Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Indian Wall (of shame) Comes Down

I exercised my suffrage toady for the first time. The indelible ink stained my left index finger and I pressed the blue button against the ............ symbol. It did feel nice later, that you had helped decide who would set your policies and laws. Hopefully it is for the best. Heres a wish-list for the new government......
1) Cheaper booze.
2) Watering holes to be open in Bangalore till 2 AM.
3) METRO in place by end of 2009.
4) Well tarred roads everywhere.
5) Close all malls and open more shopping streets.
6) Adding on to number 5 open more stand alone theatres.
5 and 6 might not be the best of requests to the new government, but 1 and 2 i believe definitely are.

Jokes apart I was surprised to read that in spite of the right to adult franchise and India being the largest democracy and what not, there existed a wall in Uthapuram near Madurai which divided the Dalits from the upper castes. Though the 600 m long wall was put up to avoid further clashes between the warring factions of the lower caste Dalits and the upper caste Hindu Pillaimars in 1989 on the jointly taken decision of the leaders on both fronts, it took nearly two decades for any government to oppose the idea. The Dalits who form a majority in the village till date could not access any of the main areas of the village and faced discrimination in a very subtle but shameful manner. The government finally said the wall had to come down and was demolished(not fully, as a portion was retained to remind people of such atrocities) on Tuesday, 6th May 2008 as the situation had become so aggravated that the wall had an electrified fence on it to prevent Dalits from crossing over during the nights. The dividing wall has been brought down, but apart from the literal division going, when will the cultural and attitudinal wall fall? When will oneness reign?