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Take a tour of the newspaper archives of the month of May every year and when it comes to National Capital Region (NCR) news, there is a clear pattern. That helps us, saves time. We do not have to go far to find out why UP feels disturbed about the Quota Bill on promotions.

The newspaper reports say that in a village A or B, a Dalit wedding party was stoned by caste Hindus. Forwards and backwards both usually join hands in stoning a Dalit wedding party because the Dalit groom rode a horse. No wonder then, a good number of Dalit parents seek police protection well in advance.

But as long as Dalit grooms rode bullock carts, the entire village, including forwards and backwards, welcomed the Dalit wedding party with open arms.

India has moved much and the caste system has loosened too. But, how far?

Once completely unworthy of socialising with, forward castes are now reconciled in accepting Dalits as employees, subordinates or at best, their colleagues. A Dalit as a boss is like a Dalit groom riding a horse. That is still not acceptable.

To the backwards led by Mulayam Singh Yadav, Dalits are their immediate competitors and hence ought to be checked. Also, since backwards are now a ruling social class, Dalits don't give the new ruling class the same recognition as they once accorded on forward caste rulers. Punish Dalits for that very reason.

Thus, the Dalit phobia is unsettling both the forwards and the backwards. Those who stone Dalit grooms riding horses cannot be expected to be fair with Dalits and hence, the constitutional protection is both necessary and welcome.



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More about Chandrabhan Prasad

Chandrabhan Prasad is a leading activist and Dalit thinker of India.

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