Opinion: What India gains by supporting the Bharat Bandh by Bahujan Samaj

Written by Vidya Bhushan Rawat | Published on: March 5, 2019

The bandh call is spontaneous and the common thread is discrimination based on their social location, denial of justice, the use of the judiciary to scuttle the provisions of reservations and other rights ensured by the constitution for them. Have you seen any country where the judiciary is used to deny justice to its indigenous people and those on the margins?


Bharat bandh
Image Courtesy: Image: News18
 
Numerous Dalits, Adivasis, OBC and Bahujan Samaj organisations have called for a nationwide bandh against the oppressive and exploitative policies of the current regime. Right from virtually making the reservation in our academic and other power institutions virtually redundant, the attack on forest zones of India to name over 20 million Adivasis encroachers in their own land and the continuing suicides of farmers to the persistent favours to the crony capitalists of the government are being protested and resisted.
 
We stand in solidarity with #BharatBandh in hope that political parties will realise that they can’t make India's Bahujan masses fools and the time has come to give them their due share in the power structure.
 
The attempt to side-track the issue in the din of the 'Pakistan' narrative will not work. We know that this narrative is being floated by and for those who have the least contribution in building our nation.
 
The Bahujan Samaj is ready to join the armed forces and serve the country and the need is to open doors for them in each sector.
 
India's parliament must reflect our Bahujan diversity and our judiciary must have people from the diverse Bahujan communities otherwise it will be difficult to get justice. The attempt to use the judiciary to legally deny the Bahujan communities their due must be resisted and opposed. It is the Supreme irony that judiciary is being used to scuttle the whole process of social justice.
 
It is important that the government must develop Indian Judicial Services just like Civil Services. Judiciary should be empowered with regular training in international laws and human rights values to deal with issues. Special courts must be formed with a time-bound framework to deal with the issues of atrocities on Dalits and Adivasis as well as their land and forest rights cases which are pending for years. In the absence of representation from our wider sections of society, particularly Dalit, Bahujan and Adivasis in the judicial system, we can’t expect justice in a true sense. Judiciary must reflect the inclusive system of representation so that its credibility is enhanced.
 
Thousands of people have died in the gutter in this country, cleaning sewage lines and carrying the dirt of people. The work is 'reserved' for one community. This despicable work continues and yet leaders have the audacity to call it a 'spiritual' relief. I am sure if this is where people get 'moksha,’ then those 'learned souls' must get moksha first and liberate all others who want to get rid of this brutal, barbaric tradition.
 
India's various communities engaged in manual scavenging practices need honourable rehabilitation and a complete ban on the practice of entering sewage lines manually or carrying the human excreta manually. It must go but will not unless the communities engaged in it are given social acceptability as well as economic independence.
 
The other side of the story is that the same tradition gives enormous powers to a particular community to decide and dictate our lives. India's powerful temples are 'reserved' for this particular community and no one talk against this 'birth based' reservation. Not only in terms of economy but in terms of social acceptance, this is an absolute monopoly over privileges in our society.
 
If India is to feel proud and respected among the community of civilised nations, then India's hidden apartheid must end. The caste system, the supremacy of one and the contempt and neglect of others must end, not merely through legal and constitutional means but from the hearts of people, from your personal values and social norms. It will not go with mere legal provisions, as their implementation failed because of existing caste mindset in our system and prejudices of the judiciary and media. Equally important is that India needs a cultural renaissance where the ugly reality of caste discrimination is a thing of the past and every life is lived with great dignity and honour.
 
So long as nationalism and globalism are being promoted to strengthen the hegemony of a few castes and individuals, India will never become a powerful nation if we fail to understand that power comes from the unity of people and there can be no unity if India's Bahujan Samaj is being threatened, dislocated and denied justice. A country cannot flourish if its Bahujan Samaj’s dire needs are not being fulfilled and the state apparatus is being used to deny them justice. The Bahujan people will stand up and speak. They have already made their presence felt now. You will not find an Eklavya now as Bahujan students are ready to give a sound rebuff to all the Dronacharyas in the Universities. The Brahmanical tricks will not work now as Ambedkar's India has woken up and will challenge the power against all forms of discrimination.
 
A Bharat Bandh today is an assertion of the Bahujan communities that they won’t accept the denial of justice any longer. This is also a message for all political parties to not to take them for granted as the community will not wait for parties to raise the issues and just be a mute 'follower'. The bandh call is spontaneous and the common thread is discrimination based on their social location, denial of justice, the use of the judiciary to scuttle the provisions of reservations and other rights ensured by the constitution for them. Have you seen any country where the judiciary is used to deny justice to its indigenous people and those on the margins? It is important for all the justice loving people to support the Bandh call given by India's Bahujan Samaj.