Saturday, March 14, 2009

"A Matter of Equity" - India's Caste on the Global Economy by Judy Joyce

The Dalit Caste of India

Author, Dr. John Dayal, is a labor movement leader who might not come immediately to mind in this era of global economic crisis where all eyes and wallets are focused on the United States. Yet Dayal’s book about India’s Dalit can pique the interest of anyone whose customer service calls here in the States have found them talking to someone in Delhi, Goa, or Mumbai.

Most of what we hear about India these days is less about Mother-Theresa types and more about outsourcing of U.S. jobs to India and China. Enter Dr. Dayal, wearer of many hats not the least of which is labor activist for India’s Dalit caste. Out-caste is a more definitive term, I might add.

Until being introduced to Dr. Dayal’s work, one can not fully appreciate the unimaginable predicament of the Dalit caste. It's members are forbidden to allow even their shadow to fall upon upper-caste member passers-by in post-modern India. In ancient terms, the leper was afforded rights denied to the Dalit as a matter of their birth even today.Those ancient conditions are horrific ways that Dr. Dayal’s book reveals and more. Surely numbering more than 2.5 million people by some estimates, the economic instability this caste creates is equally unimaginable.

India’s Hindutva Ideology Voted Out but Deeply Inbred

Asked in June, 2004 to comment on India’s elections and change of power structure, he had this to say about the future of Hindutva ideology that was soundly overturned in that election vote:

There is no future for Hindutva much as there is no future for neo-Nazism, Apartheid, or the xenophobia that guided Enoch Powell in the UK in the sixties.This is a sick ideology that is fighting against history,cultural anthropology,and human nature..... The ideology gained political ground riding hate campaigns in Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat over the years through a sustained vilification campaign against Muslims, first, an then Christians. In fact it is all but forgotten that the Hindutva forces had also targeted Sikhs and were directly responsible, during the partition of Punjab and the formation of Haryana, for creating a cleavage between the two communities on the issue of Hindi as the natural mother tongue of all Hindus. The first blow that eventually ended up in the rise of terrorism.

An Introspective Read

"A Matter of Equity" - - has been described as "one of introspection or analysis of Church and society in India and of the Christian response to persecution, especially the hate campaigns of the fundamentalist Hindutva Parivar, consisting of the Bhartiya Janata Party and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. These groups make no bones about their genetic links with Hitler's Nazis. This book is meant to inform, and at times even provoke" as told by this Christian Civil Society activist’s view of an India he loves.

The Author-Activist Sites India's Crisis in Development

As Chairman of the All India Catholic Union, Dr. Dayal, is also a Catholic member of India’s National Integration Council and the secretary general of the All India Christian Council. ÂÂ. In those capacities, Dayal is recognized as someone whose passion in religious freedom is coupled with his efforts to prevent the lowest caste in India - the Dalit - to be identified as unemployable as a birth designation:"

We need to put an end to fundamentalism (Hindi) which has penetrated all walks of life, the rural areas, among the poor, judges, police, everywhere. The crisis in India is not one of religion but development and we cannot afford to shift our focus away from development

.A Book that Impresses all Political Persuasions.

John Dayal, is identified by some as an activist voice to speak on behalf of the widow, the fatherless and the marginalized and to make their voices heard in the highest places. For the political left, these are easily identified as worthy goals. For the political right, the preservation of India as a democracy can not be sustained on the backs of the systematically unemployable Dalit that no level of training or education is allowed to serve as a cure. For the political moderate, the caste system of India is not easily overlooked any more than AIDS or conditions in Darfur.

After reading "A Matter of Equity", the question of to whom and what is outsourced to India might cause any reader of any political persuasion to formulate new ideas and views on what drives the global economy controlled by India imbedded in an ancient caste system, as well as, important foreign trade, and outsourcing issues.

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