The oppressed savarna speaks………a bit too much

“Swamijee was angry. He paced up and down the corridor in his apartment fuming. He had just sent twenty facebook posts asking various people to shut up. He felt that no savarna apart from himself had any right to talk about caste. He felt that he had earned the title of ‘Oppressed savarna’ and that this title gave him immunity from all the things he accused all other savarnas of.

He lay in bed fuming and didn’t know when he dozed off. He slept fitfully and woke up the next morning by 5 am. He had a book to write. He had another book to edit – both for friends from underprivileged communities. He felt that supporting them through these books were important ways of sharing his own privilege – his impeccable command over English, his sentence construction, his ability to wind the important into the mundane, his natural and slick use of words………he felt that the value of the books went up several notches with his inputs. He understood this in all humility, deeply aware of his own privileges.

He read the book out and shook his head. It was too raw – too muddy. It had some basic elements but lacked finesse. He rolled up his sleeves in anticipation of his own role in this venture. He felt that he was absolving himself of his natural privileges by making all these efforts – efforts to open up spaces for those underprivileged who, without his intervention, would have been lolling on the wayside (or so to speak).

He worked long and steadily on the book – he felt that the intense concentration with which he focused on the book was itself an indication of how actively he was wearing down his own privileges and opening up spaces to the underprivileged.

When done, he stretched his arms and legs and smiled to himself. He felt like a proper editor – he felt that with his inputs, the book had reached a worthy stage.

He then  did a quick search for all the savarnas who had written about dalit issues, and asked all of them to shut up on his facebook page. When asked by some people why he didn’t apply the same principle of shutting up to himself, he unfriended them. Then he went ahead lecturing everyone. Another regular day for Swamijee as usual…………

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