Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Saturday, June 16, 2007

brahmin in buddha vihar

buddha vihars are places of worship for buddhists.
majority of buddhists in india are from the dalit community.
ambedkar led a large scale conversion of dalits to buddhism in protest to the stiflingly entrenched caste system in india.
when this was embedded in india's freedom struggle, there were healthy conflicts between gandhi and ambedkar. read here for a detailed thesis on this conflict between 2 geniuses.

gandhi adorned the 'untouchables' with the title of harijan (children of god).
many (including ambedkar) thought this was extremely patronising and rejected this title.

and in the south, periyar led a widespread campaign against brahmins (or rather as some say, against brahminism).

in the midst of this history lesson, mayawati (the undisputed leader of the dalits through her party - Bahujan Samaj Party) wins a historic election in UP in June 2007.
one of the major reasons attributed to her victory, is the alliance with brahmins.
very few saw the significance of this inspired strategy made in 2005, leading to a completely unexpected 'dalit-brahmin-muslim' trimurti combination.

yesterday, i was in a buddha vihar in a dalit scavenger community in mumbai making a presentation pitching for a educational program for their children.
i was born into a brahmin family.
loving it.

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

Nothing special happening? No post for last 10 days :-)