October 06, 2019

Shame on you Manu, Apologise

Badal Saroj

THE news about death of two innocent children of Shivpuri on September 25 morning was very scary. Scarier was the fact that except one newspaper the others did not even think that it was worth reporting. It seems that journalism now has become more of an agenda work and news is missing from it.

The item, “open defecation” was misleading and trash news. The killers of these innocent children were not even ‘swachta ambassadors’ (hygiene ambassadors); they were the faces of mind, speech and actions of ‘contemporary pollution’, which got further testified when a team of DSMM and CPI(M) visited the site. It was found out that the innocent children just became incapacious prey; the real intention of the rowdy’s was/is to assert their authority. And, what better, than to assert it on the dailts and women in the country. But even this is not the true story. The real story was hidden under the second line; in the third line where it was stated that those who killed these children had a dream while sleeping in which god himself asked them to finish of the demons. This is the hopelessly low level of journalism which we are passing through.

Who is this god who is dreamt of out of 33 crore gods and deities that Indians worship? Who are the ones, who have to be killed, precisely who are the demons? The single god happens to be Manu and his task is to dehumanise the social environment. In his classification of demons, not just the dalits count, there are other categories of people as well who equally qualify to be demonised. In the hierarchy of caste, the lower one has to follow the dictates of the upper, but at the same time hierarchical attitude towards other lower castes is justified in it. This justification can even go to an extent of killing or sacrificing the individual. In this lower rung category comprise women, young and old. Because according to this god all these are ‘dalits of the dalits’;untouchables.

The Manu, that should have become obsolete by now has in fact spoiled the 1500 year of intellect, research, development, history and has snatched the humanism and sensitivity of the countrymen. It should have been blacklisted till now and should have been forgotten as a bad dream. However Manu is still alive and kicking. With a veneer of Hindutva it is roaming around in the country and has gone out for hunting by unleashing the spree of lynchings etc., with apt support of the government in power.

Till the time this wicked Manu is not fought in ideas, conduct, behaviour within the family and outside, believe me no body is safe! Roshni(12 years) and Avinash(10 years) were too young to be killed for defecating in the open. Shedding tears for them and empathising with their families will not serve the purpose; till the obscurantism of Manuvaad is fought threadbare.

Describing evil as evil does not finish evil; it has to be contexualised and all forms of evil of the past need to be brought to the fore; and if an apology is required then be it. But it is important to regret for the past which has been exploitative and inhuman. Many countries, communities, religions and sects have done this in the past. They have corrected their mistakes. The Pope accepting the crime done to kill the narrative of Galileo does not bring him back, but definitely brightens the future for a better behaviour. This must be consciously taken deep down into the consciousness of the people. This has been done in many parts of the world. Germany did it to some extent. Accepted the black period of Nazism led by Hitler, it was consciously taught in their textbooks and expressed regret and shame for it. But both these tasks/works were not done here in India.

The resultant is before all of us. Even now if this reactionary differentiation is not stopped it will usurp all the gains that we have had. The forms may be varied; it could be in the form of community, religion, caste, religion, village by village, town by town shall be swayed away and there will be no end to it.

In it, caste exploitation and the patriarchal form of manifestation is the most lethal one. To come out of it one must have the guts to apologise for the ills gotten through Manuvad. One full civilisation will have to bow and accept that many wrongs have been committed. There should not be a repetition of it and we will not allow that to happen. The next stage would be to explain the present younger generation of the ills of this differentiation and rendering a true apology to Roshni and Avinash ; only this can save the destruction of humankind.

Else the bells from Houston to Shahjahanpur are ringing loud. Read it, earlier the better, one can hear the sound of Garud Puran(part of Vaishnavism literature corpus) in these bells. The same Garud Puran that is read by panditji by accepting a fees which actually effects the ceremony of the death; choice is open!

Madhya Pradesh

CPI(M) and DSMM visits Village of  Roshani and Avinash

THE killing of two innocent children Roshani(12 years) and Avinash(10 years) believed to be killed for openly defecating in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh shocked everyone when the facts came to light. The facts are horrifying. The arrested goons claimed that they killed the children on the call of their god who appeared in their dreams asking them to kill the demons; the demons being dalits! It’s a horrendous situation.

There was a startling truth that came to the fore once a delegation of the DSMM and CPIM led by Akhilesh Yadav and Rambabu Jatav met the families of  the victims in Bhavkheri village under Sirsoud Police Station. Manoj, father of Avinash lives in a hutment and is abysmally poor. He stated that this is not a spontaneous incident rather the rowdy gang of the village was conceiving this plan since long and had decided to face the consequences of such a dastardly act collectively. And, they effectively commissioned the act on September 25 morning at 6.30 am; they mercilessly beat Avinash and Roshani to death.

The families of the victims told the delegation that Roshani was harassed by the same people a few days ago and a complaint regarding it was made to the village sarpanch.

The delegation was apprised of the untold stories of caste exploitation of the victims. Roshani who was daughter of Kalla Valmiki and Avinash who was Manoj’s son were forced to do menial tasks in the school. Roshani was forced to broom the school and Avinash was often asked to clean the toilets. After enquiring from the villagers the delegation was apprised that both these dalit families were not even allowed to fill water from the hand pump nearby, and had to fetch water from a distance of  one kilometer. Despite the fact that the victim’ families are from the ‘below poverty line’ category, neither of them had a house under the PMAY nor did they have toilets in their houses. In fact, their application for a toilet in each house was rejected by the village sarpanch.

The villagers told the delegation that the families of the killers are politically linked to the BJP. They have intimidated the poor families so much that now both Kalla and Manoj are planning to leave the village and live in town.

The delegation comprised Sohan Lal Chaudhary, R D Chopra and Anil Khare. The CPI(M) and DSMM have appealed to other democratic forces to protest against these incidents and asked them to participate in a protest demonstration planned in first week of October in Shivpuri village.