Former Lok Sabha Speaker and Union Minister Meira Kumar has said that her father Jagjivan Ram faced casteist slurs and was humiliated when he was the country’s deputy prime minister.
Kumar, who has raised his voice against the murder of a Dalit boy in Rajasthan for allegedly drinking water from a pot for his upper caste teacher, said his father had also faced the same situation.
“100 years ago, my father Babu Jagjivan Ram was forbidden to drink water in school from a pitcher made for upper caste Hindus. It was a miracle that his life was saved,” Kumar tweeted on Monday. He said, ‘Today a nine-year-old Dalit boy has been murdered for this reason. Even after 75 years of independence, the caste system remains our biggest enemy.
In an interview with NDTV on Tuesday, Kumar said that when his father went to unveil the statue of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Sampurnanand in Varanasi in 1978, he was told, “Jagjivan, Chamar, chale jao.” “They washed the statue with Ganga water as it was ‘polluted’… the caste system embraces all,” he said.
Kumar said he was also asked about his caste while looking for a place to rent in London. “It wasn’t even a Hindu. It was a Christian (who was going to rent a house)… He asked me, ‘Are you a Brahmin?’ I said, ‘No, I am not a Brahmin. I am a Scheduled Caste. Do you have any problem?’ He said, ‘No’ But he never gave me the house.”
“I asked my father, ‘Why did you fight for freedom? This country has done nothing for you. It has given nothing to you or your ancestors…’ He said, ‘Independent India is about to change. We have There will be a caste-less society,” she said.
“I am glad that he is not here after 75 years of independence to see that India has not changed.”
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has targeted the opposition as well as a section of Congress over the death of a nine-year-old Dalit boy from Jalore. Congress MLA from Baran-Atru Pana Chand Meghwal on Monday submitted his resignation to Speaker CP Joshi and the CM.