Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dalits and co-option by Hinduism

Hi Mr. Rama,You ask a question, which was never very important in the past to me. But itclearly is very important now. I have become more aware and more true of mydalit identity, since the incident. I guess I learnt my lesson to issuecertificates of liberalism (by being show-piece position holders orotherwise) more carefully.1. Ganesh mandal was the name given to the maharastra mandal, since theGanesh festival was one of the most important activity carried out by themandal. I did not stand for an election. I was popular among the crowd andwas from management department, so friends pushed me and I accepted.2. I am now more careful about similar situations. But I am not in favor ofseparatism. I prefer co-existence with mutual respect. So its not as if Iwill never become Ganesh mandal president again. I will ask questionsbeforehand and make sure that I am satisfied with the credentials before Itake it on. Basically a marginal group like ours does not have the choice ofisolation, since our voice may get lost in the cacophony of the dominantgroup. Whatever forums we can access we must access and keep provingourselves again and again and again till we are no longer marginal. Onlycare we must take is to ensure that we do not compromise our self respect inthe process.Thanks for asking the question. It helped me understand myself better.RegardsPratap Tambay
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