevail even after the new constitution is promulgated. The same case goes across the government machinery, which is fully dominated by so-called ‘high caste’ officials and security personnel, whose Brahministic families would not favor any change for humanity. In the words of impression vented out by Nepaldalitinfo International Network’s founding moderator Dr. Drona Rasali to Himalayan Radio yesterday that it is unbelievable that the home minister Bamdev Gautam himself would have given any direct order so as to strike a brutal police force on peaceful demonstrators. It is understandable that the trigger for police personnel charging the batons on Dalits could have come from the inherent Brahminism within their heart that motivated them to falsely inflate the peaceful incident into a case of demonstrators turning violent.
Clearly, the demand of Dalits for their rights is not against the supposedly ‘Dalit friendly’ political parties now in power, but it is against the crude age-old Brahmism hidden in the hearts of their political leaders, security personnel and all those holding state power at any level. The demand of Dalits is for freedom from Brahminism that wants to cling on to the traditional status-quo oppressing Dalits for ever in the manner of adamantly inhuman villagers of Nainpur in Siraha district denying rights of Dom people to touch the public well for fetching water for themselves.
In the 21st century, Dalits deserve a better deal, with inclusive provisions of rightful representations at all levels of governments and societal structures in compensation to all those oppressions that emanated from the statutory provisions made by Jung Bahadur Rana’s Muluki Ain (Civil Code) of 1854. Dalits demand is simple: it is righting the wrong of the past causing damages through their generations. Unless the new constitution compensates adequately for the state-led oppressions of the past, which they tolerated for so long remaining in silence below human dignity, Dalits will not have gotten their full rights as they deserve, and the new constitution with ‘socialism’ painted in the preamble is not going to be right.
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