Dalit groups protesting during the Maharashtra Bandh | PTI
Dalit groups protesting during the Maharashtra Bandh | PTI
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ThePrint asks:

Why is renewed Dalit assertion making upper castes anxious?

The media and academicians portray Dalits as victims in the incident at Bhima-Koregaon. The battle that happened there was a fight against a particular caste, the Brahmins. The fight isn’t against the upper-castes, it is against Brahmins and Brahminism.

For so many years, Neo-Buddhists have been agitating against the escalating caste violence in the country. This agitation is not a display of Dalit assertion, but an assertion of the Neo-Buddhist school of thought. It is but obvious that when there are such protests, Brahmin pride will be hurt. They celebrate the Peshwas, and so, their defeat at the hands of the Mahars is something that will obviously ruffle feathers.

Brahmins have had a stronghold on resources across India. Therefore, the fact that they lost the battle doesn’t sit well with them. This celebration at Koregaon further stirs the pot. When there is a rally at the Peshwas’ house with Jignesh Mevani at the helm, the Brahmins’ pride takes a hit. They are not willing to accept an egalitarian society.

The incident is a manifestation of such a mindset. In Maharashtra, Hindutva politics has become intimately linked with Maratha politics. In the past, there was a progressive tradition that started an anti-caste movement. Of late, it has been snuffed out by Hindutva politics. The two main accused, Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote, are both Brahmins. There are part of smaller RSS factions.

The attempt is to break the Bahujan identity that is forming. It was the 200th anniversary of the battle, and people came out in large numbers to support the cause.

Bhima-Koregaon is not part of mainstream academic history. It has been chronicled by the Dalit-Bahujan samaj. Mainstream history has always been the prerogative of Brahmins, who were traditionally the only ones who had access to reading and writing.

There has been no space for Dalit assertion in such a framework. By controlling knowledge, Brahmins have consistently denied access to the under-privileged. Any form of dissent or assertion then takes away from their power. Hence, they take path of violence to put Dalits in their place.

Somnath Waghmare is a documentary filmmaker and Research Scholar at TISS.

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12 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Whoever had more power in most cases it was abused and others were exploited all over the world. Have to take it with pinch of salt.
    Reservation system had been introduced and had not eradicated and still groups fighting for getting reservations and reserved class is making every effort to retain the same.
    Rich are becoming richer that is true for the reservations also, those who benefited from the reservations in first generations are blocking less fortunate in their category. Practically in three generations we should have achieved better equity. Those who are benefited by the reservation should give up their right reservation.

  2. very pathetic article. Look at situations of brahmins in u.p and bihar. Do all of them own land?? Dont they work as toilet cleaners in delhi’s sulabh complexes?? Dont they work as riskshaw puller and land less labourers?? If brahmins had hold over the resources of the nation, poor brahmins would not have been a reality.

  3. The main problem with Dalit activists and the well wishers of Dalits is that they are trying to flog a dead horse. The Brahmin community in India is hardly 6-7% and majority of them are lower middle class. The one thing, all the brahmins teach their children is to get educated and fend for themselves in this cut throat competitive world. Because, all a Brahmin has is his knowledge, he is never taught to hate (caste/religion) others, and he is not a fool not to understand that he has no political or social relevance in today’s caste dominated society.

    He mostly lives in abject poverty and he knows, the only thing that can uplift him from this condition is “Education”, and he will do all he can to get the best of education he can and get a decent job. So, inspite of the casteist slur he keeps on drudging in what he knows best, getting decent “Education”. Now, if without any reservations, if he is still able to get a position of eminence, is it still his fault? He is walking his entire life without the crutches of reservation, the only thing he ever wields is his “knowledge”, now this can’t and shouldn’t be the basis of perpetual grudge against the community.
    It is not as if Brahmins are stopping the Dalits’ or any other castes from getting education. Far from it, the brahmins in today’s India are at the bottom of the pyramid with their brethren from other caste.

    Still, if someone like the author of this article is blaming brahmins for all the ills of the Dalit society, he is only fooling himself.

  4. Brahmins have faced worst genocides since islamic invasions. Kashmiri Brahmins have been almost wiped out by Muslims in Kashmir. The myth of so called atrocities against Brahmins has been the child of British christian missionaries & then later on by Bollywood half baked movies of dalit – brahmin clashes etc. Hindus are not being taught the true history we Hindus have including the dalits who are a part of our great tradition. If anyone researches properly, there have never ever been any atrocities upon Dalits – in fact the Dalit caste was created by the British only. Stop blaming Brahmins who are the keepers of Hindu Dharma. The main idea is to destroy Brahmins so that Hinduism ceases to exist.

  5. This whole Dalit movement is the handiwork of Christian forces.They want to bring Catholic Rahul Gandhi to power displacing Narendra Modi.Ordinary Dalits are simple people and have no organising ability.Christian forces like Mevani project themselves as Dalits and lead movements to break Hindu society.Even Rohit Vemula’s mother is a recent convert to Christianity.Days of Muslim mence are over,now it is the Christian forces who want to take over the country by reducing Hindus as minorities.Situation worse than it was before partition.

  6. We love respect bramhins. And who is going to look how much atrocity this dalits are doing wuth others? Bramhins are most humiliated community by these so called peace loving /ahinsawadi .cant you see hinsa they r doing over 200 ys issue. Utter nonsense senseless people. They even dont care how others r getting sufferings due to their stupid behaviour. If they contiinue to show violence like jihadis then hindus will move out of this lsnd and settled where there will no entry for these speices . Our hard money would not be sucked by government snd feed to these nonsense peoples who dont even know how and what to speak. 24 hrs and every generation only one chanting “bramhin bashing” nonsense. let gov feed them with its own money i m not ready to give taxes to feed these elements anymore. Enough atrocities of D on other communities. Enough.bahot laad ho gaya inka. Quash this current constituition and give some strong willed branhins to make a new constituition and see the diff. D girl if raped then accused gets 7 yrs of jail and if other community girl is raped accused gets 2 yrs of jail…what nonsense is this. Have that person who showered his love on D ever sensed about the nonsensesivity within law? Is justice equal to all?who gave him permission to decide nd diferentiate or compare modesty between womens? I am giving up i dont want to pay single penny to this gov as tax which is feed to non deserved elements. That guy was not a god.nobody should force us to take him as a god. I m not happy with indian law syste. Judiciary is a joke and bunch of joker having no spine are taking that jokebook on head and damaged destroyed the actual civilization &intergrity of the country. May rot in hell all who donot want others to live with peace and justiceful life..


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