JAMES L. SCHALLER, MD: INDIA'S UNTOUCHABLE POOR DALITS
Today as I eat well, wear clean clothing and live with little fear of serious oppression, the untouchables or Dalits of India live subhuman lives in massive oppression that is simply evil and dark.
Some India contacts tell me 250 million people are the lowest castes or in no caste and are human feces. The traditions, religions, superstitions and cults that trap them belong to something even worse than the Middle Ages.
Untouchable Dalits suffer terrible omnipresent inequalities, functional slavery, and live under financial bondage that keeps them powerless. But that is changing. It is already starting.
The core of their slavery is religiously founded discrimination against the "Untouchable" Dalits. The belief is they are contaminated by merely living. My friends from India or working in India say these are some of the most immensely precious people on the earth, and they find themselves utterly overwhelmed by the great honor of knowing them.
What man has made small and made weak and mocked, God will rise up in power and rebirth. It is lovely to see these seeds starting to bloom.
Dalits are so despised and sub human that they are not even part of the caste system. Bluntly, is this not evil in its most clear, systemic and obvious form? I find it horrific soul murder.
My precious friend and pastor, who himself suffered horribly many many years in many foster home hells, in which he was a mere paycheck and not a person, understands some of what it means to be a nothing.
Female Dalits suffer routine violence, some are used as sex slaves at very early ages in immense numbers. So the untouchables, even today, in a so called enlightened world are simply nothings.
Every hour in in the last hour--two untouchables are beaten severely.
Today, like all days, three Dalit women were raped, and two were killed.
Dalits are rejected at Hindu temples or other "holy places." It does not matter what the law says, it matters what is really happening.
For example, Untouchable women cannot wear shoes near higher caste Hindus.
Dalit children sit at the back of the classroom and illiteracy and a real education is a joke.
Amazingly, it is true that now a Dalit woman rules the largest state, Uttar Pradesh. However, breaking the Hindu cult caste system is a powerful struggle. Why? In part because the government does not enforce laws of descent or ancestry discrimination.
In most areas, caste "tradition" means Dalits are treated worse than any animal! So if an Untouchable wants to wash, the cows or other animals with filthy butts, hides and feet come before the Dalits. When Dalits attempt change, they are not allowed access to stores, gas, doctors, food, and both women and men were stalked and abused. And do the local police help them and follow the law? Hardly. Local government and the police supported high castes. A mob of 10,000 to 15,000 armed with sticks attacked them freely.
In one small Dalit area, they are grossly unprotected--no surprise since they are regarded as less than rodents.
In Rajasthan each year 5,000 plus crimes are suffered by Dalits. On average, each year in that area:
At times, some Dalits are just rounded up and murdered in large numbers.
Stunningly, but no surprise to those familiar with political and police corruption: leaders and cops are fused with the upper castes. Why? Simply, most of India's powers is respected Hindu higher castes. Legally, the discrimination against the Dalits is a crime under the Indian Constitution and other laws made in past decades, but these have been paper wishes only.
Many Dalits are looking to faith and unity to add power that is greater than the power of oppression. It has started, and I believe before my last breath, Dalits will be sitting in the seats of power and influence.
I am honored to begin work with the real experts living in India, and those in North America with significant experience helping to change this darkness.
My wish is to serve those despised, who often have profoundly loving hearts and goodness inside, at a level I can only dream of attaining. In death, they shall judge kings.