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How dare you? You are a Dalit!

How dare you? You are a Dalit!

By Sidhant Srivastava

Edited by Liz Maria Kuriakose, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist

How come these Dalits are alive? Let us teach them a lesson. We will rape their women and girls and then strangulate them to death and hang them on a tree in the middle of the village so that it invokes traumatic fear in them and they won’t ever even think of having children. This will eventually lead to the end of their lineage and we, the superior ones chosen by God, will be the only ones left.

These are not my thoughts. The Incredible India which claims to be on a fast track of ‘tremendous growth’has people with these cruel thoughts. Many of you might be aware of the dreadful incident that happened in UP a few days back. Two Dalit girls, who were cousins aged 14 and 15, went missing from their house on the night of May 27 and their bodies were found hanging from a mango tree in the village the next morning. But there is a silver lining, the DGP told that one of the girl might not have been raped. When the UP elections took place, people in the hope of having a young, vibrant and dynamic CM, voted for Akhilesh Yadav. And what does he have to say about this incident, “When such incidents occur, it is publicized a lot… Such incidents don’t occur only in UP and if I give you statistics across the country you will again ask me questions. It’s the Google era. If you go online and check you will see where else such incidents occur,” So basically his justification is that such incidents happen all across the country and just the UP government shouldn’t be blamed for it.

Now let us talk about the urban population. Circulating around the unpixelated photo of the incident and writing one Facebook post despising the culprits, makes you a responsible citizen. Within a couple of hours, a new post about new sneakers will come up and you will be circulating around the photo of those ‘cool’ sneakers now. We crib about power shortage and keep on blaming the government for our petty miseries. Well, a house is being constructed near my place. I go to the gym every morning and I see the worker sleeping there on the side of the construction site along with his wife and two kids in the oppressive weather. In a building in a high end area in Delhi, a maid was dipping her feet in the swimming pool to get some relief from the scorching heat. An onlooker resident saw her and frowned upon her. Tens of children might urinate in the pool while taking a bath, but a maid is not allowed to dip her bare feet. If you go to stand in a queue for admission in a government college, there is a separate line for Dalits and Adivasis. The administration may justify it as a way to “avoid confusion”, but I feel that is discrimination.

And to the government the Dalits are just vote banks. Right before the 2009 elections, the government increased the quota for backward classes in the government institutes.With a new government at the centre, which came into power with quite a majority, we are hoping for immense economic growth and to be able the enter the League of Nations like China in the coming years.We are overlooking the fact that our grass roots are perishing. And you can never have lush green grass on the top if the roots are rotten.

We need to follow a bottom-up growth strategy. India needs to have an approach of holistic growth. The government needs to provide better means of education to the Dalits. It needs to conduct Roadshows all throughout the country, especially the rural regions, to remove all the myths encompassing the Dalits. We, as people need to change our outlook towards the domestic help in and around our homes. Only then can we achieve the dream of having a truly Incredible India.

Sidhant graduated from IIT and discovered his creative bent of mind towards writing after having a near death accident, he had never thought of taking his writing to a professional level. He started blogging just last year, but got an amazing response to his blogs, he then joined a fashion and lifestyle magazine as the sub editor. He is more than happy to contribute insightful articles on diversified topics to The Indian Economist.

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