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INDIA: If Only the Dalit could Delete Sex Abuse and OppressionTim King Salem-News.com
Abuse is rampant, government and Church nearly silent.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
High Profile Rape Horrifies World
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.”
Prime Minister Singh, your hands are dripping with blood, the world is watching and we're not impressed.
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