On the anniversary of the publication of Gulamgiri (1 June 1873)
Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. – Frederick Douglass
The wise say that finding the right questions is much more difficult than finding the right answers. Once you ask the right question, the answer will follow.
Two centuries ago, the socio-cultural exploitation of the Bahujans was much worse than it is now, yet one raised their voice against it. The Bahujans weren’t even aware that they were being exploited and questions about their wretched state never crossed their minds. They had learnt to live with exploitation and oppression. They were poor, miserable and helpless – they were the proletariat. They believed that things were as they should be. They did not have any complaints against society. But they did have complaints against the god that was thrust upon them by the Brahmins and which they erroneously believed was theirs, too. Amid the despondency and despair that enveloped their lives, they pinned all their hopes on the make-believe god, unaware that the religion and the god were parts of a grand conspiracy to keep them enslaved. This, despite the fact that all tasks involving back-breaking labour were assigned to them. Let alone wages, they did not get even enough grain to feed themselves in return for their toil. Many were condemned to “begar”(unpaid work) generation after generation.