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Thursday, April 18, 2024

BR Ambedkar: A Global Icon in the Fight Against Caste-Based Discrimination

BR Ambedkar, a prominent civil rights leader, scholar, and statesman, fought against the inequalities of the caste system in India. On April 14, his birth anniversary is celebrated as a major festival among Dalit Ambedkarites globally. This year, several US states and Canadian cities declared April 14 as a Day of Equality or Social Equity Week.

Increasing Indian immigration to the West has brought the caste problem to the forefront. For nearly two decades, the Dalit Ambedkarite diaspora has been working to raise awareness and highlight the persistence of caste-based discrimination. They have been successful in lobbying for caste to be included as a protective category in Seattle and in the non-discrimination policies of several universities and companies in the US.

Opposition from upper-caste Hindu diaspora organizations has hindered efforts to include caste in anti-discrimination legislation. However, the mobilization efforts of the Dalit Ambedkarite diaspora have gained support from other marginalized communities and minority groups.

Ambedkar has become a global icon for fighting injustice. His message is not only relevant to India but globally significant where the South Asian diaspora exists. A public memorial of Ambedkar in the West, especially in areas with a large Indian diaspora, would remind the world that the caste system can be challenged through democratic means.

Dalit Ambedkarites’ Struggle Against Caste-Based Discrimination

BR Ambedkar, a champion of social justice, fought for the rights of Dalits and other marginalized communities in India. The caste system in India is a hierarchical social structure where a person’s birth determines their social status and occupation. The Dalits are at the bottom of this system and face discrimination, oppression, and violence.

Dalit Ambedkarites, who follow Ambedkar’s teachings, observe his birth anniversary as their most important festival. They work towards ending caste-based discrimination and empowering Dalits through education and political mobilization.

Increasing Awareness of Caste-Based Discrimination in the West

The growth of the South Asian population in the West has brought the caste problem to light. The Dalit Ambedkarite diaspora has been working to raise awareness about caste-based discrimination and push for legislation to protect against it.

Several US states and Canadian cities have declared April 14 as a Day of Equality or Social Equity Week, showing support for the Dalit Ambedkarite diaspora’s struggle.

Challenges Faced by the Dalit Ambedkarite Diaspora

Upper-caste Hindu diaspora organizations have opposed efforts to include caste in anti-discrimination legislation. However, the mobilization efforts of the Dalit Ambedkarite diaspora have gained support from other marginalized communities and minority groups.

Successes of the Dalit Ambedkarite Diaspora

The Dalit Ambedkarite diaspora has been successful in lobbying for caste to be included as a protective category in Seattle and in the non-discrimination policies of several universities and companies in the US. Californian senator Aisha Wahab has also tabled a bill to outlaw caste discrimination.

Importance of Ambedkar’s Message

Ambedkar’s message of social justice and equality is not only relevant to India but globally significant where the South Asian diaspora exists. A public memorial of Ambedkar in the West, especially in areas with a large Indian diaspora, would remind the world that the caste system can be challenged through democratic means.

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