Silver Jubilee Republic Day Massacre of Dalits

"[ T ]o mark the 50th Republic Day, an outlawed army of upper caste landlords massacred at least 23 Dalits in the badlands of Bihar."

Times of India,
Jan 28, 1999

Blood Harvest (in Bihar)

Times of India - Jan 28, 1999

" Even as President K R Narayanan expressed anguish at the suppression of Dalits and the Indian state was displaying its awesome military might in the `parade of the millennium' to mark the 50th Republic Day, an outlawed army of upper caste landlords massacred at least 23 Dalits in the badlands of Bihar. This is the second such mass killing of Dalits within 13 months in Bihar's Jehanabad district. In December 1997, 61 people were done to death by the Ranvir Sena in Laxman Bathe. Earlier, the Sena had killed 19 Dalits in Bathani Tola in July 1996. It would be facile to attribute this outrage to the cycle of revenge and bloodletting perpetuated by the unending war between Maoist extremists and feudal landlords; that would suggest that the state has no mediatory or protective role in class-caste conflicts.

" Black Skin is
Faithless and Lowly "

`Dasam Varnam Adharam Guhakah'

Rig Veda II.12.4

Further, the Naxal-Dalit equation implies that the victims had it coming for backing extremist groups, a blatantly false accusation. The deputy inspector-general of police of Magadh range has gone on record to say that the motive of the Ranvir Sena was to terrorise the village, which had remained peaceful till now. There has been no local history of land disputes or Naxalite activity -- these being the 'justifications' often cited by the Ranvir Sena.

The problem is deeprooted and there is an everpresent threat to not just Dalits but to the security of life in general in the increasingly lawless climate of Bihar. Though horrifying in its barbarity, the recent massacre, like the one in December 1997, was hardly unexpected. It was waiting to happen; indeed, such savage violence will continue to stalk a landscape where corruption, the presence of entrenched casteist elements in the administration, and the criminal-politician nexus have flourished in blatant defiance of all democratic norms. The rise of the Ranvir Sena -- along with other murderous private armies which abound in Bihar and have unchecked access to crude and sophisticated weapons -- is evidence of the extent to which that state is being held hostage to the law of the jungle.

" A once-born man (Sudra) who insults a twice-born man (Aryan) with gross invective, shall have his tongue cut out; for he is of low origin."

Manu Smirti VIII.270

The Ranvir Sena was banned in 1995 but that has not deterred it from killing Dalits at will. In the absence of any state intervention to ensure basic human rights or statutory minimum wages, the poor are left to defend themselves against the armed might of politically influential caste groups. Bihar's oppressed are faced with a cruel choice: to remain as vassals of upper caste feudal landlords, or form their own self-defence groups. Unable to see any prospects of improving their economic and social condition, the downtrodden are driven to take on the might of their `superiors' in an unequal battle. This seems to them to be the only course of action in a situation where the government has not only failed to enforce the ban on the senas but is unable to bring them to book after specific acts of carnage. The Centre's directives in the past to take a stern line against the senas have had little effect. The increasing desperation of those at the receiving end of recurring atrocity could boil over any time unless the government intervenes more resolutely to bring peace to the killing fields of Bihar."

" [T]he Aryans enforced the caste system on the Black population (the original inhabitants of India), with a cold-blooded racist logic with Whites on the top, mixed races in the middle and the mass of the conquered Blacks at the bottom.

Rajshekar, `Dalit: The Black Untouchables of India', p.44,

- Surinder Majhi,
Dalitstan Journal
Volume 1, Issue 2 (Oct. 1999)

[ Genocide of Dalits ]
[ Brahmin Genocides ]