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Only Capitalism can save Dalits

I've said it umpteen times before. I am delighted there are those that agree. That the only way out of culture's stranglehold on the oppressed classes (read Dalits) in India is capitalism that drives empowered upward social mobility. To undo what culture's done to Dalits in India, there needs to be a replacement of classes based on caste, by classes based on prosperity.

Capitalism and free markets are the only guarantee Dalits have at prosperity, thus upward social mobility. Its their only chance at shrugging away the regressive downward pull of caste in India.

Note Dalit intellectual and writer Chandra Bhan Prasad's take on the empowering, status-raising effects of Capitalism,

'Capitalism may have class-based problems but these are radically different from caste-based problems. A caste-based system is a system of humiliation. In capitalism , there is poverty of course but that is universal to everyone regardless of his birth. Anyone who is lazy, who doesn't want to compete, will face the problem of poverty but minus the humiliation...

There have been many movements historically to replace the caste system but we had nothing to replace it with. Now capitalism has come and material markers have replaced social markers . Dalits need to know that in this phase of history, only their work matters , not their birth. We do not see capitalism as merely a system of economic transaction. It is also a social order. The market doesn't care about social groups. It only recognizes i n d iv i d u a l s who have surp l u s e s i n their pockets . And that is good for Dalits because the market will not reject a Dalit simply because he is a Dalit.

The market can be cruel too. It makes no allowances for those who are weak and vulnerable as most Dalits still are.

There cannot be anything more liberating than the market if you compare market with caste. If somebody has faced the cruelty of caste, the cruelty of the market can be enjoyed in fact. In the old order, you worked without rewards. Now I can work hard and reap the benefits.'


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