Post Mortem

India’s shame! Dalits anger!

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/30/2020 1:22:17 PM IST

 Hathra’s rape has once again manifests that India has miserably failed to protect the Dalits from the casteists. A 20-year old Dalit woman from Hathra in Uttar Pradesh,which is about 200 kilometres from the Indian capital, New Delhi was gang raped by four so-called ‘upper caste’ men, dragged the victim with the help of dupattajoining  around her neck, her tongue teeth gashed, spinal cord and bones in parts of her body broken, brutally strangled, received medical treatment only after 5-days, died in Safar-Dung Hospital in New Delhi. 

From Nirbaya-to-Hyderabad-to-Hatra nothing has changed in caste-stratified Indian society. All these shows that how caste system works, perpetuates and entitles.  Brutal attacks against the Dalits and gang-rapes first and then kill the Dalit women reveal the corroded mind-sets of the casteists who think that they could reign over the Dalits. 

Once again rapes and attacks against the Dalits candidly shows that the caste venom and spewing of caste hatred against the Dalits in such horrifying ways would wilt the resolve and resilience of the Dalits in their quest for equality and dignity. Casteist forces carefully keep crafting and covering up their heinous activities by raping and lynching the Dalits in order to crush their yearning for equality and dignity.

Gang rapes against Dalit women and lynching of the Dalits have become regular occurrences in caste-stratified India. Whenever such things happen all the political parties come out with strong words asking for punitive actions, but nothing on ground changes. Nowadays if we carefully analyse the pattern and modus operandi of rapes and killing of the Dalit women, patriarchy per se looms at large—wielding power by galvanising the state machinery such as the police and hospital personnel and the politicians who use the system of caste to their advantage protecting those belonging to the so-called ‘high castes’. 

Indiscriminate raping and killing of Dalit women and atrocities perpetuated by them will have to be viewed as political issue. In this case, both the Centre in Delhi and the state of Uttar Pradesh are responsible as they are ruled by BJP. Government machinery are at their disposal, but failed to act or could have been muted from acting. What does it mean? It clearly manifests that Indian polity and the society are caste-premised and so the Dalits will have bear with these happening and their brutalizing. Caste has entered into all facets of the Indian society. 

Political parties choose their candidates on the basis of caste, ask votes based on caste, selects and offers ministerial berths including the Chief Ministerial and forms the government purely on caste basis. So-called ‘dominant caste’ men are given the impunity to rape Dalit women and kill. This is the story and it is happening quite often. Phenomenon of raping and killing of the Dalits need to be viewed within the framework of patriarchy wherein power intersects.

Dalit women are poor, powerless, vulnerable and ostracized when compared with so-called ‘high-caste women’. In such a background, we need to bring those agencies vis-à-vis state actors who have failed to offer protection, instead covering up the issues with all sorts of excuses. The state of Uttar Pradesh and the Government of India should be brought to the open for their failure to act firmly so that crimes against the Dalits be averted. Those belonging to the so-called ‘high castes’ have complete entitlements as they are given impunity. 

Cultural system of caste perpetuates power dominance in favour of casteists. Intersectional power politics is going to get heightened and, in the process, escalates such things in the coming days. The State Government of Uttar Pradesh and the Central Governments at Delhi have covered-up the heinous murderby not proactively engaging with the victims, but withdrawing from it. 

Those in power should not say that let us not make it as a political issue. Political power and patriarchy connive when it comes to Dalit rapes and atrocities against the Dalits.

For instance, why SC/ST Act was not invoked when the family went to the police station. It nakedly reveals that the entitlements that caste offers to those ‘high castes such as 14th September this happened and 21st FIR was filed. It is a caste rape and so should not hide it as if it is non-caste rape. 

We should name and shame those casteist mind-sets whenever we come across caste-based violence. 

This is why perhaps until now hardly we have heard the chief minister and prime minister coming out openly on this issue. It is a casteissue that unfolds intersecting of patriarchy and power as the victim happened to be a Dalit, woman, poor and rural and therefore the so-called ‘high castes men’ garner their privilege and on the right side of power equations.

We have governments both at the state and in the centre that does not go beyond traditional arrangement of power and caste. Indian society as long as it tows the lines of caste system, we will continue to witness such worse things and things will become much worse and certainly not better as more impunity arises out of caste entitlements which the cultural system is going to perpetuate and offer and in the process get heightened.

Dr. John Mohan Razu

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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