Home

  News & Views

  Journal

  Seminars

  Publications

  I S C

  Research Projects

  About Us

  Contacts

Gur Panth Parkash

Gur Panth Parkash
by Rattan Singh Bhangoo
Translated by
Prof Kulwant Singh

 

BACK

 

Dalit Atrocities in Haryana

Narinder Kumar*

The condition of Dalits is equally deplorable in other States in India.  Dalit of Punjab, Rajasthan, Andhra Pardesh and other States are facing similar atrocities and feel suffocated, even those who have converted to Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism or Islam, inspite of egalitarian principles enunciated in their religious, educational and economic advancement.

- Editor

The caste system has produced numerous rules about Untouchability that govern day-to-day interactions among social groups in the Indian society. When Dalits attempt to resist the unjust rules imposed upon them, retaliation by upper castes is swift and often violent. Dalits who try to assert their rights face the risk of social and economic boycott and even physical intimidation, and beating.1  A shortcoming of the country's approach towards the welfare of Dalits is that actions on atrocities are mostly seen as a law and order issue, divorcing them from the larger strategy for social justice. Atrocities do represent a significant hindrance to socio-economic mobility of the community. Policy-maker should take into account that ending violence on Dalits is a basic requirement for success of redistributive policies, rather than assuming that these policies by themselves would result in an end to violence and discrimination.2 

Dalits have been the most deprived and discriminated lot as part of the typically caste divided Indian society since centuries. They have been suffering humiliation, loss of respect, dignity and culture above all, unspeakable horror of the caste system for the last three thousand years of human history. The world communities must assume responsibility in bringing total justice to the Dalits who have been systematically deprived of their respect, dignity, culture and rights by the upper caste people of India. What is amazing that even after 60 years of India's independence, and as India is signatory to many international agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention on the “Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,” and even though Untouchability was abolished by India's constitution in 1950, there is no difference in the lives of India's Dalits as their fundamental human rights are violated on a daily basis. India has been called the "world's largest democracy." It is merely "A democracy of the few for the few and by the few" and is probably the largest violators of human right acts in human history. What is worse to notice is that untouchables can not fetch a bucket of water from the village well or socialize in village tea stalls or cafes, as their touch pollutes every thing.3 

In fact, Dalits have been considered the most degraded, downtrodden, exploited and the least educated in Indian society. They are considered to be ‘untouchable’ because their touch to high caste people is considered polutative. The caste hierarchy has put these people at the lowest ebb. Therefore, they are ‘outcaste.’ For decades and till date, they are barred from sharing water, food and shelter and are forced to live in ghettos, and hence are referred as segregated. The live reality can be observed from that their houses are segregated from the other part of the village and they are provided the place where the dirty water of entire village flows to. This area is recognized as chamarlee. This is the identification mark which is still being attached to this community. They have been socially, culturally, and politically subjugated and marginalized through three thousand years of India’s history. What is still surprising is that the Dalits experience the agony of Untouchability very deeply in all walks of life: social, economical and political.4  Until today, India's caste system has compelled them to perform the most inhuman jobs, from the manual scavenging, skinning animals, disposal of the dead animals, cleaning streets, landless labour, bonded labour, child labour and performing the most inhuman tasks, such as cleaning the toilet and disposal of human waste.

Dalit Atrocities in Haryana
It has been widely reported that there has been an increase in the incidents of atrocities on Dalits in Haryana over the years. This is evident from the media coverage of the happenings at Dulina (Jhajjar), Harsola (Kaithal), Gohana (Sonepat), and Salwan (Karnal). Therefore, it becomes essential to trace the factors behind the rise of this ugly phenomenon. It is equally important to suggest the ways and means for controlling such attacks.5 

There has been an alarming increase in the incidents of atrocities on the Dalits in Haryana. There are thousands of examples of Dalit atrocities in the state. Ruled by the Indian National Congress, Haryana remained a lawless state especially with regard to the Dalits. Their rights continued to be violated by upper caste people in alleged connivance with the police. Haryana police continued to be responsible for serious human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings, illegal detention, torture and rape. Despite lawlessness in the state, there is no State Human Rights Commission. On 18 January 2006, the Haryana Government informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it had no intention to constitute a State Human Rights Commission.

News reports about acts of brutal violence against Dalits, most recent in Gohana and Jhajjar in Haryana jolt non-Dalits into the realization that caste-based oppression and discrimination is still alive and flourishing in India.6  As a group, Dalits are most often targeted by the upper castes when they seek to assert their constitutional right to equality. When Dalits demand for justice, resent upper-caste dominance, they are met with violence / threatened, so called reprisals to 'teach Dalits a lesson' that they should 'keep to their place'.7

The Dalits faced systematic violations of their rights. The Haryana Government announced a compensation policy for Dalit victims of atrocities by the upper castes. But there were consistent reports of violations of the rights of the Dalits. Women and girl children were sexually abused. Trafficking remained a flourishing business due to skewed sex ratio (861 per 1,000 males as per the 2001 census) in the state.

Violations of the Rights of Dalits
The Dalits faced systematic violations of their rights. The National Crime Records Bureau recorded 288 cases of atrocities against the Dalits in 2005. These included 10 murder cases, 35 rape cases, 15 kidnapping cases, 5 arson cases, 52 hurt cases, and 73 cases under SC/ST Act.8

As per the policy, the State Government would pay a compensation of about Rs. 2 lakh in case of death and in some related cases the amount could be around Rs. 1 lakh provided the victim had no source of income. However, the benefit would be applicable only if a case was registered under various section of the Indian Penal Code and the SC/ST Act 1989, on the complaint of the victim and the financial aid would be released after the police filed the challan in connection with the case.

Despite myriad policies and schemes aimed at ameliorating their lot, Dalits still suffer from not only poverty but from discrimination and also systematic violence. Even Dalits are not considered as human beings in the society. Dalits can be murdered on futile excuses. There are countless examples of such cases. Lives of Animals are more precious rather than Human being. In Haryana where five Dalits were lynched like animals in day light under the blessings of law and enforcement (the local police), raping of minors as young as five year old Dalit girl, mutilating and cutting hands, legs and genitals of children, adults and olds, parading Dalit woman's naked in broad day light in the presence of entire village people are few of the thousands of examples of organized and well planned caste brutality against Dalits. Dalits are treated all over India as cheap dirt or less than animals'. In this 21st century when the information spread at the speed of light to entire world, sadly our local authorities, political leaders and law enforcement is sitting quiet and encourage such heinous crimes go unaccounted in India. No human being should ever tolerate such heinous crimes committed by anti-social caste Hindus.

Exploitation of Dalit labour
There is growing exploitation of Dalit labour by the dominant castes in the form of bonded labour, Dalit labour, low wages, degrading working conditions etc. The big zammidars (Jats, Yadavs etc.) give loan to farm labourers on exorbitant rate of interest. The labourers' poverty pushes them to the clutches of big zammidars. Its impact is so huge that they cannot free themselves from their hold, because they get loan for social functions like daughter's marriage. In the long run when they do not pay debt they are forced to work with the family without any wages. The result is that we have witnessed a large number of suicides by these labourers and marginal farmers.

Violence against Dalit Women
Women continued to be victims of violence including from the law enforcement personnel.  Haryana was turned into "bride bazaar" of India where women trafficked from other States such as Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Maharashtra, etc were sold. Haryana had very low sex ratio which was 861 per 1,000 males as per the 2001 census and thereby increasing the demand for women. The price of the women in the market usually ranged from Rs 4,000 to Rs 30,000 and depended on factors like virginity, skin colour, age and the number of times the woman had been sold before. The Dalit women were specially targeted in such manners. Dalit women are facing very high degree of violence in the form of rape, gang rape, sexual harassments, abusing, and so on.9  Dalit women face double type of discrimination due to their caste and gender. They are also coerced to be victimized in the patriarchy. Dalit women are bearing the double burden of caste and sexual division of labour.  The following cases show how Dalit women become the victim of violence.

On the night of 3 January 2006, a 15-year-old handicapped Dalit girl, resident of Jhatauli village of Pataudi, was allegedly gang raped by three men in a cab and then by a truck driver at Manesar in Gurgaon district.10 

On the night of 4 February 2006, a 13-year-old Dalit girl of Kailana village under the Ganaur police station was found murdered after rape when she had gone to the fields. A postmortem examination of the deceased conducted in the civil Hospital reportedly confirmed rape.11 

On 14 February 2006, 10 Dalits including women were injured when a mob of about 50 upper caste men, mostly Rodhs, armed with sharp-edged weapons, including axes and swords allegedly attacked the Dalits of Ravidas colony at Mehmadpur village in Karnal district.12 

Social Ostracization
Failure to taking action by the police and administration also forced Dalits to flee their village. On 22 February 2006, more than 200 members of 31 Dalit families of Farmana village in Sonepat district fled their village to save their lives following alleged attack by upper caste people led by Sarpanch (village head) of the village identified as Sunil due to a dispute over construction of the boundary wall around a temple. The Dalits had to spend the night camping at various temples, dharamshalas and schools in and around Khokhrakot locality of Rohtak.13  The police registered a case against five persons including the Sarpanch Sunil on the charge of harassing and demolishing their houses on 14 and 15 February 2006.14

In July 2006, a Dalit family of Dhingsara village in Fatehabad district was forced to take shelter at a nearby village following threats by some upper-caste families. Complaints to the police and district administration had fallen on deaf ears.15 

On 1 September 2006, over two dozen Dalit families were forced to flee their village after about 100 upper caste youth attacked them with sharp-edged weapons and ransacked their houses at Kila Jafargarh in Jind district. Several Dalits were injured, 11 of them seriously.16

On 6 December 2006, the police registered cases against 10 persons in a three-month-old case pertaining to the families of two Dalit brothers, Ramesh Kumar and Kalu Das of Lisan village under Khol police station of Rewari district. The brothers had to leave the village in the first week of September 2006, after being tortured and threatened by men of the upper caste in alleged connivance with the police. Assistant Sub-Inspector Ram Swarup of the Dahina police post, where Kalu Das had been forcibly taken by his alleged torturers on the night of 2 September 2006, was reportedly transferred.17 

Dalit Students face Discrimination in Educational Institutions
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was convinced that education, particularly higher education, was a powerful instrument of social change that could liberate the marginalized from centuries-old prejudice, atrocities, discrimination, and denial of access to common resources and public facilities, and economic exploitation.

As for the education, the constitution mandated that the state had to provide free, compulsory and universal education to children up to 14 years of age within 10 years (1950-59), giving special care and consideration to promote economic progress. But even 60 years are gone this goal is not realized so far.

Because of their economic conditions, 99 per cent of Dalit students study in government schools, most of which lack basic infrastructure. Although the drop-out rate among Dalit students in schools has registered a small decrease in recent years, it is still substantial.

It is in such abysmal and oppressive conditions that Dalit boys and girls pursue their studies. Teachers in several places are unfriendly to and prejudiced against Dalits, the students often complain.

Although a good number of Dalit students score high marks and get selected to professional colleges in open quota, they cannot join college for want of money. In 2007, hundreds of seats in engineering colleges remained unfilled for this reason and were later allotted to students from other categories. Many Dalits cannot afford expensive coaching or special tuition. And yet they, driven by sheer will, move ahead. More Dalit students are now able to enter the portals of professional colleges and more aspire to tread this path, full of hope.

The role of educational institutions has also been dubious. Ranging from overt discrimination and hostility in elementary schools, to covert discriminatory practices and policies at higher education institutions, members of scheduled caste communities continue to be subjected to a culture of hostility and indifference.

Reservation may give students from a Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe background access to higher education, but it is not uncommon for these students to be discriminated against after they enter these schools of learning. Recently, the spotlight was turned by the media on the plight of these students in some of the institutions of higher education. Untouchability in schools has contributed to drop-out and illiteracy levels for Dalit children far beyond those of the general population, with the 'literacy gap' between Dalits and non-Dalits hardly changing since India's independence and literacy rates for Dalit women remaining as low as 37.8% in rural India.18 

Incidents of atrocities on Dalits
Lynching of Five Dalits in Haryana: All the people are aware of the Jhajjar lynching of Dalit case. The media, the higher castes have only shown that Dalit people were tortured to death because of skinning dead animals. In my arguments the position of Dalits in this 21st century when the entire world is turning to be a Global village and universal brotherhood but the Dalits are forced to remain even poor than the dead animals. The media (both print and electronic) did not present this new fortification of the caste system.   The killings of five Dalits, namely Sri Dayachand, Sri Virendra, Sri Tota Ram, Sri Raju and Sri Kailash on  October 15, 2002 in the police chowki of Duleena in the district of Jhajjar, Haryana.19  An animal skin trader, Kailash came to Badshapur village in Gurgaon district to collect a consignment of skins of buffaloes and cows from a licensed skinner Devendra. As is the usual practice some advance was given and the rest of the payment was to be made on delivery. Devendra's brother Virendra and his cousin Dayachand (both skinners) hired a vehicle to take the skins to Karnal and accompanied the trader so as to be able to collect the rest of the payment. The driver of the vehicle was Tota Ram and the conductor was Raju and they left the village at around 11 am. The first stop was in a place called Farroukhnagar where another consignment of skins was picked up. The Duleena chowki was en route to their destination. It is here that the killings took place. According to the police, the trader bought a dead cow from Farroukhnagar. The vehicle was stopped coincidentally quite close to the chowki and the cow was skinned on the main road. A group of people from a neighbouring village reacting to the sight got off their vehicle and started beating up the Dalits accusing them of cow slaughter and then dragged them, badly injured, to the police chowki. This was around 5 or 5.30 pm. At that time there were about five or six police personnel present. Later news spread that a cow had been killed and mobs returning from a Dussehra celebration, some of them drunk, surrounded the chowki, set up road blocks to prevent the Dalits being taken out by the police and then beat them to death. According to the police the mobs numbered 4000-5000. The killings took place before three sub-divisional magistrates, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, the SHO and about 60 to 70 police personnel who had been sent there after urgent wireless messages from the chowki.20  Subsequently an enquiry committee has been formed comprising entirely of police officials, including those present at the site of the killings. Till date no arrests have been made in this case.21 

Burning and arsoning of Dalits' property:
The burning of Dalits' houses is now become very common phenomenon in India. Haryana has produced many examples of such cases. Whenever there is a minor dispute between Dalits and upper-castes, the property of Dalits and their houses are targeted. Their property has been destroyed and their houses burnt. The following case shows how upper caste communities taking law and order in their hands and the administration fully becoming helpless. 

Gohana is a small Tehsil, a local administrative unit, in Sonepat District in the State of Haryana. It is situated about 60 kilometers away from the National Capital, New Delhi. It witnessed a caste rivalry between Dalits and the dominant caste 'Jats', culminating into mass exodus of Dalits and finally burning down of about 55 to 60 Dalit houses with full support of local Police from 27 August 2005 up to 31 August 2005. A violent mob of about 1500 to 2000 Jats armed with spears, batons, petrol and kerosene oil went on a maddening spree burning down houses belonging to a particular Dalit caste 'Balmikis', who are other wise called 'Bhangis', the manual scavengers.

The other case of Dalit atrocities in the same town is that upper caste Jat villagers, angry over police inaction in a recent murder case, torched more than twenty houses belonging to Dalit Balmiki families in Gohana. More than 500 Jat villagers had gathered at Gohana's Satsang Bhawan to protest against the reluctance of the local police to book the culprits responsible for the murder of Manjit Singh, a property dealer from Gadhwal village, who was allegedly done to death by a group of Balmikis. The furious Jats had earlier also held a Barah-Panchayat (twelve-village panchayat) at the victim's village. Simmering temper flared quickly in the meeting in Gohana when some of the participants egged on others to teach the Dalits a lesson they would remember.22  The Jats poured out of the Satsang Bhawan and proceeded to the nearby Balmiki settlement where within minutes they had set more than twenty homes on fire. The crowd fled the scene soon after. Fortunately, there was no loss of life or injuries since the 150 Balmiki families living there had deserted the settlement several hours earlier clearly apprehending reprisals by the Jats. The local administration was completely helpless in preventing the incident.23  The angry Jat mob easily overwhelmed the inadequate police contingent present on the scene. The cops who at first attempted to make a stand by letting off a volley of shots in the air, were forced to retreat and quietly watch the Jats make a bonfire out of the Dalit hutments.

One more case in the town: On the night of August 27, Rakesh Lara, a popular local leader of Valmikis, the community considered to be the lowest in the Dalit hierarchy, was shot dead by three motorcycle-borne assailants at Gohana town in Sonepat district of Haryana. The date was perhaps a coincidence: On 27 August 2005, Baljeet Siwach, a Jat youth, was murdered by some Valmiki youth following a petty quarrel. In the reprisal that followed, 50 Dalit homes were singled out for arson and looting.  As soon as the news of Lara's death spread, a police assistance booth was set on fire in Sonepat, window panes of vehicles were broken and two oil tankers were almost set afire on National Highway 71. For the next two days, Dalit resentment became widespread in Haryana and neighbouring Punjab. Angry Balmikis, in response to a call given by the All India Balmiki Mahasabha, poured out on the streets in an unprecedented manner in Hisar, Sirsa, Sonepat, Rohtak, Hansi, Gurgaon, Bhiwani, Jhajjar, Panipat, Karnal, Yamunanagar, Fatehabad, Ambala and Panchkula districts and in Chandigarh and set public property on fire. In Punjab, members of the Balmiki Samaj in Sangrur, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Phagwara, Nawanshahar and Patiala districts staged protests. Normalcy returned on 30 August 2007 after some arrests were made.24  

The Gohana administration had not anticipated protests on this scale. The message that seemed to go out to the Balmikis was that Lara's murder was a revenge killing carried out at the behest of the upper castes, apparently with support from government officials. It was widely believed that the 2005 incident would not have happened without the backing of Lara. There was little doubt then that the administration had acted in a partisan manner by allowing an upper-caste mob to loot and burn Balmikis' homes. Lara went underground and the Balmiki families fled, fearing reprisal.

Ballabhgarh (Haryana): Ramesh Chand works as a peon in an insurance company. But being the owner of three acres of fertile land, the Dalit managed to save enough money to organize a decent wedding for his daughter Rekha. The groom Harkesh is a fashion design student from nearby Rewari district. The wedding party came packed in a bus and several Scorpios, Sumos and Boleros with a special well-decorated buggee or horse-driven carriage for the groom in tow. The journey from the outskirts of the Machchgar village to the pink shamiana set up in the Harijan Chaupal was just majestic. There was plenty of dancing, with a local DJ setting the mood. But, when the procession reached the government school on Friday night, all hell broke loose. A group of miscreants attacked the party showering them with caste abuses and hitting them with rods and thick sticks (sotas/lathies). The groom too was not spared. His gold chain and money garland were snatched away. The reason behind attack is only that a Dalit had no right to ride on horse-driven carriage.25  After three days of tension some miscreants set fire to the entire stock of animal fodder kept in the field owned by the bride's family. The situation got under control by the police. But the Dalits are still scared. Machhgar has a population of 6,000 with Jats, Gujjars and Dalits being the three most numerous castes. The Dalits believe that these attacks are rooted in deeply-held caste prejudices. Upper caste people get jealous and angry at Dalits' celebrations.

From the very recent years Dalits have often been beaten up for riding a mare (ghodi) during weddings in several parts of India like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana. Earlier the question of Dalits riding a horse did not arise due to both social as well as economic compulsions. But now, the living standard of many Dalits has gone up. Some of them enjoy a comfortable lifestyle because it helps them make a statement of their affluence. For them, riding a horse carriage during a wedding is a sign of their new found upward mobility. The intermediary castes such as Jats do not like this. For some Jats, going for a wedding on a horse is an exclusive symbol of caste superiority that should be preserved. The frustration of such people erupts when they watch Dalits ride a buggee.

Major Causes of Atrocities on Dalits in the State:
   –   The growing economic prosperity of Dalits is the major reason of atrocity because upper castes can not tolerate their growth.
   –   Reluctant nature of police, administration, and state government in regards of Dalit violence.
   –   Most of the Dalits in the state socially, educationally, economically, politically, even culturally and religiously back backward.
   –   The rigidness of caste system among upper castes as well as lower castes. This rigidness creates friction in the society.
   –   Dalits have not sufficient income sources, like land, property, and other means. They completely depend upon land lords and other upper caste families.
   –   If we compare the condition of Dalits in Haryana with the condition of Dalits in Punjab, we will find that Dalits of Punjab are more aware about their rights, more educated, and have more sound economy rather than Dalits of Haryana. Unawareness is also a major cause of atrocity.
   –   Another factor that has contributed to the rise of this phenomenon is the creation of new affluence in that section of the Scheduled Castes which was able to take advantage of reservation in government jobs due to its relatively superior position among these castes. Besides, some of the enterprising Scheduled Caste persons were able to acquire affluence by switching over to the non-traditional vocations. This neo-affluent section of the Dalits began to emulate the life-style of the landowning castes. A segment of the land owning castes having a feudal mindset found the adoption of their life style by the castes perceived by them as low, intolerable. 

Police: A Solution or a Problem
The Police, as custodians of law, have a special role to protect the vulnerable sections of the population; in particular, Dalits. Torture and abuse against Dalits by upper-caste members are also extremely common. That Dalits are particularly vulnerable to torture and ill-treatment and that there is evidence of discrimination within the police system. Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment sometimes amounting to torture is particularly common in this context. Physical and verbal abuse and intimidation of individuals by police on the basis of their caste, ethnicity, religion or gender is commonplace not only for detainees but also for those who visit the police station to make a complaint. 

There are many incidents in which police have reportedly beaten members of the Dalit community, including women, following requests by members of upper caste communities that they be punished. Dalit women are particularly vulnerable to sexual torture by law enforcement officials, often as a means of punishing male relatives or "teaching their community a lesson".26  The failure of police to register complaints of violence against Dalits to pursue investigations under legislation specially designed to protect members of these groups — the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 — even though well documented. The following example clears the situation:

Sixty-year-old Moolchand, a resident of Ballabgarh in Haryana, has lost faith in the police. Landlords of a nearby village have kept his 16-year-old daughter hostage for the last three months. Whenever Moolchand approaches the police, the policemen start beating him up and sometimes senior officials make derogatory remarks since he is a Dalit, he says. Talking to this correspondent, Moolchand said, "There is nobody in the village who will help me, simply because I am a Dalit. I know that my daughter is in the custody of landlords. Even the local police know that. When the landlords kidnapped my daughter, I lodged a complaint with the local police but no action was taken against the landlords." "After lodging several complaints, I requested police officials several times to rescue my daughter. But now the policemen have started abusing me. Sometimes they beat me and pass derogatory remarks against me and my community. Now with the help of the local police, the landlords have threatened me with dire consequences. I am worried about my wife Sheila and four other children. The landlords sometimes threaten my family in my absence. I don't know what to do," said Moolchand. He further said, "I am a very poor man. It's really difficult for me to fight with the landlords of the village. The police have also become anti-Dalit in the village. Last time when I visited the police station, one of the senior officials said, 'What will you do with your daughter, she is now pregnant?'"27 

The current police structure of the state encourages discrimination by allowing police to act at the behest of particular powerful groups rather than to act lawfully in the interests of society as a whole and by encouraging arrest on the basis of suspicion rather than on investigation and evidence. In practice also, the failure to prosecute many unlawful activities of the police and the problems of victims in accessing justice mean that discriminatory practices are perpetuated.

The prevalence of political interference in policing by powerful individuals and groups glaringly proves that the most socially and economically weak members of society are most vulnerable to abuses including torture and ill-treatment by police at the behest of those groups. Victims have nowhere to turn but to the police to enforce laws designed to end discrimination. But the police are not equipped or willing to do so. It is an enduring problem which can no longer be overlooked.

Dalit denied equal rights:
Discriminatory and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of over 165 million people in India has been justified on the basis of caste. Dalits do not have equal status of human being as upper castes have. Equality of treatment, equality of status remains a distant dream for Dalit community in this 21st century. In Haryana there are different cremation places for upper castes and the Dalits. According to Hindu traditions all human being are mortals but Dalits are also regarded as poor dead.

Untouchability still rampant:
The Constitution of India not only guarantees equality, liberty, fraternity, justice and basic human rights as Fundamental Rights but also prohibits the practice of Untouchability in any form. Article 17 of the Constitution abolished Untouchability and its practice in any form is forbidden. But after almost 60 years of the commencement of Indian constitution there is no honest abolition of Untouchability in the society. Millions of Dalits across the country, who account for roughly one-fifth of the population, continue to suffer birth-based discrimination and humiliation. Dalits are commonly called "Untouchables." In the state of Haryana where there are many reformist movements on but still there is no improvement in the condition of Dalits in State. In fact, Untouchability has not only survived the constitutional ban but taken new avatars in many parts of the state. Caste-based discrimination has often led to violence, leaving hundreds of the disadvantaged people in distress, particularly in the year of 2000 and onwards.28 From time immemorial, Dalits have been deprived of their right to education and the right to possess land and other forms of property. Left with nothing but their physical labour to earn their livelihood, they have all along been forced to do the toughest and most menial jobs for survival. Apart from the denial of access to public roads, tanks, temples and burial/cremation grounds, there are other forms of Untouchability. Segregation of Dalits is seen almost everywhere in Haryana's villages. Dalit children are often discouraged by teachers and fellow-students belonging to caste Hindu social groups. While Untouchability is still rampant and is taking new forms, particularly in villages, the constitutional ban and the compulsions of modernity and development have to some extent blunted its rigour.

State's apathy in the regards of Dalit rights
State's attitude has been lackadaisical regarding cases of Dalits Atrocities. Instead of taking action against the guilty the state has pressurized the Dalits to come to term with the guilty. In the administration of justice, police, prosecutors, and judges fail to properly pursue cases brought by Dalits concerning discriminatory acts. This is evidenced by the high rate of acquittals and the large number of cases involving offenses and atrocities against Dalits still pending before the courts. Dalit women in particular lack sufficient redress for the crimes committed against them due to caste and gender biases of India's law enforcement machinery. The police have systematically failed to protect Dalit homes and Dalit individuals from acts of looting, arson, sexual assault, torture, and other inhumane acts such as the tonsuring, stripping and parading of Dalit women, and forcing Dalits to drink urine and eat feces.

~~~

References

   1   Ghanshyam Shah, Harsh Mander, Sukhadeo Thorat, Satish Deshpanday and Amita Baviskar, Untouchability in Rural India, Sage Publication, New Delhi, 2006, p. 12
   2   Debashis Chakraborty, D. Shyam Babu and  Manashi Chakarvorty, 'Atrocities on Dalits', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLI, No. 24, June 17, 2006.
  3.   Hoshiar Singh and A.S. Malik, Socio-Economic Development of Scheduled Castes in India, Aalekh Publishers, Jaipur, 2001, pp.-17-18.
  4.   N.D. Kamble,  Atrocities on Scheduled Caste in Post Independent India, Ashish Publication House, New Delhi, 1981, pp. IX-X.
  5.   'Anatomy of Atrocities on Dalits in Haryana', Mainstream Weekly, Vol. XLVI, No. 37, September 3, 2008.
  6.   Surinder S. Jodhka and Murli Dhar, 'Cow, Caste and Communal Politics: Dalit Killing in Jhajjar, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 03, January 18, 2003.
  7.   Ghanshyam Shah, Harsh Mander, Sukhadeo Thorat, Satish Deshpande and Amita Baviskar, Untouchability in Rural India, Sage Publication, New Delhi, 2006, p. 12
  8.   Record of The National Crime Records Bureau 2005.
  9.   http://www.achrweb.org/reports/india/AR07/haryana.htm.
10.  The Pioneer, January 6, 2006.
11.  The Tribune, February 6, 2006.
12.  www.secularindia.com.htm.
13.  The Times of India, February 24, 2006.
14.  Ibid. February 24, 2006.
15.  Ibid. July 25, 2006.
16.  The Tribune, September 4, 2006.
17.  Ibid. December 7, 2006.
18.  www.haryanaeducation.net
19.  Surinder S. Jodhaka and Murli Dhar, 'Cow, Caste and Communal Politics: Dalit Killings in Jhajjar', Economic and Politics Weekly, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 03, January 18, 2003.
20.  D.R. Chaudhary, Dalits: Victimes of Oppression, Torture and Ill-treatment, The Tribune, November 3, 2002.
21.  Five Dalits Lynching in Haryana, Report of the Fact Finding Team of National campaign Dalit Human Rights, 2002.
22.  Burning Casteism: Law and Order get a go-by in Gohana, The Tribune, November 2, 2005.
23.  http://www.indianet.nl/dalitatroc 0509.htm/#01
24.  Dalit Houses Brunt Down at Gohana in Haryana, A Preliminary Fact Finding Report of National campaign Dalit Human Rights, 2005.
25.  http://atrocitynews.workpress.com/terror-in-haryana-cast-virus-002hr2007.
26.  http://www.indianet.nl/dalitatroc 0509.htm/#01.
27.  http://atrocitynews.workpress.com/terror-in-haryana-cast-virus-002hr2007.
28.  D.R. Chaudhary, Dalits: Victimes of Oppression, Torture and Ill-treatment, The Tribune, November 3, 2002.

¤

 


ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2012, All rights reserved.