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Friday 12 October 2012

Tension after Dalit priests not included in church rituals

Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 07.10.12
Tension after Dalit priests not included in church rituals - Deccan Herald
Tenth rape in Haryana in less than a month; Dalit teen commits suicide - NDTV
In Rajasthan, power of ghee fights caste - Asian Age
Deccan Herald
Tension after Dalit priests not included in church rituals
Rameswaram,Oct 7, 2012, (PTI):
Tension prevailed at Tiruvadanai, about 70 km from here after some Dalit Christians reportedly indulged in violence, questioning non-inclusion of six Dalit priests in special rituals in a church in connection with its silver jubilee celebrations, police said.
Susai Manickam,priest of Oriyur Punitha Arulanandhar church said about 200 priests and nuns coming in a procession to the church were blocked by Dalit Christians who questioned the motive for suspending the six priests and said they would not allow celebrations unless the priests were included in the 'Tirupali' pooja and special prayers.
Police said they then indulged in violence, breaking festoons and street lights. Church officials decided to suspend the celebrations in order to hold talks with the Dalits as a tense situation prevailed and negotiations with them failed.
Meanwhile people in seven coastal hamlets in Rameswaram hoisted black flags in support of Dalit Christians and demanded that caste Christians allow Dalits to participate in the rituals.
They also hoisted black flags at the Paraloka matha church in the island in protest, police said.


Tenth rape in Haryana in less than a month; Dalit teen commits suicide

Edited by Mala Das | Updated: October 07, 2012 12:49 IST
Jind: The horror of rape continues unabated in Haryana. A 16-year-old Dalit girl committed suicide on Saturday after she was allegedly gangraped in the Sachcha Kheda village in Haryana's Jind district. The incident is the tenth case of rape in the state in less than a month.
According to the police, the victim was forcibly dragged by one of her neighbours, Pradeep, into his house and later raped by him along with another man, Naveen. Pradeep belongs to the same community as the victim. Shocked by the incident, the girl went to her house and set herself on fire. She suffered 90 per cent burn injuries.
She later succumbed to her injuries at a government hospital in Rohtak. But she did manage to record her statement before a magistrate, which helped the police in registering a First Information Report (FIR) in the case. According to her statement, Pradeep's sister-in-law
kept guard outside his house while he raped her. Another man, Sanjeev, also came inside the room and bolted the door, but did not rape her, she had said.
The cops have arrested the main accused, Pradeep, his accomplice Naveen and Sanjeev. The trio will be produced in a court tomorrow. Pradeep's sister-in-law, meanwhile, has been sent to judicial custody.
The incident is the latest in a string of cases of crimes against Dalit women in Haryana. Last month, a teenage Dalit girl was allegedly raped by a group of 12 men in Hisar. The accused also filmed the incident on a cellphone and circulated the MMS. Unable to cope with the situation, the girl's father killed himself. For five days, his body was at the mortuary of a local hospital, while the villagers protested against police inaction for almost a month. The victim and her mother refused to take his body from the morgue, saying they will claim it only when they get justice. This finally forced the police to take action.
But the fact that it took his death to propel the police into registering a case of rape is a grim reflection of the condition of Dalits in the state.
On October 4, a newly-married woman registered a complaint saying she was allegedly abducted and gangraped by four men at Banwasa village under Gohana sub-division in Haryana's Sonipat district, 200 km from Chandigarh.
In another incident, a 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her 45-year-old neighbour in Rohtak, about 70 km from Delhi on Wednesday evening.
In the same area, a minor, mentally-challenged Dalit girl was allegedly raped last Monday. The 15-year-old victim was allegedly lured by three women relatives in Kachchi Garhi Mohalla colony of Rohtak and then raped by a man in an abandoned house.
Last week, a teenaged girl was gang-raped by four men in Gohana town in Haryana's Sonipat district.
Asian Age


In Rajasthan, power of ghee fights caste

Oct 07, 2012 - Narayan Bareth |
Ayurveda describes ghee (clarified butter) as nectar and suggests its use for healing. The Hindu scriptures term it an essential requirement for sacred rituals. But for the dalits of Chakwara village, in Jaipur district, ghee is a weapon against untouchability.
The dalits of this village have been cooking their food in ghee for the last 76 years as a mark of protest. "You can call it a Ghee Satyagarha," says Harishankar Bairwa, a dalit in Chakwara. "Since 1936, ghee in this village has not been the privilege of only the caste Hindus. We defied their diktat and resolved to cook our food in ghee," says Babulal Bairwa, a dalit worker. "Despite all odds, we use strictly ghee," he added.
In 1936, the village's dalits had organised a community feast and dishes were cooked in ghee, a privilege of caste Hindus. "Our defiance invited the wrath of the Hindus who considered it an insult," said dalit rights activist Harinarayan Bairwa. "Suddenly the caste Hindus attacked the dalits who had gathered for the feast and they threw dust and dirt into the dishes and sweets," he added.
Dr B.R. Ambedkar also mentioned the Chakwara incident in his writings. "That was the moment our community decided to defy this practice and we started using ghee instead of other edible oils," says Mr Bairwa. "Woh ye hi kehte the ki agar aap ghee use karoge to unchi jaat wale kya karenge (The caste Hindus told us, 'If you cook in ghee, then what will we do),'" said Srikrishan, Dalit from the village Social scientist Rajiv Gupta said ghee became a symbol of dalit pride. "Sometimes pride makes an object a symbol of identity. We should see the ghee here in that way," Prof. Gupta added.

.Arun Khote
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
(An initiative of "Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC")
Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre- PMARC has been initiated with the support from group of senior journalists, social activists, academics and  intellectuals from Dalit and civil society to advocate and facilitate Dalits issues in the mainstream media. To create proper & adequate space with the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media national/ International on Dalit issues is primary objective of the PMARC.

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