November 5, 2020

Dalit lives matter

India the country that was under British colonial rule for years finally got freedom on 15th of August 1947 after enormous sacrifices. Father of the Nation Mohan Das Karamchad Ghandi first fought Apartheid in South Africa and then turned it’s attention to India. The British Colonial rule started from establishment of East India Company which was founded on 31st December 1600 by John Watts & George White. The company kept expanding itself from time to time till the Governor Generals fully colonialised the country. The country gave immense sacrifices cutting across the religious lines. Khan Abdul Gafar khan a Muslim known as Frontier Ghandi played an instrumental role in the freedom struggle of the country and legendary poetic Sir Mohammed Iqbal too contributed significantly in the freedom struggle. It needs no explanations. Baghat Singh, Rajdeep & Sukhguru were hanged for the Freedom of India. Dr. Baba Rov Ambadkar a dalit also known as Father of India Constitution worked very closely with Mahatma Ghandi for the freedom of India. By naming some Muslims, some Hindus and a dalit the message I want to send across is that India was freed from the clutches of the colonial rule with the collective efforts of People of India including people of all the religions and races. On 26th of January 1947 India became “Republic” By implementing it’s own Constitution and the Preamble of the Constitution makes it is clear that India is a ” Secular ” Country that puts no restrictions of any sort unless on any individual or group for carrying out religious or social activities. India is home to people of different faiths and castes, “Dalits” are one among them. Dalits fall under schedule caste category.Till the implementation of Constitution they were referred as ” Untouchables ” . But with the implementation of Constitution it was declared illegal. However still the condition of the Dalits is in no way better. Before introducing the word “Dalits” they were called Harijans. Mahatma Ghandi called untouchable Harijinas “Children of The God Vishnu or simply ” Children of God ” .But even after Gandhi called them so these Dalits are believed and still do the job that a high class or a person with higher cast will never do. Still in India the same Dalit community that gave them Constitution is being treated as if they don’t fall in the human category. They aren’t allowed to take water from the well that’s being used by the people of other high castes, they aren’t allowed to enter the temples, they aren’t allowed to touch the belongings of higher class people and above all they still have to sit on floor when everyone else is sitting on chair.
Be it shopping malls, temples, schools, meetings or any other place of public attraction Dalits are facing discrimination. They don’t have any ray of hope of getting better. And in the present times the crimes against them are continuing unabated.
In a recent incident a meeting of urban body where all the Elected Panchs and sarpanche were present and were sitting, a dalit elected representative was made to sit on floor. Not only this day in and day out the videos of dalits being tied and beaten have become a new norm. In one heart wrenching incidents a dalit who had taken water from the well of upper cast people was made to drink the urine of upper caste population after being tied. In 21st century where caste doesn’t matter this is the condition of Indian Dalits. Inter caste marriage is a far away a thing. And unfortunately the government that claims of having law and order under control is silent on all the incidents and they a have not a word to speak about it. A dalit MLA from BJP visited a temple and after she left the temple it was cleaned. What more to prove the condition of Dalits in India. In odisha 40 families were barred from entering village and the reason was that a Dalit girl had plucked a flower. In Tamil Nadu Dalits are forced to drop their dead bodies from bridge so that the upper caste isn’t annoyed. The Dalits face crimes just because they ride their bike in front of an upper caste. Such is worst situation of Dalits in India. What sort of crimes Dalits face against themselves on daily basis shivers me up. Their lives have become hell and they have no way out. According to news published by NDTV on October 13 one 65 years old Dalit man was forced to drink urine in UP. Even an old aged Dalit man isn’t safe. A news Published by Deccan Herad on October 15 says” Another Dalit Girl was raped in UP” . The word another must signify the continuing process of Dalit women being raped. According to National crime records bureau ‘Every day 6 Dalit women are being raped”. And the same bureau says ” Every 15 mins a crime is committed against Dalits “. The record of the bureau is enough to make one image how worst is the situation of Dalits. Beating them, making them drink urine and humiliating them and then making the video viral has become a new norm. According to a verified Twitter handle @DalitRights “Almost 3 out of 10 Dalits are still prevented from entering police stations” Look this is the situation with police stations. When they aren’t allowed to enter police stations how will they have their rights assured and how they will report crimes against themselves when they aren’t allowed inside Police stations. Not even thinking about FIR being registered. According to the same handle ” At least 1 in every 10 villages are denied access to polling booths or forced to form a separate line” Well at the time when what they have been calling it ” Festival of Democracy ” Dalits have to face discrimination . When will this demarcation go? When will the Dalits be treated as humans, leave alone being treated equals? The handle says “Every 1 out of 3 public health workers refuse to visit home” They even have been sidelined in the health sector. Be it shopping malls, temples, schools, meetings or any other place of public attraction Dalits are facing discrimination. They don’t have any ray of hope of getting better. And in the present times the crimes against them are continuing unabated. A recent video from Rajasthan posted on Twitter showed how the two young Dalits boys were tied up surrounded by people and were seen crying for mercy. Not to forget a Dalit named Kocheril Raman Narayanan has severed as President of India from 1997 to 2002 and was the first one to occupy the highest office of the country. A news published in “The Indian Express” says” Dalit lawyer killed over anti Brahmin posts in Gujarat:SIT” Well where the crimes against them are growing the voices against the crimes have come up rapidly. A recent campaign #Dalitlivesmatter is making people aware about the crimes against Dalits and using this campaign voice against crimes are being leveled up. Now home crimes are registered and action is being taken so that Dalits also get a life they deserve. Dalit lives really matter as every life matters.
( The author is a human rights defender and a freelancer. Views are his own) [email protected]

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