Delete Dalit slur from Scriptures
NEW DELHI: Delete "objectionable references" to Dalits from the scriptures if you want to intensify the fight against untouchability, says National Commission for Scheduled Castes chairman Suraj Bhan.
Bhan claims he has the blessings of the Sankaracharya of Sringeri Mutt has for his demand and he will soon meet other Sankaracharyas to garner support for his cause.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Bhan said that references like dhol ganwar shudra pashu nari, sakal tadan ke adhikari (drum, illiterate, Dalit, animal, women, all are fit only to be beaten) in Ramcharitmanas should not be allowed in print in a society with a Constitution giving equal rights to all.
He said fresh edited versions of these scriptures should be brought out. Bhan said the Commission will hold conferences in all the states to "generate awakening" on the subject.
In a bid to garner support for his endeavour, Bhan met the religious head of the Sringeri seat earlier last week. "He has agreed to support my cause and asked me to speak to other Sankaracharyas on this issue and then a joint appeal can be made," he said.
Saying that Dalits were still subject to discrimination, Bhan said atrocities against them were continuing to rise despite government's attempts to control them. He said eight Dalits were killed in police custody last year. "The same story exists in all states," he said.
Recalling tales of tsunami survivors from upper castes refusing to share relief camps with Dalits, Bhan lamented, "Untouchability was in their minds despite having come back from the jaws of death.