A very different kind of a speech by Dr Narendra Jadhav of Planning Commission. His speech is titled as “Empowerment of Dalits and Adivasis Role of Education in the Emerging Economy”.
He first twists the interpretation of the famous story of Eklavya and Drona. It is usually epitomised as a classic tale between student and teacher (atleast that is how it is told to kids). However, there is another interpretation to it:
Actually, the tale can be seen in a very different light. Ekalavya was a representative of marginalized strata of society. He was denied empowerment through education by Guru Dronacharya, who embodied the high-born and hence the establishment. In demanding the right thumb of Ekalavya, the guru was not only protecting his intellectual property rights, but he was also perpetuating a social order that was inherently unjust. The moral of the fable is simply that power of establishment will remain the guarded position of the highborn, striving to ensure that an outcaste remains a lowly outcaste. Paralyzed by the establishment, the outcaste will never dare to question it. Ekalavya was cleverly cornered into sacrificing his strength, and as a consolation, his devotion was glorified. His silent consent was transformed into a myth that actually promotes submission among the disempowered. This is not a story about guru bhakti or “devotion to the teacher.” This is a story of traditional disempowerment of Dalits and Adivasis in the Indian society.
He goes on to explain the woes of dalits and adivasis in India. He stresses on the importance of education and creating a more inclusive society which is still very unfair..