Disclaimer: This article contains videos of violence and abuse.
Since the beginning of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests, many other narratives have sprung up, with people opting to say ‘All Lives Matter’ to bring every human in the conversation.
This includes our own celebrities. While it is fundamentally a correct statement, the timing of it is not. At a time when people from African-American communities are fighting against centuries of injustice, saying ‘all’ lives matter, takes away from their struggle and changes the narrative for worse.
Sara Ali Khan posted this pic on her insta which say “all lives matter” striking the word “black” on the post. I know our Indian celebrities were stup!d but this is peak dumb@ssery, I have no words. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/skQD4w3QHk— swaraaa_➍ 🏳️🌈 (fan) (@QUEENSO0) June 4, 2020
*In picture is Sara Ali Khan’s post, which she deleted later*
Which begs us to view this in light of issues in our own country. In a grim reminder that caste discrimination still exists, there have been multiple cases of Dalit people being demeaned and in worst of cases, killed, in India. Why are people not talking about these issues, is the question that needs to be answered.
A 17-year-old Dalit boy was shot dead by four men in UP for trying to enter a temple. The outrage should be over flowing, but there’s barely a trickle.— Andre Borges (@borges) June 9, 2020
1. A 17-year-old boy, Vikas, killed by a group of ‘upper caste’ people allegedly for entering a local temple in Amroha.
Vikas’ father told The Telegraph that the accused tried to stop the boy, but he entered the temple to offer prayers. Later, they came to his house and shot him with a gun. He also said that the police refused to file an FIR intially.
Meanwhile, the officer in charge of the local police station, Niraj Kumar said that it wasn’t a matter of untouchability, but other issues between the boy and the group.
Some accused in the matter have been arrested while the search for the others is on.
2. A 20-year-old Dalit man, Viraj, chased down and beaten down to death for alleged relationship with an ‘upper caste’ woman.
The incident happened in Pune’s Pimple Saudagar, where the girl’s father, along with other family members, chased down the man in a tempo, hit his two-wheeler from behind and thrashed him with a metal rod and a rock.
He succumbed to injuries later.
The girl’s family, on the other hand, accused Viraj of harassment and stalking.
The police has arrested the accused and detained 2 minors.
3. Dalit men in UP beaten, shaved and paraded around with shoes around their necks for stealing a fan from the house of a ‘Brahmin man’.
The incident happened on June 4, after the 3 men allegedly stole the fan. The PGI police station in-charge, KK Mishra, elaborated on the issue and told The Quint:
After the family caught the three men, other villagers also gathered and soon the mob started thrashing them. To humiliate them further, they shaved their heads abruptly and paraded them around the village with shoes hung around their neck.
Cases were registered against both, the men and the people who subjected them to humiliation.
योगी का रामराज्य दलितों के लिए कब्रगाह है। यूपी के लखनऊ, पीजीआई थाना क्षेत्र में ब्राह्मणवादियों ने ऊना कांड को दोहराया है।— Chandra Shekhar Aazad (@BhimArmyChief) June 9, 2020
21वीं सदी में भी मनुस्मृति का दंभ पाले ये लोग सत्ता के नशे में मदमस्त हैं। घटना स्थल पर भीम आर्मी की टीम पहुंची है। याद रहे.. एक दिन यह सरकार भी बदलेगी। pic.twitter.com/eRd4XYF6GC
4. 2 Dalit men, were beaten with rubber belts, violated for alleged crime of stealing money in Rajasthan.
The 2 men went to a servicing shop in Rajasthan’s Nagaur district on February 16. It was then that one of them was stopped on the counter and accused of stealing money.
He was then beaten up by several people at the servicing center, who also violated him with a screwdriver dipped in petrol.
When the other tried to help, he was thrashed too.
The manager of the servicing center later filed an FIR against the two men, saying that they had stolen money from the shop.
The police did not recover any cash from them.
7 people were arrested in the case after huge uproar.
5. An ‘upper caste’ man allegedly murdered a Dalit woman and consumed pesticide afterwards, in an attempt to commit suicide.
The incident was reported by The Indian Express on May 19, 2020.
According the her husband, the 27-year-old was walking to a field with two other women. It was then that an ‘upper caste’ man came and held her hand, when she tried to resist, he hit her with the handle of a shovel. She died immediately.
The Superintendent of Police of Rajkot, rural police Balram Meena, later said that they could not confirm if the accused was trying to physically assault her or that this was a case of class divide.
6. Dalits stopped from cremating an old woman’s body at a public crematorium by people from Jat community in Rajkot.
In a case from January 2020, a Dalit family was stopped from cremating an old woman’s body and they had to sit on a protest for any action to be taken.
Later, they were allowed to cremate the body, but on the ground, unlike in other cases where it happens on a platform with a tin shed.
The FIR was registered 4 days after the incident.
7. 3 men forced a Dalit man forced to eat human excreta, urinated on him over between the communities.
A 43-year-old man was forced to eat human feces and was urinated on by caste Hindus in Thirumandurai village of Thiruvarur district.
In his complaint, he said that 3 men attacked him when he was coming back from a brick kiln and then subjected him to humiliation over a fight that started between the communities over a temple festival 3 years ago.
Arrests were made, based on his complaints.
This incident happened in 2019 and led to a lot of furore from various sections of the society.
Now these are just cases that have been reported/made it to the news. The fact that a lot of people don’t even report these cases out of fear, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
As someone who says ‘all’ lives matter, why are they not talking about these issues? Do these not make the cut? Are they so irrelevant that they don’t just not get a name of their own, but also don’t fit in the word ‘all’? Is this not ignoring the entire existence of the people of these communities?