Will Crime Against Dalits Cease in India?

Kartikey Shukla for BeyondHeadlines

It’s up to the neck. Discrimination should be over! Everyday cases of discrimination against Dalits come to fore. Dalit Media Watch, a news group, reports on crimes against Dalit communities across India. Each morning the group spread a newsletter through Email, most of the news taken out from various sources including leading newspapers.

Rape has become a day-to-day crime in India; it might seem because of news reporting. Indian society has historically kept women under various social bondages, controlled them at various occasions and kept them away from the mainstream. Social circumstances don’t allow women to even file the FIR against rapists. For the sake of patriarchal prestige women denied to complain at police station.

Police department has been accused of not taking the rape cases seriously in many parts of the country particularly rural and semi-urban areas; last year for the first time in India people took over the roads of Delhi to protest in solidarity of the medical student who died after being brutally gang raped in a moving bus.

On Tuesday, two Dalits girls were gang raped and then killed in Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh. Both the girls were adolescent not yet adult, their dead bodies found hanging from tree. Villagers took the national highway to Delhi destination demanding justice; they blocked the road and sat on agitation. A substantial measure from the government in this regard is still awaited.

There is not a single day when you can’t find news related to Dalit atrocities in the mainstream media and openly debated among liberals on the online social spaces. You can imagine how many cases even there left at the ground that all are not even being reported in the media houses based in New Delhi.

Let’s understand the administrative system involved in cases of rape, structure of various state and social institutions related to rape cases. For centuries, Devadasi or other form of Brahminical tools exploited or raped women on the name of ‘salve of god’. These were social system of sexual exploitation of Dalit women.

If the victimized woman belongs to Dalit community, then hurdles start from the family and expand to police station then judicial institutions. There are commissions that operate from New Delhi even didn’t get clues of the crimes happening at village level. General perception of police department among public is not up to the level what is expected.

All those Dalit centered empowerment scheme, reservation and positive caste politics failed to outreach to the actual population. At present, the feudal mode of Uttar Pradesh politics, society and state institutions are operating in a nexus. Ruling Samajwadi Party’s top leadership made derogatory remarks/sexiest comments on rape cases, statements include ‘moral policing’ or ‘rape as mistake committed by young men’.

A socialist fire brand leader has experience of politics over last four decades making such a statement, praising for his feudal ideas ‘rape as committed mistakes by young not as criminal offence’. In this case, the local police didn’t file FIR when victim’s father approached them. The state government has taken action against two police official who denied registering FIR.

Having worked with communities, I have come across firsthand experiences where police denied registering FIR. Rate of registering FIR in the case of rape or Dalit oppression is very low especially in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Uttar Pradesh has ranked first in terms of its Dalit population among all Indian states. It ranked low not because of ‘crime free’ but victim families have terrorized by powerful people or feudal controlled police. The state is not able to control its police system, not a single area where this ruling government has shown administrative strength. Uttar Pradesh faced maximum number of communal riots under the young chief minister. Politically struggling Samajwadi Party needs to change its approach to govern the state, politics has been changed. If they will not change ‘feudal approach’ inside out led to deepen political crisis for the party.


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