On a tour in India, I witnessed an Untouchable man who was forced to bend down and touch his head to shoes of an upper caste person. Why? Because he had accidently touched the body of the upper caste person while walking down a very crowded street It was his fault that he did not step aside and let the upper caste person pass through first, our tour guide said.
Also, I witnessed a impoverished untouchable teenage girl who was about 4-months pregnant who had joined other villagers in begging group. She accepted her misery as her way of life. Her husband beat her because he blamed her for not able to beg enough money for dinner and his drinking. Everything was her fault because her fate was to be Dalit, also called Untouchable. She believes it is her karma to be poor. so it was okay to beg for food and money during the day. That is how she views her life, a life of untouchable caste because nobody educates her about her human rights. Something the powerful mainstream of the Brahmin and Kshatriya castes, never wants to see happen.
Since seeing Indian Caste discrimination both my mind and heart are troubled. I understand that I, myself cannot change the world, but I can change a life of a person who suffers from poverty as result of the caste system or racism even if I can help only one person in my lifetime.
The Buddha deeply disapproved of the injustice of the Caste system in India. The Buddha himself not only preached about the humanity the “lower classes”, but also ordained the disciples from Untouchable caste such as Upâli – a barber, Sunita – a scavenger, Punnâ and Punnikâ – slave girls. Although before his awakening, he was born as a Kshatriya, the Buddha considered the Castes unjust. He strongly condemned the debasing caste system. In his Order of Monks all castes unite as do the rivers in the sea. They all become known as members of one community, the Sangha. Thus, I propose the social project “TOUCH THE UNTOUCHABLES” regarding to the caste difference in India and choose Facebook as media platform in order to have others share related stories or observations to assist me in exercising compassion, right view and right action.
For those who want to make a difference in the lives of those impoverished Untouchables, I believe that any comments or suggestions you can provide gives us the opportunity to lighten or end their suffering even though it might take a long time to accomplish.
For those unaware of what the Caste System is and how the Caste System works in India, I will provide some resources such as books, videos (Youtube), and entries on the Facebook page: “TOUCH THE UNTOUCHABLE” . I hope after exploring the world of those Untouchable lives, your comments will give some insights about the following:
1. In the ancient time, King Asoka, who was powerful emperor and sincere Buddhist. However, he did not dismantle the Castes during his reign? Why did he not? How did he treat the “Untouchables?”
2. In modern times, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was famous for practice of nonviolence to win Indian Independence from British. Gandhi lived with the poor, and called the poor “children of God”, but he was criticized that he never worked for the elimination of the Caste System. Did Gandhi do enough? What or who influenced him to accept the Caste?
Any comments on the destruction of the Indian Casted Society! Any suggestion about transformation of the Untouchables’! Please share your thoughts on my Facebook page. All will be greatly appreciated.
To understand their suffering
To love them as human beings
To raise them up from the mud of poverty
To have their lives blossomed as lotuses
To remove the Caste System
You opinion can made difference to their fates