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Atrocities against Dalits: Why don't MPs, MLAs from the community ever speak up?

BJP MP from Hathras Rajvir Diler
By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
In Gujarat, a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheshwari, belonging to the Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMSCEF) was killed in Surat, allegedly by a goon who was warning him against his Facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism. Facts have come to light suggesting there are other issues also which led to the murder, mostly related to land disputes, many a time ignored by activists.
Maheshwari was a lawyer and was supporting people from scheduled caste- scheduled tribe (SC-ST) communities whose cases were not being taken up by caste Hindu lawyers, and, apparently, assertion of a young Ambedkarite posed threat to the vested interests. They feared that the growth of such people would threaten their 'dominance'.
Brahmanism is nothing but a birth-based privilege and its protagonists use this “advantage” to intimidate others. They claim to have superior access to 'knowledge'. Such dominance prevails across India. It seeks to oppress Dalits and Adivasis, even as police is often found to remain mute spectator, often sympathising with such dominant upper caste goons.
Though news of violence against Dalits, particularly Dalit women, continues coming in from different parts of the country every day, ironically, there is little public outcry. Political parties and media also do not speak up. Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Bihar, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha have seen some major cases of such violence.
The accused person in the Gujarat Dalit lawyer-activist's murder had reportedly 'warned' Maheshwari not to write against Brahmanism and Brahmins, yet this activist continued to do so, and paid the price. However, I believe, it wasn’t merely writing in Facebook which became the main cause of the murder. His legal aid surely must also have been a reason for this.
In yet another case, four upper caste goons of Hathras allegedly raped a her, cut her tongue, broke her neck and left her bleeding. The girl, on treatment in Safdarjang Hospital in Delhi, died on September 29. Thakurs dominate the village, followed by Brahmins, while Dalit Valmikis are just about 15 families, who are routinely harassed by upper caste people.
This incident has failed to get necessary outcry in the media. Of course, a few papers published reports on the event. But others were busy trailing Bollywood involvement in drug racket and justice for actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The girl was fighting for her life, yet there was no protest (except one by Bhim Army, following her death), or candle light march, even words of sympathy.
Unfortunately, Dalit MPs in our political parties behave as foot soldiers of the Brahmanical order. Local MP from Hathras is Rajvir Diler, is a Valmiki Dalit. During the 2017 assembly elections, he was BJP candidate from Iglas, a reserved constituency. During his campaigning, he would keep a glass in his pocket. Whenever people would offer him tea, he would accept it in his glass only, so that people from other castes don’t “feel bad”. He was even found touching feet of upper caste people younger to him.
When asked whether he does not feel like challenging the caste order, Rajvir said, it is our parampara, tradition, and we must respect it
When asked whether he does not feel humiliated, and why does he not feel like challenging the caste order, Rajvir said, “It is our parampara, i.e., tradition, and we must respect it”. Indeed, BJP was respecting the 'tradition' and Rajvir also did not want to hurt upper caste votes in the region, a fact captured by journalist Alok Sharma of the Times of India in his report on February 8, 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 was ready to go to any length, including humiliating his own self and his Valmiki community, one of the most marginalised and ostracised. He was found to be touching the feet of Mohan Singh, a Jat pradhan, seeking forgiveness, saying, "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 said: “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 Diler fought for MLA’s election, which he won. BJP was happy with his 'performance', and sticking to its 'tradition', it rewarded him with a Lok Sabha ticket from the same area in 2019. He is an honourable member of Parliament. Yet we have not heard anything from him so far about the violence on his community girl.
Diler and many like him may even become ministers, but if they can’t stand up for the marginalized sections and speak up against caste violence unleashed against their community, they are of no use to the community. Will Diler ever speak up for the Dalit girl who was brutally raped and murdered in his constituency?
---
*Human rights defender

Comments

Unknown said…
Dalits like him will not speak up for other Dalits who are down-trodden but, on the contrary, they will line their own nests with scraps thrown at them by their 'benefactors'. If they do take up a cause you can be sure that they have taken a bribe and passed on some of it to the same 'benefactors' and that the cause will be one which will get them media attention and so improve their chances of getting re-elected.

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