Dalit Atrocity Literature: How Indian Media uses false cases of Dalit Oppression to Divide the Nation

In the past few months, various cases of violence against Dalits have been in the limelight. If the Mainstream Media is to be believed, all such incidents are inspired by the deep-rooted hatred for Dalit in the minds of the upper caste people. These incidents are just a drop in the ocean of systemic violence and persecution endured by Dalits over millennia which continues to this day.

But this narrative bears no truth. As is usual with media these days, this narrative is just a political ploy, that serves two purposes;

  • First, to imbibe a sense of victimhood in Dalits to consolidate them as a single vote bank
  • And second, to vilify the ruling party BJP as a tyrannical Manuvadi setup run by Brahmins who hate Dalits and want them to suffer.

In other words, the media of the day is carrying forward the colonial legacy of “divide and rule.”

Back in the day, European colonial powers generated a ton of literature with the sole purpose of demonising the native cultures which they wanted to subjugate. They wrote volumes upon volumes of fiction, disguised as ethnological studies, describing how those cultures were barbaric and uncivilised, and how they oppressed their own people and merited western intervention. Rajiv Malhotra, in his widely acclaimed book ‘Breaking India,’ has called this genre ‘Atrocity literature.’ European colonisers used this literature to justify colonisation which they euphemised as “civilising missions.”

The mainstream media has inherited the legacy of Atrocity literature from our colonisers. Every other day, a new incident of violence turns up wherein the victim is a Dalit and culprit is of a higher caste. Usually, in such cases no caste angle is involved and a lot many times the cases turn out to be false as well. But, media is always quick to paint the incident in colours of caste oppression. So, the incidents which are otherwise law and order issues, are converted into incidents of caste atrocities by the media. Now, let us have a glance at some of the major incidents of violence against Dalits in the last few months.

In September 2017, a Dalit boy in Gujarat was allegedly beaten up by upper caste men for sporting a moustache. This incident took the nation by the storm. Dalits all over the country started uploading pictures on social media sporting moustache in solidarity with the Dalit teen.

But, police investigation revealed that the boy is a liar. He staged the attack with the help of his friends. His mother said that he has brought shame to the family. But the damage had already been done. The anti-Hindu coterie of political vultures like Shehla Rashid, Jignesh Mewani and their JNU tukde-tukde gang had already used this incident to fuel caste hatred.

In November 2017, a person associated with BJP beat up two youths in Telangana who speaking against his illegal gravel quarry. Although, clearly no caste angle was involved, but since the youths happened to be Dalits, it was obligatory for the media to give an angle of caste hatred. News reports about this incident were more interested in the caste of the youths rather than the injustice endured by them.

Another incident took place in Gujarat in March this year, wherein a Dalit youth was allegedly murdered for owning a horse, as Dalits are barred from riding horses. Yet again, it turned out to be a fake news. The police investigation found that the boy was killed for harassing village girls. He used to perform stunts on the horse whenever he saw girls around. The police also claimed to have come across several accounts of objectionable behaviour of Pradip in front of schoolgirls in his village and neighbouring villages.

The latest incident in this series took place in the same state a few days ago. A 35-year-old rag picker, who was a Dalit, was allegedly beaten to death in a factory compound near Rajkot district by five people, including the factory owner, who suspected that he and his wife were stealing scrap. As can be clearly read, the rag picker was killed for suspected theft. The culprits did not even know the caste of the victim. But, the media has yet again portrayed this incident as an example of anti-Dalit violence. Nevertheless, whatever happened was inhumane and the culprits must be tried and given the harshest punishments possible. But this is not at all an incident of caste violence, but that of the failure of law and order and must be treated as such.

All these incidents discussed here are just the tip of the iceberg of atrocity literature. The whole anti-Hindu cabal doesn’t just rely upon manipulated news reports but they have penetrated the school and college curricula as well. This propaganda manifests in the form of violent protests from time to time. For instance, the Bhima-Koregaon protest which took Maharashtra by storm. And perhaps the worst such incident ever witnessed by the country was the Bharat Band of April. Various Dalit groups who claim to be helpless victims of caste system wreaked havoc on the streets and vandalised public and private property alike.

Atrocity literature masquerading as the standard version of Indian history and false incidents of caste oppression reported by mainstream media every day have imbibed a sense of victimhood in the so-called lower castes of the country. This sense of victimhood motivates them to avenge their oppressors- the upper castes. And guess who benefits from the tussle between the upper castes and lower castes? It is the political opportunists of the likes of Jignesh Mewani and John Dayal.

It is high time that all Indians regardless of caste or creed be united as one to fight off the forces that want to break us.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SatyaVijayi