Rise of Pa. Ranjith And True Dalit Activism

Pa Ranjith Dalit Activism

Just listened to an interview of Seeman trashing Pa. Ranjith. Pa. Ranjith just wanted people to acknowledge that discriminating Dalits is still prevalent. However, Seeman and even the pro DMK celebs are fuming against Ranjith. The reason is, these parties are cranking up the membership drive by displaying the photo of Anitha. Ranjith’s outburst just threw a spanner on their efforts. When these people tried to rally the Dalits by pointing to a non-existent enemy, Ranjith showed them a mirror.

Just think about a hypothetical scenario of some underprivileged people asking for help. Certain people of the Privileged class will help, but that will be done to make themselves feel good and to showcase their social activism. However, these same people will get offended when the under-privileged people instead of asking for help, fight for themselves and achieve the goals. This is what is happening now, Pa. Ranjith by any means is not a powerful celebrity now. However, instead of supporting and standing behind others’ initiatives, he is directly voicing his opinions. This is scary for established politicians and celebrities.

The dravidian parties ruled Tamil Nadu for 50 years now, did they really uplift dalits? No, they haven’t and they won’t. In 2015 alone 100 dalits (both Hindu and Christian dalits) were killed in Tamil Nadu. Did these people protest against any of those killings? Now Anitha’s death happened at an opportune time so that they can score some political brownie points.

Anitha’s death, though due to external situations is a suicide, but what about those other dalits who were killed just for the sake of their caste? What about Shankar, Illavarasan and 81 other honor killings that happened over the past three years? Did any of them conducted a sustained protest? They won’t, because the powerful middle level castes will screw them during the elections. So, there was no sustained protests against the killing of dalit bridegrooms who marry middle level caste brides, and even in the future there won’t be any.

When a dalit leader like Tiruma did not address the right issue, Pa. Ranjith did. Last year before the release of Kabali, I posted that Ranjith is going to be the new voice of Dalits and it is happening now. The voice will only get louder in the future. His anger will find resonance among dalits, because he is the one who is speaking about the ground reality.