The plight of manual scavengers should outrage every right-thinking person with a sense of dignity (“Shi*t, caste and the holy dip,” Nov. 21). The nation that freed itself from the clutches of subservience 65 years ago still has people doing filthy jobs. The spirit of casteism attached to the practice is deep-rooted and real. The government’s attitude is shocking. The stigmatised sections, driven by necessity, are cut off from the world of dignity and rights; they just exist, bearing the burden of the gross injustice inflicted upon them for centuries. Our heart goes out to those who are forced to live such squalid and repulsive lives.

It is time the fruits of independence reached them, and they breathed the air of freedom. They should know that there is a Constitution that guarantees them a dignified and privileged life. The government and people should be partners in the endeavour to enable them to live a life of dignity. Every argument that seeks to falsify facts and brush aside the issue is against humanity.

Arjun R. Shankar,


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