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Hathras Case: ‘Caste and Politics Have Merged Under BJP and RSS’

Dalit ideologue Chandra Bhan Prasad on the counter-revolution against Dalits in light of the Hathras ‘rape-murder’.

Published
Politics
3 min read

Video Editor: Vivek Gupta

Scathing in his attack on upper castes, Dalit ideologue Chandra Bhan Prasad speaks to The Quint about how the Hathras rape incident is symptomatic of a friction between the oppressed and dominant castes. Prasad believes that every time a Dalit is brutalised, the crime ‘lightens the mood of the upper caste’.

“Before whenever the caste order erupted, the state tackled that, the state disciplined that, the state brought its own law and order but now politics and caste, both the systems have merged under the management of BJP or RSS,” Prasad says.

Read the full interview below.
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There are allegations regarding the Hathras alleged rape and murder incident, that the attitude of the authorities is also different based on the caste of the victim and the caste of the accused.

The collector, the superintendent of police, the sub inspector, the policeman, they want to be seen as being partial and being part of the entire ongoing revenge on Dalits. They want to be seen as partial and against the victim. So when they are burning her, they are smiling because they think it is a victory. It is like an Olympic medal four upper caste boys have brought to the upper caste homes.

Why would they (the police and administration) feel happy about being seen as biased?

Because they are also part of this counter revolution. The collector thinks that he is a part of the counter-revolution, and he is fulfilling his caste duty.

According to you, what is the Hathras rape and murder case symbolic for in India today?

First let us talk facts. The fact is that in most cases, that are happening from Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh, the accused are upper caste, savarnas. If you see the way crimes are happening, the method mirrors an exceptional kind of brutality. Whenever a Dalit man is killed in Gujarat or in Uttar Pradesh, it gives a hope to the upper caste people who may be illiterate, a constable, a judge, a vice-chancellor or a physicist. When a Dalit is brutalised it lightens the mood of the upper caste people from California to Kanpur. This is a kind of counter revolution happening and India is at that phase of this history, and many many more Dalits will have to sacrifice themselves. 

Would you know about Dalit representation in the police forces in India?

There are adequate number of Dalit officials and staff in police forces, but they are all now marginalised.

So, what has this Hathras incident, what has that done for the debate around caste in India sir?

Before whenever the caste order erupted, the state tackled that, the state disciplined that, the state brought its own law and order but now politics and caste, both the systems have merged under the management of BJP or RSS, or whatever name you give them. Why do BJP politicians on any news channel appear so angry? Why do they display their anger and frustration even on the field? Because they think they got the power bloody too late. Ambedkar, Nehru, Indira Gandhi has ruined caste order beyond repair. That is good for India but that is bad for upper caste.

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Can you explain to us the equation between caste and politics? What leads to atrocities against oppressed castes being ignored and sidelined repeatedly.

Caste and politics under the management of BJP, they have merged into one. The politics is now playing the role for the caste, not against caste. That is what is called Ram Rajya or Hindu Rajya, or upper caste rajya, where caste must make a comeback. That is what ram rajya is. Caste for Hindus means, those upper castes to whom caste comes first before Hinduism and Hinduism comes before the constitution and before the nation. That is what Ram Rajya is.

Within the revolution of the oppressed caste, of the Dalits, is there an adequate voice given to gender equality within the revolution?

Not much. not much.

Is there anything happening on that front, any kind of dialogue?

There is a dialogue and gender equations amongst Dalits is much better than upper castes, yet gender equations among Dalits is not very fair and very right.

So that is something to work on as well.

Yeah.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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