Monday, 25 May 2009

Vienna Sikh Attacks against Dalits

I don't know how to interpret the latest attacks against the Balla vale Sant in vienna. I'm a devout atheist. I really couldn't give a crap less about religion. But this event, this disgraceful occurence was not simply against religion, it was against Dalits. I'm a Dalit. A lower caste Chamar. And the anger I feel right now against the perpetrators is indescribable. It doesn't mean I'm going to burn their temples of what have you, but still I can't help but feel this indescript vague desire for revenge.

My forefathers, my grandparents, going back centuries, have suffered at the hands of these oppressors. Who believe they have some religious obligation to enslave and dehumanise us Dalits. Let us not be under any illusion, these attacks were NOT about a disagreement in doctrine, these attacks were a direct results of Jatts taking exception to the teaching of Dalit saint Ravidass to attack the Chamars. THIS WAS A CASTE BASED ATTACK.

Whoever says things have changed in the caste system is ignorant at best. Things haven't changed, they've merely shifted underground. And in events like this we can bear witness to the emergence, the resurfacing of this centuries old hatred which finds its way through the cracks of capitalism. Money is the only thing that is holding 'us', the imagined indian community, together. Are the self-celebratory upper castes forgetting that when they imagine the caste system to be obsolete, they're doing nothing but absolving themselves from the blame? Can people not truly look at themselves and realise the hypocracy here? How many ppl are going to come forth - even in the blogosphere - and truly condemn this act of hatred. And on the contrary, how many ppl are going to sit around and believe that this truly was simply a freak occurence, and that things aren't really like this. For I believe the latter position is simply an encouragement to the terrorists, these Jatt terrorists. To not speak out against crimes of humanity, means you are also implicated; and deny it as you may, most people really do not care. When the oppressors turn a blind eye to events under the guise of non-discrimination (we don't care because we're not castists), it is clear to see that what they're really doing is supporting their power struggle. It is in their best interest to let the extremists to do the hard work for them, when they themselves can sit at home and act outraged for 2 minutes.

This post is not meant to incite anyone to get off their butts and do something about anything. For I know that's impossible. I know, the Dalits will continue to feel opressed, and the Jatt's, continously feeling disenfranchised will continually oppress. That is the way it has always been, the status quo, and that in my cynical mind, is the way it will remain.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Parv,

    I, too, am grieved by what occurred in Vienna and what is happening in Punjab.

    Although I choose to stay within the fold of religion, I can respect your atheist bent.

    I can unequivocally condemn this violence. I, too, believe that caste probably did play a role in what happened. The feeling of superiority of a 'we'll show them' could have easily been at play.

    However, I do want to offer one corrective.

    You wrote:
    these attacks were a direct results of Jatts taking exception to the teaching of Dalit saint Ravidass to attack the Chamars.

    Actually Ravidas features prominently within the Guru Granth Sahib. So this could not have been the reason.

    Maybe what started as doctrinal, escalated into something else, due to feelings of caste-superiority. I have written trying to make sense of the violence myself.

    In Solidarity.

    Gur Fateh,
    Jodha Singh