Following the beating of a 9-year-old Dalit boy in Rajasthan, Meira Kumar, former minister, Lok sabha speaker and Presidential candidate said that her father former Deputy Prime Minister and Dalit leader Babu Jagjivan Ram was beaten for a similar reason a hundred years ago.
On the 75th anniversary of Independence Day, Kumar took to Twitter and wrote, "100 years ago my father Babu Jagjivan Ram was prohibited from drinking water in school from the pitcher meant for Savarna Hindus. It was a miracle his life was saved."
In a consecutive tweet, she further wrote, "Today, a nine year old #Dalit boy has been killed for the same reason. 75 long years after Independence, caste system remains our greatest enemy(sic)."
In an exclusive interview with NDTV, Kumar further said that her father believed that a "free-India will be a casteless society", and Kumar is glad that "he's not there now."
Kumar also recalled one incident from London, where she was denied a house on rent because of her caste as the landlord preferred a Brahmin tenant.
"It is supposed that Dalits are foolish. But Dalits have feelings, and intellect. We know when we are being humiliated," she said.
In 1978, when her father Babu Jagjivan Ram, as a Deputy Prime Minister in 1978, had gone to unveil the statue of Sampurnanand, he was humiliated. "Jagjivan, chamar, go away," they said, washing the statue with Ganga jal.
Speaking to NDTV, Kumar said that there must be a political and social will to bring about changes in the deep-rooted caste system in India.