Recently one of my college friend put a post in the facebook, which read like this, ‘Dalit is not a Caste. Dalit is someone who is oppressed, humiliated, exploited or discriminated irrespective of caste, class, gender, religion etc. Neither Ramnath Kovind nor Meira Kumar is a Dalit. All these discussions happen in the context of Indian Presidential elections where two leaders belonging to the Dalit community are pitted against. I may not completely agree with the quote of my friend, though there is some truth.
It is interesting to see two stalwarts of Indian politics being pitted against each other in the context for the supreme post. I (like many) don’t believe that they were selected just on the basis of their credibility, but also because they were dalits. Now the interesting question what good will it do to the cause of Dalits in India. In a country where dalits were considered untouchables in some places, this initiative will help the Dailit community to realize that they can achieve heights. When these parties are ready to accept a Dalit to be the president of the country, are they ready to accept their demands and pleas for greater equality and opportunities?
Dr. Ambedkar popularised the term ‘Dalit’ in India to bring those people to main-stream. In one sense, it is great that we would have 2nd Dalit President. But much more than that, are the labels used as an election gimmick or are they helping to create a society with greater amount of equality and fairness.