Is it possible to speak of social justice and democracy without talking about the privileges of those who have looted the resources as well as exploited the social system and provided it ‘divine’ sanctity to justify the caste discrimination. I have found this biggest challenge in India from those who claim to fight for the ‘poor’. Now we should all fight for ‘peace’ and talk about ‘protecting’ the ‘nature’. Question is who is destroying the nature and how is peace possible.

Is peace possible unless there is a sense of guilt and acknowledgement of fact of exploiting nature as well as people historically. How can we protect our nature unless those who have amassed huge wealth and resources by hook or by crook, voluntarily do so. Is it possible that the crook will voluntarily leave their privileges whether they got from socially hierarchical positions, caste hierarchies or state patronage ?

We are telling the people that the end is coming. Yes, end is already there but should people stop asking question now. Should people stop seeking justice now. We know the earth is exploited but then who exploited it. Why we hesitate in naming and shaming them. The exploitation of the earth is not done by the Adivasis or indigenous people. It is not done by the Dalits. It is not exploited by the farmers. So why should all these communities be made to suffer the guilt and thuggery of those who really exploited it.

There are massive campaign against exploitation of nature. There is natural calamities now. Climate change is the real crisis but can we handle it without involving the Dalits and Adivasis in it. There is consciousness but if we all are worried about it then we need to also think of leaving our privileges. How will you do it when the meaning of economic growth is related to sale of cars and other vehicles. How will you maintain the environment, a great level of clean air and clean water if millions wash their sins ( literally) in the rivers. Ofcourse, there is dirt also going from the big factories.

Tomorrow, we will celebrate Gandhi Jayanti. There will be marches and talks. People would speak about his dreams, non violence and what not as if he was the only person who spoke about it. Will write about it in the coming days but my question is who should become non violent. How do we speak of non violence from those who are exploited for centuries. Talking and teaching non violence and peace to the communities exploited and shamed by the caste system will never bring peace. Why dont we teach peace and non violence to those who celebrate violence in every day life, in their festivals, in their every deed.

So, it is easy to preach everything to the communities who have protected our environment and our lives. Important for us to name and shame those who exploited our system. It is they who need to learn importance of non violence and peace. It is they who need to leave their privileges and not those who are being hounded out in the name of environment protection. Expose those who built big corporate resort in our forests and then talk about Adivasis encroaching those land.

So far not heard a single sentence from peace nicks about why the two Valmiki children were killed ? This is not the first case and nor will this last. The Savarna violence on Dalits continue unabated. Who should we talk about peace. Shouldnt the criminals be punished. What do you do with the community which join hands in the name of caste.

‘ We must unite’, we must end caste system, we must not segregate, it is too much they say. Please go to your village, without taking your privileged people along with you. Stay with the most marginalised, organise their meet and then see the reactions of your privileged friends you have not asked to come. Who should end caste system. Can it go by just removing surnames. Who will remove the poison in the belly ? There are good people in every caste, they say. Yes, you dont decide your caste, you did not choose your religion and that is fair enough but why dont you speak against the caste atrocities, the untouchability that these caste inflict. Why dont you stand with those who face such violence and I call it divine violence. Empty rhetoric wont work. Caste is privilege and see it, if you have sensitivity and understanding from the villages we all ‘love’ so much.

Will they go to those caste communities who still feel proud of their violence and have no shame in their misdeeds. We have not heard much from political class as well as champions of peace on any murders that are committed in the name of caste and come from those villages highly romanticised by the preacher of ‘peace’.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social activist


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