Do Vedas order killing of those who burn Dalits alive ?
by Sankara Narayanan
The death of two conservancy workers owing to asphyxiation last week when they were cleaning (rather forced to clean) an underground drainage at a housing colony in TN's Madurai was reported by the Hindu on Oct 21, 2015.
In a similar incident occurred in 2009, a contract worker of the City Corporation died while removing blockage with two others without wearing protective gear. Another worker succumbed at a hospital two days later. Needless to say they were all Dalits.
Though there has been a ban on manual scavenging under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 and the earlier Act brought into the statute in 1993, there is little or no monitoring to prevent the practice and the consequent deaths.
The corporations and municipalities across India have on rolls tens of thousands of contract workers who are required to remove blocks in the underground drainage system by entering into the drains through manholes. It is not uncommon to see conservancy workers unclogging manholes with sticks and rods without wearing shoes, gloves or masks.
A conservancy worker admitted that they never receive these protective gears from their contractors. Many of the contractors either do not know about such protective gears or chose not to give them. This being the case for conservancy workers, their counterparts who clear dust and debris off roads also work without masks or gloves.
Since the workers are engaged by the contractors, the municipal bodies do not take manual scavenging seriously. It is the duty of the municipal authorities to step in and ensure that manual scavenging is not practised and the workers wear the protective gears and use machinery. In many cases, families of the deceased workers do not get compensation for the loss of the breadwinner.
It is not surprising that a Madurai Corporation official says that many workers do not wear the protective gear issued to them. If a worker dies in a factory for want of wearing necessary protective gear, can the factory owner plead not guilty because the worker failed to wear the gear though provided? Will the administration, police and court admit such a plea and let the factory owner off?
Will the officer offer such an irresponsible response if his kith and kin are the conservancy workers? The administration must book the officers concerned in case of such deaths under the SC/ST Atrocity Act and treat the deaths as murders. If such proactive steps are taken, the killing of Dalits in gutters will vanish overnight. The crime committed by a law enforcer is much more serious than the one committed by an ordinary citizen. Not a single public servant is punished for such killings in all these years.
Dalit family set afire
According to the media reports, a Dalit family of four, including two children, was set afire inside their house allegedly by members of the Rajput community in Sonped village in Ballabgarh, Faridabad district (Haryana), in the early hours of Tuesday.
While Vaibhav (2 years) and Divya (10 months) died before reaching the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, their mother Rekha (22) admitted to the ICU with serious burns died later. Rekha's husband, Jitender (26), a medical attendant at a hospital, escaped with minor burns on his hands.
The attack on the Dalit family has its history in the murder of three persons of the Rajput community on Oct 5, 2014 following an altercation over a mobile phone. Eleven members of Jitender's family were named in the case and are currently in jail. Two weeks ago, the accused had allegedly threatened Jitender's family with dire consequences if they did not leave the village.
The police have booked 11 persons in the case and arrested three so far. "A case has been registered under the IPC and the SC & ST Act against 11 persons and three have been arrested," said a police official reportedly.
This case will also follow the course of similar cases (Mass Dalit burning at Keezhavenmani village in TN's Thanjavur district in 1968, the massacre of Dalits by the landlord-controlled RanvirSena in the late 1990s in Bihar and the rape and murder of Priyanka Bhotmange and her mother at Kheirlanji in Maharashtra's Bhandara district in 2006), thanks to the obliging upper caste-friendly administration and court. Please note Haryana is now being ruled by a super Khap after another equally notorious Khap was booted out in the last election.
Vedas order killing of sinners who kill cows
A recent article in the RSS organ Panchjanya said, "The Vedas order killing of anyone who slaughters the cow. Cow slaughter is a big issue for the Hindu community. For many of us it's a question of life and death." The piece written by Vinay Krishna Chaturvedi adds, "But what should one say about those people and their leaders who, while living among 80 per cent Hindus, have no concerns for the majority sentiment."
The Dalits burnt to death or murdered inside the gutters were also Hindus.Even the converted ones were earlier in the Hinduism. Chaturvedi, RSS and BJP are also living among 80 per cent Hindus. Why they have no concern for these Hindus?
Chaturvedi must tell us whether there is any provision in the Vedas that orders killing of anyone who slaughters the Dalits either by burning them alive or killing them inside the gutters. If there is no such provision, is it not time for Chaturvedi and his patrons in the RSS to rewrite Vedas incorporating similar provision that mandates killing of the butchers of Dalits?
Chaturvediji, please note the society "glorifies and remembers" such persons "martyred to prevent Hindu-slaughter." Courtesy: Meri News
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