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Rising Atrocities Against Dalits
Author: Thamanna Abdul Latheef
We, the citizens of India, are living in a world of absurdities and contradictions. On the one hand, we do brag about secularism and on the other, we kill each other in the name of religion. While hate speech, intolerance, communal clashes, political killings, rapes, and murders constitute one side of the coin, “unity in diversity” slogans become the flip side. We do condemn sexual violence against minors and women, still worship the same self-styled godmen who are found guilty of rape. We don’t even mind vandalizing public properties for them.
Dalits have always been a target of the communal clashes as the incidents of atrocities reports portray naked truths. Recently, PM Modi had inquired his ministers whether they have spent one night in a Dalit village or not. Except for the Agriculture Minister, no one had the answer to his question.
As far as the question is concerned, it has the capability to win the public’s hearts as it appears to have an emotional touch at the core. Hence, could extremely connect with the poor. But at the same time, the states that are ruled by the BJP have the highest number of Dalit atrocities. Indisputably, Uttar Pradesh tops the list.
The broad trend
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for 2015 and 2016 showed that the number of crimes reported against Dalits had risen from 38,670 to 40,801, with Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan heading the table of states with most instances of crimes against Scheduled Caste people.
According to NCRB, Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of atrocities against Dalits at 25.6% of all cases reported followed by Bihar (14%) and Rajasthan (12.6%) in the list. The numbers of cities followed a similar pattern, with Lucknow reporting the highest number of atrocities reported among the 19 metropolitan cities, and Patna and Jaipur come right after it.
State-wise records of crime
The latest data for 2014-16 reveals that the BJP ruled states recorded highest crime rates against scheduled castes. With 20 percent of India's Dalit population, U.P. accounts for 17 percent of the crimes against them. The numbers — ranging from 7078 to 8946 from 2013 to 2015 — are high, but so is the population of Dalits in the State.
Bihar too has a poor track record, with 6721 to 7893 cases of atrocities in the same period, contributing 16-17 percent of all India crimes against Dalits with just eight percent of the country's SC population. While Dalits form 15.9 percent of the State’s population, 40-47 percent of all crimes registered there are against Dalits.
Comparatively, Karnataka reported 1,869 such incidents, accounting for just 4.3% of all such crimes in the country.
To be precise, a crime is committed against Dalits every 15 minutes in India. And six Dalit women are raped every day; according to official statistics that register a 66% hike in atrocities in the past ten years 2007-2017. The situation has worsened, with a further spike in anti-Dalit violence, over the past four years.
Over the last ten years (2007-2017), there has been a 66% growth in crimes against Dalits. Further, data from NCRB shows that the rape of Dalit women has doubled in the last 10 years. Prior elections, these communities are being lured by the fake promises of the various political parties. We, as a society, need more policies, plans, and actions than just electoral promises from the government. We deserve to live in India that is free of horror and atrocities.