By Vidya Bhushan Rawat on Facebook
The family of Eight Years old Dalit child Shivam whose left arm was crushed in sugarcane crusher by a local Brahmin family in Janupur in Uttar Pradesh is suffering in humiliation curtsey Jaunpur police which refused to file an FIR in the case when the incident happened on December 28th.
The police officers scolded the mother of Shivam when she went along with two local activists Ms Shobhna Smriti and Ms Renu singh, both of whom were responsible for getting the FiR filed in the Maharajganj police station.
The SP of Jaunpur actually insulted two women activists terming them as if they were middle women. It is shameful that the Jaunpur police and high officials rather than admitting their own grave mistake are trying to cover up things and humiliating those who are trying to help the vulnerable family.
The people in village Gaura Khurd of Maharajganj district are tight lipped as both the police as well as the local feudal have made their life difficult. The family of Shivam also has gone elsewhere to unknown place as they know police is not helping them and they cant get justice anywhere. Most of the Dalits here are landless and work on the land of either the Brahmins or Thakurs and hence the communities are tight lipped on the issue as none want to lose their economic dependency.
There is story that is being circulated is a video of Shivam, which was taken by one of the accused about the ‘accident’. In the video Shivam says that he was trying to fly the wasp and bees which were roaming around the sugarcane and trapped into the machine himself. This argument is absurd to say the least. Sad part is that even if that argument is accepted, one needs to ask why he was there at first place. Whose machine was it? What did they do if there was an accident? Why didn’t the Tiwaris file a case with the police and take the boy to the hospital ? Shivam’s mother says that when his father had gone to buy medicine, Anikt Tiwari came to the Nursing Home which is also run by some other Tiwari (you can always find the connect) and threatened the boy to speak on his mobile video. The frightened boy said that he met with the accident himself.
The story is not that simple. History of feudalism and bonded labor in that region is not a co-incident. None take a boy from another family that conveniently. The facts that are coming to light is that for over two generations the Shivam’s family (grand father and great grand father) had been working in the field of Tiwaris agricultural labors, to be candid like bonded labors. Once you are bonded, your home, children become their territory and any denial of work to the feudal lord will result in high repercussion.
However the parents of Shivam made it clear that they do not work at the field of Tiwaris perhaps reasons better known to them. They might have resisted, sought full wages for their work.
It is clear that they took Shivam forcibly against his wish. They promised they would give him sugarcane. The child went along with them. Perhaps after taking the sugarcane the child ran away only to be followed by the Tiwaris. They caught him, scolded him and slapped him which resulted his falling on the running Sugarcane-crusher.
It is a sad story of how Indian administration which has caste mind, absolutely play in the hands of upper castes refused to lodge the complain. Shivam was not taken to government hospital but to private. We don’t know why it was done but it is sad because it was the work of police who did not help. Now, with all the evidences gone, it is easier to finish the case as there is no medical done that time and already police and Tiwaris have not allowed any witness to come forward. India’s village still live in the brahmanical grip even if they are a minority there but rural power scenario is that all feudal are united against Dalits and oppressed as they provide cheap and free labor.
Shivam’s family is being blamed that they had taken the land on lease and that he was going to his field and met with the accident. It is so painful that the landless family is a daily wage worker and does not have anything in their hut. It is painful how the family who should have got more help is being hounded and insulted by the authorities. When the police officer scolded them that they have taken the land from Tiwaris on lease, Shivam’s mother told him that if that had the land on adhya i.e. share cropping in half share, they would not have been fighting for their daily survival and their home would have enough flour and rice for the family.
Shivam’s story has not got any attention in the din of other pressing stories in the media. It is the story that many families pass through daily but do not come to the police station. It is a sad story of failure of Indian state.
The Prevention of Atrocities against SC-ST Act has been passed now with amendments. The rules are also framed but those who will implement it are mostly the individuals who have no faith in Ambedkar’s constitution but Manuwad. India stands at the cross roads at the moment when justice is being denied to people on the basis of their caste identity. Shivam’s case is a classic case and asking every government institution including chief minister of Uttar-Pradesh’s office to pitch in. Sack the corrupt police officials, order an impartial inquiry and honorably rehabilitate the family including free treatment to child.