Continued from here.
[This paper was originally published in Human Rights Global Focus, Vol. 5, Nos. 3&4, July-December 2010, pp 12-38 (late issue)]
Moreover, atrocities against Dalits (social boycott, kidnapping, murder, abduction, bonded labour, intimidation, rape, honour killings and residential segregation) have also increased many folds during the economic reforms measures. Tapan Basu in his engaging review of Anand Teltumbde’s latest book on Khairlanji: A Strange and Bitter Crop writes, “[t]he paradox of Indian modernity is that it instigates Dalits to fight for social justice, even as more and more social injustices are heaped upon them everyday” (Hindu, December 7, 2008). It is this heightened amount of Dalit atrocities wrapped in a double foil of chronic poverty and emerging Dalit assertion that has in fact come to challenge the much hyped neo-liberal market-economy model and the promise that it flags for the deepening of democracy in India. There has been about a three-fold rise in cases of crime against Dalits such as murders, grievous hurt, rape, social boycott etc during the last decade and half (Puniyani 2002). Late Suraj Bhan, the then Chairman of the National SC and ST Commission, while speaking in a seminar on Reservation In Privatisation organised by the Ambedkar Trust (Jalandhar), commented that more than 45,000 cases of atrocities against Dalits and downtrodden have been registered in India during the past one year alone. However, if the numbers of those cases, which were either suppressed or went unnoticed, are included, the total figure could easily go up to one hundred thousand (The Tribune September 5, 2005). During 2003-05 the number of such atrocities against Dalits was 69,216 (Mungekar 2006).