Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Khairlanji :Exploding Some Myths

Anand Teltumbde

The importance of Khairlanji lies in providing a clear illustration of the genesis, development and culmination of a caste atrocity. Khairlanji brings to the fore the irrelevance of dalit politics and politicians and rejection of them by ordinary dalits. But above all, Khairlanji helps dispel a number of myths – the myth that economic development does away with casteism, the myth of Maharashtra being a progressive state, the myth that there exists a significant progressive section of non-dalits that is against the caste system, the myth that dalits placed in the bureaucracy can orient the administration to do justice to dalits, and finally the mythology of ‘bahujanwad’ developed by the late Kanshiram and followed by other dalit leaders.

It is time to comprehend the significance of Khairlanji, the forces behind it, the reactions it evoked, and the lessons it holds forth. Khairlanji has exposed the omissions and commissions, indeed, the very complicity of the state in crimes against dalits, as also the bankruptcy and irrelevance of mainstream dalit politics and politicians. It has dispelled a number of myths – that economic development weakens the hold of the caste system; that Maharashtra is a progressive state; that there is a significant section of nondalits that is anti-caste; that a significant proportion of dalits in the bureaucracy can orient the state to fulfil its constitutional responsibility towards the dalits; and, that ‘bahujanwad’, which tries to unite the dalits and shudra castes on the basis of their caste identity, is a viable strategy of advance of the dalit cause

Read More........www.epw.org.in/articles/2007/03/11212.pdf