Speak against the caste violence against Dalits

Devji Maheswari

In Gujarat a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheswari, belonging to BAMSCEF was killed in Surat by the Brahmin goon who was warning him against his facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism but then there are other angles also which are mostly related to land disputes, many time ignored by the activists. Fact is that Devji Maheshwari was a lawyer supporting many of those people from SC-ST communities whose cases were not being taken up by the caste Hindu lawyers and this assertion of the young Ambedkarite pose threat as they cant tolerate it. They fear that the growth of such people will threaten their ‘dominance’. Brahmanism is nothing but birth based privileges and act of intimidation and dominance through ‘knowledge’. And we will have to see how the functioning of such dominance continue to happen in different parts of India and state after state are competing to oppress the Dalits and Adivasis as police remain mute or have their sympathies with the dominant goons.

Though violence against Dalits particularly Dalit women continues to come in from different parts of the country yet the supreme irony is that there has rarely been any outcry in public, political parties or media. Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Bihar, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha have some of the biggest cases of violence. It is not that elsewhere it is not happening but the numbers and intensity might be a bit low. Many times, reports dont come in the media from far away places where social ostracisation is a powerful tool.

The Brahmin accused of Gujarat Dalit lawyer activist’s murder had reportedly ‘warned’ him not to write against Brahmanism and Brahmins but this activist continued and paid the price. Ofcourse, as I said, it is not merely writing but also the work of legal aid being provided by the lawyer to the Dalits, which made him unpopular among the Savaranas. So the Ambedkarite pay the price of standing up for the principles or their beliefs and pledge continue to fight.
Now we come to another story and it is a horrific tale of brutalities of the Savarna goons, the Thakurs in Hatharas, four of whom, as accused in the FIR, raped her, cut her tongue, broke her neck and left her bleeding. The village is dominating by Thakurs, followed by Brahmins and the Valmikis are just about 15 families who continue to get harassed by the Savaranas.

This incident has got not much outcry in the media. Ofcourse, a few papers send their reporters got it reported and felt they have done their duty. Others are still busy with Bollywood’s trail with Drugs and Justice for Sushant Singh Rajput. The girl is fighting for her life and we have not seen a single protest, dharana, candle light and even words of sympathy. Why is this happening ? We blame media but what about our own conscious. I am not seeking response from people in Delhi. What I say is that in the area these things happen, people become mute and dont take side. Women remain inside home and their first loyalty is their family followed by their castes. So it is not the matter of a girl being tortured and brutalised by dominance of the brute caste forces who today can do anything.

Unfortunately, the Dalit MPs in these parties too behave like the foot soldiers of the brahmanical order. The local Member of Parliament is Rajvir Diler whose father himself was a MP for this constituency. Rajvir, prior to becoming Member of Parliament, was also an MLA.

During 2017 Vidhansabha election, Rajvir Diler was BJP’s Iglas candidate as it was a Reserved constituency. During his campaigning, Rajvir would keep a tea glass in his pocket and whenever people would offer him tea, he accepted. They did not serve tea to him on their pots. He would not enter into their homes and even touch the feet of people younger to him. When asked about whether he does not feel humiliated and to challenge this order, Rajvir said that ‘ it was our parampara, i.e. tradition’ and we must respect it’. Yes, BJP was respecting the ‘tradition’ and Rajvir also did not want to hurt the Savarna votes in the region as beautifully captured by the journalist Alok Sharma, of Times of India in his report from the ground on February 8th, 2017, ” Rajvir Diler is a candidate from Iglas, which is just 300 kms away from Delhi and it is not difficult to understand why he is averse to breaking the caste barriers. His constituency is Jat dominated with about 90,000 of them, who will decide the winner.”

For the sake of vote, Rajvir Diler is ready to go to any length including humiliating his ownself but more than that, it is basically his Valmiki community, one of the most marginalised and ostracised, who get more hurt and humiliated. He touches the feet of Mohan Singh, a Jat Pradhan seeking his forgiveness and say,” Main aapke pair padhta hun, mujhe meri galti to batao. Main ek gaon ka chowkidar banana chahta hoon, Vidhayak nahi.. ( I bow to your feet.. tell me my mistake. I want to just become a chowkidar of the village and not an MLA)

He further emphasise: main ek bhangi ka beta hun. mere pita bhee yehee karatey the, main apnee maan maryaada khatm nahee kar sakata, zamana chahe badalata rahe’.. ( I am son of sweeper, I cant do away with tradition whether the times are changing.)

This was 2017 when Rajvir Diler fought for the MLA election and he won from there. BJP was happy with his ‘performance’ and sticking to ‘tradition’ rewarded him with a Lok Sabha ticket from the same area and 2019 brought Rajvir into Lok Sahba. He is an honorable Member of Parliament but we have not heard anything from him so far about the highly atrocious violence on his community girl.

Just as I write this, the news flash coming that the Dalit girl who was raped by the Savarna goons in Hatharas died in All India Institute of Medical Sciences where she was referred just a couple of days back from Aligarh where she was treated earlier.

Our police, our administration, our political parties, our leaders have become heartless and people are counted as per votes. Some votes are expensive while others are taken for granted. Politics of representation will also come and now time has come when such leaders need to be questioned and boycotted.
Many friends wrote in support of Rajvir Diler that time that what is happening in Manu’s India but i felt that such netas must not be respected. Rather I would prefer much like our Gujrati brother Devji Maheshwari. It is important now to realise that somebody’s becoming a MP or an MLA or a mantri does not give a thing to community. If you become all this after humiliating your community then far superior than you are those ideological youngs who swear by Phule-Ambedkar-Periyar and fight their battle honorably even if they dont have four wheeler or police escort with them.

It is time when people will have to decide whether we need just those who are serving them or those who want to raise people’s issues. Of course, those who dont want to break the ‘boundaries’ of ‘manuwad’ can not really help the Dalits. Rajvir Diler and many like him may become even Ministers but if they cant stand up with their community and speak up against this caste violence unleashed by the Manuwadis. Let him speak up for the right of this girl who have been brutally raped and murdered by the manuwadi gangsters. Will he stand and speak ?

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social activist. Twitter @freetohumanity



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Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter @freetohumanity Email: [email protected]

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