Over time, Dalit and Harijan have become viewppoints about castes system, independent of religion and caste of the person. I would strongly recommend that hindu's like the present group too evaluate where they personally stand with respect to the following definitions.
1. Harijan is the viewpoint which does not have any problem with one human who accepts patronage from higher caste human.
2. Dalit is the viewpoint which encourages deserving and getting whatis deserved, irrespective of the caste of the giver and receiver.Harijans are despicable becasue "highness" of caste is not based on merit.
Most of the time, this non-merit based "highness" is the cause of their patrons positions and their control over power and resources. Harijans implicitly provides sanction to the "system"which grants the "highness" and thereby enslaves him/her. Essentially they are happy with small favors and never fight from freedom fromtheir enslavement.Dalits on the other hand, never accept any kind of patronage and will go hungry or even die, but will refrain from doing anything whatsoever which can potentially provide any type of sanction tothe "system" which parcels out "highness" without regard to merit. The target mental model of dalits about themselves is of achieveing economic, social and political independence and this gives them self-confidence to form/joining communities, which pursue their respective interests through democractic means. Harijans are happy to be servants of their upper caste patrons, who are equal citizens in their own communities and seek to become "independent" of their patrons based on slow growth through incremental patronage. Dalits insist that one can never become "independent" through patronage and that a struggle is always required to win independence from any kind of system which holds one in its thrall. Dalits seek to hence "fight" through the ballot boxes to bring about radical change, while Harijans continue to seek to garner incremental change.The problem with the current apology is that is assumes that the untouchables were never equal and that the NS group has come away and become "more equal". The apology is for not doing enough for bringing them "up" with the group. Untouchables could never have been untouchables through all past. Even if the NS group doubts the Buddhist origins of untouchables, howcan one group of Indians have been untouchable through all past. Nos ub-group of humans will willingly put themselves into the despicable category that untouchables were put into. There has to have been equality at some point in the past. The horror of making a group of peer Indians into untouchables through some kind of force has to have occurred in India. Any apology which does not address the cruelty of making "equals" into "unequal" and merely focuses on the lack of efforts to make the "unequal" into "equal", which does not talk about the transition from "equality" to "inequality" and the denial overtime of the rights of untouchables as equal human beings implicitly claims some super-natural cause for the inequality, which is clearlya socially caused malady. It is therefore implicitly supportive ofthe hierarchical beliefs present in the minds of those who wrote itand does not recognize the essential equality of all human beings. That is the reason I accused the NS group of not having imbibed the democratic values of equality, fraternity and liberty.I hope that it will be taken in the right spirit and appropriate modifications made. Better for you folks to make it. It actually might help you at some deep internal level.