About the Author

Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

6 Comments on "Inciting contempt for identities as human rights activism"

  1. Mandar Mallappanavar | October 14, 2015 at 9:26 am | Reply

    Another silly individual representing the privileged and over-represented sections of the society wanting to exert her privileges by writing lamest of things. Indian version of ‘all lives matter’

    • Well, I could simply call you names and be done with it as well. Or perhaps I could say how like a man to demean a woman rather than reply to her. Hain na? I’m sure I can dig out some accusation to fling at you if need be. Perhaps call you a silly individual with the privilege of free speech that is protected from replies in kind, going around sneering at bloggers with lame comments without having any coherent reply to what they said. Would that be useful?

      Never mind.

  2. Prasad Khambete | October 8, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Reply

    विद्युत, तुला राग येणार नसेल तर म्हणतो – तू म्हणतेस “on how Dalits should be spoken to” यात थोडा प्रॉब्लेम नाही का ? “spoken to” च्या ऐवजी “spoken with ” असे जास्त योग्य होईल का ? हा शब्द-छल नाही – हा “blind spot” मला वाटतो. आपल्या गटाला ब्राम्हण-सवर्ण म्हणणे यथार्थाच आहे, ते जातीयवादी नक्कीच नाही. आपल्या लोकांमध्ये असलेली दलितांच्या बद्दल widespread तुच्छता दलितांना पदोपदी टोचते त्याचे हे दर्शक आहे. Dalits as an island unto themselves serves none. १०० टक्के खरे आहे – पण “Most Brahmins don’t encounter enough Dalits” हे तितकेच सत्य आहे जे तूच लिहिले आहेस. आपला ब्राम्हण-सवर्ण समाज प्रगत झाला पण त्याला सामाजिक भान नाही, फक्त आत्मभान आहे आणि ते खूपच आत्म-प्रौढी असलेले आहे. ब्राम्हणांना उद्देशून टीका केली आणि त्या शब्दाला आक्षेप घेतला तर लगेच ब्राम्हण्वाद या संज्ञे मागे लपले जाते हे काही खरे नाही. ब्राम्हण्वाद हाच टीकेचे लक्ष्य आहे. आणि ब्राम्हण जातीच्या उतरंडी वर सगळ्यात वर असल्यामुळे ते तो सगळ्यात जास्त पाळतात. या उतरंडी social-distance जसा वाढतो तसा तसा तो कमी होतो, आणि त्या-त्या जातीबद्दल तुच्छता अधिक अधिक वाढते – “decreasing contempt and increasing reverence” असे स्वरूप जसे जसे वरच्या जातीत जाऊ तसे होत जाते – ते इतके खरे आहे कि जवळपास १००% ब्राह्मण हे ब्रम्हण्वाद जवळपास संपूर्ण पाळतात. इतका कि या दोन संज्ञा एक आहेत असे म्हटले तर फार अतिशयोक्ती होत नाही. हे त्याच्या मागचे कारण आहे. एखादी गोष्ट पहिल्यांदा नाही कळली किंवा नंतर स्वतःच्या insensitivity कळली आणि जर वाईट वाटले किंवा त्याची लाज वाटली तर क्षमा मागण्यात काहीही कमीपणा नाही. अशी कुठलीच “line in the sand” नसते, सगळ्यांना प्रेमानेच वागवले जाते – सत्य सांगतांना reverence, आडपडदा नसतो, नसावा. आणि अशा सत्य बोलण्याने allies जे आहेत ते दुखावले जात नाहीत, जाऊ नयेत अस मला वाटते. आणि तुम्ही जे आहात (identity) जी जन्मतः मिळाली ती कोणीही बदलायला म्हणत नाही. ते कृत्रिम होईल. तशी अपेक्षाही या लोकांमध्ये नाही – अशा कृत्रिम तऱ्हेने, patronizing तऱ्हेने त्यांच्याशी वागणारे त्यांनी आतापर्यंत कमी पाहिले असतील असे तुला वाटते का ? तू authentic राहाच पण थोडे sensitive हो असे मला प्रामाणिक पणे वाटते.

    • Prasad, where does the issue arise of “spoken with” if a blunt opinion on one end is a right and a blunt disagreement is illegal? You cannot cross the boundary of “spoken to” in a situation like this, can you? There is no “with”. That is the whole point. I do not wish to enter into a word by word dialogue on this, because what you say is not wrong and replying to it point by point will make me contradict it in a far more concrete manner than is true for me.

      My core point is that there is a need for all activism to seek bridges and reform rather than fixate on a dysfunctional status quo. I have observed counter-prejudice that perpetuates a completely useless and harmful status quo, and disempowers change. Social distance now is also a matter of progressive, but wary savarnas not wanting to get into engagement for fear of being called stupid, elitist, evil – even as they OPPOSE caste discrimination. It is easier to IGNORE caste issues than learn to copy someone else’s years of study.

      For example, in spite of YEARS of supporting caste equality on this blog, including an important post that went viral opposing removal of reservations, all it takes to demand cases to be filed against me is me pointing out what the opposite of savarna is, while being a Brahmin. The opposite of Brahmin-savarna is not Dalit-bahujan – these are euphemisms like calling what used to be a cripple disabled, then handicapped and then special needs till any sense of disadvantage is hidden behind a cloud of words, it is far uglier and the more these differences are highlighted, the more it remains alive. I can interact with environmentalists, agricultural reporters, politicians, feminists, child rights supporters and collaborate. I have never, so far been good enough for a dalit intellectual to find a shared cause with – I challenge you to find any Brahmin who has not disowned his own identity and is respected by them. Because opposing caste discrimination is not the issue. Issue is never finding common ground with a Brahmin.

      There is a need for a simplified collaboration instead of an exhibition of intellectual superiority. People are people and those who oppose discrimination should not need to pretend to be someone else to be qualified to call a wrong as “WRONG”.There is no need for a Brahmin or Muslim or Christian to first learn to talk like a dalit before having a problem with caste discrimination. Just like a dalit doesn’t (and shouldn’t) need to sound like a Brahmin in order to call discrimination wrong.

  3. Another Indian | October 4, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Reply

    Very well written Ms.Vidyut. I also used to feel “Savarna” has some condenscetion to it, but could not quite pin point it. But, you have articulated it quite well.

  4. Completely agree with all you say. It seems as if people have willingly surrendered their identity to a figment of their imagination – one that is oppressed by the oppressors. And they can’t comprehend how someone else cannot see the world through the same filters.

    Where you and I see human beings with names, they see caste A, caste B etc.

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