The Crime of Being a Dalit

RAJKOT: A 23-year-old youth was bludgeoned to death near Palara Central Jail in Bhuj on Tuesday night. Police said the murder was the result of a love affair. Police said the victim, identified as Jaideep Garwa, a Dalit resident of Kotai village of Bhuj taluka was in love with a woman from the Muslim community.

Youth murdered over love affair

For the sake of balance. South Asia is a complex and crazy place perhaps it would be better at BP if we all (including myself) took a breather and assess a broader positive outlook.

10 thoughts on “The Crime of Being a Dalit”

  1. You have gone way beyond my expectations. Sorry again.

    BTW I myself wouldn’t prefer a headline like “Muslims murder xyz” (as in the title of this post) or “Hindus murder xyz”, perhaps a variant that possibly names the religion (if it is relevant) but doesn’t sound like athe entire community is blamed.

    But whatever it is, I would like the style guides applied uniformly across religions. Glad to see my apprehensions about BP being proved wrong.

  2. Honor killings are bad and they happen all across South Asia.

    Caste Hindus murder Dalit bridegrooms for riding horses at their weddings. Dalits have been lynched for growing mustaches. In Pakistan, Muslims murder each other for running away with a girl from a higher status family.

    Don’t really see how religion is relevant here.

    1. Sorry Kabir, Honor Killing in South Asia except Sri Lanka.
      Very unknown here.

      “Honor” suicides maybe. Parents oppose love match, couple commits suicide.
      Much less than in the past.

      Sri Lanka has experienced major changes in its suicide rates since the 1970s, and by 1995 it had one of the highest rates in the world.

      Sri Lanka has made major advances in reducing its suicide rate from the peak in the mid 1990s when there were over 8514 reported suicide deaths (1995).

      This has now come down significantly: there were 3,025 suicide deaths reported in 2016. Compared to neighbouring South Asian countries, where there has been little change in suicide rates, Sri Lanka has managed to reduce its crude suicide rate by 70% during the last two decades.

      1. I stand corrected. “Honor Killings” are common in India and Pakistan–maybe not all of South Asia.

        1. I have changed the title of this post to be more “fairer” as the issues are different; honor killing versus potential lynching..

          The struggle to be balanced is a difficult one!

          1. Sujatha Gidla wrote that even Indian-American groups were very concerned about caste and wouldn’t let her join them when she told them she was an “untouchable” Christian. This is in an interview on which I can probably find (don’t have time right now).

            It’s sad that the whole caste thing persists even when people move to a more developed and civilized country.

  3. There is nothing in the news item that suggests that the victim’s Dalit identity is any more salient to the incident than his Hindu identity – or even merely his non-Muslim identity. On the other hand, it could be that the perpetrators are particularly invested in their women folks’ romantic affairs – regardless of who with. The news item is a perfect Rorschach test of the reader’s biases.

    Gotta love the Times’ headline though: “Youth murdered over love affair”. They could have gone a bit further and called it “Social disagreement over marriage proposal”.

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