From Buddhist texts to East India Company to now, ‘Dalit’ has come a long way
NEW DELHI: Like the much-discussed symbol of their martial triumph over caste Hindus — Bhima Koregaon — even the word ‘Dalit’ has a British link.
It was an army officer of the East India Company, J J Molesworth, who mentioned the word Dalit in a Marathi-English dictionary way back in 1831. It was also used by radical reformer Jyotiba Phule and recorded for contemporary use and for posterity by the British.
1831年，东印度公司的一名军官J J Molesworth在一本马拉地英语词典中提到了达利特这个词。它也被激进的改革家Jyotiba Phule使用，并被英国人记录下来供当代和后世使用。
JNU sociologist Vivek Kumar traced the roots of the word to further back in history. “Dalit is found in Buddhist text Culluvagga Vinaya Pittaka,” he said.
尼赫鲁大学的社会学家Vivek Kumar追溯了这个词的历史渊源。他说:“达利特这个词是在经文Culluvagga Vinaya Pittaka中发现的。”
To many Indians, the word Dalit is inextricably linked to Bahujan Sj Party. Its founder Kanshi Ram travelled the length and breadth of the country using the term to mobilise the caste base and to unify the community in its struggle for self-respect. Younger observers identify the word with the volatile debates of the 1990s, when BSP burst on to the national scene in a po itical assertion, accompanied by harsh attacks on Mahatma Gandhi and his coinage ‘Harijan’.
What Kanshi Ram did was to pit ‘Dalit’ ag inst ‘Harijan’ and dub the latter as patronizing and humiliating. “If we are god’s children, are caste Hindus the children of the de l?” he, and his prege Mayawati would repeatedly ask. The message did the trick and Dalits rallied around the blue banner.
To greying heads, though, this was familiar trope from earlier decades when Dalit Panthers first emerged. In 1972, Namdeo Dhasal and his colleagues formed the outfit and the Maharashtra-based group consecrated Dalit in the subaltern discourse.
However, Dalit Panthers and BSP borrowed from over 200 years of history during which the ‘untouchables’ moved from accepting discrimination as fate to fighting for equality. It started with a search for identity away from the one ordained by re gious tradition. The community was variously referred to as “asprashya” (untouchable), “antaj” (last born), “antwaseen” (residing last).
The 19th century revo tionary reformer Jyotiba Phule used “shudras and ati-shudras”, and “Dalit and pat-Dalit” to refer to backwards and ‘untouchables’.
19世纪的改革家Jyotiba Phule使用了“shudras and ati-shudras”和“Dalit and pat-Dalit”等字眼来指代“贱民”。
Like Phule, it again took a radical emancipator, B R Ambedkar, to put the word Dalit in currency. In 1935, Ambedkar used the term in a pamphlet to organise a congregation of ‘untouchables’. However, Ambedkar himself preferred to call his community “Depressed Classes” — that he used regularly during his lobbying with the English for the community.
和Phule一样，达利特这个词也被激进的解放者B R Ambedkar所用。1935年，Ambedkar在一本小册子中使用了这个词来组织一个“贱民”集会。然而，Ambedkar自己更愿意称他的社区为“最下层人民”——他在与英国人为社区游说时经常使用这个称呼。
The 1920s reflected a stress on indigenous roots — ati-Hindu, ati-Dravida, ati-Andhra, ati-Karnataka. A rebellious Manguram Walia in Punjab called the untouchables ‘ad-dharma’. There was also an adi-Hindu movement in Uttar Pradesh.
The drtic emergence of two national platforms — Mahatma Gandhi and Congress — ensured the Dalit movement changed course. After Gandhi brought out ‘Harijan’ newspaper, Congress became the vehicle to spread the term. At the same time, the 1935 India Act clubbed ‘untouchables’ under a Schedule — and thus was born the label, “Scheduled Castes”.
The term SCs stuck, and spread. But it was offi alese, impersonal, bereft of the punch a subaltern identity seeks. But it proved a long wait as Congress went about co-opting Dalit platforms and blunting the radical edge of the movement. Till the militant-intellectual Dalit Panthers movement arrived in 1970.
As the Panthers splintered, Dalit movements disappeared. But the irreversible activism in the community sustained the word itself. And then came the BSP and its militant tone.
来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/45990.html 译者：Joyceliu
"Congress went about co-opting Dalit platforms", instead of killing off caste sy em, Congress divided Hindus in 5000 castes, sub-castes etc, today, Mus ms are the majority community in India.
S C Visveshwar Bji
Dalits are misused by alien re gions, Dr. Ambedkar showed the way out and got converted into Desi re gion, but alien re gion use Ambedkar photos and word Dalit to attract and converting. And this alien re gions are fuelling hatreism in upper castes ag inst Dalits ( reason is showing jobs And promotions in go nment jobs to Dalits) .
Hinduism is a concept cult of brahmins . The dalits and tribals were nature worship or animist by re gion before brahmins came and forcefully converted them to Hinduism using them as a sl ve for several decades. And I am one of that victim. I am not even joking!