First read this two Economist’s articles, published both Oct 4th 2007:
With reservations, India’s government is threatening to make companies hire more low-caste workers, and Untouchable and unthinkable, Hiring quotas would not help lower-caste Indians and would harm business.
Nishikant Waghmare’s reply sent to the Economist (received copy by mail on Oct. 24, 2007):
I wish bring to your notice an article published in your Magazine “Business and Caste in India” October 4, 2007.
It is really great to see that such a kind of research done by British people on Caste system of India where there are more than 8500 Castes and sub-castes in Hindu Religion in India.
The “Issue of Castes” which is debarred in the Elite – Upper Castes Hindu Indian Media is finding place in your esteemed magazine of U.K . Please accept my warm heartiest congratulations for publishing Castes in India Issues which are national interest and are particularly close to my heart. However the views expressed in the article are extremely skewed. For example, the World Bank findings have indicated that Caste breeds economic inequalities.
Dr.Ambedkar said Caste can’t be destroyed. I do accept that the untouchables need equality as well. And to secure equality is also one of our objectives. But nobody can say that this equality can be achieved only by remaining as Hindu and not otherwise.
There are two ways of achieving equality. One, by remaining in the Hindu fold and another by leaving it by conversion.
If equality is to be achieved by remaining in the Hindu fold, mere removal of the sense of being a touchable or an untouchable will not serve the purpose. Equality can be achieved only when inter-caste dinners and marriages take place. This means that the Chaturvarnya must be abolished and the Brahminic religion must be uprooted. Is it possible?
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly” –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Manmohan Singh, became the first sitting Indian Prime Minister to openly acknowledge the parallel between the practice of “Untouchability” and the Crime of Apartheid. Dr. Singh described. “Untouchability is not just social discrimination; it is a blot on humanity.”
Ms. Sonia Gandhi first UPA Chairperson said: Concerning social justice and economic empowerment for Dalits and Minorities – issues which are of vital national interest, and are particularly close to my heart.
Equally importance, it will raise general awareness of these issues, and I hope will also encourage a much closer involvement of our society as a whole with the problem of inequality and oppression faced by the most vulnerable sections of our society. India cannot truly prosper and progress unless these issues are addressed.
I hope you will publish my view point in your publication. You must have got several hundred letters from readers on this issue.
With much love, peace and compassion, may peace prevail in United Kingdom, may peace prevail on earth, yours in the mission, Oct. 7, 2007. NISHIKANT WAGHMARE.
P.S.: Please find in ‘Digital DNA India’, Oct. 7, 2007, another reply on the subject: Conversion is the only way.