Tag Archives: caste

29Jan/16

Casteist Belligerence and abuse from UK Hindutva leaders at caste legislation debate

On 23rd January, at a debate on UK’s caste legislation organised in Leicester, senior Hindutva figures in the UK hurled insults at Babasaheb Ambedkar the author of the Indian Constitution and openly promoted what they called the ‘position of Brahmans’. Organised by Vichar Manthan a forum for propagating Hindutva ideology, the debate involved two speakers Mr Satpal Muman (CasteWatch UK ) who argued for the implementation of UK’s anti-caste discrimination and Dr Prakash Shah (Queen Mary, University of London) who argued against the anti-caste discrimination law. The debate was chaired by Anuja Prashar former executive board member of the Hindu Council of UK (HCUK)and regular contributor to India Inc a Hindu Right financial and propaganda outlet whose CEO is Manoj Ladhwa (Narendra Modi’s main PR man the UK). Prashar ensured that the challenges to Dr Shah were kept to a minimum, even preventing Mr Muman from taking on his arguments. Continue reading

28Jan/16

Justice for Rohith Vemula – Killed by Institutional Brahmanical Casteism! Candelight Vigil in London

M Ghazali Khan

LONDON — Representatives of rights groups, Indian diaspora and Dalit organizations marked India’s Republic Day eve by holding a candlelit vigil outside the Indian High Commission in London.

A press release issued by the South Asia Solidarity Group described the vigil as a display of solidarity with the hunger-striking students of the University of Hyderabad and other places across India against the “institutional murder of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula by university authorities and Indian cabinet ministers.”

Holding banners, portraits of Rohith Vemula and Dr Ambedkar and candles in their hands and raising placards Continue reading

31May/14

BADAUN-BHAGANA-NEVER AGAIN! DEMAND JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF GENDER/CASTE VIOLENCE!

BADAUN-BHAGANA-NEVER AGAIN! DEMAND  JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF GENDER/CASTE VIOLENCE!

Wednesday 4th June 4.30-6.30pm
Indian High Commission
The Aldwych, London WC2 (nearest tube: Holborn)

JNSU

The appalling gang-rape and lynching of two girls, aged 14 and 15, from an oppressed caste in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, India on Wednesday 28th May is the latest in a long line of  horrific murders and sexual assaults perpetrated on young Dalit women across India recently. Only two months earlier, four teenage Dalit girls aged 13-18 were raped by ‘higher caste’ landowners in Bhagana in Haryana, and the survivors are still fighting for the arrest of the rapists.

Dalit women and girls are facing an onslaught of gender, caste, and class based violence in which the Indian state collaborates. Less than 1% of rape cases of Dalit women by non-Dalits end in conviction. The level of impunity is so total that the perpetrators feel confident to finish off their vile crimes by murdering the victims and leaving their bodies on display. Are the lives of young Dalit women so expendable?

In the Badaun case, the police refused to investigate when the girls’ families reported them missing and even threatened to kill them if they filed a case, and two policemen have now been charged with conspiring with the higher caste rapists. In Bhagana, the courageous survivors and their families have been forced to travel to Delhi and stage an ongoing protest to demand the arrest of the rapists –after the police refused to register cases against the powerful men named by the girls in their testimonies.

Dalit women have been targeted for sexual violence wherever Dalit communities are challenging oppression and exploitation. In Bhagana, the four girls were raped in ‘revenge’ after Dalits demanded that the upper caste controlled village council hand over the land which had been allocated to them by the government, and protested against eviction and harassment. In Bihar, the Ranvir Sena, a landowners’ army aligned with Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, targeted Dalit and Muslim women for horrific violence when the rural poor organized for land and a living wage.

The recent election victory of Narendra Modi and the BJP has further emboldened upper caste and economically powerful rapists. The Brahmanical-patriarchal ideas of the Hindu right, in which Dalit women’s lives have no value, are being combined with intensified neoliberal economic policies which leave Dalits and other exploited and marginalised people even more vulnerable. While Modi tried to reach out to Dalits in his election campaign, his close ally Baba Ramdev’s offensive remarks about Dalit women as the sexual property of upper castes exposed once again the misogynistic casteism of the Hindu right. In the wake of the Badaun case, Modi has condemned the appalling levels of gender violence in opposition-ruled UP, but the fact that he has given a Ministerial post in his government to Sanjeev Baliyan, one of the main accused in the Muzaffarnagar communal violence in UP last year which involved mass rapes of Muslim women, sends out a very different signal.

The last year and a half has seen a powerful movement against gender violence in India. But the Badaun and Bhagana cases painfully underline once again that the struggle continues, and can only succeed if the lethal connections between gender, caste, class and communal violence are recognized and fought.

Dalit groups and progressive and left women’s groups and students organisations in India are on the streets demanding justice for the victims and survivors of Badaun and Bhagana.  Join the solidarity protest outside the Indian High Commission in London on Wednesday 4th June from 4.30 to 6.30pm.

Organised by:

Freedom Without Fear Platform, a network of Black and minority ethnic women and groups http://freedomwithoutfearplatformuk.blogspot.co.uk

 

Supported by:

Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance

CasteWatch UK

South Asia Solidarity Group

Southall Black Sisters

Sri Guru Ravidass International Organisation for Human Rights

Voice of Dalit International