ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Truth and Fact of Dalit Atrocity


Atrocities against Dalits have increasingly become so intensely barbaric in nature that while imagining their ­occurrence goes beyond human sensibilities, describing them becomes even more difficult. It is needless to mention that barbarism, in its most heinous form, erupts in an atrocity such as custodial death, public lynching, and mutilation of human bodies. The reactions to caste atrocities, however, occur on a spectrum. For example, at one level, violence against Dalits—though with scarce ethical and social sensibilities—may lead to moral condemnation of Dalit killings. Some reactions on the other end of the spectrum may not even have moral/ethical value inasmuch these reactions contain only a dry and detached description of violence against Dalits, thus surreptitiously allowing space for a convenient reading of the tragedy. The mutilated body of a Dalit labourer hanging by the policy barricades encouraged some to bracket it with the ongoing road blockade. Thus, reactions to atrocities are also available even to hypocritical persons who may shed fake tears on such violent happenings.

Although the “authentic” expression of moral condemnation against such heinous violence is less offensive than fake expression, such condemnation is also deficient on one very important count. It seeks to short-circuit the connection bet­ween the fact and the truth. Put differently, since such moral condemnation is emotionally driven by the very “factual” and visual inhuman nature of atrocity, it tends to replace the need to gain a social insight into the larger presence of truth in society and ­social mentality. Hence, such expressions that occur with immediacy may not be adequate to provide us with an insightful understanding about the intricate relation between truth and fact. For example, the death of a Dalit either in the temple, or in the fields, or at the border, or even in the police ­station is factual. It becomes a factual matter because it has happened at a concrete site and carried out by a concrete person with definite intentions. Such a factual account of atrocity can aid the process of establishing truth that is clinically processed and legally established.

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Updated On : 1st Nov, 2021
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