The gruesome rape and murder of a young Dalit woman in Hathras has caused immense grief and rage. While dignity was denied to her by an oppressive social order when she was alive, the caste Hindu society denied her her rightful due after death. The UP Police, refusing to heed the pleas of her family, burnt the corpse at midnight.
The shock and grief caused by this macabre caste crime is beyond measure, yet it is by no means a surprise. It can be attributed to the sinister caste hierarchy based on graded social inequality and Brahmanical patriarchy that viciously disciplines and punishes the Dalit body, especially that of the Dalit woman. Such caste and patriarchal dominance and the resultant exploitation when combined with Hindu supremacist ideas, subscribed to by both the Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath regimes, become more hideous and perverse.
The insensitivity displayed by the police and UP’s BJP regime towards the dead Dalit girl, even trampling upon the dignity due to a dead person, speaks of the appalling state of governance in our country. Therefore, this crime in Hathras must be seen from the perspectives of caste, patriarchy and Hindu supremacist ideology which are pushing our society and nation into multiple crises and denting India’s image at the global level.Yogi Adityanath continues to defend the violent idea of the Hindu Rashtra, which is deepening the existing caste stratification, fuelling atrocities and making Dalits, particularly Dalit women, vulnerable to lynching, abuse, sexual violence and murder. The nexus between the casteist police machinery and the government of UP has been laid bare for all to see. The delayed medical care, destruction of evidence and the worst of all, dismissing the dying declaration of the victim - she named four upper caste men for having raped her - are indicative of the intentions of the state machinery.According to the NCRB data, in the past few years, crimes against Dalits are on the rise while the conviction rate has substantially fallen. The official statistics further indicate that UP is leading in crimes against Dalits, especially Dalit women. With Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister, the government machinery has unabashedly colluded with the caste elites to serve the latter’s interests. In the Unnao rape case and the Chinmayanand case, the BJP government shielded the perpetrators.
The manner in which the upper castes were allowed to organise a meeting in defence of the accused clearly revealed the bias of the UP administration. The threat issued by the district magistrate to the victim’s family to change their statement testifies to the horrifying subscript of favouring those who have been held for allegedly committing the crime against the Dalit girl.
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