OPINION

A rude shock

The brutal killing of four Dalits of a family in Khairlanji, Maharashtra, comes as a rude shock to the nation. It is not an isolated incident that challenges our claim of being a knowledge-based, progressive society. Several incidents of crude oppression that take place all over the country do not even find a mention in the mainstream media.

That such an incident could take place and the official machinery could remain indifferent to it speak volumes about the social status of Dalits. Khairlanji is a grim reminder of the ground realities, especially to those who maintain that the status of the SCs and the STs has improved over the years.

N. Sekar,
Salem

The killing is an indelible blot on our democracy. What a shame! Atrocities against Dalits have occurred with alarming frequency. The massacres of Karamchedu and Chunduru are still fresh in our memory. Even after almost 60 years of independence, Dalits live in fear.

Ch. Parameswara,
Nellore

Killing the members of a Dalit family, burning down the houses of Dalits, humiliating Dalit women in public such news does not even shock the people any more. The Khairlanji outrage is another addition to the list. It is unfortunate that even the public has paid little attention to this prolonged injustice.

It is the media and the judiciary that come to the help of the downtrodden. The media should publish unbiased reports and should not downplay such barbaric incidents. The judiciary should work actively to end this menace.

S. Sethu Mahendran,
Dindigul

The barbaric killing of Surekha Bhotmange, who challenged her oppression, and her family, is appalling. One wonders what would have transpired in the minds of those who killed her and her children. That they would surely escape from the hands of law? That the lethargic and biased State administration would never get to them? That they would get the support of vote bank politicians? The state failed to stand by the family in its struggle for a dignified existence.

The Bhotmanges had progressed both economically and educationally. Yet they fell prey to caste prejudices. The incident shows that social backwardness is not the same as economic and educational backwardness.

Sambi Reddy Endreddy,
Hyderabad

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