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Jun-01-2013 15:49printcomments

INDIA: If Only the Dalit could Delete Sex Abuse and Oppression

Abuse is rampant, government and Church nearly silent.

Dalit woman abused by Indian police
Dalit woman abused by Indian police.

(SACRAMENTO, CA) - The Dalit of India are the most abused, most attacked, most raped, tortured, and insignificant people of India. In reality the last part is anything but true, Dalit people are bright and full of life, simply suffering under a system of oppression that the Indian government allowed to take form over time.

Dalit woman abused in India

Interestingly, a significant portion of the Dalit culture is Christian. However The Hindu reports that Dalit Christians in Tamil Nadu, India are accusing the Church of failing to assist them in their plight as the lowest caste people of India[1].

Christians of Dalit lineage say the Church is not taking advantage of legal and Constitutional provisions that could be used to safeguard their interests. Dalit Christians constitute 75 per cent of the laity in Tamil Nadu.

"Minority rights never helped Dalit Christians enjoy equity, equality, social justice and fraternity, because of the caste affinity displayed by the Church," said A Xavier, one of the representatives of the Dalit Christians.

Xavier was addressing a review meeting, drawing attention to the failure of the Church to adequately comprehend the socio-economic status of Dalit Christians, the caste discrimination they face, and also the denial of a right to quality education.

The meeting was presided over by State Minorities Commission Chairman M. Prakash at the Collectorate in Dindigul yesterday.

Dalit advocates referenced in The Hindu article, say Catholic institutions must take the initiative to introduce protective measures for Dalit Christians. They allege that the church does not have any concrete infrastructure, policies and programs to ensure that the most oppressed enjoyed the minority rights. Even quality education is denied to Dalit Christians.

Amudha was 18 years old when she was tortured, stripped and beaten by upper caste men in her village of Malliampatthi in Tamil Nadu. Why? Her community, the Dalits, had dared to celebrate a religious festival without inviting the higher caste Gounders. When Vizhuthugal, a partner organization of the Dalit Foundation, heard of Amudha’s plight, it stepped in to help.

Through education, counselling and a lot of care, she overcame her trauma and found a new confidence to approach her life.

Amudha is one of the many people who are rewriting their destinies and supporting them is the Dalit Foundation and its network of partners[2].


Oh the mighty Church, the institution that spends so damned much more time, energy and money in attorney fees protecting its pedophile priests instead of taking care of people. The institution has many good representatives but it is clearly spiraling downward in spite of that. The last Pope was part of the Hitler Youth, the current Pope is accused of having sold babies of murdered activists who opposed the government during the dark, U.S. funded years of Argentina's Pinochet government. What fools people are to see these men as anything more than politicians.

Those who stayed silent and played along with the evil fascists have no right to be leading people. Depending on the Catholic Church is a gamble at best, it is no wonder that the racist Indian government has been able to dismiss the plight of the Dalit under current conditions.

Commission Chairman Prakash said he would take up the issues highlighted by the speakers with state Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. He said educational aid of over 20 million rupees had been disbursed to 13,723 students from the minority communities and welfare assistance to 112 women in the district; a small fraction of a percent.

Dalit people account for roughly one-sixth of India’s vast population of approximately 190 million people. Their population numbers are comparable with the population of Brazil. Dalits occupy the bottom of Hinduism’s strict social hierarchy. they are relegated to some of the worst jobs, including street sweeping and toilet cleaning, and a life of endless poverty, social exclusion and rejection.

Background on the Dalit Struggle for Equality

The word ‘Dalit’, in Sanskrit, means “oppressed” or “downtrodden”. In Marathi, the language in which the word was first used for social and political mobilization by the ‘untouchable’ communities means “broken” or “broken to pieces”.

Dalits are placed at the lowest rung of the caste hierarchy, based on ritual purity and occupation. They are outside the varna system which gives them the traditional name of “panchamas”. The Constitution of India classifies Dalits as Scheduled Castes. According to the census figures of 2001, they constitute 16.2% (166,635,700) of India’s population. Of this population, about 80% live in rural areas spread all over the country.

Dalit social reality can be mapped along three axes: social (caste), economic (class) and gender. Among these within the social axes, Brahmanism plays a defining role in the identity and demarcation of Dalits. They were, and are still subjected to a lot of oppression.

Gender is a key dimension in mapping the social reality but more so in the case of Dalits. Apart from the regular forms of gender-based inequality and oppression, which they experience as women in the household, community and society, Dalit women in India are thrice alienated on the basis of caste, gender and class. The most vulnerable targets of caste based violence against their community, they are also raped and abused by men of their own community.

The practice of untouchability and social discrimination is a basic violation of civil rights, prohibiting SCs from using public water bodies like wells, water taps, temples, tea stalls, restaurants, community baths, road and other facilities.

To fight against these atrocities is the right of all dalits. Therefore, a dalit movement comprising of grassroots initiatives, community leaders and every individual who believes in equality, need to put up a united stand to be able to put a STOP to any more human right violations[2].


The BBC News India's article, India's Dalits still fighting untouchability, explains how Dr Vinod Sonkar, a PhD in law who has a teaching position at a Delhi university, was recently told to wash his glass when he was done, after a shop owner determined that he was Dalit.

"He didn't want to touch whatever I had touched. I made it impure. I am an untouchable," says Dr Sonkar, who smashed his glass against the wall, and threw enough money on the counter to cover the tea he drank and the glass he had smashed - and walked out.

"Unfortunately the Indian government, made up of the upper castes, has successfully convinced the international community that caste discrimination is an internal, cultural issue. But the truth is, it affects the very way this country is run," Dr Sonkar says[3].

It wreaks of pre-Civil Rights Era thinking in America, and South African and Israeli apartheid; archaic systems of abuse and oppression that single people out for being of the "wrong" religion, skin color or culture. All of it stems from nonsensical cultural programming and a greedy pattern controlled by the so-called upper classes who in reality, border on barbarity.

As The BBC points out, the practice of untouchability has been banned under India's constitution, but that seems to make very little difference.

The organization Video Volunteers runs a network of community correspondents throughout India, they launched a campaign called "Article 17" - named after the constitutional provision that banned untouchability.

They plan to file a lawsuit in the Supreme Court asking the government to take steps to stop untouchability practices. The campaign and the lawsuit are based on video evidence gathered by Dalits themselves.

Nothing New

An article by The Guardian written in 2001, proves that the problems experienced today have in fact been taking place for a very long time.

In Sex hell of Dalit women exposed, Luke Harding of The Guardian New Delhi, cited a 2001 report on the crimes against lower caste women in rural India, that revealed, "a depressing portrait of rape, sexual abuse and harassment, and suggests that it is virtually impossible for victims even to file a complaint at a police station, let alone achieve justice."

The article cites an "extremely high" number of sexual assaults taking place against women from the desperately poor Dalit and tribal communities. The suspects are frequently landlords, villagers from higher castes and, unsurprisingly, police. The study found that fewer than 5% of cases make it to court, activists estimate. Even worse, is the fact that these perpetrators of crimes against Dalit women and girls will often kill their victims and attack their families to avoid prosecution. "They also routinely demand bribes, intimidate witnesses, cover up evidence and beat up the women's husbands," the article explains.

"The police also do little or nothing 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 usually go unpunished."

That was 12 years ago, imagine the millions of cases of abuse that have taken place from then until now. Singh needs to take action, the government of Tamil Nadu must do the same, of course these are the same governments that failed to come to the aid of Tamils in the north of Sri Lanka when that government conducted its sweeping ethnic cleansing campaign against the Tamils in 2009[4].

High Profile Rape Horrifies World

Her case received well deserved attention, but not the
gang rape of a 16-year old Dalit girl by upper caste men

We learned how horrified sex abuse can be in India in a recent high profile case involving a young woman and her male companion who were attacked aboard a city bus, the woman brutally raped and violated, and then tossed from the moving bus. The world joined millions of Indians in decrying the act and calling for the blood of the attackers, but of course that woman was not Dalit.

The article Delhi Gang-Rape Protests: What About The Sex Crimes Against Untouchable Women? by International Business Times reporter Palash Ghosh, offers a tragic example of the contrast.

"In September, three months before the much-publicized Delhi incident, a 16-year-old Dalit girl was gang-raped by at least eight drunken higher-caste men for three hours in a village in the northern state of Haryana. The men even videotaped the assault on their cellphones, and eventually the images were shown to the girl’s father, who committed suicide shortly thereafter."

That rape hasn’t been prosecuted.

"It rarely happens in India when the victim is a Dalit, due partly to the silence of the victim and her family, partly to the authorities’ indifference to the plight of low-caste people. In some cases, rapists kill the victim to prevent any investigations.

"This assault was one in a series of rapes recorded in Haryana this year -- some of the victims were children under the age of 16."

The article reports that the worst cases of sex abuse involve Dalit women being raped, mutilated, burned, paraded nude through villages, and even forced to eat human feces.

“[The] rape of Dalit girls by the powerful ... upper-caste men is an instrument of caste oppression,” wrote Ananthapadmanabhan Guruswamy, director of Amnesty India. “[Dalit] women are often the targets of widespread and systematic rape.”[5]

Prime Minister Singh, your hands are dripping with blood, the world is watching and we're not impressed.

[1] ‘Dalit Christians neglected’- The Hindu


[3] India's Dalits still fighting untouchability

[4] Sex hell of Dalit women exposed -Luke Harding The Guardian

[5] Delhi Gang-Rape Protests: What About The Sex Crimes Against Untouchable Women?" - Palash Ghosh

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Raju Charles January 7, 2016 3:14 pm (Pacific time)

Caste India sucks! Dalit rights are human rights just as Hindu and Jews!

PropagandaNews October 12, 2014 1:14 pm (Pacific time)

Evangilical Propoganda on crack pot! Christian lie nailed with pants down

Anonymous June 1, 2013 6:37 pm (Pacific time)

The "caste system" is a sad system, I am a gay man, where would I fit?  As a proud Republican, I have to take exception to this system, and again, does being a homosexual place me in a caste? 

Well good luck, I've heard that there is a huge percentage of gay repub's who stay closet-ized,  glad you guys are starting to come out, it is good to just be all you can be, like the army says.

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