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If a Dalit becomes Buddhist, is he still a Dalit?
Salon: Thousands Convert to Buddhism
I have no problem if one voluntarily changes one's religion. But then they should give up the
religious privileges they enjoyed in the former faith. For example, Muslims in India can have up to
four wives. If they convert to Christianity, they no longer should be allowed
to practice polygamy. Similarly, the above report suggests that all who converted belonged to the
legally described backward communities (a.k.a. Dalits), who enjoy such governmental benefits as education, jobs,
promotion (yes. It is called the roaster system; it is unbelievable), scholarships, pensions, and grants. IMO those
who converted should be disqualified from receiving these benefits meant for the Dalits.
For those who do not know, the quota system (somewhat equivalent of the Affirmative Action in the USA, but
designed for the majority of the population instead of the minorities),
has taken a very ugly form in India. While many good things have emerged from it, but IMHO, the ill side-effects
have outweighed the benefits. The quota system has become a synonym for incompetence (as in "Our new teacher
just cannot teach. He must be a Dalit"), resulted in brain-drain (India's top students today migrate to Western
because it is the caste, and not merit that gets recognition), and in fact has worked to strengthen the caste divide.
I am against the Quota System because I am against the Caste System. Alas, many people
find that a paradox.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Monday, November 05, 2001|
Last Modified: 11/5/2001