We don’t want you to be SC, but you mustn’t be a Dalit either!

Yes, you heard it right. After a whole lot of brainstorming and deliberation we decided that all of you must refrain from using the category ‘Dalit’, for the official nomenclature is ‘Scheduled Caste’ and that must be used at all times, especially when communicating matters publicly. Not to say that we like you being Scheduled Caste either. Remember RohithVemula! Despite our best efforts in denying his Scheduled Caste identity, his being Dalit prevailed and eventually proved that he was a born scheduled caste. So we of course know that being a scheduled caste is a lot to deal with too, but being a Dalit is an entirely different story, which is increasingly becoming our everyday nightmare. Therefore, just don’t use this word anymore. Besides, scheduled castes – it’s quite a mouthful, so let’s say SC – an intrusion into our state of profound bliss and absolute peace, that continues to remind us that the state ought to make policies for your betterment, because you know the constitution! It’s difficult to make head or tail of this book, anyway.

Hence, you being an SC keeps the matter in our hands and we can at least appear to be working for your, what is it called? Yes, emancipation. And please don’t accuse us for any wrong doing here you see. We are just obliging you, as you keep suggesting us all the time that the constitution is supremely important, so let’s play constitution-constitution – even though, we would like to see this relic of Ambedkar-Nehruvian conspiracy to die soon – and restrict ourselves and of course all of you to the constitutionality of being an SC. Now wouldn’t you agree that we are at least accepting what the constitution has decreed? I am sure, some of you will. Aah! Oh dear! You are such a nice bunch of people. Actually, we really would prefer no mention of any of this, neither this SC, and not even that oft repeated Harijan. Though, come to think of it, harijan too is not that bad after all. But then again, the very use of this Gandhi Baba’s term drives you insane. So, no. We don’t want you to go all crazy for a mere word, do we! Also, we do not think that the State should be doing anything for you, and would rather love to see all this, so called affirmative action – yes that – gone – lock, stock and barrel. Alas, we cannot do that, despite our dyed in the wool desire to make this reservation for SCs and STs to vanish overnight.

But you see, we run the government and like every other government before us, we know what’s better for you. So this being dalit must go. It’s not a constitutional term anyway, and it actually reeks of scholarship, intelligence and all that radicalism – whatever you mean by that. Why do all of you read so much, is something we ought to figure out soon – you won’t believe how difficult it is for us to comprehend this strange habit of yours – we have to find a way to fix this once and for all. But let us leave that for later. Let’s not digress from the central subject of categorizing you. So moving on, we actually did think of clubbing all of you together and calling Urban Naxals, but we realized that selling this is not going to be easy, because of your deep attachment to this book authored by Ambedkar. Also, this branding of our opponents as urban whatever is not working out either, so why take a risk and invite the wrath of millions of you. So we decided to keep it simple. We think ‘dalit’ is not a constitutional category and hence you guys should obviously oblige and stick to being SC. Period. Too much conceptual complication is for academics, you see; we after all have to run Ram Rajya and run it well and its best to keep things simple.

Now, you would say that what is said above is actually a smokescreen and we have a hidden agenda behind this. Let me be honest with you, after all, you too are a significant part of this Ram Rajya we run. Howsoever much you deny this, but we cannot afford to let you keep making holes in our sanatan dharma. So, yes we do not want this category ‘dalit’ at all, as no other category creates the crisis for us, as is done by you being a dalit. When you insist on being identified as a Dalit, it appears as if you are holding up a mirror to us, and what we see in that mirror is a very dark image of us, reminding who we actually are, and how we have continued to thrive unbridled on our privileges for so long. So it’s logical now. It all fits in. Deploying SC, in the stead of Dalit, makes us all look good, as we always do, when we dole out policies for you, not that we take this seriously, but it actually helps us in nursing our feudal selves from time to time.

I think we have made ourselves clear enough by now. If not, then let us be more frank with you and let it be said that, ‘Dalit’ is a tad too much. Dalit makes us feel naked, and you know, like any efficient government we believe in removing every damn construct, lest it expose us further. And we don’t want to do that, do we! Especially now, with elections closing in, and knowing very well that the only political group which could create havoc for us, is your unrelenting lot and hence it is all the more imperative to beat the drum of the SC at the expense of the Dalit. Because, you as dalits are a constant reminder of this country’s deep rooted Brahmanism and that dear all, is the holiest of all holy cows for us. We think that you must have got our general drift now. We want to put our hackneyed methods to more productive uses instead of agreeing to the use of such descriptively political categories and digging our own graves by being tolerant to the politics of you being identified as a dalit. After all, the more we bring in the Muslims as the scapegoat for all the ills of this country, the more you talk about the caste system. We do not actually mind even talking about the caste, as long as it doesn’t disturb the Ram Rajya, which all you intellectual types call the status quo. We have no clue as to the even meaning of that term, but anyway. You will understand soon enough the significance of you being an SC at the expense of being a dalit. It’s for your own good, you see.

Anyhow, you must have known this all along. Haven’t you! The truth is that this ‘dalit’, actually turns out to be such a stupendous political counter, that it effectively is the biggest stumbling block in realizing our hallowed Ram Rajya. All of you being dalit in effect, places a huge spanner in the wheels of our Rath for Ram Rajya. We know that our ideology – if it could be called one – will be seen a lame-duck, the moment it becomes a public knowledge that this is a scheme concocted by Brahmanism of the yore for the Brahmanism of the neoliberal avatar. And no one has spoiled our game as persuasively as has been done by your insistence on being called a Dalit. And this happened despite the fact that some of the Dalit- Deities are in fact with us – you know those three; they are actually quite good, you see! And they do make little noises too, – the fact remains that this category never ceases to be out of currency. Oh Currency! Well that reminds us of our Master stroke. Not actually ours’, but you know Saheb.. So yeah, you get the gist right! So well with the banning of the currency notes, overnight, we thought, that this is going to break your back and will eventually succeed in making a pliant SC out of the Dalit in particular, and a pliant country in general. But we didn’t realize how resilient you were going to be. Actually we still don’t have a clue, but would go ahead with insisting that all of you remain SCs and nothing more.

You must know that of late, nothing is working in our favour and to not to digress any further, we can think of nothing else but to contain this politics of being a dalit. There is no hiding this from you that this politics of social justice, you keep asserting, has been an actual pain in our collective heads. We could manage caste politics well and if you see all around, you can see that we actually do. Heck, why not say it out aloud, it is only we who are doing successful caste politics today – remember UP – and rest of the opposition is slowly turning in to a very, very pale image of us. But let us come back to the main story here, there is no denying the fact that, this being a Dalit creates the real crisis for us. Thanks to some deeds of our hallowed leaders – there must be a few good deeds from them – that the politics of our opposition actually don’t see the potential of being Dalit. They don’t see that it can actually destroy us all for once and for good. But good old Brahmanism always comes handy for us. And we know this quite well, just as you know the reach of our kind, who deliberately doesn’t acknowledge the not so mysterious ways of our clan. Sometimes, we actually think that it has always been between you and us, all along, since time immemorial. All the rest are footnotes in the long history of Brahmanism showing you, your place. Okay! Enough said. If you take our advice, and the advice you must take – we will ensure you do – be a good SC and join this Ram Rajya. Being a Dalit is momentary. It’s all actually Mithya..What? Its material philosophy!? Is it? Anyway, you get the drift right!


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Moggallan Bharti Written by:

Currently works as Assistant Professor at School of Development Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi.

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