Friday, May 1, 2009

India Untouched: Stories of People Apart

I dunno how many of you have seen the award winning docu India Untouched: Stories of People Apart by Stalin K. but I strongly suggest you to do so..that is if you believe that modern India has come far in eradicating untouchability.

The film introduces leading Banaras scholars who interpret Hindu scriptures to mean that Dalits "have no right'' to education, and Rajput farmers who proudly proclaim that the police must seek their permission before pursuing cases of atrocities against Dalits.

Unfortunately, thats not the end of the story. Stalin and team travelled across the country and has captured few hard hitting facts from across 8 states. I mention a few of these which I call most shameful for lack of a better word.

1)In Madurai, TN: The dalits have to descend from their bicycles and remove their shoes in the upper caste parts of the village

2)Mehboobnagar, AP: The masons that build the house are not allwed to step inside them once the buildings are painted

2) Jamui, Bihar: The mid wives of the village are paid only Rs 100 for a child birth and a week's oil massage. And they can't eat food within the house they work in

3) Patiala, Punjab: Street cleaners from the corporation say that the corporation doesnt have any non Dalit member

4) Jhajha, Bihar: The Dalits clean the railway tracks off of mutilated dead bodies of humans and animals and all the shit. Will an upper caste member ever do this, asks one of them

A Brahmin when confronted of the ill that will befall the human society if we touch the Dalits says the Godhara massacre was a result of this!!!

The situation is same in other religions as well.

This is the real scene guyz! People dont even know why they follow untouchability...its always been like this, they say...Paradigm!

A common Dalit song translates roughly into:

We clear up the garbage while you roam about ungroomed
For the crime of cleaning you call me scavenger
When you step into rain water, does that change your caste?
We are stabbed at street corners, our lives end in hard labour

We want the rights written by Baba (Ambedkar)
You treat us as your slaves for your will and pleasure
We will not tolerate this nonsense now
We want the rights that Baba gave us!

Just give this a thought..

P.S.: The video is available on IITB Lan for those who can access it.
P.P.S.: The documentary was released sumtime in early 2007. So I guess it isnt exactly ancient


anasuya said...

When you step into rain water, does that change your caste?


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