'In Hindu society, marriage is not between a man and a woman, but between their castes; politicians do not ask for human votes, but for caste votes....'
'Have you heard of such nonsense anywhere else in the world? And we claim we are civilised!'
'One or two or a few people becoming President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Speaker etc from the downtrodden do not mean that the untouchables are uplifted and caste-based slavery is over.'
K K Bose, a Dubai-based lawyer and social activist, has sent an ultimatum to the Government of India to ban the caste system by December 31.
Bose tells Archana Masih/Rediff.com in an e-mail interview that his mission is to ensure that that a human being respects another as a human being.
You have demanded that the government ban the caste system by December 31 and if it doesn't, you will do it yourself. What will you do?
You may know I am not just a social activist, I am a matured lawyer as well.
A lawyer should never tell his opposite party what exactly he will do or what are his trump cards in defending his clients.
In this particular case, I am doing pro bono service to my enslaved fellow beings by freeing them from the bondage of caste-based slavery.
Image: A scene from the violence that ravaged the Dalit colonies of Nathamkottai, Kondampatti and Anna Nagar in Tamil Nadu's Dharmapuri district -- where almost every single home was burnt and looted on November 7, 2012. Photograph: Meena Kandasamy
So, let my future actions be with me till the midnight of 31st December 2014.
You have been researching the caste system for decades. What are the reasons it is still so entrenched in the Indian way of life?
The only reason for so deeply entrenching the caste system in the Indian way of life is that in India there is no value for human beings.
Knowledge and information have been withheld by a few people and denied to the vast majority of the population for over 5,000 years.
We all should know that India is a country of immigrants. I do not think there is any other country in the world that has as many immigrants as India has.
You name any nationality, India has it.
India has been a den for aggression for thousands of years, why?
Right from the aggression by the so-called white-skinned people and 5,000 years before, none of the aggressors respected the local population, the Adivasi aborigine people and their children.
Yes, I admit, there was no evolution in human minds at that time as a few people holding power enslaved the majority of the people.
We can imagine now as we are free now, not slaves as we were prior to Independence or say prior to the Second World War, as to how horrible it was that if an Adivasi person listened to knowledge his/her ears were filled with molten lead and his/her tongue cut off if he/she spoke sense.
In Hindu society, marriage is not between a man and a woman, but between their castes; the mother does not deliver and the father does not father, but the caste delivers and the caste fathers; the politicians do not ask for human votes, but for caste votes.
Have you heard of such nonsense anywhere else in the world? And we claim we are civilised!
Given India's history, does it not require a robust social campaign towards the ills of the caste system instead?
The ills of the caste system are known to all. But a few people enjoying the upper strata of society do not want to admit it.
Image: K K Bose campaigns to end the caste system. Photograph courtesy: K K Bose
'My Caste Away Bharat Yathra' was to infuse knowledge into the very dry minds of the so- called upper caste (savarnas) who are still in the Stone Age.
I am making such raw people realise the universal truth that the purity of blood is the same in all human beings and is not based on skin colour.
What is needed is cultural awakening, not just a law banning it. Is it not so?
No, it is not so. Not cultural awakening, but human awakening is required.
If we say cultural awakening to eradicate the caste curse, then we are trying to escape from the issues as we have in India all the cultures available in the world.
What is required is a human awakening.
A human being should think and treat another human being as a human being, not as an animal in the caste system.
One who doesn't treat a human being as a human being is a slave-holder; who does not have any human traits and no place in my country anymore.
A law banning the caste system that I am demanding is only because there is a law permitting the caste system and hence legal mandate alone can nullify the existing legal mandate.
You have given your deadline about abolishing the caste system to several politicians. Can you give us some names? What response have you received?
How can I give the names of politicians? If any politician tells you that he/she is not aware of the deadline given by me, then he/she is not an Indian politician.
I had given my book, Caste away! India, Hinduism & Untouchability, to all the members of Parliament of both Houses, MLAs, governors, political parties, heads of State of all the countries in the world. The whole world knows about my activities.
After my highly publicised 'Caste Away Bharat Yathra' throughout Sri Maha Bharat (India) for 54 days and addressing press conferences in each and every state/Union Territory capitals -- if there remains any politician who doesn't know about my deadline given to the Government of India, then he/she is not a politician and not an Indian in any sense.
I do not expect any politician enjoying the benefits out of the caste system to come and tell me, 'Ok K K Bose, we are with you.'
That is the reason I am not approaching any politician for their help and support. I have to get it by force, that is by all legal means.
The reply given publicly by Shri Janardhan Dwivedi on the 4th of February accepting my demand to end caste-based reservations, and Smt Sonia Gandhi's rebuttal thereto on 5th February 2014 with affirmation that the caste-based reservation was introduced by the Congress, strengthened by the Congress and will be pursued by the Congress; and the appointment of Dr Y S Rao, a proponent of the caste system, as the head of ICHR (the Indian Council of Historical Research) by the present Narendra Modi government, etc, are the result of my crusade to end the caste system.
What will you do next?
I will wait and see the government's reaction, I mean the reaction of the so-called 15 per cent savarna or upper caste people who control the government; the rest 85 per cent enslaved people are already with me.
The burden of the ills of caste-based discrimination are a blot and will remain so on the Indian consciousness, but things have improved with political and social empowerment. Would you agree that things have improved from what they were before?
No, I do not agree that things have improved from what they were before. In fact, it is the opposite.
A few people interested in continuing caste-based slavery say and propagate that things have improved from what they were before so as to divert the attention from demolishing the caste system.
Look, such a 'be-fooling' is no more possible. How can anyone say that the burden of the ills of caste-based discrimination are a blot and will remain so?
Does it mean that let the caste system be there, let caste-based discrimination be there as a blot? Is it not a negative and inhuman thinking?
Nobody need to carry any doubt about it, the caste system will be eradicated completely and I will see that a human being respects another human being as a human being and not as an animal in the caste system.
The former Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, apologised for the ill treatment of aborigines five years ago; the US Senate apologised for the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery of African-Americans.
But the so-called upper caste Hindus do not even bother to acknowledge that they have done the most cruel acts against the so-called SCs, STs, OBCs, Dalits etc, for centuries and not a word or act of sympathy for the ill-treatment of these people.
The caste-based reservation and thereby elevating one or two or a few people is the most poisonous substance inflicted in the blood of these so-called untouchables so that they remain untouchables in perpetuity.
This must change and reservation must be based on the economic conditions of each person and not based on his/her caste or skin colour.
Why do you equate the caste system with slavery?
History points to the fact that slavery originated in India with the difference in skin colour.
India, Sri Maha Bharat at that time, one of the earliest recorded civilisations that existed much prior to the Chinese, had only one skin colour, the black-skinned Adivasi aborigine people.
With the entry of the white or fair-skinned people, two skin colours appeared in Sri Maha Bharat. Slavery began from there and spread to the whole world as an epidemic.
Sri Maha Bharat has a recorded history of more than 5,000 years, whereas America has a recorded history of less than 500 years.
If so, slavery cannot be an invention of the British, as widely propagated, who conquered and enslaved the black-skinned aborigines there.
Slavery was an invention of the so-called Aryans and that is why even after the abolition of slavery in the entire world, India still continues it in the name of the caste system.
A few people in India still believe they have a right to enslave the entire Indian population. This must change.
How has the caste system prevented India from achieving its potential?
Originally skin colour-based slavery, then converted into class-based slavery which is now converted into caste-based slavery prevented India from achieving its potential.
With all the riches in the world as India has the richest of the rich resources in the world, India is still a very poor country.
The so-called achievements that people claim are similar to saying that India shines when a few halogen bulbs are lit in Delhi.
The achievements that we claim are the result of the achievements of a section of the Indian people who have had access to knowledge and information for a very long period of time.
The vast majority of Indians have been denied access to knowledge and information for more than 5,000 years and the situation continues.
One or two or a few people becoming President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Speaker etc from the downtrodden do not mean that the untouchables are uplifted and that caste-based slavery is over.
What has been the attitude towards caste amongst the young generation of Indians in your interactions with them?
The attitude towards caste amongst the young generation of Indians in my interaction with them is horrible.
Many youngsters have told me that they are forced to do menial jobs such as cleaning latrines, removing human waste etc, totally against their wish. If they refused to do, the upper caste people in their area beat them up and even kill lower caste people.
Who are your biggest supporters in the campaign?
My biggest supporters are the fine human beings.