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Dalit Movement

Dalit Movement

Dalit Problems
Sri Narayana Dharma Paripalana Movement
Dravida Kazhagam Movement
Dalit Sangarsh Samiti
Mahar Dalit Movement

Dalit Problems

Dalit Problemss are scattered in 27,024 villages of Karnataka.They are landless laborers and houseless living in a cluster huts or in slums. Their poor economy and illiteracy have forced them to live in misery. Untouchability is an age old practice which is inhuman in the name of religion. Most of the bonded laborers are dalits.The reasons for the bonded labour system are inequality, illiteracy and unemployment existing in the society which has resulted in poverty. Loans borrowed to celebrate marriage, festivals and to avoid starvation are some of the reasons for this system. Bonded laborers are landless and houseless. They live in the place provided by landlords totally under their control. Dalit Problemss are harassed, threatened to withdraw their complaints in favor of landlords. Even judicial liberation of bonded labour is eyewash. Due to involvement of political and feudal persons in the implementation of abolition and rehabilitation of bonded laborers Act the object of the said act has failed in its task.

Dalit Sangarsh Samiti

Dalit educated employees and students started an organization in 1974 called Karnataka Dalit Sangarsh Samiti. In the early days it organized protest marches and arranged conventions of Dalit students and Dalit writers. It started a weekly Panchama which focused attention on the problems of the Dalits and gave publicity to the activities of the Dalit Sangarsh Samiti. Many social problems and land disputes were taken on top priority. They also did dharnas in front of Dalit MLAs and MPs against their inaction to stop atrocities on Dalits. It is a broad based, mass based and cadre based organization. In 1982 the Dalit Sangarsh Samiti workers actively participated in the campaign and worked for the defeat of some prominent Dalit leaders.Dalit Action Committee is an offshoot of the Dalit Sangarsh Samiti. A new daily was launched 'Sangathi' by the breakaway group.

Dravida Kazhagam Movement

Another variety of protest ideology was based on the rejection of the Brahmanical Aryan religion and culture. The DK movement in Tamil Nadu idealized the Dravidian culture and religion and attacked the Aryan culture and religion. The self-respect movement started by Ramaswamy Naickar advocated that his followers should have their own priests. The movement drew its support from low castes. Its leaders worked hard to escape the tyranny of the Brahmins and to extol the virtues of the Dravidian culture. This new identity provided the basis for establishing self-determination, respect on the one hand and for protesting against the domination of the upper castes on the other.

Mahar Dalit Movement

Dr Ambedkar was indisputably one of the greatest leaders of the SCs in India. In his quest to emancipate them from the oppression of Hinduism, he considered conversion to Islam, Christianity and Sikhism. These were eventually rejected in favour of Buddhism. He led a mass movement in Nagpur where many people converted to Buddhism. This neo-Buddhist movement was a conversion movement primarily of the Mahars of Maharashtra.They are one of the major SC groups in Maharashtra.They were numerically the largest scheduled caste group before their conversion to Buddhism in 1956. The socio-economic status of the Mahars was extremely low. They were made to do various menial jobs like cutting wood for villagers, taking wood to cremation ground, removing dead cattle from houses and cleaning wells. The neo-Buddhist movement was not only a conversion movement. It goes beyond the arena of religion and assumes enormous political dimensions. It resulted in an important impact on confronting, challenging and to some extent, changing the received belief in the mind of the Mahar that he is less mortal than that of the higher castes.Mahars have used political means most consistently and unitedly in their attempt to better their condition.

Sri Narayana Dharma Paripalana Movement

This movement was based on the approach of reinterpreting Hindu religion in search of self-determination. The Sri Narayana Dharam Paripalana Movement was the movement for the propagation of Sri Narayana Guru Swamy's philosophy among the Izhavas (toddy tappars) of Kerala. Until 1935 the Izhavas belonged to the SC category. They were considered to be unapproachable by the clean castes.Izhavas that formed about 26% of the Kerala's total population suffered from many religious, political and economic disabilities. Around the turn of the century a charismatic leader Sri Narayan Guru Swamy gave them a new religion of one God and one caste which transformed their life styles and outlook. He established a set of religious institutions parallel to that of the variety of Brahmanical Hinduism. This helped Izhavas both to gain self-respect and to adopt a protest idelogy to challenge the religious, economic, educational and political supremacy the upper castes.

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