India’s Dalit women face ‘triple burden’

New Delhi: Once called ‘untouchables’, the Dalit women in India are among the most oppressed in the world bearing brunt of violence at every stage of their lives. The world is witnessing the darker side of the “so-called secular, democratic and shining India”, where Dalit women face the triple burden of gender bias, caste discrimination and economic deprivation.
The gang-rape of a 19-year-old Dalit woman by a group of upper caste men in Uttar Pradesh state last week is a reflection of a society promoting unethical approach towards the weaker segments. Soutik Biswas, an India-based correspondent of BBC wrote the ordeal of Dalit women, who comprise about 16 percent of India’s female population by highlighting their persistent grievances.
He mentioned that the aftermath of the recent rape and murder of a woman in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, allegedly by upper caste men, played out the way it usually does when a Dalit woman is attacked: police are slow to register a complaint; investigations are tardy; officials raise doubts there was a rape; there are insinuations it had nothing to do with caste; and authorities appear, perhaps, to be complicit in siding with the upper caste perpetrators of violence.Even some of the media, from newsrooms dominated by upper caste journalists, question why sexual violence should be linked to caste, he said.–Agencies