report translated by Cynthia Stephen
On June 30th 2010, Karnataka woke up to hear the news of Honamma's horrific murder, killed with stone slabs by an upper caste mob of men. A year since, there seems to be no substantial progress in this case. We hope more awareness about it might expand and strengthen the struggle for justice for Honamma and also help us understand why assertive dalit women continue to be brutally attacked and murdered in modern India -Round Table India.
The study of the status of Dalit women in Karnataka has been difficult. There are very few success stories of Dalit women. Where they have been successful, they have also been difficult to pin down, as they are very busy with their day-to-day work. But there are many stories of women who were brave, assertive, and fearless in the public sphere, but they are also dead.
Honnamma (40), a Madiga dalit woman lived in Gopalpura village, Huliyur Hobli, Chikkanayakanahalli Taluk of Tumkur district of Karnataka. It is located about 3 kms from Hobli and about 25 km from the taluk centre. In falls under the Handikeri police station. The village is a small one, with just 4 Madiga households. The other residents include Madivalas – 20 houses, Eediga – 40 households (local dominant caste), Kuruba -10, Koracha – 10, Gangamathasthas – 10, Rayaru – 10, Upparas – 10, and Vaddas – 10. Other than the Madigas, most other households are OBC caste houses.