BENGALURU: Child rights activist and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Friday made an impassioned plea to outlaw the caste system. “I was made an outcaste, so I decided to outcaste the entire caste system,” he said. He was speaking at the inauguration of the three-day Dr B R Ambedkar International Conference 2017 on Friday.
He said to ‘cleanse himself,’ he was instructed to ‘bathe in the Ganges and wash the feet of 101 priests and drink that water.” At home, he was given a separate room, and was also asked to eat separately.
Satyarthi recounted how he was born a Brahmin but was ostracised by his own family at the age of 15 for offering upper caste villagers food prepared by Dalits.
He then decided to denounce his surname Sharma as it indicated his caste and named himself ‘Satyarthi,’ meaning ‘seeker of truth’. He narrated how he lay in a pool of blood when he led a group of Dalit men inside a temple and priests beat them up leaving him with a broken back.