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Recently released Tamil movie Asuran has been in the air for its strong storyline that revolves around challenges faced by Dalit community especially relating to Panchami land, which is distributed to Dalits in Tamil Nadu during British rule and for their social order difference. The movie ended up saying acquiring proper education would change their fate and help them to escape from social discrimination. However, the movie was box office hit, but the message it implied was not quite efficient, as it seems to be.

asuran dhanushEducation teaches us about society and its ideological foundation, but it fails to educate us about social organization and how individuals learn to associate, relay, and depend on it. Since capitalist education generates exact likeness of being anti-intellectual and self-centered. Dalits' predicamentsare not only about caste discrimination; it is also about India’s proletariat‘s unity. When we realize this, we know Dalits' predicaments are related to entire societal change.

It does not come as a shock to anyone who continues to operate in the social sphere today, as exposed in many films today about the violence perpetrated against Dalits. Movies like Asuran certainly do not give us any pain or shock that the body of Gokulrajan, who was beheaded, the body of Shankar who was cut in the middle of the road and the body of Nandini who was raped and murdered are not given. It can come as a shock to cynics who have no idea what is going on in the community. However, the primary question is whether the director is pushing that shock towards the process of fielding against it. Unfortunately, the film does not create such feelings.

Demonstrating the plundering of the Panchami lands of the Dalits and the atrocities perpetrated on them, the director finally says that education is the only solution. From Macaulay’s period to until today, the education system has produced slaves for ruling class, and in no way, it has inflicted development on society. In the past, Macaulay‘s education system was about Indian in blood and color but English in taste, opinion, morals, and knowledge that has entitled us to be slaves. Now in the contemporary world, our education system is about Dravidians in blood and color, but Brahmins and capitalist slaves in taste, opinion, morals, and knowledge that have made us as buying off puppets.

In British rule, Dalits were given the opportunity to learn through army schools and missionary schools, whereas in today’s India though the education for Dalits gains to improve, but it does not support the Dalit community’s freedom. Most educated Dalits accept Brahmanism and support capitalism unconditionally. Few Dalits who are quite aware of politics lean on identity politics associations to negotiate to the ruling class for little benefits for their community. Dalits that are funded by multinational and Indian brokerage bourgeois groups to create numerous movements, do not join forces with the left idealogy.

The resulting Dalit movements have wounded the revolutionary ideas inherent in the Dalit youth and created the illusion that caste can be eradicated through reservation and parliamentary system with caste as its capital. In the name of throwing jobs and benefits by ruling class, they have sown the ‘ambitious’ idea of Dalits becoming one of their partners and disguising the idea of changing the system of exploitation. Most Dalit organizations in India are of this type.

In today’s globalization, caste is more aggressive than ever. To tear down this thought, the ruling class has concealed and shortened the actual problem, twirl into the requirement of the reservation in private corporate is significant and had made them believe globalization, liberalization, and privatization is fundamentally needed. 

Such groups have snagged India’s working class, including Dalits. Organizations represented by Dalit employers like Dalit Indian chamber of commerce and industry (DICCI) have consistently advocated the same.  

In the extract, we should understand that one man’s adventure, as shown in 'Asuran' movie, could not change brutality against Dalits or caste elimination. The issue of caste annihilation is related to the process of overall proletarian emancipation. According to the 2015 National Crime Records Bureau statistics, 55% of the under-trial prisoners are Muslims and Dalits. They also make up 50.4% of all convicted inmates. One man’s heroism can only increase such numbers and not lead to the problem's solution.

All caste-based organizations are working to solidify caste in some way and thereby for political and economic gain. There is no concrete plan for the eradication of caste beyond that. The reason is that caste annihilation is basically possible only through proletarian politics, which unites all classes.

As most of the Dalit organizations are the stooges of capitalism and slaves of Brahmanism, they can never truly advance the fight for caste abolition. Such are the people who have consistently proposed that only education without any political input will change everything. Such people are the ones who continuously entangle Dalits in the legalistic view.

Left-wing associations should try hard to win over Dalits to their side by their social activities. The immediate reaction should be shown to all violence and exclusion faced by Dalits. Above all, the illusion created by Dalit organization to Dalits has to be shattered. They need to be made to understand that caste elimination can never be achieved by constructing Dalit's identity as a separate entity. In future, filmmakers who have been making films about Dalits' problems, they should learn to think in the Marxist view instead of drawing the solutions offered by the bourgeoisie and the stooges of Brahmanism.

Written by S.Gorky

Translated by H.R.Prathiksha

(This article was originally published in keetru.com on 21-Oct-2019)


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