More than 160 million people in India are considered “Untouchable”

India’s “Untouchables” Face Violence, Discrimination

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Hillary Mayell

for National Geographic News

June 2, 2003

More than 160 million people

in India are considered ”



Untouchable”-people tainted

by their birth into a caste

system that deems them

impure, less than human.

Human rights abuses against

these people, known as

Dalits, are legion. A random

sampling of headlines in

mainstream Indian

newspapers tells their story: “

Dalit boy beaten to death for

plucking flowers”; “Dalit

tortured by cops for three

days”; “Dalit ‘witch’ paraded

naked in Bihar”; “Dalit killed

in lock-up at Kurnool”; “7

Dalits burnt alive in caste

clash”; “5 Dalits lynched in

Haryana”; “Dalit woman

gang-raped, paraded naked”;

“Police egged on mob to

lynch Dalits”.

“Dalits are not allowed to drink from the same

wells, attend the same temples, wear shoes in the

presence of an upper caste, or drink from the

same cups in tea stalls,” said Smita Narula, a

senior researcher with Human Rights Watch, and

author of Broken People: Caste Violence Against

India’s “Untouchables.”Human Rights Watch is a

worldwide activist organization based in New

York.

India’s Untouchables are relegated to the lowest

jobs, and live in constant fear of being publicly

humiliated, paraded naked, beaten, and raped with

impunity by upper-caste Hindus seeking to keep

them in their place. Merely walking through an

upper-caste neighborhood is a life-threatening

offense.

Nearly 90 percent of all the poor Indians and 95

percent of all the illiterate Indians are Dalits,

according to figures presented at the

International Dalit Conference that took place May

16 to 18 in Vancouver, Canada.

Crime Against Dalits

Statistics compiled by India’s National Crime

Records Bureau indicate that in the year 2000, the

last year for which figures are available, 25,455

crimes were committed against Dalits. Every hour

two Dalits are assaulted; every day three Dalit

women are raped, two Dalits are murdered, and

two Dalit homes are torched.

No one believes these numbers are anywhere

close to the reality of crimes committed against

Dalits. Because the police, village councils, and

government officials often support the caste

system, which is based on the religious teachings

of Hinduism, many crimes go unreported due to

fear of reprisal, intimidation by police, inability to

pay bribes demanded by police, or simply the

knowledge that the police will do nothing.

“There have been large-scale abuses by the

police, acting in collusion with upper castes,

including raids, beatings in custody, failure to

charge offenders or investigate reported crimes,”

said Narula.

That same year, 68,160 complaints were filed against the police for activities ranging from murder, torture, and collusion in acts of atrocity, to refusal to file a complaint. Sixty two percent of the cases were dismissed as unsubstantiated; 26 police officers were convicted in court.

Despite the fact that untouchability was officially banned when India adopted its constitution in 1950, discrimination against Dalits remained so pervasive that in 1989 the government passed legislation known as The Prevention of Atrocities Act. The act specifically made it illegal to parade people naked through the streets, force them to eat feces, take away their land, foul their water, interfere with their right to vote, and burn down their homes.

Since then, the violence has escalated, largely as a result of the emergence of a grassroots human rights movement among Dalits to demand their rights and resist the dictates of untouchability, said Narula.

Lack of Enforcement, Not Laws

Enforcement of laws designed to protect Dalits is lax if not non-existent in many regions of India. The practice of untouchability is strongest in rural areas, where 80 percent of the country’s population resides. There, the underlying religious principles of Hinduism dominate.

Hindus believe a person is born into one of four castes based on karma and “purity”-how he or she lived their past lives. Those born as Brahmans are priests and teachers; Kshatriyas are rulers and soldiers; Vaisyas are merchants and traders; and Sudras are laborers. Within the four castes, there are thousands of sub-castes, defined by profession, region, dialect, and other factors.

Untouchables are literally outcastes; a fifth group that is so unworthy it doesn’t fall within the caste system.

Although based on religious principles practiced for some 1,500 years, the system persists today for economic as much as religious reasons.

Because they are considered impure from birth, Untouchables perform jobs that are traditionally considered “unclean” or exceedingly menial, and for very little pay. One million Dalits work as manual scavengers, cleaning latrines and sewers by hand and clearing away dead animals. Millions more are agricultural workers trapped in an inescapable cycle of extreme poverty, illiteracy, and oppression.

Although illegal, 40 million people in India, most of them Dalits, are bonded workers, many working to pay off debts that were incurred generations ago, according to a report by Human Rights Watch published in 1999. These people, 15 million of whom are children, work under slave-like conditions hauling rocks, or working in fields or factories for less than U.S. $1 day.

Crimes Against Women

Dalit women are particularly hard hit. They are frequently raped or beaten as a means of reprisal against male relatives who are thought to have committed some act worthy of upper-caste vengeance. They are also subject to arrest if they have male relatives hiding from the authorities.

A case reported in 1999 illustrates the toxic mix of gender and caste.

A 42-year-old Dalit woman was gang-raped and then burnt alive after she, her husband, and two sons had been held in captivity and tortured for eight days. Her crime? Another son had eloped with the daughter of the higher-caste family doing the torturing. The local police knew the Dalit family was being held, but did nothing because of the higher-caste family’s local influence.

There is very little recourse available to victims.

A report released by Amnesty International in 2001 found an “extremely high” number of sexual assaults on Dalit women, frequently perpetrated by landlords, upper-caste villagers, and police officers. The study estimates that only about 5 percent of attacks are registered, and that police officers dismissed at least 30 percent of rape complaints as false.

The study also found that the police routinely demand bribes, intimidate witnesses, cover up evidence, and beat up the women’s husbands. Little or nothing is done to prevent attacks on rape victims by gangs of upper-caste villagers seeking to prevent a case from being pursued. Sometimes the policemen even join in, the study suggests. Rape victims have also been murdered. Such crimes often go unpunished.

Thousands of pre-teen Dalit girls are forced into prostitution under cover of a religious practice known as devadasis, which means “female servant of god.” The girls are dedicated or “married” to a deity or a temple. Once dedicated, they are unable to marry, forced to have sex with upper-caste community members, and eventually sold to an urban brothel.

Resistance and Progress

Within India, grassroots efforts to change are emerging, despite retaliation and intimidation by local officials and upper-caste villagers. In some states, caste conflict has escalated to caste warfare, and militia-like vigilante groups have conducted raids on villages, burning homes, raping, and massacring the people. These raids are sometimes conducted with the tacit approval of the police.

In the province Bihar, local Dalits are retaliating, committing atrocities also. Non-aligned Dalits are frequently caught in the middle, victims of both groups.

“There is a growing grassroots movement of activists, trade unions, and other NGOs that are organizing to democratically and peacefully demand their rights, higher wages, and more equitable land distribution,” said Narula. “There has been progress in terms of building a human rights movement within India, and in drawing international attention to the issue.”

In August 2002, the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD) approved a resolution condemning caste or descent-based discrimination.

“But at the national level, very little is being done to implement or enforce the laws,” said Narula.

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STOP THIS SICKENES, I APPEAL TO ALL HINDUS TO END THIS INHUMAN RELIGION OF HINDUISM AND JOIN ISLAM THE RELIGION OF EUQUALITY AND AND JUSTICE

MY APPEAL PATICULAR TO THE DALIT 80 % POPULATION OF INDIA TO STAY AWAY FROM THE FALSE SYSTEM OF RESERVATION IN EDUCATION AND JOBS , IT ONLY A BAIT THE UPPER CASTE HINDUS ARE USING TO KEEP YOU IN THEIR RELIGION SO THAT THEY CAN RAPE YOUR WOMEN AND MUDER YOUR YOUNG EVERY DAY —STOP THIS EVIL RELIGION AND LEAVE IT , GOD HAS NOT CREATED YOU INFERIOR TO ANY BODY , YOU ARE THE CHILDREN OF ONE FATHER PROPHET ADAM (P) , NO NONE SHOULD FOOL YOU INTO BELIVING THAT YOU ARE BORN OF AN INFERIOR RACE OR CASTE !!!!

COME JOIN ISLAM TODAY , AND PROTECT YOUR COMING GENERATION FROM BEING TREATED WORSE THAN ANIMALS

NO CHRISTIANITY AND BUDHHISM ARE NOT THAE ANSWER FOR YOU

FOR BUDHISSM NON VOILENCE PHILISIOPHY WILL MAKE YOU COWARDS, WHICH IS THE LAST THING YOU NEED !!!

AND RACIST CHRISTIANITY IN WHICH JEUS CALLS ALL

NON JEWISH PEOPLE LIKE YOU AS GENTILES DOGS, IS THE LAST THING YOU NEED !!!

COME JOIN ISLAM THAT IS YOUR ONLY HOPE AND SALVATION

caste.jpg

Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him – (S)] in his last sermon from the Mount of Arafat [Makkah] declared: “An Arab is no better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is no better than an Arab; A red raced man is no better than a black, except in piety. Mankind are Adam’s children and Adam was created from dust”

caste.jpg


It is only Islam that can salvage this situation at ease. The moment any individual, or a Dalit(Lower caste Hindu) enters into the fold of his or her Creator and Sustainer by reciting and confirming that: “There is no deity except Allah and Muhammad is His messenger [LA Ilaha Illallah Muhammadun Rasulullah], he or she demolishes the centuries old bondage of caste system and immediately comes at par with the highest place in the society. There is no caste system in Islam, All men and women are born equal.

In Islam, excellence depends on the attainment of piety or Allah-consciousness. There is no limit to it. The more a person can acquire it, the higher position he will get in the society. Respectability in Islam depends on Allah-Consciousness [Taqwah] and not on caste, race, wealth, power or position.

This is the only way to abolish the political and social hegemony of Brahmanism in India. This road is wide open. Dalits and its leadership should come forward and grab it to finish their state of ignominy and centuries old deprivation.

Now only Islam can elevate their status to the point of honor and dignity by granting them equal status at par with the highest placed in the society.

In fact, it is Allah who has given this guaranteed status to all who enter into His fold. No one can even think of taking it back or usurp in any from or shape even by the mightiest monarch, a Congress or a Parliament howsoever powerful it may be. The Qur’an ordains it and Allah’s Prophet confirms it categorically in his eloquent addresses.

“O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. Verily, the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is one who is deeply conscious of Him [or the best in conduct] Behold, Allah is all-knowing and all-aware.” [ Holy Qur’an. 49: 13]

Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him – (S)] in his last sermon from the Mount of Arafat [Makkah] declared: “An Arab is no better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is no better than an Arab; A red raced man is no better than a black, except in piety. Mankind are Adam’s children and Adam was created from dust”

Islam prohibits all kinds of distinctions on account of race, color, birth or language. The society established by Prophet Muhammad (S) was unique in this respect. It had Salman from Persia [Iran], Bilal from Ethiopia, Suhaib from Rome, all living together with honor and respect. Prophet Muhammad (S) married his cousin, Zainab of the noblest tribe of Quraish to Zaid bin Harith who was purchased by his wife Khadija as slave.

Caliph Omar used to call Bilal who was originally a slave as Sayyedna Bilal [Bilal My Lord] and used to accommodate him to sit by his side whenever he visited him during his Caliphate.

no_hate.jpg

no-racism.jpg

41-stop-racism-stop-sign.gif

caste.jpg

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And We did not send you (O

Muhammad) except as a Mercy to the

worlds(all the People in this world and

in hereafter).

Holy Qur’an 21:107

Say (Muhammad): “If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”Holy Quran 3:31

Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.Holy Quran 33:21

“It is He who has sent His messenger (Muhammad) with the guidance and the Religion of truth(Islam), to prevail over all religions, even though the idolaters may detest.”

(Holy Quran 9:33)

“This day I have perfected for you your religion, and completed my favor upon you and have chosen Islam as your way of life.” (Holy Qur’an 5:3)

Holy QuranSurah 68. The Pen, (the

Letter) Nun

1. Nun. By the Pen and the (Record) which (men) write,-

2. Thou(Muhammad) art not, by the Grace of thy Lord,

mad or possessed.

3. Nay, verily for thee is a Reward unfailing:

4. And thou (Muhammad)(standest) on an exalted

standard of character.

5. Soon wilt thou see, and they will see,

6. Which of you is afflicted with madness.

7. Verily it is thy Lord that knoweth best, which (among

men) hath strayed from His Path: and He knoweth best

those who receive (true) Guidance.

8. So hearken not to those who deny (the Truth).

Courtesy

Sufi786
Author
The Only true Religion Debate

Click here to find out more!

ALSO READ :

HINDU GOD RAMA’S CONTEMPT FOR WOMEN & LOW CASTE HINDU

Atrocities in Dalits’ ( a so called Lower Caste Hindu )daily life

THE OTHERSIDE OF THE GITA CIRTICAL REFLECTIONS ON THE DARK SIDE OF THE HINDU HOLY BOOK BHAGAVAD GITA

What is Common between an Dog , a Crow , a Women and a Sudra ( Dalit) (Low Caste Hindu) (Untouchable) in Hindu Religion ?

EVEN A KID GRADE SCIENCE PROVES HINDU HOLY BOOKS ARE NOT DIVINE – PROVED 100% FOOL PROOF !!! PART- 1

Hindu Gods Whispered The Vedas into Aryan ears Only? but Why not in the Ears of original Native Lower Caste Dravidians !!! ?

Character and Personality Building Course by Prophet Muhammad (s) – Topic 2.Racial and Caste Equality



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2 Comments

  1. daneil tomo
    Posted October 23, 2008 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    After reading and browsing the contents of hindu belief it wonders me how arrogant the hindus hindraft in Malaysia.It` your religion which discriminates the people through you .here in Malaysia people like Ananda Krishna can be a limelight in Business and the indians should be proud.

    The hindus should be grateful that they are free from the despised caste system from their motherland and please please acknowledged treated you well in Malaysia.We never asked you to drink todday or illegal samsus.And you should read history more and we are heading for a better Malaysian now.Last but not least mind you there is no etnhic cleansing or kuil cleansing in Malaysia it is you people who built temples illegally at others .Please understand what ethnic cleansing get it from the oxford dictionary the latest edition.

  2. Posted December 17, 2008 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    thank you web admin


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