Post Mortem

Ugly truth of caste in India - Casteist slur

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/22/2020 11:59:17 AM IST

 21st Century India is showing its ugly color quite regularly and its casteist mind-set nakedly. The truth is that the India is premised on Hindu order and with the BJP-RSS in control of the Government at the Centre more such episodes is bound to happen and thus expected in due course of time. Two young Dalits were subjected to the onslaught of a group of casteist mind-set in Rajasthan. This horrific incident happened on the 16th of February, 2020 and the FIR has been filed three days later. It shows the corroded caste mind-sets of the police and bureaucracy including the politicians who patronize caste that makes many to wonder whether the institutions of governance has by and large embedded with caste DNA.  

The videos went viral in the social media showing two Dalit cousins—18 and 23 years old were being badly beaten with rubber belts in Nagaur, Rajasthan. The attackers went cruel as they inserted screw drivers into their private parts.  They were pleading the attackers—relatively a group of seven to let them free and yet was subjected to merciless beating despite falling unconscious and desperate pleadings. The two were simply beaten over allegations of theft. Since the videos went viral the police and the state administration had to rush to the spot and intervened. Otherwise even this episode like many others would have been hushed up.  
Seven people were held for beating and humiliating. Insertions of screw-driver in their private parts show the height of their psyche and state of mind of the perpetrators. Caste has corroded the mind-set of Indians by and large that manifests itself in horrifying formats. It is horrifying and by all means should be condemned by the right-thinking people. Action seems to have been taken at those who were involved in those heinous acts.  Repeatedly and quite often  we keep witnessing such horrific incidences. The forms and the manner in which the casteist mind-sets keep attacking the Dalits radically changing that makes many to think how low one could stoop. 
Concentration of caste atrocities and casteist slur are rampant in the North Indian states where people take pride of their caste they belong to. For example, 47 per cent of atrocities from the state of Uttar Pradesh, 27 per cent from Gujarat, 15 per cent from Haryana, 14 per cent from Madhya Pradesh and little less in Maharashtra. Attacks against the Dalits keep happening in the Southern belts as well but relatively less. The atrocities keep rising since 2014 and mostly in BJP-ruled states. Hindu society needs real enemy to target. Apparently the Dalits seem to be their target since the time immemorial.  System of caste is being reinforced and thus justified in the Hindu religion and so gets its legitimacy and sanction for such types of attacks. 
Hindu society shows their hatred against the Dalits in such ways that their upward mobility in education and other areas shall never be tolerated. That is why the Hindu fanatics evolve new strategy and tactics to attack the Dalits. The Hindu varna system and its Dharma very much functions on the basis of hierarchy and difference. RSS has made several derogatory utterances and narratives against the Dalits. Basically the core beliefs of the far-right Hindus get into such types of heinous attacks and casteist slurs show the new low and thus become new normal for most of the Indians. Very recently a Dalit sporting moustache and a Dalit bride groom on a horse during his wedding came under severe attacks. Such incidences do happen quite often in parts of India. Caste is a breeding ground in the Indian society and many are being sucked into it.
Caste is gaining momentum as there are no conscious attempts to annihilate it. Increasingly we see the young millennial get sucked to the caste syndrome despite education, economic and other mobility. Identity formation starts from the very perception of caste that one belongs. As he or she grows by and large he/she does not want to jettison caste, rather being proud of the caste tag they have. Caste is the pivotal agency that enjoins host of privileges to those who fall with the caste rungs. For the Dalits, caste becomes the stumbling block that inhibits them to move beyond—it is a strong citadel—a monolith which strongly built with layers of do’s and don’ts provisions and prohibitions that make annihilation impossible.         
In a caste stratified Indian society the very societal dynamic revolves around caste. Validation of one’s identity is grounded on the caste that one belongs. Dalits branded as “Untouchable” by the system of caste and so Dalits continue to face all sorts of humiliations in their existence. Recent incidence happened in Rajasthan is one among many. Casteist mind-set keeps inventing new modes of tortures in order to satiate their heinousness. Caste is monstrous and displays in various ways.  It functions in such appalling ways that inflicts pain psycho-somatically. Caste spews its venom causing deep injury to the psyche of the Dalits. It stunts the dignity and human esteem of the Dalits and inhibits them to move ahead with confidence. 
The incidents that we come across periodically should be seen as against the resolve and resilience of the Dalits.  For centuries the Dalits have been facing the caste oppression and exploitation at all levels, but managed to survive to survive despite all kinds and forms of blockades. The casteists would go all out to stop the progress and advancement of the Dalits and evolve new ways and means to liquidate them, but Dalits have survived and it is hoped that there will be a break through wherein caste is annihilated.   
Dr. I. John Mohan Razu

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