Pointing Finger of Sailor!

Invariably while on the morning walk, I look at the statute of Dr.Ambedkar, the founding father of India’s constitution. He is depicted wearing a suit and holding the book in the left hand close to his body. The finger of his right hand is shown pointing away. He is wearing spectacles. All these traits point out to his western education. He seems to trying to say something to his countrymen. He belonged to the downtrodden class of India. He fought for the uplift & social equality  of the downtrodden. He endeavored his whole life to do away the thousands of years old division in the people based on the fixed occupation. Nobody should intrude into the domain of other class especially the class assigned the menial duties. For the lowest class, it was a life of slavery and subjugation and humiliation at the hands of higher class members.

Those who are of my age are aware of the plight of the downtrodden. We lived in a village where these people lived apart from the rest of higher caste ones. Most of them worked in the fields as helpers. They brought their own utensils for the food. They were not allowed to fetch water from the wells located in the areas belonging to upper castes.

After independence, political parties appropriated them for vote banks. Some of ministers were chosen from this class to appease them and pretend that they are the real benefactors of the downtrodden. Government made every effort to distinguish them from the mainstream. This created the resentment among the upper caste but poor people. Though their economic condition was not good but they don’t have any benefit of reservation.  The real benefits only went to handful in the urban areas and they become rich and affluent. But the condition of those living in the rural areas remained more or less the same.

So, what the Doctor is pointing to? Will he be happy with the progress the country has made in this respect if he happens to visit from above? Certainly, he will be very disappointed with the kind of leaders the reserved class have. They are making every effort to put their people into a separate category altogether. For them, it is their self gratification which matters the most. They don’t want their masses to be educated because then they will begin to analyze the situation and come to very disturbing conclusions.

The reminds me of a painting titled “The Boyhood of Raleigh” by John Everett Millais, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy 1871. In this painting child Raleigh and his younger brother are sitting in front of sailor who is pointing his finger towards the sea. He is an experienced veteran sailor who is telling the inquisitive children about the heroic deeds of imperial power. There is a toy ship in the lower left side of picture and there are birds flying yonder. The finger of the sailor is creating an desire in the minds of the child Raleigh who later on became a great explorer.

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