The news that a 42-year-old Dalit woman was beaten, stripped and paraded naked by five persons belonging to an upper caste at Mulgaon village in Maharashtra was shocking. The fact that such barbaric incidents continue to occur even in this age is a blot on civilised society. The increasing attacks on Dalits and other underprivileged sections is a grim pointer to the fact that mental barriers that divide and discriminate people on the basis of narrow considerations such as caste and creed need to be demolished in order to attain an egalitarian society.

It is not enough to arrest the perpetrators of the Mulgaon shame. They should be given stringent punishment which serves as an effective deterrent.

B. Suresh Kumar,

Coimbatore

Close on the heels of the report of a Dalit sugarcane worker being burnt to death in Chincholi Sindphana, Maharashtra (Jan. 11), comes the news of a Dalit woman paraded naked in Mulgaon. There are, I am sure, many incidents that go unreported due to the fear of the victims.

In spite of crimes against Dalits being reported in the national media, atrocities against them continue. This shows the fearless attitude of the so-called upper castes. The police's refusal to entertain the complaints of Dalit victims is typical. It is they who should be punished for failing to perform their duty. The offenders should be given deterrent punishment.

Palani Kumar,

Hyderabad

The plight of the Dalit sugarcane worker who was burnt to death and the woman who was paraded naked is not something we should read about and forget. The state of the homeless, landless and illiterate Dalits is the same as it was centuries ago. They remain slaves of independent India. All talk of their uplift by politicians is a tamasha.

O. Venugopalan,

Coimbatore

Our country, it appears, will never see any social change. The humiliation of the 42-year-old Dalit woman is something all of us should be ashamed of. The offenders should be given stringent punishment.

Incidents like these deserve the immediate attention of the state. The attack was both gender and caste-based.

Virendra Kumar Singh,

New Delhi

The gruesome incident shows how deep-rooted the caste system is. Although there are laws prohibiting untouchability and atrocities on Dalits, such incidents continue to happen.

As long as people do not change, it is impossible to eradicate the social evil.

K. Jagadieswar Reddy,

Hyderabad

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