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Dalits finally fighting back, says Magsaysay winner Bezwada Wilson

According to Wilson, the decision by Dalits to boycott disposal of animal carcasses was “not reactionary”.

Written by Uma Vishnu | New Delhi | Published: August 4, 2016 2:12 am
Bezwada Wilson, Magsaysay, Magsaysay award 2016, Indian Magsaysay awardees, Dalit, Dalit protests, Bezwada Wilson Magsaysay, India news Bezwada Wilson, on Wednesday. (Express Photo by Renuka Puri)

The recent Dalit protests in Gujarat is a sign that the community is “finally fighting back”, Bezwada Wilson, one of the two Indians in the 2016 list of Ramon Magsaysay award winners, has said.

“I have seen the video (of seven Dalits being flogged in Una, Gujarat, on July 11). It’s nonsense that the upper castes couldn’t bear the sight of the dead cow being skinned,” he said.

According to Wilson, the decision by Dalits to boycott disposal of animal carcasses was “not reactionary”. “They are only saying that if the cow is your mata (mother) when she is alive, she is your responsibility after she is dead, too. Don’t throw your mata on my face,” Wilson told The Indian Express at the office of Safai Karamchari Andolan in New Delhi.

“If you believe there is no social order, then everybody has to take responsibility for cleaning the waste they create.”

Wilson, a crusader recognised by the Magsaysay board for “leading a grassroots movement to eradicate the degrading servitude of manual scavenging in India”, also criticised the NDA government’s Swachh Bharat mission. Stating that the mission’s goal is to create toilets, he asked, “Does the government have a plan for who will clean these toilets? Will it be the Dalits, or will everyone take responsibility? If you love your country, don’t create waste and then turn around and tell the Dalit to clean it,” he said.

Wilson also slammed the recent “political appropriation” of Ambedkar. “The Prime Minister calls himself an Ambedkar-bhakt,” he said. “(But) a true Ambedkarite would have never said that. Ambedkar is not God. In a God-devotee relationship, there is a certain hierarchy, and Ambedkar was against any such order.”

Calling Ambedkar an “inevitable tool” today, Wilson said, “He is the symbol of equality (and) fraternity. Appropriate Ambedkar’s principles, (and) not through mere symbolism,” he said.

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  1. K
    Khwaja
    Aug 4, 2016 at 4:46 am
    Did you learn this in your bible to attack every peaceful thing that does not agree with your violent Christian teachings? So you are telling me that Joseph Jeyapaul should not be mentioned here because he is a Christian child molester missionary? Who is fraud here? The Christian church who put him back in the church to molest more kids or me?
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    1. chandra
      Aug 4, 2016 at 5:33 pm
      how he got award, OMG, he seems living in some other country, who cleans my toilet, definetly not dalith,
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      1. F
        Farooq Shaik
        Aug 4, 2016 at 4:54 am
        This is the reason all over the world people are dumping Christianity into commode as they learn that the Christian white supremacist man pope only spreads violence and looting of poor Christians in the name of Jesus.
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        1. R
          Rita
          Aug 4, 2016 at 2:11 pm
          All dalits should now convert to Islam which teaches universal brotherhood
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          1. R
            Rita
            Aug 4, 2016 at 2:12 pm
            Hinduism is a filthy, disgusting religion based not on any proofs or facts but just on myth
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