Thursday, June 28, 2007

Urdu school children protest Dalit woman cook

Just a few days back I had written about the casteism among Indian Muslims. Now comes this news from a Government Urdu school in Bihar where the children refuse the mid-day meal because the new cook in the school is a Dalit woman.

We are Muslim and won't eat food cooked by Harijan', said Rozi Khatun, 13, a student. Of course, the children didn't have much idea. Rather it was their parents who made their children, stop eating and protest the move to let a Dalit manage the school kitchen.

The school is in Amri village of Rohtas district. After the reports appeared in media, ADM Dr Ram Narayan said that the officials will go there and persuade the local residents. The parents maintain that earlier there was the Muslim cook but now a Dalit woman was cooking the food, which was not 'justified'.

It's astonishing indeed but a fact that Muslims are casteist in their own right. From urban Indian mindset we may find it shocking but it is a reality in rural areas in caste-ridden North India. So much about chanting 'ek hi saf meN khaDe ho gaye Mahmood-o-Ayaz, na koi bandaa rahaa na koii banda-navaaz', the hyprocrisy becomes evident here.

Voting for SC/ST candidate is fine as it may work politically but on social level it suits many Muslims to treat the marginalised sections with the same contempt which sections of upper castes have towards the Dalits. After all, it is always good to ears when you say 'Pandit Ji' and he replies 'Khan Sahab' or 'Miyan Ji'.

Two years back I had written a post on the 'Hindu Khana' and 'Muslim Khana' in Bihar. For policemen the food is still prepared separate in accordance with their religion. Click to read the post.
Also, a post on Casteism among Muslims. Click.