Tag Archives: Bathani Tola

50 Years Later, Shadow of Keezhvenmani Continues to Hover Over our Republic

December 25, 1968, termed as ‘Black Thursday’, saw the first mass crime against Dalits in independent India, who were fighting for respectable wages under the leadership of the Communist Party.

50 Years Later, the Shadow Keezhvenmani Continues to Hover Over our Republic

Image for representational use only; Image Courtesy : Socialist India

P Srinivasan, a veteran village functionary who cremates the dead had, in an interview done few years ago, described the darkening early morning on December 26, 1968, when the bodies began arriving from Keezhvenmani, a non-descript village in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu.

The village functionary, called Vettiyan, who is nearing 60 now, still remembered the number: “There were 42 corpses in all, horribly burnt and mangled. The stench was awful,” Pointing towards the plot of land where they were cremated, he said “All of them were Dalits, burnt to death in a caste clash. I cremated them on these very grounds.”

Srinivasan, then 23-year-old, shared vivid details of that ‘Black Thursday’ in 1968, a day that has remained etched in his mind.

December 25, 2018, completes 50 years of that ‘Black Thursday in 1968’, which is remembered as the first massacre of Dalits in independent India. The Dalits were martyred while fighting for respectable wages under the leadership of the Communist Party. All of these landless peasants had started to organise themselves into a campaign for higher wages following the increase in agricultural production in the area.

(https://www.newsclick.in/50-years-later-shadow-keezhvenmani-continues-hover-over-our-republic)

Tsundur Massacre – Normalising Injustice the Judicial Way

Tsundur, Guntur, A.P. which had made headlines way back in 1991 when eight dalits were lynched by a 400 strong armed mob of Reddys is again in the news. The recent judgment of the A.P high court has overturned the judgment of the Special courts and has acquitted all the accused involved in the case for ‘want of evidence’.

As rightly noted by Human Rights Forum (HRF) the judgment is ‘brazen injustice’ and is ‘reflective of upper caste anti-dalit bias’ and ‘betrays insensitivity in the judiciary to an inhuman caste atrocity.’ It is expected that the state does not waste time in moving the Supreme Court to get this retrograde judgment overturned and render justice to the families of dalits.

What is more disturbing and shocking is the fact that when the Special Court formed to deliberate on the case had finally given its verdict seven years back, it was considered a ‘historic’ in very many ways. The conviction of the perpetrators – twenty one of the accused were life imprisonment and 35 of the accused were asked to serve one year rigorous imprisonment – was considered a significant milestone in the ongoing dalit emancipation movement. Continue reading Tsundur Massacre – Normalising Injustice the Judicial Way

In Search of Brahmeshwar Singh, ‘the Absconder’

The Myth of the ‘Misuse’ of Laws Meant for the Protection of Dalits and Tribals

Are the laws meant for the protection of Dalits and tribals are put to misuse?

It is a theme which recurs regularly in the discussions engaged in by the chattering classes of the country. While nobody can deny that frivolous cases are not filed under this act the manner in which the issue gets raised creates an impression that the only ‘use’ of this law is its ‘misuse.’ Neither the polity nor the articulate sections of our society seem ready to go for a reality check. In fact, as a marker of these classes’ ‘sensitivities’ towards this delicate issue, even Ms Mayawati in her earlier incarnations as Chief Minister of UP had cautioned the police about its ‘misuse’. She is also reported to have issued G.Os (government orders) to use this law only in cases of rapes and murders of the Dalits.
Continue reading In Search of Brahmeshwar Singh, ‘the Absconder’