Caste Violence has increased during the Lockdown
We all have read about caste system in our textbooks. A major portion of our schooling passed while reading the problems people used to face due to the same. However, with laws being made, we might have felt that the problem exists no more. But this is not the truth. The problem remains there as it is. And recent examples show how imposing a lockdown has only contributed to increased caste violence in the country.
Tamil Nadu: Dalit Boy forced to carry faeces
On the evening of July 15, a 14-year-old Dalit boy from Kodarampatty village was playing on a private field in Pennagaram. Later around 5 p.m. he went behind the bushes to relieve himself. When the landowner, K Rajasekar, saw the boy he called him out and started hurling abuses at the child. According to The New Indian Express, the man took out a bamboo shoot and thrashed the boy. He then forced the boy to either ‘eat the faeces or carry them back to home’. In the meanwhile, some neighbourhood people did try to help. But the man paid no heed. And eventually, the boy had to walk home with faeces in his hands, just to escape a further beating.
“He called me caste names and then started beating me and asked me to either eat the faeces or carry it in hand”, the boy told the media. A police report was filed for the same, yet no arrests were made.
Karnataka: Dalit man assaulted for ‘touching’ a vehicle
Remember the concept of 'Untouchability'? The practice of segregating minorities by considering their 'touch' to be impure! Well, surprisingly, things from the past have resurfaced again as a similar story was reported in Karnataka.
Kashinath Talwar, a 28-year-old Dalit man was going to work with his father in Vijayapura. It is then that a group of villagers accused Talwar of ‘touching’ the vehicle of an upper-caste man and started beating him up. When his father and wife came to protect, the crowd didn’t stop. Later a video of the incident surfaced on the internet, showing the assault. “The men used offensive words against our caste and threatened to set our community houses on fire”, Talwar said in his complaint. In this case also, the police registered a complaint. However, no arrests were made.
Andhra Pradesh: Dalit man tortured in police custody
According to the Hindustan Times, I Vara Prasad, from Vedullapalli Village, along with three others had stopped the mount of sand trucks to pass through a lane near his residence, because of a death in his area. Prasad had asked the driver to wait for some time till the body is moved. However, a local YSR Congress leader started questioning Prasad for his actions and this led to an argument. Later, a sub-inspector and two constables came to the village to pick up Prasad and two others, saying they were being taken to the police station for investigation. However, Prasad accused that the Sub-inspector started beating him up with a belt. “He later called a barber, got my head tonsured and my moustaches removed forcibly”, Prasad told HT. The whole incident happening in police custody shows the sheer ignorance of the police.
All three incidents depict the plight of the Dalit community in the country. Similarly, many such reports are coming from different parts of the country. But the question arises- Why is this happening?
A report by The Caravan throws light on the caste violence in the state of Tamil Nadu. According to the report, Dalit Organisations claim that caste atrocities against Dalits, SC and ST have increased five times in the state. Also, many cases remain unreported due to the lockdown. Even though the report depicts the condition in Tamil Nadu, examples from other states show that it is an underlying problem in many parts of the country.
Our political leaders make use of such incidents by playing the blame-game. But what about the people who continue to face such violence? Such incidents happening even after 73 years of independence, come as a shock for the society. This clearly shows that even though we might have freed ourselves from the Britishers, we couldn’t give freedom to every person of the country just because of an unfair practice like Caste system remains unchecked.