The lot of Dalits is unlikely to improve drastically under the UPA government as the alliance is dominated by upper caste Hindus, who don’t always care about the poorer sections, the then US Ambassador to India, David Mulford wrote in 2005.
“While the UPA has focused on bettering the lot of the dalit community, it is dominated by upper caste Hindus, very few of whom are genuinely concerned about the plight of dalits. This ensures that dalits will continue to be an oppressed, discriminated group in India,” he wrote, after giving a long explanation of who Dalits are what keeps them in hardships.
Mulford was of the opinion that the governments ‘sops’ for the Dalit community — job and education reservations and dole outs — was not what was really required.
“[The government] has failed to attack the root of the problem… acts of violence and prejudice against dalits, combined with government negligence, persist and there is little upward mobility among the dalit population.
“Without a broader, more comprehensive approach to teach tolerance and equality early in primary schools, it is unlikely that the social acceptance of caste-based discrimination will fade any time soon,” he said.
He also noted that unlike the United States, India has no equal opportunity law applicable to the private sector, “which means that the rapidly expanding private sector is under no compulsion to hire dalits, while the public sector will have fewer jobs to offer.”