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‘Haan Haan Haan, Main Bhangi Hoon’ (Yes, Yes, Yes, I am a Sweeper)

Booklet: ‘Haan Haan Haan, Main Bhangi Hoon’ (Yes, Yes, Yes, I am a Sweeper)
Author: Dev Kumar
Publication: Prabhu Prakashan, Kanpur
Edition: 2004
Price: Rs. 50/-
Pages: 44

The term Bhangi (sweepers by occupation), a noun and not adjective, is used for those who had courage to break the given (Bhanga). There is no shame in breaking the monolithic system of Varna. Bhangis became Mahtars under the Mughals and Zamadars under theBritons. In 19th century when Hinduism faced crisis, they were linked to Valmiki to outnumber Muslims and Christians. Few know Valmiki or prefer to be known by this surname. It was Tulsidas, and not Valmiki, who popularized Ram. Bhangis couldn’t identify themselves with Valmiki but Valmiki was made a Bhangi. How is it that sweepers in Delhi are Lalbegi and Hella in Etawah and Allahabad or Damar in Hamirpur and Banda. It is time to unite and speak proudly of our caste in order to come out of dark grottoes of the past. In the past, we challenged the system and were rebels. Now we have to be revolutionaries with pen in our hand and not brooms.


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