I Am 16, Dalit, And A Video Of Me Being Tortured In Class Went Viral


I am 16 years old, a student of a government school in Muzaffarpur in Bihar.

For the last few days, everyone wants to know why I was beaten so mercilessly and why I kept silent for so long.

Well, I am exhausted and frustrated from repeating my story time and again – for the cops, for my classmates, for the media which discovered what happened to me because of a video that was posted on social media. Some people tell me it went “viral.”

My father is a teacher. He gave me a name which means “the best” and he wanted me to be better than everyone. So he stayed in our village with my two younger sisters, and sent me to live with my maternal grandmother in Muzaffarpur. He wanted me to get good education there. I worked hard, I tried to deliver what he expected of me.

But as I began doing well, my marks, which pleased my father, left me isolated and turned into my biggest ordeal.

You see, I am a Dalit and so doing well in the examinations or academics, which brings me praise at home, earns me humiliation and abuse in my classroom.

You may find this tough to believe, but for the last two years, I was beaten every day by two boys who are brothers – one in the same class as me, the other a year junior. At least once a week, they would spit on my face. My teacher, who I approached for help, was very sympathetic. But he said the boys’ father is a powerful criminal, so the school could not take action against them, and if I filed a complaint, I would be forced to drop out.

I was also worried about what my abusers’ father could do to my family, so I decided to keep quiet.

The video that has now resulted in a police case was, I think, filmed on August 25. One of the boys used to tell me that assaulting me gave him pleasure, so he had it filmed by a student.

He was a backbencher, where you can cheat easily, and I used to sit in the front, but even so, he used to score poorly and I did well. So that enraged him. And when he found out I am from a Scheduled Caste, he went ballistic.

In this video, you can see him hitting me while I am in my chair. He hits me on my head. I am kicked. I am pulled out of the chair, pinned against a wall. I am slapped on my face. Nobody tries to stop him – or his brother. I am tortured.

My maternal grandfather could not contain himself when he found out about the video and filed a police case. But two-three people have threatened us and said we should drop the case. I have stopped going to school. My final examination is in March.

You tell me, how should I cope and prepare?

First published in NDTV.com

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