Level of suppression and oppression of Scheduled castes and other Dalit and non-Dalit communities

Published: 1 September 2019| Version 3 | DOI: 10.17632/64f9tp3rxb.3
Ghulam Hussain


Caste remains the major factor of oppression, and also the major medium out of oppression and suppression even in case of religious communities. If the religious suppression were the only criterion to assess level of oppression then, probably, there is no other community as suppressed as the Jews of Pakistan (900 adult voters) (Khan I. A., 2017), and probably no other ethno-religious group is so unanimously hated by all sects of Islam as the Jews, followed by Ahmedi (Qadiani) Muslims. Hindus and even Dalits manage to be tolerated and sometimes patronized, as by Sindhi nationalists, but the same cannot be conceived in case of Jews. Although most of Jews left Pakistan after Partition to move to India and then many of them moved from India to Israel when the Jewish State of Israel came to be established in 1948. Those who chose to stay back, did that at the cost of identity suppression. Jews adopted Muslim castes (Quraish etc.) and tried to get along with dominant Muslim. Hence, it’s again the medium and idiom of caste that the Jewish community employs to escape suppression. Similar strategy since long has been employed by the Dalits as well to escape both suppression and oppression, but it doesn’t work well all the time. For instance, newly convert Bheel become Shaikh by caste, but that change of religion and caste fails to better their lot instantly or even for decades. It does not make them rich, and fails to enable them to enter into the social spaces of the upper caste Muslims. Muslim Bheel (Shaikh) does not become proper Muslim in the eyes of upper caste or the established Muslim communities. Bheel remains Bheel for them. Religion does not matter as much as the caste particularly in case of Dalits. Histories of castes are like social assets and add to overall social capital of the person or families. Each caste jealously guards its caste capital and does not easily allow it to get polluted or spoiled through unwarranted intercourse with the lower castes or Dalits. (Further read inside the link.....)



Ethnographic Inquiry