The Telegraph, 15-5.2017, reported as follows :
About 50 Dalit families in Moradabad have threatened to convert to some other religion if the Yogi Adityanath government fails to take immediate measures to stop attacks by the “saffron brigade” on their caste brethren. The statement of intent echoes a milestone protest over half a century ago when atrocities against Dalits had prompted Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar to adopt Buddhism with a group of followers on October 14, 1956. Yesterday, led by Lalla Babu Dravid, head of a Dalit social organisation, the families gathered on the Ramganga’s banks in Moradabad city and immersed idols of Hindu gods and goddesses as a mark of protest. “This is our first step towards religious conversion. There’s no point continuing within Hinduism if these so- called protectors of the religion keep attacking us because of our caste,” Dravid, chief convener of the Bharatiya Valmiki Dharma Samaj, told reporters in Moradabad, 400km northwest of Lucknow. He claimed that about 500 Dalit families in Moradabad and adjoining districts wanted to abandon Hinduism. An officer of the police’s local intelligence unit said a report had been sent to the authorities on the proposed conversions, which had the potential to inflame passions. “We are waiting for their response,” the officer said. Dravid referred to Shabbirpur village of Saharanpur, 200km northwest of Moradabad, where a man died in a clash between Thakurs and the Dalit Jatavs on May 5 after weeks of tension over a stalled Ambedkar statue. “Saharanpur is proof that the Adityanath government doesn’t exist for us. The chief minister’s saffron-clad followers attacked Dalits and torched their homes in Shabbirpur,” he said. “Now the same attackers are trying to force the Dalit villagers to leave in the presence of the police and administrative officers.” The May 5 violence took place when a procession by Thakurs, sporting saffron scarves and marking the birth anniversary of 16th-century Rajput King Maharana Pratap, was prevented from entering Jatav settlements in a sign of rising Dalit assertiveness. A police officer had told this newspaper on Thursday that Thakur-Dalit tensions had heightened since Adityanath, a Thakur, assumed office eight weeks ago and that “Shabbirpur and a couple of other villages are like tinderboxes that can explode anytime.” A situation similar to the initial tensions in Shabbirpur has arisen in Chhahin village near Varanasi, 700km southeast of Moradabad, where some Thakurs prevented Dalits from installing a statue of the Buddha yesterday. Police sources said Chitraprabha Trisharan, founder of the Samrat Ashok Bauddh Mahasangh, and a dozen of his Buddhist Dalit followers had gathered at the Dihbaba temple to put up a three-foot-tall Buddha statue. Dihbaba is a Dalit Hindu saint and his shrine is maintained by the local Dalits, including the Buddhists. Rajesh Yadav, city superintendent of police in Varanasi, said a group of Thakurs attacked the Dalit devotees with batons and sharp weapons. “Timely arrival of the police helped control the situation. The police seized the statue and arrested eight people from both sides,” Yadav said. Dravid accused BJP ministers and MLAs of conspiring against Dalits. “The goons of the Samajwadi Party have now started working for the BJP. The police register cases against the victims instead of the saffron-clad attackers,” he said.Mahesh Prasad Ahirwar, a Dalit activist and professor of ancient history and culture at Banaras Hindu University, recalled Ambedkar’s decision to adopt Buddhism in 1956. Many Dalit families have since then converted to Buddhism in the face of upper caste oppression. Ahirwar said the Hindutva forces were “a big danger for the Hindu religion”. “They have become confident after their election victory and are showing their true colours. But they are forgetting that their numbers would fall drastically if the 22 per cent Dalits discard Hinduism,” he said. “I believe this is going to happen across the state in the coming days.” Dravid’s protest has a quirky sidelight: he happens to be the father of Vishal, Moradabad convener of the Bajrang Dal, among the more muscular units of the Sangh parivar. Vishal’s cadres, however, had clashed with BJP workers at the regional transport office last Tuesday over a contract dispute between the two group’s leaders. Vishal and four aides have been arrested. Rakesh Sharma, Mahanagar BJP vice-president, is accused of leading the other side. Over 1,000 people today gathered in Rasoolpur, a village adjoining Shabbirpur, for the shraddh ceremony of Sumit Singh, the man killed during the May 5 clashes. The Thakurs say the Dalits killed him while the Dalits say he suffocated to death while torching their homes. Subhas Chandra Dubey, senior superintendent of police, said the ceremony passed peacefully amid a heavy deployment of police and Rapid Action Force personnel.
1. Ominous and dangerous trends are emerging in Indian politics as regards Dalits, aided and abetted by the press pack in many subtle ways. M. K. Gandhi demonstrating his consistent inconsistency’ started calling the panchams i.e. Hindus outside the four varna’s as Harijans, thereby implying that all other Hindus weren’t Harijans, i.e. not the people of Sri Hari’s Bharat. At the time of independence i.e. 1945 – 47, the Scheduled Castes in Bengal, led by their leader Jogendranath Mandal had 22 seats in the state assembly and facilitated the election of B. R. Ambedkar to the constituent assembly; Ambedkar having failed to be elected from his native state of Bombay Residency. Ambedkar won, and in gratitude allowed Mr. Mondal to ally himself with Muslim League, and Mr. J. N. Mandal became one of the Ministers in the Cabinet of Liaquat Ali Khan.
The fate of Jogendranath Mandal is one of the great tragedies of the Indian subcontinent and a blow to the posturings of the sickular (sic) press and academicia. He failed to stop the rampant killings of Hindus, specially his untouchable brethren in Pakistan, the rapes, the maimings and the usurpation of property. After the 1950 riots, this sad man had to flee to India first, and then wrote his resignation from the cabinet, enumerating the instances of genocide and how all his pleas to the local administration, the police and even the army fell on deaf ears.
The prospect of joining the enemy, i.e. Muslims to extract tactical advantage within the predominantly Hindu polity is thus nothing new. Expediency has its own allurement.
But let this be a warning to the weathercock dalit leaders of the present and future, the words of the Lord in Srimad Bhagabatgita (3/35) –
Even when the rites and activities of dharmas other than one’s own may seem enticing and alluring compared to one’s own, which seem to be fraught in injustice and inane, it is preferable to die within one’s own dharma than to adopt the dharma of another.
The Lord repeats this admonishment again in the sloka (Bhagabat Gita 18/47)
When one performs Karma (action) according to nature there is no sin, which is always incurred when one performs actions according to another’s (nature).