By Subhradeep Mukherjee
*Trigger Warning: Mention Of Rape*
Only if one incident wasn’t enough, caste-based violence has opened up old wounds after the alleged rape and murder of a 9-year-old Dalit girl in the very heart of the nation, Delhi.
Just a year ago, on 14 September, 2020, four upper-caste members of the society gang-raped a 14-year-old girl in Delhi. After her death, police took custody and cremated the victim’s body without letting her family members know.
As history repeats itself, so has India’s caste dependant patriarchal society, as another juvenile Dalit girl was raped and murdered as the Delhi Police took charge of the cremation without letting the family know.
However, controversies erupted as CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat addressed Amit Shah, stating that a “lie” is being spread regarding the decision-making surrounding the cremation. The authorities say that the victim’s mother agreed to the hasty cremation, while Brinda, who spoke to the victim’s family, says otherwise.
As the Nangal incident opened up a fresh wound from last year, society is left to wonder whether it will ever give the women of India the bare minimum of respect they deserve and stop throwing them under the bus for anything as mundane as the caste system.
In her closed letter to Amit Shah, Brinda karat wrote:
“It is indeed regrettable that you [Amit Shah] have not intervened yet in this case even though Delhi police is directly under your ministry. My request is that you kindly ensure that justice is done. The parents cannot be ever compensated for the loss of their beloved daughter. But the government is duty-bound to ensure them financial support.”
All India Students’ Association Delhi vice-president Madhurima Kundu also added to this situation, stating:
“The country witnessed how the Hathras accused were shielded by the RSS-BJP. In Delhi, Delhi Police, which is under Amit Shah, has failed to ensure the safety and security of women in the Capital.”
As shameless an act this is, it is our own duty to protect the people of our own country. While it is true that women in the majority are the ones who are left without any hope and oppressed to the last fibre of their body, Dalits are in the worst of them all.
As the investigations go on, it is not yet sure whether the culprits behind such a heinous crime will ever be brought to justice. Will the victim’s family ever get answers as to why such an innocent child underwent such pain due to the caste abuse in the Capital.
Several protests took place throughout many sectors of Jantar Mantar by student groups from various establishments. The Students’ Federation of India, All India Democratic Womens’ Association and Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch also lent their support. They talked about how much women and especially Dalits, are subjected to tremendous amounts of hatred by upper caste members of our so-called patriarchal society.
Aishe Ghosh, the president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union, added saying:
“We live in a political environment in which caste is being reinstated into our social order with its former vigour.”
Will this madness go on, or will such crimes against Dalits in India that keep on happening without repercussions reach an end as the justice system finally catches up and does what it is meant to do?
If you are a survivor, parent or guardian who wants to seek help for child sexual abuse, or know someone who might, you can dial 1098 for CHILDLINE (a 24-hour national helpline) or email them at email@example.com. You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.