07, Feb 2024 | CJP Team
Despite forming about 16.6% of the total population of the country, the Dalit community continues to deal with horrifying social stigma and violence.
From being denied places to worship, to social boycotts, to being beaten for saying ‘Jai Bhim’, Dalits continue to be pushed to the corners of the society. According to the latest numbers by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), instead of decreasing, incidents of atrocities and crimes against Scheduled Castes have gone up by 1.2% in 2021, with a total of 50,900 cases, in contrast to the previous year’s figure of 50,291. This data reveals the persistent challenges faced by the Dalit community at every juncture of society.
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Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu
A struggle goes for Dalit dignity in the village of Thenmudiyanur, nestled within the Tiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu as higher caste Hindus boycott a temple after Dalits were begun to be allowed in it. According to Frontline Magazine, Dalits were long excluded from the local temple. However, after demands and political pressure from the CPI (M) and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), the district administration granted access to the Dalits on January 30, 2023 the temple was closed. The temple’s priest, belonging to a backward caste, gave up his post. However, after a series of peace meetings, the temple reopened in August 2023, only to be boycotted by the higher caste community. A new temple has now been erected according to reports, where the higher caste Hindu communities are preparing to go to pray.
In Karnataka’s Bengaluru, a Dalit professor named Ravi Bagi, has made allegations of caste discrimination against the National Education Society’s management following his transfer to a different college. Bagi, who is a teacher of Kannada has asserted that the institution’s management is being discriminatory against him and have reportedly “demoted” him even though for a year, he has been urging the college to furnish a letter supporting his PhD guideship to Bengaluru University. However, he has been transferred to teach pre-university students now, according to Hindustan Times.
The transfer has reportedly relocated Bagi from Basavanagudi National College, where he taught both undergraduate and postgraduate students, to Jayanagar National College where he will now be teaching pre-university students. According to the HT report, he has stated that he feels “marginalised”, “There have been no complaints regarding my competence or performance. Suddenly, the management has demoted me from teaching PG and UG to Pre University. I feel marginalised due to my Dalit identity.”
Narauli, Uttar Pradesh
After the Republic Day function at Sardar Singh Inter College in Narauli town, two students reportedly assaulted and beat up a Dalit student who had finished his speech on Dr BR Ambedkar with the chant ‘Jai Bhim-Jai Bharat’. The victim has filed a complaint after which a First Information Report (FIR) has been registered by the police. The police have stated that they are actively investigating the matter. The FIR was filed at Baniya Ther police station and it includes charges under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), along with relevant sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The incident highlights the importance of addressing and preventing discrimination within educational institutions.
Image : Representational Image