PresenterBagh Dr.Sartik - Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Department of Political Science, Lucknow, India
Panel39 – Citizens at Risk: Caste, Violence and State Institutions in India
Dalits are placed at the bottom of social hierarchy. The caste system which view people through the prism of purity and pollution considers Dalits as inferior and untouchable one who deserve to be excluded, discriminated and physically harmed by the socially privileged castes. Indian Constitution provided an olive branch to Dalits which promised them equality, liberty, justice and dignity which have helped them to assert and claim their due place in the society. The assertion and quest for social justice on the part of Dalits have led to violent reaction. This is something to do with maintaining a hierarchy with Dalits. Secondly, the assertion of Dalits through protests and mobilization have angered the rigid and conservative sections in the upper castes who want a perpetual domination and hegemony in the society. And people from the privileged castes also overwhelmingly found in the various institutions especially in those places such as police and judiciary that make things difficult to fight for justice against violence and atrocities. The way out would be making the institutions including state police and judiciary more representative, provision of tough laws accompanied by better education, training and employment, a robust and time bound system with transparency and accountability will go a long way in addressing caste violence suffered by Dalits in the country.