The awakening of the Downtrodden


Who is a downtrodden? Is a person who is facing a grievous abuse, deprivation and paucity of material things to satisfy his wants ? Is he a person who is subjected to humiliation and social isolation at the hands of so called higher caste people? It is not the provisions of Law that makes certain categories of people suffer from inadequacies and social abuse from the majority of the people .The creation of downtrodden is man made. What crime have the downtrodden committed to be so?

The dictionary meaning of ‘downtrodden’ is subjugated, or oppressed or exploited. If we analyze the cause of exploitation we find umpteen numbers of reasons. The one important reason is the lack of bargaining capacity of the people whether in economic, social, or political sphere to demand a respectable place in the society in spite of their numbers..

We find people working for hours together only to find that they are getting wages not commensurate with their efforts and time spent. There are also people who in spite of their valuable contribution to the welfare and betterment of the society are not being compensated or recognized. These people  are literally downtrodden. Gender based exploitation is also one type deprivation leading them to be downtrodden. The number of downtrodden is rising in such a way that these people find solace in their being in majority. But what is required of them is unity, boldness, alertness, self respect, self belief, self esteem, perseverance and resolve.


It is certainly possible for the downtrodden to be much better off without even upsetting the present democratic system. While it is up to them to cause a socio-economic change and at least start by gaining awareness and an ambitious rebellious vision, the circumstances for restructuring the society and revising the whole system of class requires-social awakening in a dominant way.

The other reason is over population .There are shortage of food, potable water, arable land, dwelling units to these people . Lack of education and health facilities add to their problems.


Divided, disunited and de spirited.

As the wealthiest in the higher echelon of the caste system are the principal beneficiaries of the dominant and advanced economy and culture, we can assign a simple description or prescription for the downtrodden of toiling masses: divided and disunited. People generally work against each other in modern society in order to achieve personal material security. Discouraged and even humiliated are relationships between people who work toward self-sufficiency. When people do get together, their power can be felt and it is awesome. It is used today in a herded sense, unfortunately by the Higher Caste, to benefit them to gain power and position. The Downtrodden are a misguided and misdirected lots.




Socially Downtrodden


The affronts of today – slaps in the face to the downtrodden – are endless: one of the most glaring is the social disrespect shown to them covertly by all sections of society. The caste bias surfing inside the minds of the people is more harmful than the open abuses showered on them. In my opinion giving reservation to the downtrodden, through a positively discriminative step, is like ‘take my freedom and give me bread for ever’. This is not to say that reservation should be abolished all together. But the self esteem of the Downtrodden is to be maintained.  My focus to the matter is – Let the creamy layer be away from the benefits of reservation so that the less privileged – downtrodden get the benefits of reservation till they are socially free.

In some of the villages even today, hatred in the form of social boycott of place of worship visited by the downtrodden is prevalent. In some places even ministers from the less privileged caste, when visiting the place of worship; have to face the wrath of fanatic people. When matter regarding reservation is being discussed in the family or in open, the children who are not conscious or aware of caste system come to know thorough their parents or elders and a seed of hatred towards the downtrodden has been sown into  the minds of these young people.


Politically downtrodden

The downtrodden forming over 22% of the population of India i.e. about 30 crores do not have a common leader worth his salt. These people are fragmented, divided and broken into various sub groups based on their intra-caste differences, steering a rudderless ship.


Economically downtrodden

The downtrodden are economically so placed not because of harvest failure or inadequate monsoon or shortage of food production or loss of production in the industrial sector, but because of imbalanced growth rate of economic development and distribution of wealth among  the people. There is no logical distribution of wealth and economic advancement among the people. The downtrodden are not made inclusive to enjoy the fruit of economic prosperity of the nation. To overcome this imbalance the downtrodden have to self propel certain measure to make them self reliant. There should be concerted efforts by the downtrodden to mobilize funds and spend the same for its economic advancement. Taking of whatever finances available to them, from State / Central channels and PSU banks and utilize the same for productive purposes will in the long run solve the problems of financial inadequacies.


Culturally downtrodden


Culture is fully dominated by the higher caste people. Here I mean the visible forms of Dance, Music and Drama. Though there are avenues of opportunities for the downtrodden to thrive in cultural activities, hardly do they ever venture into these areas because of pre-occupation with their search for means for survival.


Spiritually and mentally downtrodden


Personal and collective liberation will require more than, for example, a mass adoption of a rational religion and of the practices of yoga, meditation, and reading radical works on politics and philosophy. The value of meditation and growing one’s awareness is such that these spiritual pursuits work immeasurably for millions of people today, as in the past. Meditation and Yoga enable the seekers  to see within and without more clearly and objectively ,provided these tools are not simply used as mere enhancements to a consuming life style  or for embellishing the worldly life and aging body. Real meditation yields compassionate wisdom and this can alleviate one’s being downtrodden and serve to alleviate it for others. We are spiritually downtrodden, and the answer is within us .People may be more spiritually downtrodden than actually downtrodden. So a spiritual path that reckons with material challenges seems to be the right course.

The downtrodden will awaken. It is only a matter of time when these people rise from their slumber and unite, consolidate and fight against the evil force of casteism, hatred and religious fanaticism.