I disagree that Dalit capitalism will do more good than harm (Letters, July 19). Nissim Mannathukkaren has rightly stated in his article “The chimera of Dalit capitalism” (July 18) that it might just result in a role change, wherein a few from the exploited sections will assume the role of exploiters. The ‘invisible hand’ advocated by Adam Smith has proved ineffective, and the ‘harmony of interests,’ a trademark of (unbridled) capitalism, has played havoc in the lives of the majority. Smith was right about the increasing wealth of nations. What he failed to acknowledge was it would be concentrated in the hands of a few.
The proponents of Dalit capitalism are on the right path, as it will definitely do away with the social fabric dogged by casteism and untouchability based on Manu Smriti. Even if Dalits become exploiters as termed by the writer, it will mark a social deconstruction and upheaval.
The hitherto upper castes who are at the helm of affairs since time immemorial will have no option but to serve the new class of capitalists.
D. Pradeep Kumar,
The criticism of Dalit capitalism is drenched in idealism and fails to appreciate reality. When 60 years of elite Brahminical Congress rule, armed with socialist ethos, could not bring about an egalitarian society, expecting the most marginalised community to do so is laughable.
If, in the near future, Dalit capitalists were to replace the upper-class bourgeoisie in the exploitation of lower-class fellow Dalits, we will at least break away from the shackles of age-old caste hierarchy.
The author himself acknowledges that oppressed people would look to any avenue to overthrow the shackles of oppression. The Dalit venture fund should be viewed as one such avenue with its limited purpose. Larger issues such as Black Capitalism, African-Americans languishing in prisons, ethical emptiness of capitalism, “accumulation by dispossession,” etc., need not be mixed up with it.