On being crushed under the wheels of gender,religion and caste.

By: Namita Singh

On March 15, two dalit girls were allegedly stripped by their invigilator in front of the entire class during an examination .The incident took place in Narsinghpur district of Madhya Pradesh where the female invigilator , supposedly, stripped the two teenage girls on the suspicion of bringing material for cheating during their class 10th Math examination. However, nothing was found and the girls were allowed to leave after the exam was over.The traumatized girls finally broke down before their parents 9 days after the incident, who, then reported it to the District Magistrate on March 23. The deputy in- charge of the examination has been served with a suspension notice and a case has been registered against the accused under the section of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities).

This may appear to be ‘just’ one incident, but this occurrence is like the mist that is hiding many such instances behind it. To remind you of a few, a similar crime took place with the commencement of 2012 in the Satara district of Maharashtra. On January 11, a 42 year old woman was stripped by few upper caste men and was forced to parade around town naked. The authorities denied any such happening probably due to the close relations shared between the perpetrators and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr Prithviraj Chavan. The accused remained accused and the victim was further victimized as nobody knew what happened next.

The recent story is a reflection of our insensitive and ‘chalta hai’ attitude towards such crimes against women. Though the story was brought to notice by our media, do not go on to scratch your head if I label our media as irresponsible. The story was an extremely sensitive one, so there was no need to sensationalize it on national television. Furthermore, displaying of the images of the girls before the entire nation went on to add to their miseries, thus putting media ethics to question.
The role of media is just one side of the story. The existence of the caste system,the issues of racism and atrocities against women will not only usher in, a never ending argument which we already are aware of, but , also highlight how we, as a society ,choose to stay blind, deaf and mute against all kinds of social injustice prevalent  in our society. This certainly goes on to raise the question on the basic structure of our nation which on paper happens to be sovereign , socialist and democratic.
On a concluding note, I seek to ask a question, not just as a woman , but , as a citizen, as an Indian and most importantly as a human being who has personally faced discrimination in the name of gender, caste , creed, religion :

How long should I run?
Why do they, on my head, put a gun?
Why is my dignity left behind?
Why Am I left to grind?
I see them glare,
Don’t pretend, you care,
I am the prey so I ran fast,
But nothing could save me,
From being crushed under the wheels,
Of gender, religion and caste.


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