Bhopal, Apr 10 (PTI) Anguished over prevalence of caste system in India, Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot has said it is ironic that temples and wells still remain inaccessible for those who actually make them.
“You ask us to dig a well, but prevent us from drinking its water…we created idols, but you closed portals of the temple for us,” the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment said at a seminar on Dr B R Ambedkar at a college in Ujjain district on Saturday.
“Kuan humse khudwa lete ho, wo jab aapka ho jata hai to paani peene se rokte ho,” Gehlot said.
“Talab banana ho to majdoori humse karvate ho, us samay hum usme paseena bhi girate hai, thukte hai, laghu shanka aati hai to door jane ke bajaay usime karte hai (whenever you need to make a pond, you deploy us as workers and at that time we sweat it out and even spit and urinate in it),” the minister said.
“Parantu jab uska paani peene ka avsar milta hai, to phir kehte ho ki abda (impure) ho jayega (but when the time comes to draw water to quench thirst, you do not allow us to do so saying it will turn impure),” he said.
The senior BJP leader said that, “Aap mandir me jakar mantrochchaar kar praan-pratishtha karte ho, uske baad ve darwaje humare liye bandh ho jate hai (the portals of temples for which we made idols are closed for us once the task is completed).”
“Akhir kaun theek karega ise (who will correct this)?” Gehlot sought to know.
“Murti humne banai, bhale hee apne paarishramik diya hoga, par darshan to humme kar lene do, haath to laga lene do (we made the idol, although you may have paid us for that, but at least allow us to have darshan, and touch it),” he said at the seminar held ahead of Ambedkar’s birth anniversary on April 14.
Lauding the Minister’s speech, Prof C D Naik of Dr B R Ambedkar University of Social Sciences at Mhow today told PTI, “What the Union Minister has expressed is a fact. Unless people change their mindset, things will not improve even after 600 years.”
“Whatever Gehlot has said is true. It happens and by stating so he has expressed his helplessness, despite being a Union Minister, in removing these social evils from the society,” said Naik, professor of Ambedkar Thoughts and Philosophy.
Naik also blamed the caste-based vote bank politics practised by parties for the present situation.
“Otherwise we have fought together against Britishers.
Now we can’t even fight against our own people,” he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.