By Divya Kathuria
Editor’s Note: In this article, the author has highlighted the recent rape of two Dalit girls in the Badaun village of Uttar Pradesh and the greater issue of caste underlying it. She expresses outrage over how the entire issue has been treated by the government and the media.
She objects to the continual ostracization that the Dalit community faces at the hands of society and the government. This is a good piece of writing but it is written in the style meant for magazines and online forums. There is no legal research undertaken by the author or any legal issue dealt with. This opinionated piece is a strong literary article, whose all the issues arousing and discussed are subject to the writer and her personal liability. Academike, or any member of the team, is in no way responsible or contributor and takes no responsibility for the article presented herein.
The course my views travel in:
Thank God. We have finally got time to look at something else other than Mr. Modi, general elections and our fascination of Achhe Din. But, this indeed required a great sacrifice of 2 sisters who unfortunately were born in a Dalit family of U.P, and had to pay heavily for it.
They were born in a Dalit family, they were bound to bear atrocities of the upper class, they were bound to be discriminated, they were bound to be raped! And then, instead of hanging the rapists, the innocent girls were hanged by them in turn. It is shameful that we take the rape and murder of innocent Dalits as an inseparable part of our social system and accept it shamelessly.
We have the power to endure any amount of ignominy, can bear the highest levels of injustice and tolerate any kind of lawlessness and nonsense around us. If the crime is not against us, we’ll stand amongst the crowd looking at the victims bewildered and shocked and then, we’ll go home, eat, sleep and easily forget that it ever happened.
This undoubtedly is the characteristic of a country which proudly proclaims itself as “socialist”, the country whose Constitution makers seek to abolish untouchability, but not caste system which is, in turn, the root cause of untouchability. It’s not that crimes do not occur in other countries or crime is an anomaly in India but, it is the in-action towards crime that has sadly become a characteristic of Indian Union and State governments.
The unfortunate girls were brutally raped whole through the night and then, murdered. But, no FIR was lodged by the police and no other action was taken. It was brought into the limelight by the media which till now was in a deep slumber on the mattress of “Ab ki baar Modi sarkaar” and thus, the Akhilesh govt. was forced to suspend two police officers reluctantly. But, do they really sympathize or do they really want to seek recourse to such kind of heinous crimes in the State especially, towards Dalits.
The answer, on the face of it, is NO- a big shameful NO! The politicians want nothing but want to seek and extract votes out of the raped corpses of the raped Dalit girls. Rahul baba went to the village to talk to the ladies out there. But, what was the outcome? It was nil. Instead, he wasted the taxpayers’ money on his luxurious travel expenses.
Then after his visit, how could our behen ji stay behind- the former C.M. of the lawless State. She too decided to visit the kharda village. Why? To find a solution? To sympathize? No ..the only motive is to gain votes, to come in power once again, to sit on the throne of Chief Minister of U.P. once again. This is all normal for a politician but, the incident which needs to be noticed here is that she was visiting the State to prevent crime against the minors and children but, then why the children were employed to make a helipad of Her Highness. Her actions and words, as usual, have failed to match.
Next comes our youngest C.M.- Mr. Akhilesh Yadav who instead of doing something about the issue considered it important to mock at the media for criticizing his govt. That was again hilarious and ridiculously daring on his part. What can be the reason behind such lawlessness in the State? I hope nobody has forgotten the words of Mr. Mulayam during his election campaign. He daringly and proudly quoted, ‘Boys will be boys, they will rape but, it does not mean that they should be hanged till death’. The ideology of the ruling party in the State does nothing, but encourages rapes and surely seeks to set criminals free because it has always been a male dominated society, men will be men and they will not change.
The issue here is just not about rape, it is the rape of Dalits in particular and it is about the atrocities committed upon the Dalit community. Our Constitution seeks equality and seeks to abolish untouchability. Why do we want to abolish untouchability and want to keep the caste system? Let us abolish the roots themselves. Abolish this old, mythical and rotten system of castes. Why give reservation to anybody when everybody is equal? How does our Constitution provide for equal treatment instead of equality itself?
I do not deny the need of giving incentives to the less privileged but, why should these less privileged be classified according to the caste? Why do we keep caste and class in our Country on the same footing? When today, our country has developed in every aspect, why can’t we do away the system of caste? Until when the caste and class are considered the same in India, such incidents like the recent one in U.P will be rampant.
Recently, the High Court of Patna acquitted all the criminals of Ranvir Sena case involving Dalit massacres. It was unthinkable and the whole country was stunned. Criminals not only repeat crimes but also encourage others to follow their footsteps because they know in the end that law and law-makers are there to protect them.
Our State has three separate independent branches- executive, legislature and judiciary. It won’t be appropriate to blame a single branch. It is the teamwork of all the three branches that has caused such upheaval. Governments, both at center, as well as, State level, do not bother to act until media pressurizes. The legislature has no time to make any law against such activities. And, hats off to the judiciary for decisions stated as above.
Last but, not least, our very own media- the fourth estate has also played a very significant role. Can we assume that after the dissolution of 15th Lok Sabha till 16th May 2014, there were no rapes or any crimes in India? But, our media did assume so because they were too busy capturing the rallies of Mr. Modi and his whole election campaign. They project themselves as the most responsive to people’s needs but, actually, they are responsive only to what can win them awards and what can bring them highest TRP.
Did any news channel highlight the incident or even report the suffering of a 17-year-old Dalit boy of Kharda village in Maharashtra where he was brutally beaten to death because he dared to talk to a girl from upper caste? I guess, no. But, it happened and there have been many such instances. Another example of such lawlessness is the recent incident of a minor girl who was set ablaze following a land dispute between her and accuser’s family and some even fail to come in the forefront and who does not know about the unfortunate Muzaffarnagar riots.
The blame game is on. But, the sad part is that nobody is ready to act. This is my India, I don’t know whether I have to be proud of it, or ashamed of it or rather, make a CHANGE for it.
Formatted on March 13th, 2019.