Zachary always bows before Dr BR Ambedkar. He was a giant of a man and Zachary wishes that he had ruled India (and made it a better place for everybody). I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment.
In addition I would make the point that Dr Ambedkar (as a dalit) is able to clearly state (as noted below) how caste rules (and the condition of Dalits within) Hindu as well as Muslim life in SA.
Shocked, are you? How can Dr Ambedkar betray muslims in this way? He was supposed to be only critical of Hindus. Will Zachary now recant his opinion of Dr BRA or will he recant his opinion on Muslim castes (and discrimination that exists thereof). It is a tough choice indeed.
But if slavery has gone, caste among Musalmans has remained. As an illustration one may take the conditions prevalent among the Bengal Muslims. The Superintendent of the Census for 1901 for the Province of Bengal records the following interesting facts regarding the Muslims of Bengal :—
“The conventional division of the Mahomedans into four tribes— Sheikh, Saiad, Moghul and Pathan—has very little application to this Province (Bengal). The Mahomedans themselves recognize two main social divisions, (1) Ashraf or Sharaf and (2) Ajlaf. Ashraf means ‘noble’ and includes all undoubted descendants of foreigners and converts from high caste Hindus. All other Mahomedans including the occupational groups and all converts of lower ranks, are known by the contemptuous terms, ‘Ajlaf ,’ ‘wretches’ or ‘mean people’: they are also called Kamina or Itar, ‘base’ or Rasil, a corruption of Rizal, ‘worthless.’ In some places a third class, called Arzal or ‘lowest of all,’ is added. With them no other Mahomedan would associate, and they are forbidden to enter the mosque to use the public burial ground.“Within these groups there are castes with social precedence of exactly the same nature as one finds among the Hindus.
I. Ashraf or better class Mahomedans.
II. Ajlaf or lower class Mahomedans.
(1) Cultivating Sheikhs, and others who were originally Hindus but who do not belong to any functional group, and have not gained admittance to the Ashraf Community, e.g. Pirali and Thakrai.
(2) Darzi, Jolaha, Fakir, and Rangrez.
(3) Barhi, Bhalhiara, Chik, Churihar, Dai, Dhawa, Dhunia, Gaddi, Kalal, Kasai, Kula Kunjara, Laheri, Mahifarosh, Mallah, Naliya, Nikari.
(4) Abdal, Bako, Bediya, Bhal, Chamba, Dafali, Dhobi, Hajjam, Mucho, Nagarchi, Nal,Panwaria, Madaria, Tunlia.
III. Arzal or degraded class.
Bhanar, Halalkhor, Hijra, Kasbi, Lalbegi, Maugta, Mehtar.”
The Census Superintendent mentions another feature of the Muslim social system, namely, the prevalence of the “panchayat system.” He states :—
“The authority of the panchayat extends to social as well as trade matters and. . .marriage with people of’ other communities is one of the offences of which the governing body takes cognizance. The result is that these groups are often as strictly endogamous as Hindu castes. The prohibition on inter-marriage extends to higher as well as to lower castes, and a Dhuma, for example, may marry no one but a Dhuma. If this rule is transgressed, the offender is at once hauled up before the panchayat and ejected ignominiously from his community. A member of one such group cannot ordinarily gain admission to another, and he retains the designation of the community in which he was born even if he abandons its distinctive occupation and takes to other means of livelihood. . . .thousands of Jolahas are butchers, yet they are still known as Jolahas.”
Similar facts from other Provinces of India could be gathered from their respective Census Reports, and those who are curious may refer to them. But the facts for Bengal are enough to show that the Mahomedans observe not only caste but also untouchability.
There can thus be no manner of doubt that the Muslim Society in India is afflicted by the same social evils as afflict the Hindu Society. Indeed, the Muslims have all the social evils of the Hindus and something more. That something more is the compulsory system of purdah for Muslim women.
Muslims practicing un-touchability? You mean if they touch the water, it becomes impure you say. Remember, the mark of a dalit: pure/impure crap.
So goodbye Aakar Patel. Zachary gets to challenge the immense authority of Dr BR Ambedkar. The man he says he deeply respects in every way (I do not doubt the sincerity of Zachary’s deification, and do not think that this is a ploy to merely point score against Hindus/Indians).