On the birth anniversary of one of the most respected and revered leaders in India and around the world, let us see whether we have lived up to the dreams that he had when he fought alongside other leaders to make India a free nation. PM Modi very eloquently quoted the philosophy of justice, equality and human dignity when addressing the United Nations in New York. But have we been able to honor our duty to provide the very same rights to our own citizens?
The violence against Dalits in Tamil Nadu is an old song that echoes to this day. While the rest of the nation talks about progress and growth, the Dalits are denied even the most basic right that is also a human need – self respect. These ‘untouchables’ continue to be tormented in the streets they call home and remain helpless and powerless to grasp the boundless opportunities that are in developing India. The spite for this caste runs so deep in the dominant castes of the state that even the statues of the Dalits’ champion Dr Ambedkar have been defiled, forcing the government to cage the remaining statues of this cherished leader.
Many books like Heart of darkness and Things Fall Apart have highlighted how the concept of “the other” is the root of all racist and caste based violence in the world. It would be nice if while celebrating this national holiday we remember the man under whom India united and what he stood for.