I read a highlighted news of an incident described in one of our local newspapers. A family of a higher caste and a family of the lowest caste, which people call the untouchable caste, were neighbours. The higher caste family had a dog as pet. One day he saw how the dog ate a piece of flat bread which originally was from their neighbours. The lower caste family had thrown it out because it was old.
The higher caste family became very angry. Their dog had eaten bread made by the hand of an untouchable person! They shouted at the lower caste family, accusing them of making their dog become untouchable as it has eaten bread from them. They claimed that the lower caste family had to take their dog, as it could not be with them anymore, and pay them 15000 Rupees, about 300 Dollar, the price they said they had paid for the dog. They did not ask, they just tied the dog’s leash to their neighbour’s house and threatened them, if they did not pay them 15000 Rupees, they would kill the family!
Scared, the lower caste family brought the dog to the police and filed a complaint. The police officers said they would take action against the other family.
I am writing this intentionally today, on the 2nd October, because today is the birthday of the ‘father of our nation’, Mahatma Gandhi. His whole life was devoted to a non-violent fight for freedom and equality. Freedom for the Indian people from the British and equality of all people among each other. He condemned the idea of higher and lower castes and most of all the idea that any person could be untouchable.
However unfortunately still today his dream has not been realized, as the case above shows. The moment when this kind of behavior will not anymore be present in this society, it will be true remembering of Mahatma Gandhi. The work and efforts that we do for this goal are our flowers in honour of him.