Seventy years of Independence has certainly ensured that Dalits have a voice and thanks to the rights enshrined in the Constitution of India they have made significant forays in education and social sector.
However, the systematic change, the authors of the Constitution had hoped for, still elude Dalits which is a cause for concern.
Acceptance of Dalits has come a long way but much needs to be done. Mindset change is of great importance without which Dalits will not be able to break off the shackles of slavery imposed on them. The recent incidents in Una, Gujarat once again brought to light the fact that many Dalits feel it is their rightful place to take care of certain jobs which others are not interested to do.
Every Dalit person should realise that they should not continue in jobs that involve removal of night soil, skinning dead animals or cleaning the streets. They must take it upon themselves to avail higher education and go for white-collared jobs. The society should also realise that they should not expect any such role from the Dalit community.
Political parties have failed Dalits. They have distributed freebies which, in the long run, do not do anything but create another set of class IV employees. What is now necessary is a complete systematic change.