A. Neelakandan responds to a followup:
"//without discussing abstract things like true perspective of Varna, Jati and Kula, it is not possible to eradicate caste distinctions. Practical follows theory//
I fully agree with your statement. In fact Arya Samaj has been at the forefront of fighting for harmonizing / eliminating these divisive faultlines. In fact they were the first to use the word 'Dalit' with the sense of emancipating and empowering the suppressed sections of the society in an environment highly
negative. Researching the histories of most of the neglected Dalit leaders in Tamil Nadu I was surprised to find that at least two of them were directly influenced by Arya Samaj. Lessons need to be learned how this vibrant movement was dissipated after independence.
Atrocities on Dalits are a fact. And the surprising truth is many of those who really fight for Dalit empowerment are deeply Hindu minded. But invariably those who come out in media light as Dalit saviors are missionary projected-manipulated leaders. But no worthwhile effort has been made by Hindu organizations to talk with these ground level Hindu Dalit leaders - share their experiences and challenges; understand their perspectives and evolve a bottoms-up Indic vision social justice rooted in Vedanta. A Vedantic vision for
the liberation of Dalits as well as a Vedantic mission for the validation of broken native cultures all over the globe (broken by Abrahamic theological imperialism) is the need of the hour. The crucial importance of 'Being Different' comes here as a major theoretical tool for this task"
".. I was stunned to hear a program by an Oklahoma based musicologist on NPR. The program is ostensibly about music but definitely by open admission a "liberation" movement for the Dalits in Tamil Nadu who are depicted as not being allowed to play their music (drums) for the religious ceremonies of the "upper caste" and thus depriving them of income. The program "This is Music" is touting a documentary film about the atrocities the Dalits in India are facing in Tamil Nadu. The spokesperson boldly announces that the word or the epithet "dalit" was invented and first used by no one other than "Babasaheb Ambedkar." This program is heard by millions of Americans who are urged to donate for this cause of political activism on behalf of the Dalits in Tamilnadu. No Indian who is social justice promoter has started asking for donations to liberate the Native Americans from their reservations or liberate the African Americans from their ghettos in America..."