Friday, May 15, 2009

DALIT, SOCIAL ATROCITIES AND MASS COMMUNICATION.

The primitiveness of the society formation is time immemorial. The humanity within human being differentiates them from the wild animal. Living together of the human being proves the cohesion and well built social structure.

Socialization process might have started basing on their interdependency but the emergence of “might is right” philosophy would have given birth to hatredness and supremacy of one group of people over another. Indian society has been divided in to different sub group like Brahmin, Kshyatriya, Baishya and Sudra after the invasion of Aryan. This division specified the hierarchy in the society and created extreme dislike to the fellow human being instead of love and affection.
Sudra the so called lower caste people are latter identified as Ati-sudra , Panchama or untouchables and given lowest status in the society .They were debarred from accessing the public resources. The concept of equality propagated by lord Budha was defied by so called higher caste people from the ancient period before Christ. The caste factor become so deepened and turned into tradition that the so called upper caste people tried to earn advantage out of that. On the other hand the dalits (so called lower caste) are socially agonized in different forms and thousands of social atrocities against them gradually increasing day by day in each moment in India. Media being the 4th pillar of the constitution get the responsibility to be a mouthpiece of common mass through bringing out all the happenings and bare facts of the society to create awareness and educate the people.

Journalism and presentation of facts.

Media plays an important role for collecting information and day to day happenings, documenting in an unbiased way and disseminating it to the mass. It is the mirror of the society through which one can see the entire system like judiciary, executive, parliament or any sufferings of an individual. It has a great impact over the everyday life of the people. It can create revolution, love, hatred ness, destruction, harmony, Unity and so on. Of course it depends on the way how an event is presented for which an example can be quoted from Mahabharata, a great religious scripture of the India.

“Nare ba gunjare Aswasthama rane hata”

Here the entire facts has been presented clearly but the way of presentation was such that it could not speak out the actual event for which it was meant and it could be able to divert the mind of the listener diluting the original fact. It is needless to say that hiding of social facts leads to the destruction of the society.
In the ancient Aryan period the learned Brahmins had told dalits that they have given birth from the feet of the lord Brahma and they are destined to serve the other three group people those who have born from mouth, arm, and thigh of the later. This manipulations and hiding of facts encouraged very few opportunists of so called upper caste of the present day and placed them high in the society, putting all other large masses in to a dark tunnel. Even dalits were not allowed to read and write, as a result inequality ruled over within whole Aryabrat and the society could not progress to the desire extend. Deprivation of information and mass communication not only checked the mental growth but economic progress and social change of the dalit mass hampered to the infinity height. Dalit community have been suffering for generations as they were kept in dark as Aswasthama word was used by the great honest/truthful man like Yudhistira of Mahabharata which a true journalist should not follow .

Tradition and use of mass media by dalit
Use of media by dalits (tribes and caste) is a tradition of their own community. Especially in western Orissa, Southern Orissa, the Domb, Gana community they were using their musical instrument as a media for communication.
Ganabaja comprising of Dhol, Naishan, Mahuri and Tasa is a part of tradition and culture of the community. Death news being the emergency one and needs immediate attention of community people, they have been using Nishan instrument for the purpose.
Here one person goes to the top of the house with a Nishan. He beats a particular type of rhythm called “Marha Nishan”. They believe that this rhythm being produced from the leather goes to far distance, nearby villages and communicate the own community people. Soon after hearing this particular type of rhythm which indicates the news of death of the community people of other villages, even engaged in different important activity, are gathered within a short span of time without making any delay. The Nishan is of course no more in rampant use though it was mandatory to drum in the occasion. Now a days Marha Nishan has been replaced by mobile phone and other modern popular electronics and print media.
In the similar way dalits were using the traditional method for giving information of marriage. A particular type of rope made up of forest shrubs called “Gandhuaa rashi” was in use for the purpose. When both bride and groom party fix a date for the marriage, the groom party give the information of the date through knots of this Gandhuaa rope. The number of knots will specify and speak about the days of marriage and accordingly they get prepared. This process they might have invented because of their access denied to general education. There is nos. of traditional form of communication which was helpful for the dalit community in the past.

History and dalit community.
Dalits have been neglected from the every sector. Intellectuality is a sustainable property through which a progressive path can be shown to the community. Thousand years together intellectuality was in the hands of few brahmins and it has not yet been completely disseminated to the mass. Brahnins were utilizing this intellectuality as per their sweet will. They had documented these facts in different forms for the welfare of their community without taking others in to consideration.
No where in Purana or Veda, social status and economic condition of dalits has been written rather a love story, war, eulogize of king ,even the gambling(Pasa khela in Mahabharata) has been meticulously, in a very clear form and style mentioned but the mass is missing. In the brahminical thought process and caste discrimination, the culture and tradition of dalits has been deliberately ignored. The main problem of the dalits has become therefore is the identity crisis. As dalits were intellectually discriminated, they suffered from insulted identity through out and generations to gathers.
Dr.Bhim Rao Ambedkar has not relied on the brahminical religious text. He has clearly defined the origin of dalits in his “Who are sudras”. Here he has mentioned that once the present dalits were called as Daasa, Dashyu, Chandaal, Ashura, Rakshyaasha, etc. An example can be cited from the religious text like Ramayana and Mahabharata which will justify the argument on Dr. Ambedkar. In Ramayana it has been mentioned that Ravana and Bibhisan were two brothers. In Ramayana TV serial which was running in the doordarshan for a pretty long period and well accepted by the crore of viewers of India, the Director of the serial Mr. Ramanandasagar has projected Ravana as notorious in characters. His physical structure was very unpleasant where as Bibhishana being the own brother of Ravana from the same womb of a mother was simple and a man of noble character. Not necessarily that the brothers from the same mother will be having the same characters but here it might have so happen because of the quarrel between Ravana and Ramachandra where Bibhishan being the brother of Ravana become treacherous to his brother and helped Ramachandra to unveil the secrecy of his brother which ultimately leads to winning of war by the later. This favour of Bibhishan obliged the Brahmin religious text writer to project him as a simple and true man.
The same thing might have happened in the case of Hiranyakashyap and Prahallad. Prahallad being the son of Hiranyakashyap has been projected as a normal and simple boy as he took the side of lord Vishnu where as Hiranyakashyap was in a Rakshyasa form as he protested the lordship of Vishnu. Perhaps this kind of interpretation must have put Ambedkar in embarrassing situation and would have instigated him to explore the dalit identity in his “Who are Sudras”

Social atrocities and present mass media
Social atrocities are increasing day by day as the communal forces are in their galloping stage. The root causes of those atrocities are casteism and religious dogma prevailing in the society. Fundamental rights though provided in article-15 of Constitution is :-
Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.—(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to—
(a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or
(b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.

Abiding of this constitutional provision becomes very difficult because of caste and religious weakness is always smeared over inside the mind of the caste based Indian society. The atrocities which are happening in each moment is not documented and presented to the mass properly.

If we look at the history of the mass communication, Orissa came to the news paper map of India in 1862. Since then there is tremendous progress in this sector. There are 140 numbers of stat level accredited journalists in Orissa out of which 97 no. are from print media and 9 no. are from electronic media and rest 33 no of journalists are working as freelance journalists.(Orissa reference annual-2006,I & PR Dept, Orissa).Among the long list of the journalists accredited by the I & PR Dept., Govt. of Orissa no one from the dalit community add to the number. Nothing to be surprised that, the tribal and dalit dominated two districts i.e. Nuapada and Malkangiri don’t have even Sub-Divisional level accredited journalists
There are 44 no. of approved daily news paper coming out in Orissa. There is one biweekly,18 no. of weekly, 3 no. of fortnightly, one quarterly and 9 no. of monthly periodicals are being published as approved by the I& PR Dept of Orissa (Orissa reference annual-2006,I & PR Dept, Orissa).Apart from these accredited / approved list there are so many journals,fortnightly,weekly even daily are being published from different corner of the state but it is seen that no owner of a reputed news paper/ fortnightly/ weekly /monthly hails from dalit community.
Once the great social reformer of India, Mahatma Jotirao Govindrao Phule has told, “the man having injury can only realize the pain but others can never.”
As an insider, it comes to my mind that in the caste based society where Brahminism is dominating the whole system along with all aspects of life; it will be foolish to belief that the so called upper caste journalists could present the facts of atrocities against dalit in a true manner. Whenever and wherever there is a choice of justice arises between dalit and non-dalit, the later is always victimized.
Law is always there inside the close cover of the books but there is huge gape between practice and theory. Many people from dalit community, even the educated one doesn’t know what atrocity act are? It has been mentioned in the Article-17 of the Constitution that,
“Untouchability’’ is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of “Untouchability’’ shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.
In spite of the provision of law there are so many examples of dalits who have been tortured by upper caste. In the recent past there was an incidence in Jhajjar, Hariyana where two dalits were collecting beef from a dead cow. The upper caste people killed those two people at the cost of a dead cow as cow is celebrated as mother in Hindu religion. Is it humanity or brutality in the name of religion?

Untouchability being an offence, there is stringent law against this crime. If a dalits files a case against any non dalits for atrocities, the higher caste police officer does not record the case and they try to settle at their level. This kind of attitude speaks about the biasness and favour towards their own caste and community people. Some of the examples are quoted here from the reputed news paper of Orissa published as head lines in different point of time which will strengthen the above statement.
• Atrocities against a harijan woman, Police favours the accused.
(Dharitri. Dt-06.05.2008)
• Woman is beaten naked and again tortured in Police station.
(Aamari Katha, Dt-14.02.2008)
• Dalits threaten to call for strike against the biasness of Police
(Pragatibadee, Dt-04.06.2007)
• After lapse of a week, Police is not able to trace out the culprit who attacked the harijan.
(Anupam Bharat, Dt.-17.03.2008)
(Harija word has been used as it was in the news paper)

Many media clips against attitude of the Police officers are seen. Most of the news papers are visualizing the day to day happening and facts about the atrocities for which definitely they are praiseworthy. The Jagannath Temple entry at Keredagarh of Kendrapada by dalits was focus news in the media for some time back This heinous news could unveil the nakedness of casteism in the well-informed society and brought it to the notice of those people who belief in globalization or controlled by e-governance and Internet.
The same thing happened in case of Miss Mamatam Naik, a college going girl of Narasingh Pur village which is located in the out skirt of the capital city, Bhubaneswar. When Mamata took admission in a college, she has to pass through a nearby village named Naput gaon to attend her regular classes. But because of caste discrimination, the traditional conservative people of so called higher caste of the village did not resist a dalit girl to move on a bicycle with chappal in her feet in front of them which her forefather did not have dare to do the same from generations.
The Orissa media has covered and presented the matter in a proper way and made the people known about the facts of casteism. Only for the media, Mamata, an innocent girl could able to get the justice but it is also fact that thousands of Mamatas are suffering in the village condition which are not coming in to picture.
Here are some of the examples of entire social structure, discrimination, caste hierarchy, which one can find with the morning tea. This news in an assembled form will be sufficient enough to asses the intensity of the social atrocities and degradation of Indian society.
• Some untouchables enter to a hotel for their normal Tiffin. The touchables earlier sitting in the hotel protested their entry and quarrel started at Kuhudi, Khurda.
The Paryabekhyaka, Dt.-10.08.2007

• An incidence occurred in the saloon when an untouchable boy requested to cut his hair .The barber denied to perform the same .Argument lead to a severe condition. Even Collector, Superintendent of Police, Police and other officials could not able to solve the problem and they went back.
The Paryabekhyaka, Dt.-20.08.2007

• Landless harijan families of Jarapada Police Station cultivating the land since 40 years was handed over to Jindal Company
The Sambad, Dt-11.01.2007

• An untouchable Sri Dukhishyam Bhoi who was seriously attacked and injured by the touchables has been admitted in to Capital Hospital. This incidence occurred under Pipili Police Station, in the Mangal pur village.
The Janabanee, Dt- 28.05.2007

• Dalit boy was beaten brutally by Police. OIC admitted the fact and agree to bear the cost of treatment.
The Samaj, Dt- 10.10.2007

• Quarrel between touchables and untouchables in Anugul, 14 injured.
The Orissa Bhaskar, Dt- 27.10.2007

• 6189 untouchables have been tortured within 6 years. No accuse has been punished till now.
The Arambha, Dt-15-21, August, 2007

• Clash between touchables and untouchables, 4 person severely injured in Gopalpur Gram Panchayat of Bolgarh.
The Samaj, Dt-03.06.08

• Communal clash started when a boy of untouchable Pana caste touched the beetle shopkeeper of touchable telugu community. In the incidence 3 got injured severely in Patapur.
The Anupam Bharat , Dt-16.04.08

• Untouchables have been prohibited to enter the village and village market. Touchable villagers have been instructed in a village meeting, not to talk and exchange any things with untouchables.
The Dharitri, Dt-16.9.2007

• Harijan children are discriminated during mid day meal in the school at Balianta Block.
The Sambad, Dt- 07.08.2007

• Sri Artabandhu Sethi, a harijan Head Master was severely attacked by upper caste people under Bant Police Station of Bhadrak.
The Anupam Bharat, Dt- 22.03.2007

• A harijan Head Master was protested by the upper caste people while joining in the Badasunalo High school of Kamakshya nagar block.
The Pragatibadee, Dt- 22.07.2007

• All the dalits of Sadhupalli village near Sohela, Bargarh were driven out from their own village due to casteism. Upper caste people destroyed the houses, weaving machine, and other house hold materials of dalits.
The Satabdee, Dt-15th August-2004

Atrocities against dalit community in the village, shop, temple, festive occasion, river bank, pond, school, agriculture field have been reported by different news papers. Women, girl child, school student, head master of a school, daily labourers, Govt. servant all are victimized due to the caste discrimination. It is not limited to village but rampant, even in town like capital city of the state. Very few cases which become acute in nature only come to the picture of general public through media. Had there been proper representation of dalit in mass media the number of reported cases would have come in to picture. For the shake of reporting it can’t satisfy the purpose of media and can’t change the attitude of the caste based society. All most in all instances proper follow up of the reported cases are not carried over as a result it does not intensify the gravity of the situation. This slackness is often seen due to the reason that the reporters belongs to so called higher caste and thereby the unpunished person become encouraged to commit the same fault again and again. To overcome the social atrocities, an honest reporting and follow up of the cases are important by which awareness on casteism and atrocities can be made.

Capitalism, dalit and mass media
It is seen that capitalist play a vital role in media sector. In the era of globalization and privatization, commodity act as a key role in the mind set of the people. Man having more purchasing power in the present day is respected in the society. Evaluating the mental status of the people and to increase the no. of buyer for their product, the capitalist and the multinational company (MNC) prepare their strategy accordingly. They bring the attention of the people to words their marketable commodity through electronic and print media.
Some times it is seen that the entire first page of the news paper will be covered with advertisement from different companies. After the liberalization process, capitalists are exploiting the parents and making their profitable business through opening private educational Institution .There is no control over fee amount and examination system which facilitates the dull student from the rich family to get absorbed and the talented students from the poor family is deprived up from availing higher education. To attract the parent /guardian/student they purchase the whole page out of the money collected from the students and glorify their institute through advertisement. In the exploitation process of MNCs and big company/firm, media also cooperate with them by accepting their advertisement, providing evidence themselves as a part of the capitalist leads to social atrocities.
In the fashion loving society, MNCs advertise their product through a star person either from film or from sports so that it becomes impressive to the viewer. Million of supporter of these stars without exercising their brain go for the product which is being used by their much loved stars. Here the MNCs pay very less amount to the stars for promotion of the product but earn multiple millions through selling the product to their million of supporter. An example of soft drink can be sufficient enough to understand the fact. Stars like Amitabh Bacchan, Amir Khan, Tendulkar, Shaharukh Khan use to advertise the soft drinks like Coca cola / Pepsi etc. Now, in each small shop in a remote village; one can get this soft drink. This has happened because of the National Doordarshan channel which has promoted this product through advertisement. But the reality behind the soft drink is not presented to the mass. On Friday, Aug 29, 2003 in The Hindu, there was a report “Blue Pepsi contains highest content of residues: report”
“According to the report, the level of pesticide residues in Blue Pepsi was 5.2 times higher than the maximum permissible under the European Union norms. It was followed by Mirinda lemon (4.2 times higher than the E.U. standards), Coca Cola (4 times), Mirinda orange (3.4 times), and Sprite (3.2 times). In Thumbs-Up and Mountain Dew the level was two times higher than the E.U. norms, in Fanta 1.7 times and in 7Up 1.6 times. In Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, and Limca, pesticide contents were found, but below the E.U. norm.
The CSE(Centre for Science and Environment) in its report had stated that pesticide content was maximum in Mirinda lemon (70 times higher than the E.U. norms), followed by Coca Cola (45 times), Fanta (45 times), Mirinda orange (39 times), Pepsi (37 times), 7Up (33 times), Limca (30 times), Blue Pepsi (29 times), Mountain Dew (28 times), Thums Up (22 times), Diet Pepsi (14 times) and Sprite (11 times).”
It is our misfortune that the creative stars like Bacchan, Amir Khan, Tendulkar, Shaharukh Khan etc. do not able to understand the inner meaning of the MNCs and perform the harmful activity and this fact is being presented to the innocent people of the society in a popular media like Doordarshan along with other popular TV channels. In the same way, once there was an advertisement in Doordarshan on Crack cream where the dialogue was “Face is like princess but the heel is like made-servant” (Muhu raj rani, paer naukarani). Without being proper censor of the very statement, it is permitted to telecast in the National media which humiliates the people of working class.
In the news paper there is nos. of advertisements on “Oil to enlarge penis”, “Cream to increase the size of breast”, foreign liquor, etc. These materials are presented in such an attractive and exploitative form that the simple, innocent people don’t control themselves to purchase the same. To what extend these materials are useful to the civil society is a matter of discussion.
Once all the media covered the story of marriage of Aiswarya Rai and Abhishekh Bacchan. After some days there was a great discussion on their visit to Tirupati Temple. When there are more than 47% of people are under BPL in India, Bachhan family under the leadership of great big “B” Abhishek with Aishwarya Rai in a special prayers made a donation of Rs.5.1 million each to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD).How a creative man becomes so dogmatic? How the media, being the fourth pillar of the constitution glorify these events and presented to the crore of people, in fact which has absolutely no use to the society. On the other hand, the suffering of crore of depressed class people in many times are not given due attention.
Cricket is another curse to the Indian society. MNCs sponsored game continues for a week long and all the office bearer, student, household completely occupied in the game, forgetting every thing. All the print media write good no. of pages and electronic media broadcast entire day leaving aside various events of the state. Game and entertainment occupy almost 50% of the space in media which helps the development in various field steps backward of the society.
In all the News papers it is seen that astrology is one of the most important chapter though it is purely a nonscientific things completely based on imagination and presumption. During the course of rapid development and advance of the science, it has been proved that there are more than nine planets. It has also already been proved that moon is not a planet rather a satellite (upagraha). Similarly sun is unfortunately considered as a planet in Astrology which is not true but a star as it illuminates light. Although we have sufficient scientific prove to condemn the Nabagraha theory the present media always give emphasis on it and carefully take it to the people. Even in the electronic media like TV they have opened special channels on Astrology which starts diverting the mindset of the people from the beginning of the day and demoralizes for any kind of new activity, as a result the development is checked. Therefore media and mass communication should understand and analyze the things whether it is beneficial to the mass or not before incorporating such unscientific matter in it.
In this situation the role of the educated mass is not visible .Especially educated Dalit must pay back to their society but mostly it is seen that they keep themselves in an isolated area from the social issues as it is done by the so called upper caste. They neither write any thing nor react in a form of their choice. The inactive attitude of dalit not only discourages the people of their community but also demoralize others to speak about their rights. So many dalits are writing poetry, short story, novels etc for different journals and magazine but many of them don’t write on dalit issues otherwise it could have been a better answer to the people those who intellectually discriminate the oppressed class.
Women are considered as the second sex in the brahminical society. They are equally tortured like dalit in various forms. This can be well observed in the day to day advertisement media. The capitalist and MNCs utilize different body part of women as their tool through which they advertise their product to the market to accelerate their business transaction. House wife those who are not expose to this type of conspiracy do not able to understand the hidden agenda inside it and some times they become envious and instigate their husband to purchase the unnecessary materials without calculating the earning / pay structure of the male and as a result sometimes it leads to unstable situation of the family. Many women organizations are working for the cause of the up-liftment of the second sex but mostly it is seen that they don’t focus on such issues to protect the identity and independence of the women. Media persons indeed has a great role, either he may be an editor, a publisher, a reporter or owners being the male should not ignore women and should be unbiased enough while dealing with the gender issues.
An example of dalit and non-dalit writings and the very attitude of the facts can be better explained in the following manner. In most of the print as well as electronics media, we often see the news on conversion and recon version. In a short span of time the Orissa people have witness three major communal riots i.e. Kandha –Pana(1994) riot in Phulbanee District, Adivashi-Dalit Christian in Gajapatee Districts(1998) and recently again there is communal riot between Hindus and Dalit Christians in Phulbanee (December-2007 and August-2008). All these three riots are broadly based on religion, caste and conversion. Some non-dalit organization has named the reconversion as “Griha Pratyaabartan” or return to own religion. If some body thinks this conversion and re-conversion seriously then so many questions arise in mind as
• Whey there is a need of conversion?
• Whether social atrocities like casteism has got role in conversion or not?
• Is there any conversion between Buddhist to Islam or vice versa and Islam to Christian?
• Conversion is mostly seen in Hinduism, Why?
• Is it fact that Buddhist and Christianity is little more liberal than Islam therefore Hindus prefers to convert themselves in to Buddhist and Christianity?
• When the converted people from other religion return to their home or back to their previous religion, in which ‘Barna’ (In the Chaturbarna system) they are accommodated?
• Is there any example of reconverted people from other religion to Hinduism who has been placed in the caste Brahmin?
So many questions arise in mind when there is a question of conversion and recon version. These questions are not at all answered by the non-dalit intellectuals, anywhere in media which a dalit writer can explain in a better way to present the facts of the incidence.
Some of the journals and periodicals like Janabanee, Dalit Baarta, Dernaa, Times of Mulnivashi, Adhikaar, Charchaa ,Panchamastamba, etc are being published under the ownership of dalits .The circulation of these journals and periodicals are very limited and mostly they are confined to their own (dalit)community, therefore the inner thoughts and ideas are not properly disseminated to the main stream. However the dalit community peoples are being ignited and try to understand the meaning of the Brahminism through these journals and periodicals. The role played by these journals can’t be ignored rather the educated dalits should contribute their time, talent and treasury to support the sustainability of the journals so that a new generation of journalist would come forward to fill the gape in media sector

At the end
Media plays a vital role in building the society. It has the power to make the ordinary great and great to an ordinary. Being the fourth pillar of the constitution it should be impartial and fair enough while dealing with the matter. Mass media should keep them above from caste, creed, religion, poor, rich, educated and uneducated etc. Persons involve with mass media communication should be of open mind and liberal enough to accept the others. The so called higher caste journalist should go in to the matter genuinely and analyze the situation of the socially deprived class. They should change their mind set should not write for the shake of writing but they should have deep social commitment to uplift the oppressed.
The owner of the Journals /Periodicals should be open enough to accept the people from oppressed class so that it will help to understand the problems of dalits in a better form and can be presented in an empathetic way. As the oppressed class people are less exposed and do not know the importance of mass media to the desirable extend they should be encouraged to join in this sector more and more. Untouchability being the great social crime, there should be regular advertisement in each paper to abolish it mentally instead of “Oil to enlarge penis”. “Cream to increase the size of breast”,
Writer from dalit/ non-dalit community should come forward to write on the social issues and media should facilitate for the debate to create awareness in the society. It should be meticulous enough while Publishing/Telecasting/Broadcasting advertisement of MNC and other capitalists so that it is not remained away from the ethics of the media. Being the mouth piece of the millions of the society it should always speak well of all so that the society will run in a right direction.


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mind Manthan

THE CULT OF BRAHMINISM & THE PLIGHT OF WOMEN
Women are an integral part of the society. They constitute almost 50% of the population .A complete society cannot be thought of without woman but everyday we come across innumerable cases of abuse, harassment against women.

In our society the women are generally given a second grade status. The status of Dalit women is more precarious than that of so-called higher caste women. They suffer in triple ways i.e. for their sex, class as well as caste. In India, women suffer due to the taboos, prejudices and caste-based discriminations which are derived from Brahminism. It is worth analyzing some of the problems confronted by women to visualize the effect of Brahminism.

Caste system and Women

Caste system in Indian society is a great curse. The very objective of this caste system is to divide the people in thousands of castes and rule over them. It has been designed in such a manner that the upper caste people will hate the so-called lower caste people and spread untouchability. The peculiarity of this devil’s principle of caste system is that the so-called upper caste people will not hesitate to enjoy playing with and even kissing a dog, cleaning the dung of cow, eat the left-over of the cat but they keep themselves away from fellow human beings. Even many upper caste people will not come closer to lower caste people for fear of getting polluted.

Caste system is based on the pillars of Verna system. On this Dr, B.R.Ambedkar has said: “The root of untouchability is the caste system, the root of caste system is religion attached to Varna and ashram, and the root of Varnashram is Brahminical religion, and the root of Brahminical religion is authoritarianism or political power. Untouchability is only an extended form of caste and, therefore, without abolition of caste there is no hope of abolition of untouchability”. (1) The earliest propagator of this Varna(later on caste) is Manu, who has ordained the principle and rule to be obeyed by the members of the society.

As stated by Mahatma Phule the word ‘Brahmin’ has been derived from the Lord ‘Brahma’. Manu has written in Manusmrutee that Brahmins are born from the mouth of Brahma, so they enjoy the status of supreme caste in the society (2). These Brahmins, to retain their supremacy have written many spurious books through which they have established the caste system (Brahminism) and till now they have helped this system to continue.

What is Brahminism:

The objective of this article is not to describe Brahminism in detail. Here I speak a few words about Brahminism so that I can drive my point home.

Brahminism says that
 Universe is vast,
 This vast universe is the creation of God,
 God can destroy His creation if He so desires, which depends upon
His state of mind.
 It is essential to please the God always to keep His state of mind normal
 The only way to please the God is to pray through reciting sloka
 This sloka will be written only in Sanskrit
 Only Brahmins will be entitled to read Sanskrit
Finally, it is only the Brahmin who can please the God through
recitation of Sanskrit sloka for welfare of the universe.
 As Brahmins have the power to control over the God who is virtually the creator of Universe through recitation of Sanskrit sloka , he is the supreme
God or Brahman Devata. (3)

This ‘ism’ has been laid down by Manu who claims to be the son of Brahma. Subsequently in course of time this theory was accepted, supported and propagated by numbers of intellectuals of Brahmin community. It will be easy to understand the above theory, if some of the examples can be given out of the scriptures and books written by the Brahmin intellectuals.

Manusmrutee is not a mere book or scripture but a constitution and instruction manual supposed to be set in motion both the body and mind in the society and it will continue to be so as long as Hinduism exists. The social administration, rituals, rules and regulations are strictly followed as per the Manusmrutee in the society. Here the administrator or watch-dog of these rituals is the village priest, head of the village or the most literate man in the village.

Kunja Behari Dash states that ‘One of the main functions of the village priest is to respect the caste system which divides men into hundreds of groups…. Brahmins and other higher classes dominate the untouchables and the aborigines and turn them into a class of labourer to their own advantage.’ (4). Dalit-Adivashi(SC/ST) are the aboriginal people of this soil. Before the Dalit community was enslaved by Brahminism, the status of aboriginal women of ancient period was better than that of the present time.

Manu has ordained many instructions to be strictly followed by women. He has also mentioned the punishments to be awarded to those women/men who transgress the instruction. Women are tortured, abused, degraded, counted subservient mainly due to the obdurate instruction of the Smruti. Some examples will be worthwhile to explain the blue print of Brahminism.

Example
• Either she may be a young girl or an adult or old woman, she is not permitted to perform any of the household work independently.(5)
Manusmruti, Chapter-5, Sloka No.147, P-50

• Woman will be under her father in childhood, under her husband in adolescence and after the death of husband she will take the shelter of her son, she will never be allowed to lead an independent life.(6)
Manusmruti, Chapter-5, Sloka No.148, P-139

• Even though husband is dishonest, sexually perverted or may be an illiterate, still he is worthy to be prayed like God by a pure and honest woman.(7)
Manusmruti, Chapter-5, Sloka No.154, P-140

• Woman does not go for any kind of choice or never bother for age factor or never consider good or bad looking when they come in contact with a male they indulge with sex(8).
Manusmruti, Chapter-9, Sloka No.14, P-241

• Close relatives like husband should not allow their wife to remain independently either it may be day or night, rather engage with several assignment.(9)
Manusmruti, Chapter-9, Sloka No.2, P-140


• Sudra can only marry to the Sudra girl but Baishya can marry both Sudra and Baishya girl. Kshyatriya can marry Sudra ,Baishya and Kshyatriya girl but it is the only Brahmin who can marry any of the four Verna.(10)
Manusmruti, Chapter-3, Sloka No.13, P-50


Not only Manu but after him many Hindu ideologues in this society have come to strengthen the principle of Brahminism through additional strictures and order.

Adi-Shankaracharya who is known for establishing four Dhaama, the sacred places of Hindus have explained through dialogue between Guru and Shishya about woman. It is like this:

Shishya- Which is the only gate to hell?
Guru- Woman
Maniratnamala, Shankaraacharya Granthaabali,(11-A)

Shishya- Which is enjoyable like wine?
Guru- Woman
Maniratnamala, Shankaraacharya Granthaabali,(11-B)

Shishya-Which poison seems like Amruta
Guru- Adolescent Girl
Maniratnamala, Shankaraacharya Granthaabali, p-347

Shishya- Who is clever?
Guru- One who is not swayed by the look of women.
Maniratnamala, Shankaraacharya Granthaabali(11-C)

Shishya- Who is a hero?
Guru- He who has not been entrapped by the eye of a girl.
Prasnottar Ratna malika Shankaraacharya Granthaabali(12-A)

Shishya-Which one is abstract in this world?
Guru- Women character
Prasnottar Ratna malika, Shankaraacharya Granthaabali,(12-B)

Another godly man is Tulsi Das who has popularized the epic Ramayana. This epic has become the household word in Indian society. Brahmins consider Ramayana as the identity of Hindu religion. Tulsi Das has given his views on woman in the following way:

Drum, illiterate, Sudra/dalit, beast and woman are liable to be tortured. (13)


Chanakya, the great political-economist and statesman, had formulated some rules and regulations for better ministration in the state. It is known as “Chanakya Neeti”. This Neeti is still a taboo with the people of India. He has cautioned the society through his Neeti to remain away from women in following ways:

-Be aware of animal having Nail, Tooth, Horn, Woman and Sudra/Dalit (14)

He has compared women with wild animals who cannot be taken into confidence. This kind of instruction has influenced the mass, for which women were given inferior status in the society.

These examples show the attitude of these great souls towards women. Subsequently hundreds of millions of disciples and followers of these great souls blindly supported their preaching and writings. Accordingly the present society looks at women in hateful eye and considered them as inferior than men. Such an attitude becomes curse to the women in the society, leading to atrocities against them.

Brahminisation of Women

The followers of Manuw always try to prove themselves as superior to women. To make this principle deep-rooted they have formulated the structure of the society. They try to inject these pseudo-ethics into the minds of women and make them practice it in different occasions through festivals, rituals and traditions. Savitree Puja can be taken as an example.



Concept of Satee

The ritual of “Savitree amavashya” is one of the great examples of superiority of men over women. Savitree, being the Satee, was able to bring back her husband Satyaban from Yama. This ritual is rampant from the rural to the urban areas.

Satee means a woman’s truthfulness to her husband. Husbands are dying every day but in present time no woman is able to bring back her husband from Yama. This concept, on the other hand speaks that now-a-days no woman is honest/true or Satee; as a result not a single dead husband has recovered from deathbed. Really, this is an insult to women as whole. Then the question is if a woman cannot bring her husband back from the clutch of Yama she is dishonest, not a satee? In this festival husband is worshiped by the wife. One of the important activities in this whole festival is a wife washes the feet of her husband in clean water. The feet-washed dirty water is being drunk by the wife and in turn she is being blessed by her husband. Even our so-called highly educated women have been following this practice and nobody dares to protest this nasty tradition. Of course, many of our Indian Hindu women feel proud of doing this type of activity.

Satee word has been derived from satya which means truthfulness towards sex or belief in monogamy. In mythology there are only five recognized Satees called Panchasatee, they are Tara, Mandodari, Draupadee, Ahalya, and Kuntee. The above Panchasatee will create an embarrassing situation to a reader when he wonders about the nature of Satee. The above women have been called Satee even though they lack qualities like chastity, monogamy and truthfulness.

Although in Panchasatee group, Seeta is not placed she is counted or called as SateeSeeta. Seeta being the wife of Rama has been tortured in many ways. She was forced by Rama to enter the fire in front of the whole mass to prove her purity. In other instances she was also removed from the house and left in the forest. Fortunately Rishi Valmiki came to her rescue. Being a pregnant she took shelter in Rishi Valmiki’s Ashram. After returning from Valkimi Ashram with her two sons Rama again compelled Seeta to appear a Purity test and she could not bear this mental torture. At last she committed suicide which is a great offence to the human society.

Not only in the present day but from the ancient time women are tortured and enslaved by men. It simply proves that man can make a woman Satee (Pure) or Asatee (corrupt) as per his will and pleasure. This attitude of man explains about his supremacy over the woman, thereby establishing a Patriarchal family.

Vermilion is usually used by the married Hindu women on mid-parting line of their hair as a sign of being married. This vermillion is chemically known as the pigment of mercuric sulfide. Like all mercury compounds it is also toxic in nature. Scientifically it may not be true but there is a prejudice that using vermillion in the forehead reduces the life of the women. To be a Sadhabaa (death of wife before the death of husband) a woman feels proud . This concept might have been created by man because “Sattee and widow re-marriage were essentially economic issues; the question of who was to maintain the widow if she did not die with the husband; and who was to provide a dowry; if she re-married” (15).

Religious exploitation

Patriarchal society have made women more religious. Their soul and mind have been put in such a religious frame that they mostly go on Fasting, Osha, Brata for the welfare of their husbands, sons, brothers but never for their daughters. It is presumed that through this kind of religious duty they will be Sadhabaa and prove themselves to be Patibrataa and get emancipation.
Many fake Babas and Sadhus are emerging day by day along with new gods and goddesses. Due to their simplicity, women fall in the clutches of such fake Babas and Sadhus and finally get harassed in many ways.
Widows have not been permitted to use colourful dress except a white coloured simple sari and blouse; even the vermilion which they have been using. They have been allowed to eat only vegetarian food. In the month of Kartik they used to eat only once in a day i.e vegetarian meal through out the month.
Probably to make widowsleast attractive they have been directed to use white dress and eat vegetarian (Saatwik) food. To reduce the sexual appetite of a woman, she is not allowed to opt for non-veg (Tamasik ) food. However this is not applicable in the case of widower. He can eat and drink anything he wants and can go at any moment for remarriage. ”Life of woman is a curse in this society. Boys and girls do not receive equal treatment from their parents. A woman has no freedom outside the domain of her own house. A man may marry in old age. No body will come forward to oppose the proposal if the young girl’s father is satisfied with a purse offered to him by his own son-in-law. But a girl widowed before attaining maturity is forced to a life of celibacy (16)
In Manuwadi concept widow marriage has been discouraged and child marriage has been encouraged. In this connection Manu has ordained that
A thirty-year-old man can marry a beautiful girl of twelve years or a twenty-four-year-old man can marry an eight years old girl. By doing this one can perform a religious duty. (17)

Mukhaagni and craze of male child

The craze for a male child is another important characteristic of Brahminism. In Oriya there is a proverb “Jhia Janama Shaashu Ghara Ku” or girl is for her in-law’s house. There is a concept of Aatmiya and Para in Hindu belief. The mind set of the people of this religion are built with the concept of Aatmiya i.e. Son. It persists with the parents for life-long. Para i.e a Girl, implies that one day she goes to in-law’s house. The Aatmiya or Son (preferably elder Son) has got a vital role during igniting the funeral fire (Mukhaagni) of mother or father. This social status has not been conferred on daughter. It is believed that the departed souls of the parents will find place in heaven when the funeral fire is ignited by sons. It is thought that giving birth to a male child will benefit a person eternally. Boulton says”The organization of family in to atmiya (son) and Para (stranger) was essentially economic; atmiya, mainly sons were the producers and inheritors of wealth and Para, mainly daughters were drained on family property”(18)

Now-a-days thousands of female foeticides have become a common incident in the society. As such female population is lower as compared to male population. Manu ordains,

Occurrence of male/female child depends on the volume of sperm/ovum discharged by male/female. If more quantity of sperm by man and less quantity of ovum by female is discharged a male child is born. If more quantity of ovum but less quantity of sperm is discharged then a female child is born. If both male and female discharge the same volume of sperm and ovum, a neuter is born and if there is a scanty discharge of sperm/ovum there will be no child birth.(19)

Perhaps, keeping this view in mind, many in-laws people scold and physically assault, mentally torture and abuse women. Even divorced and man opt for re-marriage If a wife does not produce a male child she is torutered and deserted. There is some limitation for the woman, producing only female child or tolerance level of a husband to divorce his wife for not producing male child as prescribed by Manu. He says,
A husband can marry elsewhere after eighth year of his marriage if his wife cannot give birth to a child, after tenth year if the child dies, after eleventh year if only daughters are born, but he can remarry the moment she turns unpleasant. (20)
Producing a male or female child does not relate to the quantity of semen discharged. Scientifically it is directly related to the Chromosome type which is present in the cell of an individual body. Out of the 23 pairs of Chromosomes in the cell, one pair is responsible for determination of sex .The female chromosome is XX and the male chromosome is XY .During fertilization, one each of the Chromosomes from each side joins together to form either a male or a female child .Female chromosome being XX, definitely one X will come and male chromosome being XY, either X or Y will come .If from male side, out of XY; X will come then there will be a female child. If Y will come then there will be XY zygote and male child will be born. Therefore to be a male or female child, it solely depends on male person (husband) but due to the prejudices of Brahminism always the female person (wife) is targeted and tortured having no fault of her.

Report on different type of atrocities against woman in Orissa

Sl.No. Atrocities 2004 2005 2006
1 Dowry Murder 452 458 531
2 Dowry Suicide 29 26 39
3 Dowry torture 1250 1485 1702
4 Other than Dowry atrocities 581 581 694
Total 2312 2550 2966

Atrocities on Scheduled Caste
1 Rape 64 40 52
2 Other 1027 1032 1101
Total 1091 1072 1153

Atrocities on Scheduled Tribe
1 Rape 30 30 30
2 Other 286 238 319
Total 316 368 349

*White paper,-2006 (21)

Brahminism and Dalit Woman

Dalit-tribal culture is very rich and original for centuries. The originality of this culture has been distorted due to caste system and rampant propaganda of Brahminism. In Dalit-tribal culture there is no dowry system in their social customary rather Harajaa system is still in force. In this system the bridegroom’s father along with some of his relatives go to the bride’s house and through various stages of tradition and customs, they settle the marriage. Bridegroom’s father gives some money as demanded by bride’s father along with the uncle (mother’s brother) of bride. This money is called Haraja and Malaa Kariaa, respectively. Manu, the main architect of Brahminism has documented in his Smrutee about the ideal marriage and dowry as follows
Brahma marriage is that where an educated and well behaved bridegroom is invited and given both clothes and ornaments (gift). (22)

Perhaps the above statement of legendary Manu might have sown the seed of dowry in the society. The dowry system may be due to economy and labourer burden. In the so-called higher caste, women are usually not allowed to work rather they are completely dependent on male. Therefore males feel proud because they are the only bread-earner in the family. On the other hand, in higher caste women are burden to the bread-earner but in case of Dalit-tribal community women are worker at par with men. They are not at all dependent on male. Hence, when Dalit-tribal women are getting married one labourer hand is shortage in father’s house and one earning member is added in the husband’s house. Women of this community even work in the field and plough. There is no social taboo. Here, she is not a burden; therefore dowry is not demanded rather there is Haraja Pratha in this community. Probably this is the reason, when in case of marriage of working woman, no dowry or fewer dowries is demanded. Presently Dalit-tribals are also not free from dowry demand which might be an influence of Brahminism.
Remarriage and widow marriage are common in Dalit-tribal culture. In case of any kind of family dispute both husband and wife has the liberty to get separated from each other which has been socially accepted as a result both of them enjoy the right of remarriage. Widow marriage is not a problem. Younger brother of the deceased, if unmarried becomes the first choice of widow or even other member of the community also accept the widow called “Chudi pindha” along with the children, if she has them from the past husband. Even a girl has the liberty to select a husband of her choice. Some times she directly goes to the bridegroom’s house and declares him as a husband called “Paisaa mudi”. Later on social recognition is given as per the existing custom. In course of time these cultures have been thought unethical as they are probably being influenced by Brahminism.
Empowerment and right of woman in Dalit-tribal community can be visualized through “Duma” puja. Duma is the soul of a dead person invited in the 10th day of his /her death and enshrined in the Pidar, a sacred place of the house where ancestral deities are worshiped in different festivals. Almost all the Dumas are female and very few are male. Domenbudhi, Chhotibudhi, Nialimali Bastaren, Dwarsanee, Patneswaree, Raktaambaree, Samalesaree, Mahalachhama, Kaalisundaree, Thakranee, Mangalaa, Mirchuk, etc. are all female household as well as village deities. These deities are first worshiped by female members of the house and after that, male persons are allowed to pay respect.
These female Dumas were once chieftains of the community. Worshiping female deities and worshiped by female, speaks about the status of the woman in the family as well as in the community. Nowhere in India perhaps there is a woman priest in any religious institute. Discrimination in religious institution is more in India towards woman. This is probably due to the constitutional provision in Manusangheeta where it has been laid down –
There will be no separate Yagnya, Fasting or Brata for woman. She who serves the husband honestly will be placed and worshiped in the heaven (23)
Manusmruti, Chapter-5, Sloka No.155, P-140
This is nothing but monitoring the mind set of woman to make an honest slave of husband in the name of heaven. In this way the right of the women might have withdrawn and male might have placed as the supreme of the family. Marx says in this regard :
The overthrown of mother right was the world historic defeat of the female sex. The man seized the reins in the house also the woman was degraded, enthralled, the slave of the man’s lust, a mere instrument for breeding children.(24)

Surname: An Identity of Patriarchal Society

Surname or family name is another strong identity of the caste. Chaturvedi, Panda, Mallick, Jena, Behera, Baliarsingh, or Pattanaik as a suffix in the Indian name shows one’s dignity/inferiority, economic position/prejudice, and status/discrimination in the society. When man gets married, he immediately changes his wife’s surname which she had received from paternal side. Almost all women also get pleasure to be identified by the surname of their husbands. This is completely a dominance of men over the women. No man is seen to be identified by his wife’s surname even though the wife is highly qualified or placed in a highest position. In case of Dalit community the peculiarity is that some people hide their surname to disguise their insulted caste identity, thinking that they will be accepted in the society. Many instances are there where Dalits do not hesitate to change their inferior surname (as some think) in to higher caste title so as to pretend themselves as upper caste; is their inferiority complex.
As Brahminically it is said regarding the use of ornaments in the rural Orissa, the vigorous bull is being tattooed, branded and tied with nose ring. The ears are also notched for easy control and handling of the bull. Similarly the ears and nose of the women are also punctured in the name of ornament to pet the women; subsequently this conspiracy of handling women has become the tradition and fashion.

Prejudice/Atrocities related to Sex and Brahminism.

Sl.Prejudice/ Gender Brahminism Remarks
Atrocities related related
1 Rape + + Easy in Dalit-tribal woman
2 Murder + + Easy in Dalit-tribal woman
3 Dowry - + Common in so called upper caste
4 Surname - + Common in so called upper caste
5 Sex harassment + + Easy for Dalit-tribal woman
6 Widow Marriage - + Common in Dalit-tribal community
7 Child Marriage - + Presently reduced
8 Remarriage - + Common in Dalit-tribal community
9 Acting as Priest - + Common in Dalit tribal community intheir own Sect.

10 Satee - + More in so called upper caste
11 Purity - + More in so called upper caste
12 Eave teasing - + Easy in Dalit-tribal woman


Dalit-tribal Culture: A counter to Brahminism

Women’s problem is not the problem of women; rather it is the problem of society. In this society always male take the upper hand and enjoy the masculinity and being subjugated, woman losses her identity. Proper intervention should be made to address problems of woman. Taboos and prejudices of Brahminism is the cause of many problems and most of the atrocities happening against woman are the effect of it. Academic education of the present day is not sufficient enough to break the strong stone wall of Brahminism, dictating since centuries. Therefore it is essential to understand the root of Brahminism. Both man and woman should be properly socially educated. The stereotype and all prejudice against woman are to be explained to change the mind set of both of the sexes.
Dalit-tribal culture is an aboriginal culture where woman is given an equal status in the society. To restore the status of woman, their cultures are to be encouraged. Present social scientists who enjoy higher status in caste hierarchy, don’t give emphasis to think or explore on the structure of Brahminism and its effect in the society as a whole and woman in particular. Therefore it is highly essential to interpret Brahminism so as to liberate women from all the taboos and evil inherence. Research and studies have been going on in the college and University level but it is seen that there is strong intellectual discrimination among the Researchers, Scholars, Guide and Professors. No body chooses a topic on Brahminism or no Professor/Guide encourages the Scholar to have a detail study on it. In the name of conservation of aboriginal culture, many books have been written and research has been conducted on tribals but Dalits and women have not been addressed properly. They have been discriminated intellectually, as discriminated in day to day life.
Constituting the rule and enacting the same is the two different things. Therefore the action and rules should be implemented properly. Both electronic media and print media have great control over the society and can influence to the mass. The use of media should be formulated to make the people aware of Brahminism.
Multinational companies use the woman as ordinary goods like abandon street wall, Sign board or rough paper ete. to advertise their product through utilizing the body, even the secret part of the woman. May be shampoo, soap or even though it is shaving cream of man, woman is utilized in a very objectionable gesture and dress. Particularly for this purpose they take the help of different media and being forth pillar of the constitution media should not be biased by Brahminical agenda of multinational company. Print media always use woman showing her nude breast for advertisement of sex capsule or oil etc. They always visualize woman as the only and one symbol of sex.
At last it can be said that Brahminism being the root causes of provocating the atrocities against woman; it should be understood, explain and articulate in organized manner at different level to over come the situation and bring the half of the population at par with man. The following points may be understand and considered for the purpose.
• Divide and rule is the main hidden agenda of brahminism where Verna system and Caste are two foundation structure. Here Sudra is counted as untouchable and in the similar way women are also seen in inferior eye.
• Women being the insider of the society they are enslave by brahminical system in such a degree that they are not able to protest against the atrocities rather victimised.
• Male has been given understanding as the bread winner in the patriarchal society. Therefore economical independency lies with the man. Women can though earn, the Brahmincal system grooms their brain in such a way without husband they can’t live. There are many instances of women committing suicide out of the induced feeling of helplessness.
• Many fake Brahminical concepts like Hail, Heaven, Satee, Patibrataa, Sacred, Purity, Sadhabaa etc, compel the women to be more and more religious and by the way the mentality of the women is controlled and exploits their simplicity.
• Over religious belief of women are exploited by many fake Baba and Sadhu and sexually harassed due their simplicity
• Atrocities against Dalit-tribal women draws least attention of society as well as administration as compare to the upper caste women draws least attention of society as well as administration as compare to the upper caste women

• Atrocities against Dalit-tribal women by upper caste people are diluted or it is generally not proved due to want of witness. This is managed because of money and muscle power of upper caste people.
• Dalit-tribal women are more sexually exploited, raped and murdered. This is perhaps due to the reason that the Brahminical attitude has sanctioned which has been reflected through the most popular proverb “Gatibara Maaipa Samastanka Saali”
• Dalit-tribal women working in the agriculture field or as maid servant are purposefully sexually exploited by the land owner or house owner. This is happening because the criminals know that they are economically weak, socially not accepted and politically handicapped, therefore no one is going to rescue them.
• Dalit-tribal women are migrated for their livelihood, are sexually exploited in the places like brick factory, spinning mill, Kendu leaf collection and binding centre etc. by tshe managers, workers or owners.

Finally Mahatma Joti rao Phule has concluded regarding the spurious scripture written by Brahmins that “ If a holy woman had written any scripture,then man would not have been able to ignore the due rights of women and they would also not have waxed so eloquent abouttheir own rights.If women were learened enough, then men would never have been able to be patial and deceitful”(25)




Reference
1. Ambedkar,Dr.Bhim Rao, Writings and speeches, Education Dept., Govt. of
Maharastra, Mantralaya,Bombay
2. Phule,Mahatma Jotirao, Part One,Slavery,Collected works of mahatma Jotirao
Phule,Translated by Prof.P.G.Patil,Education Dept.,Govt. of Maharastra,
Mantralaya,Bombay-1991,P-04.
3. Sunani. Basudev, Dalit, Punjibad O Bhumandalikaran, Published at Nuapada,
2006,P-04
4. Das. Kunja Behari, Introduction, Folklore of Orissa, Orissa Sahitya Akademi-
1991, P-04 & 05.
5. Manusmrutee, Chapter- 5,Slok No-147,Page-139,Dharma Grantha Store,
Cuttack.
6. Manusmrutee, Chapter- 5,Slok No-148,Page-139,Dharma Grantha Store, Cuttack.
7. Manusmrutee, Chapter- 5,Slok No-154,Page-140,Dharma Grantha Store, Cuttack.
8. Manusmrutee, Chapter- 9,Slok No-14,Page-241,Dharma Grantha Store, Cuttack.
9. Manusmrutee, Chapter- 9,Slok No-2,Page-240,Dharma Grantha Store, Cuttack.
10. Manusmrutee, Chapter- 3,Slok No-13,Page-50,Dharma Grantha Store, Cuttack.
11(A). Shankaracharya, Mani Ratna Mala, Shankaraacharya Granthabalee, Dharma
Granth store, Alisha bazaar,Cuttack-2, P- 340
11(B). Shankaracharya, Mani Ratna Mala, Shankaraacharya Granthabalee, Dharma
Granth store, Alisha bazaar,Cuttack-2, P- 340
11(C). Shankaracharya, Mani Ratna Mala, Shankaraacharya Granthabalee, Dharma
Granth store, Alisha bazaar,Cuttack-2, P- 347

12(A)Shankaracharya, Prasnottar Ratna malika, Shankaraacharya Granthabalee, Dharma
Granth store, Alisha bazaar,Cuttack-2, P- 344
12(B)Shankaracharya, Prasnottar Ratna malika, Shankaraacharya Granthabalee, Dharma
Granth store, Alisha bazaar,Cuttack-2, P- 334.

13. Das, Tulsi, Sri Ramcharit Manash, Sundar Kand-59/5-6
14. Chanakya, Chanakya Neety
15. Boulton. John, Nationalism & Tradition in Orissa with special reference to the
work of Phakir Mohan Senapati, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Perspective on his fiction,P-13
16. Das. Kunja Behari, Introduction, Folklore of Orissa, Orissa Sahitya Akademi-
1991, P-04 & 05
17. Manusmrutee, Chapter- 9,Slok No-94,Page-252,Dharma Grantha Store, Cuttack

18. Boulton. John, Nationalism & Tradition in Orissa with special reference to the
work of Phakir Mohan Senapati, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Perspective on his fiction,P-13
19. Manusmrutee, Chapter- 3,Slok No-49,Page55,Dharma Grantha Store, Cuttack

20. Manusmrutee, Chapter- 9,Slok No-9, Page-241, Dharma Grantha Store, Cuttack

21. White Paper, Home Dept, Govt. of Orissa ,P-105,106,107,

22. Manusmrutee, Chapter- 3,Slok No-27, Page-52, Dharma Grantha Store, Cuttack

23. Manusmrutee, Chapter- 5,Slok No-155, Page-140, Dharma Grantha Store,
Cuttack

24. Frederic Engels, The origin of the family, private property and the state. Selected works, Vol.-3, Progressive Publisher, Mosco, 2nd Edition, P-233)

25. Phule, Mahatma Joti Rao, Chapter-1, The Truth, Selected work of Phule,
Volume-II, Govt of Maharastra, Page-38

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Short story Corner

THE OFFICE PEON


The day when Dialu Jena received the office-order of his deputation from the block office to the head office, he was once again sure of some good qualities with him, which distinguishes him from his colleague. Otherwise why should, he only be selected to serve in the District office?

In rural areas, people are very ostensive. They often speak too much without understanding .If they do not find any major fault in a person, they try to demoralize him in the name of caste. Caste is a very common topic; one can easily humiliate people by raising the nature of one’s lowly birth. None but only a goldsmith can realize the real value of a precious stone. As Dialu was very efficient and obedient, unhesitatingly he carried out the orders of the head clerk, ungrudgingly worked day and night. He never reacted even when he had to work beyond the usual office hours. That’s why; he was the favorite of the head clerk and the Block Development Officer.

At last his hard work yielded results; he got the reward in the form of this deputation to the head office. The fellow peons are grumbling. They are jealous of him and passing comments “bloody untouchable, wrested the bounties”

“Let you Idiots say whatever you like! Do you try to know any thing else of a person other than his caste to talk about? All the time you are engaged in backbiting against the officer, talking ill of others, sitting on the veranda you smoke bidis and bunk duties. All the while you are engaged in ill thoughts like, which contractor to be trapped for a cup of tea or how to ask for tiffin from the villagers who come requesting for allocation of Indira Awas or how to hide fifty paisa or a rupee from the sarpanch who sends you to buy cigarettes. If you are engaged in such worthless activities, who will be impressed by your deed?

“Does not the officer distinguish the good from the bad? It is because cheating is always caught at the right moment. He has been selected to the head office for his honesty. Otherwise who is he? Let you all smolder in jealousy.”

Dialu was overjoyed at the prospect of this deputation. Perhaps he would not have been so happy, had he been promoted. He might have got a few more rupees in promotion but now he will be in the head office with the big boss. Now he would be near the boss to whom people couldn’t meet without prior appointment. He would dust the chair in his own hands, to have a glimpse of which, people waited for days, slips in hand.

Dialu thought, ‘Big boss, big office, big matters. Accordingly he too also has to be very careful. He was used to talk aloud earlier but now he must have to change his manners, he has to be polite and soft-spoken. As he would be with the officer always, he has to wear leather chhapals instead of a plastic slipper. He should come to office everyday neat and clean. Bidi-smoking leaves bad smell in the mouth, so he will completely give up his occasional bidi-smoking

If he will not stick to all these, every thing may become topsy turvy because the officer will meet him first on his arrival in the office. Soon after the arrival of the Boss, he will open the gate slowly and if at all his body and mouth emit bad odour at that time Boss’s mood may go sour, who will then be able to control his mood?

He has to be so careful of him that while entering, officer will throw a smile at him and ask “Dailu! How are you? What have you eaten today? ”

Can an office function without the movements of the limbs of the office peon?

If the files are not moved from one table to the other by the office peon then the officer can do nothing. If the officer is the engine of the office, office peon is the wheel’

Dialu became happy with his new assignment. He fancied his position in the office to be like that of Basua bull in Shiva temples: no one can enter the officer’s chamber without his knowledge. He would let someone in only if he desired, otherwise he would say, “Give me your slip. I’ll call you later; Boss is very busy” or he might even say, “Come tomorrow, now Sir is about to leave on a tour” etc.

It might so happen that the head clerk who was his masters once in the block office, will bend before him along with his files and approach humbly, “Dialu ! Is Boss in?”

Dialu had dreamt a lot more when he was deputed to the District office but when he joined the District office everything was topsy turvyed In spite of being a human being, he had to live like a dog.

Thing is that: the Boss had a very beautiful dog. It was of Alsatians breed and was of the size of a tiger. Human being may not obey so promptly but the dog was responding to the orders of officer almost, instantaneously, when you say “Sit” it would sit, when you say ‘Go’ it would go away and when you say ‘No’ it would sit silently. An English-educated dog!

It was taking one liters of milk twice a day; two eggs, along with bread and rice. Shouldn’t it be as ferocious as a tiger! Do you think, it was a stray dog that thrives on rotten flesh or defecations!
The Boss, his wife and his daughter, all loved the dog very much. The Boss’s mother happened to be staying with him in the same house but whenever he returned from the tour he did not go to his mother first but used to play with the dog. His love for the dog was intense. It might be because of that, the officer had issued strict orders that there shouldn’t be any negligence in its care.

Dialu had to come early in the morning, take the dog out to the road for run and for potty, clean the dish where the dog ate, wash with soap the quilt, on which it slept. If ever it urinated or defecated there in side the room he used to throw it out, bathed the dog using shampoo, and than groom it with a brush. When the dog took rest, he could take a nap sitting nearby it. At about 4 o’clock in the afternoons he used to take the dog and a ball to the fields to make the dog play by throwing the ball here and there.

Now a days, Dialu very often gets irritated. Even scolds his fate He had imagined that he would be the office peon instead he was assigned duties in the Residence office that too, to serve a dog! Now he is playing ball with the dog, if ever someone plays ball it must be with man but Dialu has to play ball with a dog.

‘Look at Ugrasen Supakar. He too is a peon no doubt but now much privilege he enjoys! He cooks there in the kitchen; works with the Madam-boss. But look at me; I have become a dog with the dog. Leave it ? After all, I too am a Govt. servant .Whether you do, either take care of the dog or the dining, it is all the same, does one get any less in return!’

Things were going on well but when people started calling him “dog-peon” on the road, he felt hurt, humbled. He even once thought of poisoning the dog to get rid of the stigma. It is better to eliminate the root cause. Then he will be free from this duty of attending the dog and the way to his being shifted to the District office will be opened.

But his conscience didn’t allow him to commit such a sin.. He thought, what is the fault of this innocent, dumb creature? It has neither caused any harm nor has harassed me, rather plays with me, obey my orders word by word. Rather, the officer is responsible for all this humiliation. He consoled himself I this way and remained silent.

Al last, the long awaited day arrived for Dialu. The present officer has been transferred. Tomorrow, a new officer will join. At least he will be relieved of the duty of attending a dog.

Early in the morning he took a bath, put on a clean dress, looked at his reflection in the mirror, smiled at himself and felt reinvigorated as if he was getting ready to work for himself.

He opened the office chamber in the residence, swept it clean. He felt a bit lonely. The new Boss’s young child was crying. There was commotion outside yet a feeling of loneliness engulfed him. Had it been like the other day, the dog must have run towards him lifting his legs and expressed its love by trying to scratch his body, whining all the while. He felt entranced by a strong feeling of kinship. He went to the place where the dog was being tied and softly touched the wall. The very next moment he became conscious and asked himself, why he was feeling so sad when he used to get irritated only because of the dog. And now ……. Fie! Fie!

To-day he is the office peon in the real sense of the term. He will open the gate; carry the files and rest of the time he will just wait for the calling bell to ring.

The new officer has called for the Head clerk as soon as he reached. The head clerk along with file was there inside the chamber with the officer. The officer might press the bell at any moment, so he alerted his ears for ready response.

‘Yes! How many peons are there is the office?” the new officer asked

The Head clerk replied, “Three Sir, One of them cooks, another waits in the office and the rest one was taking care of the dog of the previous officer. The one who was looking after the dog is on deputation from the block office”
The officer then queried, “Why? Do we have any shortage of peons here in the office that someone from the block office was to be deputed?”

The Head clerk, tried to explain the matter and replied, “Sir, it is true that there are required number of peons in the office here but none of them are from low caste. As no one from the high caste would ever like to do the works related to the defecations of a dog, Dialu being a untouchable one was brought on deputation to clean attend the dog of the Ex-officer. He is a very good worker Sir”.
The officer said, “But I don’t have any pet dog. Again Madam is very conservative. She will not like to allow him for any domestic work as he is an untouchable. Better cancel his deputation and send him to his previous place of posting”.

Dialu overheard everything as he was standing there with his ears pressing to the door. He felt the stool underneath was giving way. Blood curdling in his veins Had the previous officer been there in front of him, he would have thrown the stool at his head and would said, “Bloody, bastard! You brought me on deputation not because of my efficiency but because of my untouchable caste, to clean the defecations of your dog!”

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