Crimes against women in Hathras of UP

Radhakanta Barik

Looking at nature of Indian state and its class politics as a political scientist one finds that the state treats differently to the Dalits and tribals in the case crimes happened to them. But the state is against the working class and peasantry. Today the state under Modi has turned against the Dalits and tribals and poor farmers and working class.  In the case of Hathras of UP one finds the striking difference in handling the case against a Dalit girl.  Why this is happening to Dalits and the law and order machinery is unable to handle the case in a proper manner.

As a teacher in Public Administration it is shocking to hear that the DM played a partisan role in permitting the dead body of the girl to be burnt in middle of night. This is a blatant violation of the Rule of Law and furthermore 90 retired civil servants have written letter to the chief secretary of UP to file the cases against the DM and SP under the SC and ST Act which can teach the lesson to the civil service in UP to stand on a neutral place in handling such criminal cases and do not get bowed to the political executive. The DM is Praveen Kumar Laxkar  needs to be taught the basic rules of public administration that DM is the representative of the state not government. He is violating this basic principle of public administration in India. The policemen and civil servants are protected under the Art 311 of Indian Constitution not to bow to the rich and powerful specifically landlords and high castes. Indian civil service specifically DM is trying to protect the culprits by threatening Dalits which is a shame on their part. Civil Service has been retained in India by Sardar Patel whom the BJP thinks that the great leader in whose memory Modi has created a statue of Rs3000 crores. This is wastage of money if the ideals of Patel are not followed regarding district administration.

Hathra incident needs to be discussed in the context of social structure of UP. Long back a leading sociologist from JNU Prof Partha Mukherjee our teacher did a study and found that after the departure of male persons the Rajput men came down to the Dalit basti and he found that their chapals were left on the verandha of the houses. He did not conclude anything except that the Rajputs exploited the Dalits specifically women in North India. After political democracy got established and the Congress leaders believing in Gandhian ideology started renegotiating the relationship between Caste Hindus and Dalits. That changed the society but the Hindutva a Manubadi party believes in reversing the social change.  Once social changes happened  and in the process the empowerment of dalits and women have happened.

Yogi factor is an important as he experimented anti Dalit politics in Gorakhpur with the help of his poor Kinsmen. He organised communal politics in the district and which made him to get the support of Caste Hindus. Such a leader has been selected by Shah and Modi for reversing social change. But they found that it is not easy and things have gone to beyond their capacity. The river Ganga has seen lot of blood flowing in it.

Despite prohibition under 144 in Hathras one finds the upper caste panchayat has been allowed to hold the meeting. It is interesting to note here that the man with saffron dress and a pig tail gave a lecture,' let us not do politics 'but save the interests of the thakurs. There are only twenty people and one does not know how many of them are just standing as onlookers. In his speech it is clear that not doing politics is the same thing as do politics of Hindutva communal politics. When they are appealing in the name of general interest which is not public interest which is a partisan interest. Be careful of these forces who mobilise on the platform of caste and communalism but talk of general interest not doing politics are a dangerous group who spoke in the name of nationalism in 2014 and 2019 general elections.

The way Balmiki community challenged the authority of the Rajputs in the village of Hathras is praise worthy. They did not bow down to DM or SP of the district. They are supposed to be paid 25 lakhs by Yogi government. But they do not feel obliged to Modi Yogi. They're speaking loudly against Yogi and they are giving press conference to the journalists. Democracy has given strength to the poor landless families who are not cowed down the number of the dominant caste.

Democracy survives if the media takes an independent stand. In the crime in Hathras the young women journalists played a decisive role to challenge the authority of the Yogi and civil and police administration. They have been sent by the media channels to work on the ground for collecting information. They are young and honest hardworking journalists. They do not bother of the agenda of their channels. They started reporting from the ground and showed the burning of the dead body in the middle of night without the consent of her parents. They reported the curfew in the village. They reported the threats of DM and SP to the victim's family. They reported about the locking of the house of the victim. It is beyond Modi's political design who captured the channels for his politics. He cannot capture the young journalists who are working for these channels. Yogi became the victim of Modi's media politics. It is a warning to the media owners that they have to come back to the track to report the facts. It is a moral victory for young women journalists in reporting from the ground in Hathras. These journalists reported from the ground and showed the burning of the dead body in the middle of night without the consent of her parents. They reported the curfew in the village. They reported the threats of DM and SP to the victim's family. They reported about the locking of the house of the victim. It is beyond Modi's political design who captured the channels for his politics.

Discussion in India Today over the issue of killing of a young dalit girl brings out truth that in the village has been under the curfew and no journalists are allowed to enter the area as if terrorists are hiding there. The journalists of India Today have been harassed there. Their phones have been snatched by the police. Some selective information regarding the case has been used by the IT cell of the BJP in leaking out. As one realizes the gravity of the situation that the privacy of a journalist who is a citizen of a country has been violated. This sort of tapping of the telephone is illegal under the laws of the state. This happened during the Janata Party government led by Hegde where the BJP was a part of the coalition . After the investigation under the Indian Traffic law it has been found that his government was guilty which led to the resignation of the government. This brings out the truth that Yogi government has no  moral right and it is illegal on the part of the government. He should go as the chief minister.

Jantar Mantar has drawn a huge crowd specifically the young and students have taken over the democratic movement of Delhi ahead. Yes political leaders have attended the protest but they have gone to support the protest. There is no party worker in the protest. As a journalist at Jantar Mantar from India Today says that there is an ocean of crowd. The reporter in answering to a question by the announcer regarding the nature of the protest and is it organic protest as people from all walks of life joined the protest. It is an organic protest against the UP chief minister who is unable to handle the women issue and Modi who is supporting him. There is a demand for the resignation of the chief minister Yogi. This noise is going to hit UP politics and society in coming days.

 The judges of Allahabad High court took sou mute decision to monitor the rape incident of Hathras as they felt that Gandhi's message to them whenever they were in dilemma they could look at the faces of the poor and then decide. The same statement of Gandhi is hanging in PM Modi's office and Chief Minister Yogi's office but they are not being guided by Gandhi but Savarkar. They take decision against the farmers, workers, Dalits and Muslims. They are against the women and they are not concerned of the rape of a dalit woman in Hathras and Balarampur.

Nandita Rao, a young lawyer in Delhi High court writes in an article in Indian Express regarding the police and political leaders' behaviour regarding the murderous crime against Dalit a woman in Hathras that British rule was better than this. Rule of Law was getting respected by the Britishers where the King of Puri got punished on the murder charge and sent to Kalapani and the poor people got punished the same way. Today laws are twisted not according to rich people but to the high castes which is a shameful act on the Yogi government.

Yogi stands for three Cs =caste, communalism & Crime. After he shifted to Lucknow as the chief minister he added another C that is corruption. All 35 cases against him need to be dissected one finds that he is a rabid communal person and in some cases he was going to face the trial in Allahabad High Court that he openly used to appeal for communal riots. His group openly commits crimes against Dalits and whenever it is required they commit crimes. Despite all these cases against him he was appointed as the chief minister as Nariman the seniour most lawyer writes that for the first time a monk has been made the chief minister. His monk is shrouded with darkness as the math has thousands of acres of land which he uses the bonded labour and no freedom for the labour. After he became the chief minister he withdrew cases against him which has never happened in the history of administration. He has withdrawn cases related communal riots in Muzafarnagar where they got involved in serious crimes despite the District Collector opposed the withdrawal of cases but he did it. He stands for two castes Rajput + Brahmins which he consolidates by appointing most of the collectors and SPs from these castes. Recently he appointed public persecutors most of them belong to the Brahmin caste. In a democracy he does not follow Rule of Law. He has arrested many Muslims in cases related to Cow slaughter including MPs and MLAs belonging to community. His anti Dalit stand is very clearly delineated while handling Bhima army chief by keeping him NSA. Politics of UP need to dissect where blatant illegal activities are getting organised by his party under his supervision. Modi Yogi has created a model administration where Rule of Law does not have any place. Serving the caste people who even commit heinous crimes like rape and murder like Hathra rape case of a teen aged dalit woman.

Prof Radhakanta Barik (retd), Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi

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Oct 10, 2020

Prof. Radhakanta Barik

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