The death of Dhabolkhar came as a shock, not that killing is a newly introduced trend in India but that still at this age of technology, such monstrosity continues to takes place in the name of castes and religions. In a sense it made him an equal to Mahatma Gandhi, as he too stood for Dalits and oppressed(regardless of religion) and gave his life away for the cause. His life was a reminder of what’s still going on in India in the name of thousands of years old system of caste and religion.
From the beginning itself Dalits were called untouchables(now they are “scheduled castes”) rightfully according to their social status. Even their presence and sight itself were considered polluting so that any interactions should be avoided at all costs. But up to this very day one thing that never made sense is ,how come those who considered Dalits polluting, could eat rice and wheat ploughed and watered by Dalits. Physical and mental tortures were a regular to them. They worked like there is no tomorrow and in return what they got were torture, poverty and social exclusion. In the Vedic age their suppression were justified using the manipulative theory as “god has created them like this bcoz of their previous life’s wrong doings”. When the British(East India Company) came they treated all Indians alike as uncivilised brutes. So for the first time in the history of Indian subcontinent upper castes tasted how it is to be treated like an outcast in their own land. Along with British came Christian missionaries, whose idea was to propagate Christianity among pagans. Lots of conversions happened at those times, especially mass conversions among Dalits, to Christianity. Hindu extremists still hold the grudge against missionaries (and those who converted) claiming those people were forcefully converted. Actually you don’t need to use force against a section who had been continuously treated downgraded and second class citizens. What missionaries was to them were a ray of hope, as they offered education and food. And after that following Dr. Ambedkar’s foot steps lots of Dalits became Buddhists. Still on Indian psyche Christians and Buddhists are converted Dalits, showing their inability to understand their own country’s history.
According to NCDHR(National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights) at least 25 atrocities against Dalits were reported everyday, and at least 3 Dalit women were raped every day. Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh are the two places where extreme violence against Dalits were registered. Dalits and Adivasis account for 25%(that’s official, unofficially much higher) of Indian population. Their main source of income is agriculture and labour. When a dam or any development is to be taken place they are the first to be displaced that too with out any proper accommodation. Conflicts due to inter-caste marriages are commonplace in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Tamil Nadu. One such incident took place in a small village in Haryana state on April this year, where 200 Dalit homes were damaged by upper-caste people revenging the marriage of a Dalit boy to an upper caste girl. Amid of all this, Haryana state skipped an important seminar on caste discrimination and atrocities by National Commission for Scheduled Castes in Delhi this year. This shows the attitude of state towards such serious issues which should be their primary priority. In all of this women are the worst affected since there exist a deep rooted gender bias in Indian society.They have to bear atrocities in their homes and in society. There is no safety for Dalit women at all. Even the officials who hold prejudice against Dalits wouldn’t lend a helping hand towards a Dalit women. Their high rate of poverty, illiteracy and social status make them most vulnerable.
Crimes against Dalits in India 2008 and 2009
With atrocities against Dalits and women(on both upper caste and Dalit) on one hand and rebellious, aspiring and ambitious new generation on another, India is in a tug of war with herself. It is our great tragedy that we still cannot eradicate this social evil of casteism from our society. Without that we cannot attain any development economically and socially. Socially a section would always be left behind and economically there would be only limited capital flow in such a closed casteist society. We cannot ignore this as an unimportant issue, it’s the need of the hour and all of us must act.