Protecting Cultural Diversity

Resisting attacks on minorities

Saturday 25 September 2010 by Fedina

The dalits and minorities are being targeted in India by the rising forces of fascism. In several states of India they have come to power using divisive issues such as caste conflicts, religious practices, cultural life styles. The targets are primarily the dalits and minorities who constitute nearly 40% of the Indian population. They are also the most marginalised and constitute the vast millions of the workers in the informal sector both in the rural and the urban areas.

In Karnataka, a state in the southern region of India, the political party in power supports the Hindutva ideology of the rightist/fascist organisations, that India is for the Hindus and if non-hindus want to live in India, they have to be subordinate to the majority hindus. This in other words means submitting to the Caste hierarchical society headed by the Brahimins, Kshatriyas and the Vysias who are also the Industrialists, the employers, the big land lords. This also means, that the vast majority of the workers who are the dalits, minorities, Christians, Sikhs, budhists, and the shudras, will not have any rights: civil, political, economic, social or cultural. Recently, the regime in power in Karnataka, has passed an Act called Protection of and ban on animal slaughter Act 2010. This will deprive millions of their right to consume meat, especially the beef eaters who are the dalits, muslims and Christians of India.

This Act is an instrument mischievously conceived at creating conflict in society, criminalising beef eaters for consuming their essential food, leather tanning and doing business in meats and provoking them to react. It is an effort to consolidate the Hindus, including the secular liberal hindus, against this reaction, against this evil in society, who are the cause of all societies ills. It is an effort to project the minorities as an evil who need to be subjugated and controlled.

It is in this context, that Fedina organised an event, celebrating communal harmony on September 11th 2010. The event was supported by Secours Islamique, France. Large number of Women were among the informal sector workers drawn from different cultures and religions who participated in the event. Children sang songs of unity, harmony and peace. A small effort at protecting and promoting cultural diversity and a step in the direction of building a humane society.

Sebastian Devaraj, Coordinator(Unionisation, FEDINA

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