An update appears at the end.
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I have to say I'm surprised by the tone of Swaminathan Aiyar's column:
It is no accident that the Dalit mobs targeted the Deccan Queen — the train was a symbol of upper-caste domination, no less than Dr Ambedkar's statues were symbols of Dalit self-respect.Is Naipaul right in thinking that these are the million mutinies that will ultimately give India justice and good governance, despite their short-term mayhem? I am agnostic on this: only time will tell.
In a thoughtful post, Bhupinder explains why it's difficult for him to react with rage against expression of Dalits' anger. Yes, he's saddened by all the violence; but, he seeks to understand too. As he puts it:
There are dozens of blog posts expressing anger against the riots, very few that introspect or distinguish between the violence of the powerful and the violence of the dispossessed.
The Dalit rage expressed in violence in Maharashtra is not just violence, it is the violence of the poor, the last resort of a silent, oppressed people.
All violence is not just violence.
It's this effort to understand that's missing when some people (jerks!) start finding moral parity between violence unleashed by Dalits and that unleashed routinely and often by a majoritarian and openly militant political party that shared power in the State and Central governments. Why do they forget -- or, do they wish to hide -- the fact that the right lens for viewing the current violence in Maharashtra is the long history of atrocities against Dalits? Is it so easy to forget -- or hide -- Keezhavenmani, Manjolai (and many others in Dravidian Land), Gohana, Kherlanji, Kadkol, Pipariya ...?
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Update: While my post did not mention his post specifically, Confused steps up to the plate to offer a response, whose high point, to me at least, is his concession that "Dalit anger in the post Kherlanji environment was somewhat understandable." I really have nothing to add here except to ask you check out some of the most delicious comments there ;-).