By D. Raja
The gruesome gang rape and murder of a young Dalit woman in Hathras, the barbaric violations of her body as she toiled on a tiny piece of agricultural land by the upper caste men has caused immense grief and rage. While dignity was systemically denied to her in her life, even in death her body was denied its rightful due by the caste Hindu State and society when the police not heeding the wishes of the family of the deceased burnt the corpse in the middle of the night. The shock and grief the macabre caste crime caused is beyond measure yet it is by no means a surprise. It can be attributed not only to the sinister caste hierarchy based on graded social inequality and brahmanical patriarchy that viciously disciplines and punishes the Dalit body especially that of the Dalit woman.
Such caste and patriarchal dominance and resultant exploitation when combined with Hindu supremacist ideas, subscribed to by both Modi and Yogi regimes, become more hideous and perverse. The horrifying magnitude of crime and the insensitivity displayed by police and the BJP regime in UP in hurriedly disposing the body of the murdered and gang-raped Dalit girl by trampling upon the dignity due to a dead person brings out the appalling state of governance in our country. Therefore, the gruesome rape and murder of a young Dalit girl in Hathras must be seen from the perspectives of caste, patriarchy and Hindu supremacist ideology which is pushing our society and nation into multiple crises and denting India’s image at the global level.
Yogi Adityanath continues to subscribe unwaveringly to defend the violent idea of Hindu Rashtra. Such an obnoxious idea is deepening the existing caste stratification, fuelling continuing atrocities and making Dalits and particularly Dalit women easy prey for lynching, abuse, sexual violence and execution.
The nexus between the casteist police machinery and the government of UP is laid bare for all to see. The delay in filing FIR, delayed medical care, destruction of evidence and the worst of all dismissing the dying declaration of the victim who clearly names the four upper caste men as criminals who raped and assaulted her are all indicative of the intension of the entire State machinery.
According to the NCRB data, in the past few years, crimes against Dalits is on the rise and at the same time the convictions rate have substantially declined. The official statistics further indicate that UP is leading in crimes against Dalits especially Dalit women. UP has notoriously under Yogi Adityanath government unabashedly practiced the vulgar collusion between the caste elites and the govt machinery. In many cases like the Unnao rape case, the Chinmayanand case, the BJP government openly shielded and granted impunity to the caste elite perpetrators.
The manner in which the upper castes were allowed to organise a meeting in defence of the accused in presence of the police in violation of COVID regulations clearly brought out the bias of the UP administration in favour of those who are accused of committing the crime. The threat of the district magistrate to the family of the victim in the full glare of media to change their statement in favour of the government or else the administration would change their stand against the Dalit family testified to the horrifying sub script to favour those who have been held for allegedly committing the crime against the Dalit girl.
Project Hindu Rashtra to which the regime of Adityanath remains committed has intensified caste atrocities in the State and Dalits have been subjected to unimaginable cruelty. Dr B R Ambedkar had prophesied that the idea of Hindu Rashtra unless defeated would result in calamity. The calamity which caused havoc in Hathras would get multiplied across society and nation. In fact, Dr. Ambedkar referring to British police brought out its bias in favour of the high castes and wrote in 1946. “Owing to the preponderance of Caste Hindus in the Subordinate Police and Revenue Services the Government was already, from the point of view of the Untouchables, not a British but a Hindu one”.
It is unfortunate that more than seventy years after the foundation of the Republic the political regimes in several States of India are shaped by Hindutva ideology. Persistence and resilience of such regimes because of leaders like Modi and Yogi does not augur well for our Republic. The Hindu Fascist regime is continuously cooking up conspiracy theory in order to legitimize the caging of dissent. Any and all voices of dissent and challenge to the fascist agenda of the current regime are being slapped with UAPA and sedition charges. The constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression that every citizen holds is being unscrupulously denied.
When anti-CAA agitation got intensified in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi had famously stated that he would take revenge against the protestors. Now he is using the same language against those who are agitating for the justice of the Hathras victim. All those who are protesting against the ghastly tragedy and demanding justice for the victim by taking recourse to the lawful method of agitation have been threatened with severe action slapping UAPA and sedition charges by Chief Minister. One must recall the absolute abuse of law by the UP CM who took similar action and imposed National Security Act on Muslims and all others who were part of the anti CAA agitation. The venomous Hindu bias of the Chief Minister was reflected when draconian laws were applied against Muslims who were unfairly blamed for Tablique Marqaz event which was mischievously linked to spread of coronavirus.
The dissent and disapproval of people against caste hierarchy and exploitation of the State and society in UP is being met by the RSS-BJP regime by inflicting brute force and authority which is extremely disastrous to the objectives enshrined in the Constitution and the constitutional morality so eloquently advocated by Ambedkar for the cause progressive social change and dissent based on his slogan “Educate, Organise and Agitate”. The annihilation of caste has become imperative and urgent to ensure justice-social, economic and political. (IPA Service)