I have said the same thing before and I will say the same thing today; we as citizens and as individuals, on any platform, are the difference between absolute dictatorship & the ongoing dissent & struggle to unmask these facades such as untouchability and the caste issue in India.
Our voice and our stand against the wrong is what determines how vicious and malicious the powerful can get when left with an absolute authority.
What unfolded in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh in the last couple of weeks has sparked a debate that starts with caste exploitation and ends with caste privilege.
Caste a bigger stigma for Indians than Rape
Of course it is! In households, I’ve known or seen, there is still a relevant practice of untouchability, which means not interacting, mingling with a person from a lower caste.
In most households even the utensils used to serve people from outside their community are kept separately and in most villages the facility to draw water is separate, at times prohibited, for those from the lower caste.
The atrocities against these communities are often unreported and don’t even reach the lawmakers’ ears. So when something like Hathras happened, and was meant to happen due to the growing exploitation of these marginalized classes, there was no doubt it was matched with protests from those in the privileged community.
After the press was driven away and the grounds clearly being controlled and monitored by Adityanath’s cops – protests were held to support the men arrested for committing the ghastly, sensationalized, crime that made Hathras another infamous place in the crime capital of the country.
Of course, a BJP leader led this protest from the Thakur community! Bet, you saw that coming. Poor for you, if you didn’t!
Beginning from the Hathras rape to the inhuman behavior by the UP Police to dispose off any chance of revisiting the case by swiftly cremating the 19-year-old, who passed away close to midnight.
At 3:00 AM the pyre burnt without her family members present, who were reportedly locked inside a random building. For people, I interacted with, from the said caste from which the culprits belong – “it wasn’t and shouldn’t be a big deal to cremate their dead at night because they do so in such lower castes“.
Clearly, the problem isn’t limited to sheer barbaric nature of the man and how women have been stereo typically seen as objects meant to obey and satisfy men. This is beyond the holds of this patriarchal mindset which has evolved from another sinister practice of untouchability.
Before men and women and children (of this generation) need to be reformed and reshaped the practice of caste untouchability and looking down on people because of your caste privilege, that sort of unjust behavior needs to be wiped out of this country.
Modern Media & the dumbness that follows
If you are unlucky enough to get a glimpse of our news channels, especially the ones in Hindi, you will be surprised how poorly educated they are on the subject of caste divide and the whole issue of casteism in India.
While one anchor, from Aaj Tak, claimed that the opposition has planned this attack on the Yogi Adityanath government on caste issues the others simply blamed their ministers for hogging the limelight by playing the ‘caste’ card out for the victim. Even the UP police had their own narrative to bolster this claim from Yogi and BJP loyalists.
Whether they deliberately did this, like they have been running their agendas, it is utterly shameful but that seems not to be the case as the problem is one that exists before we could cry or crib about the economy falling to an all new low or call out our luck for not being able to find a job; the caste problem dates way before these problems became noticeable.
Government has struck a double whammy since 2014 elections
Active, daylight PR, campaigns and media reporting no longer match the spirit that reformed the system under leaders like Ambedkar & Phule.
Now we’ve been succumbing to a mix of capitalist savagery combined with the exploitation of middle & lower income groups who are loosely based on their caste, class and religious identity.
The government, especially the NDA since 2014, have struck a double whammy by targeting Muslims, lower-castes and other such factions who no longer serve a purpose in the race of elites, crony capitalists and those lurking in search of absolute power.
I am put off by people with no sense to think on their own and with enough privilege to not think about the atrocities committed on people around them. These two categories – of holding knowledge and using it to substantially make a difference by engaging in activism makes all the difference in this world.
Two types of Indian people under Modi have become what a millions of Germans became under Adolf Hitler. Stung by this communal religious crisis and sprung by the cry to safeguard it we’re doomed and fighting for all the wrong reasons and for all the wrong people.
Agendas, needling media and an overwhelming set of false narratives drive people to believe causes and problems that simply don’t exist while the farmers, the economy and the average class citizen suffers or awaits death.
Now you know why a certain Deepika Padukone gets called to the NCB office to record her statements on the day the farmers union were supposed to protest in the country’s capital!
Because the farmers, the poor, the women and the dalit in this country are not worthy of the PM’s care.
Until you’re, of course, Kangana Ranaut helping them to topple the Maharashtra government by hook or crook!
So why don’t you all just stop your activism for the wrong causes like Arnab, Kangana and Rhea Chakraborty and instead use it for the dalits and the farmers of our country?