Meira Kumar, a former minister, speaker of the Lok Sabha, and presidential contender, responded to the murder of a 9-year-old in Rajasthan today with a guttural tweet. Because the youngster drank water from a pot intended for the so-called upper castes, his teacher severely thrashed him. Meira Kumar said that her father, Babu Jagjivan Ram, a Dalit leader and former deputy prime minister, was beaten for the same offence a century prior. “India has not altered 75 years after gaining its independence. There is no change, “she revealed in an exclusive interview with NDTV.
v “I questioned my dad. “Why did you battle for liberty? Nothing was done for you by this nation. Nothing has been provided to you or your ancestors from it. “Free India is going to transform,” he declared. We’ll live in a caste-free society. I’m glad he’s gone now “said Meira Kumar.
The 77-year-old continued that nothing had changed for her either. Meira Kumar claimed that in her situation, “snide words, gestures, and outright assertions were made to me.”
She narrated a personal experience to illustrate how the caste system has spread beyond the boundaries of India. She claimed that while seeking for a rental home in London, the owner—a Christian—asked about her caste.
I told them I would move because I liked the house. He asked one final question before departing. You’re a Brahmin, right? “No, I’m not a Brahmin,” I said. My caste is scheduled. Have you got a problem? He said “No.” However, she said, “He didn’t give me the house.
According to popular belief, Dalits are stupid. However, Dalits are human and intelligent. We are aware of when we are being degraded, she remarked.
“Despite all that my father has accomplished, he is still referred to as a Dalit leader. Despite his many accomplishments, he was nonetheless characterised by his caste. My father was the deputy prime minister when he was humiliated, asked to leave, and subjected to several casteist insults, she claimed.
She related another incident from her father’s life. Babu Jagjivan Ram was humiliated when he went to dedicate the Sampurnanand statue in 1978 while serving as deputy prime minister.
“Go away, Jagjivan and Chamar, they commanded. And they used Ganga Jal to clean the statue. since it was contaminated. So you see, the caste system embraces everyone,” she remarked.
She responded that there must be political and social will when asked why casteism is so ingrained and whether it is feasible to overcome it.
Why doesn’t the caste system change, I questioned my father. If your fundamental needs—such as food, clothing, housing, and money for healthcare—are satisfied, he continued, then you only need two things: love and respect. Love is attainable. That’s simple. But earning respect is challenging. Work is difficult. You work so hard. She said, “Those who control the system won’t ever permit it to alter.
There are numerous examples of transformation in today’s world. “However, where is the compassionate element? In people’s minds, there is a great deal of poison, hatred, and violence. Everyone feels sorry for the Dalits, but I disagree with that “She spoke.