More than 230 Dalits choose Buddhism in the NCR region

Brand Name

More than 230 Dalits choose Buddhism in the NCR region

Religion change seems to be a way out for them

Thursday, 22nd October 2020

We proudly claim that we are the ultra-mod millennial, advanced and urban in all respects but are we really? Several incidents of the cornering of and atrocities towards the ‘Dalits’ clearly imply that we aren’t ‘modern’ in any way and are very much restricted by the deep, dark menace of casteism, a curse which we really couldn’t set ourselves free from.


To get rid of such a curse many Dalits in NCR have decided to switch to ‘Buddhism’.  Here are few incidents recounted by the Dalit sufferers that would definitely serve as an eye opener for all Indians who believe that they are ‘modern’…read on:


 Sunita, aged 45 year is a household help by profession. When she on one occasion requested her employer to give her some water, a steel tumbler was passed to her quite reluctantly and she was clearly ordered not to use any other glass other than that. “It was kept in a corner of the kitchen, marked aside for me to use – for everyone entering the kitchen to know that I am a Valmiki…. This incident repeated in most houses I worked in,” said Sunita while she was seated in front of her home in the Karera village of Ghaziabad located in vicinity to the Hindon residential zone.


In the year 2009, when Pawan, her eldest son, went to apply for the position of a peon at one of the Gaziabad luxury apartment complexes, he was told that he could not work as peon but as a cleaning staff only. His surname was ‘Valmiki’ and that was just enough for him to be turned down.


“I didn’t apply for a cleaning job (but) I took it because I needed the money. However, I recognised the discrimination. We are facing this for generations,” said Pawan.


In an attempt to make sure that his children don’t go through the same kind of discrimination, Pawan switched to Buddhism on the 14th of October, along with the other members of his family and also many neighbors. He informed that 236 people from the village of Karera converted to Buddhism in the presence of the respected Rajratan Ambedkar, Dr B R Ambedkar’s great grand nephew.


Among those people who converted was Inder Ram (65 yrs), who had been working as a mechanic in Shahdara of east Delhi until a couple of years back. “After what happened in Hathras with the 19-year-old Dalit woman, we decided to convert,” he told. “There is no caste in Buddhism; no one is a Thakur or a Valmiki there. Everyone is a human being, everyone is just a Buddhist.”


The Hathras gang rape victim was allegedly raped by a group of upper caste men and was assaulted brutally. Later, she succumbed to her injuries.


“We thought of converting in the past as well but this (Hathras) incident shook us up – the way state machinery is grilling the victim’s family, the way she was cremated at 2.30 am without her family’s permission,” said Pawan.


He also added that people in the Karera village set out on a candlelight march in protest after the passing away of the Dalit rape victim. Soon afterwards, Pawan said that he has begun pitching the move to convert to the religion of Buddhism.


Kamlesh, 50 years of age, used to pick the scraps prior to the lockdown said, “The Hathras incident was the tipping point for most of us. Converting to another religion is not an easy decision. It means leaving behind old rituals, but we are now tired…aaj se hum Valmiki nahi, Buddhist hai (from today, we are not Valmikis but Buddhists).”


Talking about the rituals, Sunita informed that this Navratri she is not fasting and this is the first time such a thing is happening. Tara Chand, 70 years of age, who worked as a sweeper, said, “In Buddhism, there is no fasting, no idol worship. We have embraced it fully. My father was discriminated against, so was I, so are my children, and their children… When will this stop? When will we progress?”


Shreechand, 70 years of age, told that “every time there is an atrocity on a Dalit in the country, we get scared for our children”.


Kamal said while recalling the talks he had with his children regarding their classmates: “Upper-caste children don’t want to sit with our children; teachers want our children to be backbenchers. Why? Because of their surname: ‘Valmiki’. So we will change it. This is for our future.”



Source: Indian Express

Top Stories
Download video from a Converthub online ..
Impact Feature: अमेरिकन ..
South Newsmakers of Week: Ram Charan & S..
What Makes Gandhis CWC a Team Amidst the..
Kerala Sees a Dip in Total Covid-19 Case..
Bangladesh “Just not Good Enough”, S..
Udanpirappe Movie Review: A family drama..
5 Superfood-Enriched Products for Health..
5 Superfoods Against Anxiety and Stress..
5 Small Lifestyle Changes You Can Make t..