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Untouchable: Dalit women in India

 
Laura Smith-Gary
 
(First published Equal Writes website in September 2009)
 
Earlier this summer, in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state and the home of over 190 million individuals, fury and small-scale violence erupted when a Brahmin (upper-caste) political opponent of the state’s Chief Minister appeared to suggest the Chief Minister, a Dalit  woman (that is, from the lowest case, often known as “untouchable” because contact with members of this caste was thought to be contaminating), be raped in order to understand the pain of rape victims.
equal writes

Chief Minister Mayawati had been holding public ceremonies in which Dalit rape victims were given a small amount of compensation money (the equivalent of about $500) by government officials. Rita Bahuguna Joshi, a Brahmin (upper-caste) woman who is the leader of an opposing party, said that the women should “throw the money at Mayawati’s face and tell her ‘you should also be raped and I will give you ten million rupees’”.Joshi was arrested on charges of promoting social enmity, insulting a woman’s modesty and insulting a person of lower caste. Riots erupted, and protesters set fire to her house. The charges against her carry a possible sentence of ten years in prison.

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Kanshi Ram: Champion of the poor

 

Kanshi Ram-

Kanshi Ram will be remembered as someone who almost completely changed the rules of Indian politics over the last two decades. Few political analysts would disagree that his unique brand of social engineering and organisational skills succeeded in uniting India's low caste Dalit community into a formidable political force in several states.

 

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Kanshi Ram [1934 - 2006] Kanshi Ram - founder of Bahujan Samaj Party

Kanshi Ram - founder of Bahujan Samaj Party

Kanshi Ram was born to Bishan Kaur and Hari Singh at Khawapur village in Ropar district of Punjab. After completing his Bachelor's degree in Science (B.Sc) from the Government College at Ropar affiliated to The Punjab University he joined the offices of Defense Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), in Kirkee, through a reserved quota for Scheduled Caste. Kanshi Ram was born in cobbler caste, which is included in the GOI SC list.

 

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