Skip to main content

Gujarat Dalit move to apply 'haldi tilak' as symbolic last rite to Hathras gangrape victim

The banner image
By Our Representative 
In a massive programme, Gujarat’s 431 villages and 305 villages of other states of India, will be holding Prerna Sabha (sacred get together) on October 14, the day on which top Dalit icon Dr BR Ambedkar embraced Buddhism in 1956. The programme will be held to give respects to the Hathras teenage girl, who was gangraped on September 14.
She subsequently died a fortnight later, but her body was allegedly refused respectable funeral by the authorities, not allowing her mother to apply “haldi-tilak” (turmeric mark) to her body, a religious rite. She was reportedly unceremoniously cremated in the absence of the family past midnight.
Announcing this, senior Dalit rights activist Martin Macwan, founder of the Gujarat-based human rights NGO Navsarjan Trust, said, “On this day people will apply a haldi tilak (turmeric power mark) on the poster that carries the representational image of the victim, whose face held in hands is in flames and smoke.”
Haldi tilak to be applied on the banner image – an artwork by Shiraj Hussain from Khwab Tanha Collective – will be “a mark of respect” towards the Hathras teenage girl, who became a victim of upper caste violence, Macwan asserted, adding, the event will be the fulfillment of “her last wish to apply haldi (turmeric powder).”
Macwan said, “Dalits families will donated a pinch of turmeric powder. The programme would end with handing over the collected haldi to the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh to be immersed in Ganga, since the state did not respect the religious/cultural rites of Dalit victim.”
The collected haldi is proposed to be handed over UP chief minister to be immersed in Ganga, since the state didn't respect the religious/cultural rites of the Dalit victim
In a statement announcing the programme, Macwan wondered whether Dalits have a last wish respected by the state, pointing out, “It’s a fact that the mortal remains of rape victim of Hathras were burnt by the state, thereby also destroying the crucial evidence required by the law.”
Ironically, Macwan said, in sharp contrast, the Government of India is known to have respected “the last wish of the Nirbhaya convicts as terrorists Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab, in addition to ensure that their mortal remains were cremated/buried according to their religious.”
He underlined, “The Hathras victim was neither the convict, accused or a terrorist but she was the victim of sexual abuse, and yet the state of Uttar Pradesh did not allow the last wish of her mother, to apply haldi-turmeric powder on the body of the deceased as per the cultural-religious tradition.”
Deploring the move, he called it India’s “the first grave violation of the kind, committed by the state – the attempt of the state to deny religious rites.”

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Global Hunger Index: Govt of India response pathetic, 'lacks' scientific empirical evidence

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* Come 16 October – and the world once again focused on the most basic need for a person’s survival: food! The first World Food Day was observed in 1994, to mark the launch of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Ever since, the day is marked to highlight the need and importance of food security across the world. The significance is accentuated especially in these difficult times like the C-19 povidandemic. The theme for 2021 is ‘Safe Food Now for a Healthier Tomorrow’, emphasising on the various immediate and long-term benefits of consuming safe and healthy food.

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.