It is wrong to assume that higher castes can solve Dalits’ problems or men can solve women’s problems because no such problem can be solved without self-determination. Indeed, self-determination is central to democracy. When we see some defects in a democratic system, we sometimes say we need a dictator/ military ruler/ king to solve our problems. However, a dictator can be a bad one. But more importantly, even a good dictator cannot be good enough to satisfy the demand for self-determination of the people. As a matter of fact, even a government for the people fails to get the benchmark of a democratic government until and unless it also becomes a government of the people and by the people. This is the reason why humanity is still fighting for democracy or for more democracy in spite of its defects. And this was the main idea behind our struggle for independence against the British Raj. It is true that some men fought for the cause of women and are still fighting for the same. Also, some whites are championing the cause of black rights, some higher castes for Dalits. But those good Samaritans cannot liberate their counterparts so long as the self-determination of the latter is not guaranteed.
Swami Vivekananda had categorically explained why such power sharing was essential. He said, ~ “Liberty is the first condition of growth. It is wrong, a thousand times wrong, if any of you dares to say, “I will work out the salvation of this woman or child.” I am asked again and again, what I think of the widow problem and what I think of the woman question. Let me answer once for all – am I a widow that you ask me that nonsense? Am I a woman that you ask me that question again and again? Who are you to solve women’s problems? Are you the Lord God that you should rule over every widow and every woman? Hands off! They will solve their own problems.” Indeed, Lincoln gave his life for the freedom of black people in the United States of America. But it required blacks like Martin Luther King, Junior to distribute the fruits of liberty among themselves. So, to solve the prolems of Dalits and women, first of all their proportional representation in government must be ensured.
Can men solve women’s problems?