Skip to main content

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

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.

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Gujarat religious freedom amendment bill 'pursues' votebank politics, is anti-minority

Gujarat home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja  By Our Representative  A Gujarat-based minority rights organisation, taking strong exception to the state assembly last week passing the Gujarat Religious Freedom (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has asserted that the proposed law “is completely unconstitutional”, even as asking the Gujarat governor to give his accent to it.