Can caste-based atrocities ever impress national media?

New Delhi: Conflicts among different religion factions easily make to the national headlines but stories about the caste-based atrocities often remain within the boundaries of the relevant state or to the nearby cities.

In the latest, a crime has been reported from Dhanoria village Guna district of Madhya Pradesh where a tribal woman was set on fire owing to a land dispute with influential people in the area. The incident took place on Saturday (July 2). The police has arrested two men in the matter, an official informed on Sunday (July 3).

The disputed property belonged to the deceased and her husband, Arjun, but it was illegally captured by the three upper caste men. With the help of Tehesildar, the land was returned to the couple legally. Owing to which, the three men decided to take revenge by pouring diesel on the woman and sparking fire resulting to her death.

Another recent incident from a village of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh reveals the atrocities committed against the scheduled caste people. In the following incident, a man was bombed allegedly due to an enmity with the father’s employer. 18-year-old Shiv Kumar had recently returned to home as he works as a labour in Haridwar to support his financially weak Dalit family.

On the intervening night of June 22 and June 23, Shiv Kumar was sleeping outside the house on a cot when someone puts bombs under his bed. After hearing explosion, the father came out to find his son lying on the floor at least 10 metres away from the cot. After which, the victim was immediately taken to villages’ CHC from but the doctors referred him to trauma center in the state capital. However, the deceased died during the treatment.

Family of the deceased accused the police of defending the culprits who belong to upper caste. On the other hand, the police implied that a team has been formed that is investigating into the matter.

However, the father of Shiv Kumar mentioned that there was a conflict between the former and the two men belonging to Thakur caste — Tej Bahadur Singh and Deepu Singh. Earlier, Tej had bought land from a resident of the village Arjun Singh. But a dispute erupted between the two dealers after the cheque bounced stopping the legal proceedings of the land. Meavalal yadav, who was posted as a watchman at the residence of Arjun Singh, seemed to be a problem for Tej Bahadur Singh.

The third incident which rocked entire Rajasthan occurred Paali district where a 28-year-old man was killed “for wearing nice clothes, groomed beard and mustaches.”

A conflict between Jitendra, who belonged to a scheduled caste and Suraj Purohit, the accused upper caste man, started in 2020 when the former used caste specific abusive words against the deceased. Purohit, who was jealous of the dressing style of Jitendra, had raised questions over his appearance. Jealous youth later killed Jitendra by stabbing him with a sharp object.

The three ghastly incidents represent the atrocities against the oppressed sections but such incidents rarely get any room on news channel’s prime time debates. However, it puts a question mark on the national news channels for not exposing ground-based realities. Can such brutality against particular yet important section of the Indian society make it to the national headlines?

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