Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Thursday lashed out at “dharm ke thekedaar” – self-appointed guardians of faith – whom he squarely blamed for Dalits being deprived of a life of dignity.
Manjhi, whose Hindustani Awam Morcha is a part of the ruling alliance in the state, expressed anguish on Twitter, sharing a heart-wrenching news report of a Dalit couple in Karnataka being penalised after their two-year-old child inadvertently stepped into a temple. Incidentally, Karnataka is ruled by the BJP which is also the largest partner in the ruling coalition in Bihar.
“I am giving voice to the pain that has been experienced for centuries. So far, I have been shy of expressing the anguish. Now nobody will say a word. The ‘dharm ke thekedaar’ go silent on such matters… they cannot brook Dalits entering the temples or offering their views on religious works (‘dharmik kavya’),” he tweeted.