An open letter to “high humans”
Rem Bahadur Bk
Respected all “high humans”,
Hopefully you will be fine even if you have suffered a lot due to the impact of Corona virus disease on your personal and public life. Even in a tragic environment, we have all been united in following the guidelines of the government and the World Health Organization for the prevention and con-trol of Corona. And we’re also winning the Corona.
But at this point I would like to share with you something about the scarier virus than Corona. Corona is a temporary virus, and we will overcome it in time. However, due to the virus that Nepali society has not been able to win for centuries and does not want to win, in Rukum (West) in Chaurjahari recently young Dalit boys including Nawaraj BK were brutally thrashed and killed by villagers. Meanwhile, before that a Dalit girl was killed after being raped in Rupandehi’s Devdaha. The pain inflicted by such inhuman acts in our society is even more terrorising and painful than the Corona pandemic.
Just as we are fighting against Corona regardless of caste, class, gender, not all of us have the same voice against the virus of this caste-based dis-crimination. Today, the Dalit community is in agitation all over Nepal over this incident. However, there is little presence in this movement of friends who identify themselves as supporters of social justice, human rights and socialism.
Whenever there is violence against Dalits, the mentality that it is only Dalit’s problem perisists in our society. It is not owned by the wider Nepali society. That is why the issue of Dalits is becoming only that of Dalits. We all as Nepalese have not been able to agree that the Dalit issue can be obstacle to the prosperity we all seek in Nepal. Even now we are all witnessing inci-dents of murder and violence, but we have not been able to speak up as Nepalese. We don’t want to speak up as we think that only Dalits should speak on Dalit issues.
We seek development, we seek social justice, we seek a prosperous Ne-pal, but friends, what kind of society can we build by leaving a section of society in the throes of life and death? Violence is violence, why do we forget that the current mentality of violence against Dalits is instilling the mentality of violence in other sections of the society as well. Ironic! We have complied with the laws, constitutional rights and all the human rights policy directives issued by the United Nations to end the virus and discrim-ination of caste-based untouchability in various forms. If followed, this caste-based untouchability, discrimination, violent activity would be con-trolled in time and we would move towards ending it all.
If we are human beings, shouldn’t we all be able to condemn, struggle and play a role in favor of justice by ending caste-based discrimination as it is becoming institutionalized and frightening in Nepal? I and the Dalit com-munity want to live a high life just like you. We also like to love without fear of caste. I like to live with people I like. I like to eat in places where I can af-ford as I like. I like to go to the temple of god, the lord of all, and worship god with confidence. We like to think that when we like a young man or woman, we should not have to remember our caste first.
But gentlemen and women have we been able to do that? You took away respect from us, you took away love, you even privatized and perosnalised god. Let’s fight to be all human in the society. I would like to say to you, not only me and we are dead, every second caste discrimination has made us dead, which you cannot feel. Because that wound has not been inflicted on your descendants at all. Many, like Nawaraj BK have been killed by people of your own caste or community. Your own generation and com-munity have done more harm than good to animals.
Sometimes it seems that the killing of such Dalit community should hurt the heart of a human being like you. But you are not hurt by such incidents. Throughout their lives, the Dalit community struggled against inequality, in-justice, oppression, violence and caste untouchability, which continues to this day. If efforts are still not being made to eradicate caste-based discrim-ination we will be forced to fight not only against inequality and injustice, but also against yourselves the ‘higher human beings’. You are to blame.
If you stand up for the Dalit community it will be a great voice for the Dalit community and it will be of great importance for change and justice. It will be a matter of pride and happiness for the Dalit community. Your humanity will only be seen if you are physically present to write, speak and speak in favor of Dalits and against casteism. However, the virus remains the same in our society to this day.
You want to live in an educated, modern and democratic society but in this society the Dalit community is full of anger and pain. You have to feel it. The society and the country where you and I live are the same. Please un-derstand that Dalits will not remain silent in the face of centuries of injustice and crime. Because, we want to break down structural racial caste discrimination.
Our expectations are not high. Only your ownership and help can be an important step towards change.You sdhould try to wear the shoes the Da-lits wear and you can feel where it pinches. Let us now collectively disman-tle such racist caste structures. Let’s fight for justice for Nawaraj BK, let’s fight for the end of caste-based discrimination. And only after that your ‘higher humanity’ will be seen. Let’s work together to end all forms of caste-based discrimination. We are in the movement you are also most welcome!
Rem Bahadur BK, President of the Jagaran Media Center (a Dalit media NGO based in Kathmandu, Nepal). He has been active in social and Dalit movements in Nepal for more than 25 years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org