Kalpana Kannabiran has presented the ground reality of Dalit India that remains on the margins even 65 years after independence (“Atrocities that no longer shock,” Oct. 15). It is disheartening to see Dalits carrying on their war of independence against their people in their own country. As pointed out by Ms Kannabiran, there was no outrage over Khairlanji, Karamchedu and Laxmanpur-Bathe or, for that matter, Kilvenmani (Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu) where 44 Dalits, including women and children, were burnt to death by local landlords in 1969.

India is still reluctant to treat Dalits as humans; may be this is the reason the state does not consider Dalit rights human rights. Although constitutional guarantees exist on paper, officials implementing them belong to the upper caste —in the executive, legislative and judicial departments. This is perhaps why there is no conviction even in an open, clear case of atrocity against Dalits.

S. Kaliaperumal,

Tiruvarur

While we raise a hue and cry over incidents of discrimination in western countries and call them racism, we have not bothered to pay attention to the burning issue of caste violence back home. People who indulge in hate speech, casteist attacks and destruction of property are given protection with taxpayers’ money.

The judiciary is the only beacon of hope for the marginalised sections. Justice should not only be done, but should also be seen to be done.

B. Asokan,

Chennai

Entrenched bias and prejudices against Dalits is the reason their fight against injustice continues to remain arduous and long. While Dalits have managed to improve their economic and political status owing to independent India’s policy of reservation in education and employment, their social status leaves a lot to be desired. Concrete and time- bound measures to remove the ills afflicting our criminal justice system brooks no delay.

M. Jeyaram,

Sholavandan

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