The Revolution Will Be Sung: The shifting sounds of the Dalit movement in Maharashtra
May 10, 2012 12:55 PM   Subscribe

“We are responsible for this. We never got organised or converted to another religion. Had we done it, we could have mentally discarded caste and made others understand we are humans.” A review of 'Jai Bhim Comdrade', a documentary about the Dalit ('untouchable') struggle for life and dignity that weaves through Indian politics, identity and modern history: The Revolution Will Be Sung.
posted by the mad poster! (4 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
There's also some interesting material about how the Dalit struggle for civil rights was influenced by Malcolm X and the Black Panthers.
posted by jonp72 at 6:12 PM on May 10, 2012

While Gandhi meant well, his aim was not the emancipation of Dalits but the reform of Hinduism.

I don't know whether that isn't just a little too kind to Gandhi. When you insist on having your own way, the fact that you also insist that everyone else should be happy about it too doesn't exactly amount to meaning well.
posted by Segundus at 2:42 AM on May 11, 2012

I met a Dalit guy in college, he was on a special scholarship to learn more about arty pottery. He already was excellent.
I asked him why Dalit people did not all leave Hinduism, say become Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, or something else casteless. He explained that one's family would all have to join as well, or you risked getting dis-owned.
In a country with next to no social support from the government, this can mean death. He told me 'An American perhaps cannot understand the solidarity of Indian families.'
It made sense to me only much later. There is no adolescence in traditional Indian life. You are a child, you are married usually by arrangement, you work, you have children and you die.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:00 AM on May 11, 2012

Yeah it also shows the interlinking of theology and identity that many individualist westerners maybe don't 'get' quickly. Religion isn't just belief in a lot of places, it is a community marker.
posted by the mad poster! at 10:16 AM on May 11, 2012

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