The recent rape of Dalit girls and other atrocities on Dalits in rural parts of Haryana and other places in India has been regularly happening for the last more than 6o years despite the reports of several commissions on Schedule Caste Atrocities by Upper Caste Indians and enactments like Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribes Prevention Of Atrocities Act 1989 and despite the socio- economic conditions of SCs improving in India. it is a sad reflection of our sullied democracy and deep rooted upper caste prejudices against Scheduled Castes/Dalits.
The above atrocities of perpetrating violence and looting the property of
Dalits in some villages of Haryana (Haryana is notorious for its regressive practices of Upper caste violence on Dalits) happened in reaction to a Dalit boy eloping g with an Upper caste Ror girl. This violence on Dalits and looting their property resulted in mass exodus of Dalits from Pabnawa village in Haryana. Unless, the upper castes behind this mind boggling violence are brought to book by the District Administration and assure their protection and property, the migrated couple and other Dalits are refusing to return to the village. The Bhupender Singh Hooda Government of Haryana should immediately bring the upper caste culprits in this violence to book and implement the law in letter and spirit to show solidarity with Dalits.
In Addition the illegal ‘Khap Panchayats’(Village Caste Panchayats) are pronouncing death verdicts against such couples, who flout caste/community norms although they are extra constitutional bodies and the Supreme Court of India declared them as illegal and unconstitutional and hence abolished.
In some parts/cities of India, even today the discriminatory two tumbler system (one for upper castes and the other for Dalits) is in practice.
In some parts of India, the discriminatory and the abhorrent manual scavenging system, where Dalits manually scavenge human excreta for a living from Dry Latrines etc is in practice. Despite progressive voices crying foul against this heinous practice still it is in vogue.
It is utterly shocking that even in this ultra modern 21st century untouchability is widely in practice in Indian Society, although constitutionally it had been abolished since independence in 1947.
I’d advocate the following measures for better protection of civil rights of Dalits.
1.Social reformers in large numbers must bring a social transformation of narrow castiest mindsets of upper castes in to absolutely progressive ones throughout the length and breadth of India
2. Indian politicians at once should stop shedding crocodile tears on such atrocities against Dalits and stop playing vote bank politics in the form of more and more reservations for SCs. Instead, free high quality English Medium Schools up to Intermediate or 12th grade, with high quality teaching infrastructure and hostels etc should be opened by the Government and the respective State Governments for the betterment of poor Dalits and other weaker sections including poor upper caste Hindus and religious minorities. In such an improved educational competitive environment- let the Dalits or other weaker sections compete with upper caste boys and girls and bag merit scholarships for higher education. Free high quality coaching centers should also be opened for gaining entry into Engineering and Medical colleges etc through a common entrance Test for Dalits and other poor upper castes.. No reservations at all. This stops heart burn among upper castes and paves way for meritocracy.
3. All upper castes including our politicians, Bureaucrats, Judges and commoners etc should marry into Dalit and other weaker section families to eradicate this deep rooted caste malaise from Indian Society.
Conclusion: The changed /transformed narrow castiest mindsets of upper castes in the above set of changed social milieu into very progressive mindsets would automatically result in stoppage of violence and other atrocities on Dalits and ensure all their human rights/Constitutional rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India and the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989.