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A victim of Hindu bigotry, position of Dalits in Indian society

Sacrificer           Herandu (nickname)
Sacrifice code       wfor0121
Sacrifice date       25 march 2009

By Herandu (nickname)

A victim of Hindu bigotry

Dear Madam / Sir,

I was amused to read the article "Baptist book spurs march by Hindus" by Mr. Thomas Grillo in "The Boston Globe" edition dated 11/22/99. I
was amused because those who believe in one of the most intolerant and bigoted religions in the World were complaining of intolerance by the

As a victim of Hindu bigotry and a witness to the social misery bred by Hindu intolerance, I pray for an opportunity from "The Boston Globe"
to register my protest and to unmask the hypocrisy of the Hindus.

Hinduism espouses the division of people into hierarchically placed groups called "castes". These castes are placed in a stepladder of ascending
superiority and descending inferiority. People who are born into these castes should follow the ordained caste professions and marry only
within their caste through arranged marriages. The beneficiaries of this system were the various Brahman castes who by virtue of their birth
were free to follow intellectual pursuits at the advent of British colonial education making them modern India's intellectual, scientific, and
bureaucratic class.

The various "Vysya" (trading) castes, placed below the Brahman castes and the Royal ("Kshatriya") castes, have enjoyed the monopoly in
trading activities for centuries, by virtue of their birth, thus becoming modern India's corporate and business class.

The "Shudras" are the various lower castes in the hierarchy who are considered as Hindus and members of caste Hindu society.

The "Dalits" (meaning "broken people) are the "outcasts" and "slaves" of the Hindu society of hierarchical castes. That is why the Dalit people
are considered untouchable and made to live in segregated colonies outside the towns and villages where the caste Hindus live.

All the political parties in India are controlled by caste Hindus. When the British offered to give the Dalits "separate electorates" to enable them
to participate in democracy more securely, the so-called "Mahatma" (Gandhi) who strongly believed in the caste system went on protest fast
until death. The Dalit leader Dr.B.R.Ambedkar had to refuse the British offer (of separate electorates) because he was afraid that if Gandhi died
by fasting the Hindus will use the opportunity to organize wholesale massacres of Dalit people all over India. Mahatma Gandhi was a bigot
belonging to one of the "Vysya" castes who believed in the concept of graded superiority of birth espoused by the Hindu caste system.

The recent killings of Christian missionaries, burning of Churches and gang rapes of Catholic nuns by Hindu fanatical elements belonging to the
vast supportive network of the BJP party and the RSS ("Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh") known as the "Sangh Parivar", is motivated by the
caste bigotry of the Hindus. The caste Hindus want to preserve the outcast status of the Dalits and tribals by preventing the Christian
missionaries from educating and converting the Dalits. The Hindus feel that the work of the Christian missionaries will destroy the Dalits'
bondage to outcast status through education, conversion and spiritual liberation. Even last month a Catholic nun was stripped naked and
urinated upon by a gang of Hindu fanatics in north India. A Catholic priest Rev. Fr. Arul Das was murdered by the same Hindu fanatic (Dara
Singh) who also burnt an Australian missionary (Mr.Graham Staines) and his two little sons alive until they died in great pain.

Hindu society is a wasteland of hatred spawned by the bigotry of the hierarchically placed Hindu castes. Apart from bickering with one
another, the Caste Hindus, whether they are upper or lower in the caste hierarchy are united in their hatred for the Dalits. No attempt has been
made in the 50 years of India's independence to integrate Dalits with the mainstream of society. State sponsored services such as primary
schools, medical clinics, offices of government departments or a public telephone, are always established in the caste Hindus section of the
village or town and not in the segregated colonies where the Dalit people are forced to live.

The Hindu identity is forced on all Dalits (despite being outcasts of Hindu society) and also on all atheists. According to the Hindu Civil Law all
those who are not Christians and Muslims are "Hindus". Those Dalits who convert to Christianity are made to lose the concessions provided in
state employment and education. Thus the victims of the caste system are kept in perpetual bondage by law and those who seek to escape this
bondage by conversion are penalized.

The single most factor that makes the Dalits suffer and live in fear is the violence unleashed on them almost on a daily basis by the Hindus.
Every hour, a Dalit person is raped or killed in some part of India. In the district of Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu State in India, four Dalit women
(Sakunthala, Victoria, Ponnaruvi and Susheela) were gang raped and killed by caste Hindus during the past year. In all the cases none of the
culprits were arrested and no investigation was done. Arbitrary arrests, imprisonment and framing of Dalits for crimes they have not
committed are a common practice. In north Indian states such as Bihar wholesale massacres of Dalit villages occurs regularly.

The police force of the Caste Hindus is the worst oppressor against the Dalits. Dalit women are raped in the police precinct itself by the cops.
In a famous case that occurred in 1993, a Dalit woman named Padmini was gang raped by five cops in front of her husband at the police
station of Annamalai Nagar in Chidambaram district of Tamil Nadu State in India. The cops then killed her husband after gang raping Padmini.
None of the policemen were punished for the capital offence. They were slapped with minimal sentences for the gang rape. In a tribal area
called "Vachathi" in India, the police posse, which came to catch a brigand gang, raped almost the entire female population of the tribal
settlement. None of the cops who indulged in the mass rape were punished for this gruesome crime which happened in 1994.

Rape is the most common risk faced by a Dalit woman in the Hindu society.

The English language dictionary even now carries the word "Pariah" (which is the Tamil name for the large population of Dalits living in Tamil
Nadu in India) to convey the meaning of "outcast".

Even though India likes to call herself a democracy, it is only a fake democracy as far as the Dalits are concerned. Large scale bogus voting
and preventing Dalits from voting are very common in India. During the recent parliamentary elections, Dalits (Pariahs) living in the
parliamentary constituency of "Chidambaram" in India where attacked, molested and their huts burnt to ashes by the caste Hindus placed at a
lower hierarchy called "Vanniyars" to prevent the Dalits from voting. The bigoted police force actively participated in the violence and arson
against the Dalits.

Totally 17 Dalit villages were burnt to ashes and three Dalits were killed in the Chidambaram area. Around 50,000 Dalits could not vote and all
the Dalit votes were fraudulently cast by the caste Hindu Vanniyars whose PMK (Pattali Makkal Katchi) party candidate in alliance with the
Hindu fanatic BJP party was declared elected in Chidambaram. He (Mr.Ponnusamy) is now a minister in the cabinet of Prim e Minister

In short, the Hindus of India are so bigoted and hateful that they will never allow the Dalits to taste a sense of equality and dignity. Even though
the present President of India is a Dalit he is just a constitutional figurehead without any executive power.

The tragedy is that the caste system is being spread rapidly even in the United States by the Brahmans and other caste Hindus who have
emigrated to the USA during the past forty years. For example, in the Hindu temples built in the USA, only those who are born into the most
superior caste of Brahmans are allowed to be priests. Even in the USA, lower caste Hindus and outcast Dalits are not allowed to touch the idol
in temples to perform religious rites. In effect, the Hindus have managed to bring untouchability and the caste system into the United States in
the garb of religious freedom even though it violates the Civil Rights laws of the United States.

In 1989, when I was a student in Los Angeles, the priest (Brahman) in a Hindu temple in California who knew my background prevented me
from entering the room (sanctum sanctorum) where the idol was kept because I was a Dalit. Upper caste Hindus in the United States and the
Brahmans in particular, who live in large numbers in the USA vigorously practice the caste system. This is evident from the way they
psychologically despise African-Americans, arrange marriages for their children strictly within their caste and harbor feelings of superiority
because of their caste Hindu heritage. I know many castes Hindu friends in the US, especially Brahmans, who credit their academic
achievement to their intellectual superiority (over Americans) due to their "natural" intelligence inherited "genetically" through "caste

No wonder Adolf Hitler chose the Hindu symbol of "Swastika" to represent the political message of superiority by birth of those born into his

Hindus who protest the Baptists' criticism of Hinduism should ponder how the Hindu Civil Law has forcibly converted outcast victims (Dalits)
who were never allowed membership into the society and religion of the Hindu castes. The segregated dwellings of Dalits all over India, the
denial of admission to Dalits into Vedic schools which teach Hindu scriptures and the ban on Dalits from working as priests in Hindu temples
obviously prove how the Hindu identity is thrust on the very people who are victimized by it.

Hindus should wax eloquently about the intolerance of other religions after destroying the hierarchical bigotry of castes and other inherent evils
in the Hindu faith. Burning brides for dowry, killing people for caste bigotry, sanctioning inequality and segregation in the name of God,
preventing widows from marrying, burning widows in the funeral pyre of their husbands, allowing slavery of Dalits and tribals in the form of
bonded labor, female infanticide, forcing women into prostitution at temples in the name of serving God (Devadasis) are all some of the evil
practices of Hinduism which are still prevalent in many parts of India.

Baptists are fully justified in their remarks about Hinduism.

Hindus should criticize Christian missionaries for their drive to convert Hindus into Christianity after scrapping the Hindu Civil Law in India
which "forcibly converts" all non-Christians and non-Moslems, (including atheists, outcast non-Hindu Dalits, tribals, Buddhists, Sikhs and
Jains) into the Hindu religious fold.

People living in glass houses should not throw stones.

Yours truly,
Dr.Iniyan Elango.

Dr. Iniyan Elango is a general physician and psychotherapist practicing at Chennai, India. He also edits a monthly periodical called "Dalit
Times." He recently shot a video documentary about the violence and arson that prevented Dalits from voting in the Chidambaram area in India.
The TIME magazine in its issue dated August 02, 1999 published his letter about the relationship between violence in motion pictures and
campus violence. He is also the President of the "Tamilar Human Rights Organization" and a co-founder of the "Dalit Media Network".

Van de vrienden bij :

Terry Joseph | Raffique Shah | Denis Solomom
Selwyn Cudjoe | Bukka Rennie | Winford James
Education © 2000-2001 Trinicenter.com

-------------------- second article

Caste, religion, language and other factors results in fragmentation and prevents Indians in the USA from building alliances to face common
issues in America. For example, South Asians do not consider Indo-Caribbeans as real Indians, and Indians and Pakistanis treat the majority of
Bangladeshis, and Punjabis as somewhat "lesser" than them. Not coincidentally, the Richmond Hill community in New York is the only
community of its kind in the USA that has a concentration of Punjabis, living alongside Indo-Caribbeans and Bangladeshis. This fast-growing
South Asian enclave is a lower-class community, however there are also caste related issues operating here since Indians and Pakistanis are not
moving there.

As further evidence of this, South Asian women organizations in New York tend to be dominated by Indian and Pakistani women, and not
surprisingly divided along issues of nationality, with Indians and Pakistanis on one side and Bangladeshis on the other. In South Asian umbrella
associations, from local to national, and left to right, Bangladeshi and Indo-Caribbeans are rarely included in top leadership and decision making,
and outreaching effors rarely reach their communities. Of course, there has always been religious linkages, however it is always in the
father/child mode and the child never grows up.

Caste in the Plural Society

South Asian Diaspora communities all exist in racially diverse, multi-ethnic societies. In perhaps the most important section of Mayer's
excellent introduction to Schwartz's book, the researcher explores the significance of caste for the Indian's community's place in the plural
society. According to Mayer, there are two separate issues to consider.

The first is "to what extent are the plural societies themselves caste societies, with the different ethnic communities occupying castelike
positions?" (:11). This is a very important question, especially since it extends the debate on caste to other ethnic groups and to the plural
society itself. With the ending of the colonial state, this question assumes more importance for formerly enslaved and indentured groups, as
well as indigenous peoples. For example, what is the hierarchy of status accorded to various ethnic groups in an independent society? How
does relative ethnic status co-relate with political power? How are the offspring of inter-ethnic marriages treated by members of each ethnic

In the same volume, Speckmann implies that Surinam has a hierarchy of communities since the Indian population has crystalized itself into on
"national Indian caste" which is endogamous. Crowley observed that in the Caribbean, Indians "are using Indian culture and often mythical
caste as a club with which to beat contemptuous Creoles." Increased competition for control over the state has led to increased communal
consciousness. Increased competition for control over the state has led to increased communal consciousness. In Guyana and elsewhere, there
are signs of militant Indianness.

The second point is to "what extent are caste differences within the Indian community reflected in relations with other communities, and do
these relations accentuate or influence caste differences inside the Indian community?" (ibid.:11). These are important questions since caste
operates inside and outside of Indian culture and politics. Clarke observes that wider community affairs in Trinidad are dominated by
upper-caste members. Mayer argues that the supposedly casteless local Indian organizations in the Diaspora "does not preclude some caste
bias, insofar as their leadership tends to be in the hands of higher-caste members - who are at the same time upper-class men. …using the
'bonus of esteem' which higher caste provides" (:10).

The majority of lower class/caste Indians may have more issues in common with other working class ethnic groups than the business elite and
middle caste/class Indians who are anti-labor, for the most part. The lack of working class awareness, and allegiance to middle-class groups
and norms do have some historical precedence. Although comprising a majority of the Indian population in the indentured colonies, and
resistant to casteism, bahujans lacked a common language, and once again became dependent on the educated upper castes who acted as
intermediaries between various bahujan goups, and between Indians and other ethnic groups. This dependency coupled with the common
practice of sanskritization, over time led to homogenization along middle-caste/class values.


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