Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 14.06.15

Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 14.06.15

Two Dalits killed over Rs 4 in Allahabad – The Indian Express
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/two-dalits-killed-over-rs-4-in-allahabad/
KSIDC Denying Justice to Candidates: SC/ST Confederation – The New Indian Express
http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/thiruvananthapuram/KSIDC-
Kalathur residents protest for second day The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/kalathur-villagers-protest-by-cooking-staying-in-temple-for-second-day/article7314765.ece
Scars of Police Torture Haunt TN Dalit Youth as CB-CID Goes Slow on Probe – The New Indian Express
http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/Scars-of-Police-Torture-Haunt-TN-Dalit-Youth-as-CB-CID-Goes-Slow-on-Probe/2015/06/14/article2865187.ece
RTO says minister issued death threats for not following diktat – Nyoooz
http://www.nyoooz.com/lucknow/126626/rto-says-minister-issued-death-threats-for-not-followingdiktat
Villagers seek transfer of police officialsThe Hindu
tthp://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/villagers-seek-transfer-of-police-officials/article7314085.ece
Man sends help to jail on his behalf – The Times Of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Agra/Man-sends-help-to-jail-on-his-behalf/articleshow/47658801.cms
The legacy of BR Ambedkar – The Age Aisan
http://www.asianage.com/columnists/legacy-br-ambedkar-308
The Dalit life: fighting with vultures for the meat of dead cattleScroll
http://scroll.in/article/734129/the-dalit-life-fighting-with-vultures-for-the-meat-of-dead-cattle

Please Watch :
A Farmer Gets Looted Three Times:
https://vimeo.com/128627091

The Indian Express
Two Dalits killed over Rs 4 in Allahabad
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/two-dalits-killed-over-rs-4-in-allahabad/

E 14.06.15 -1

By: Express News Service | Allahabad | Published on:June 13, 2015 2:38 am

Four persons have been arrested and security personnel have been deployed in Mohiuddipur village.

An argument over Rs 4 led to a clash in Allahabad’s Ghoorpur area Friday, leaving two Dalits dead and three injured, police said. The victims’ family retaliated by burning the flour mill owned by the accused, a Brahmin, police said.

Four persons have been arrested and security personnel have been deployed in Mohiuddipur village.

Police said Rajat Bharatiya (15) had gone to the mill, owned by Vashishtha Narayan Dubey, to buy flour. “He reached the mill around 6.30 am. While paying, he fell short by Rs 4. When Vashishtha insisted that he pay up, Rajat, who had a Rs 500 note, asked him to deduct the amount from it,” said a police official.

He added, “Vashishtha insisted that he pay the exact change. Rajat went home, returned with a Rs 20 note, and angrily handed it to Vashishtha. This led to an altercation.”

Police said Vashishtha’s son Rajesh Dubey hit Rajat on his head with a sharp object. Rajat collapsed and was rushed to Swaroop Rani Nehru Hospital in Allahabad. Following this, word spread about the attack.

“Soon, Rajat’s family and relatives reached Dubey’s house armed with sticks. The family locked the door and ran upstairs. Rajesh then used his licenced double-barrel gun to fire at the mob that had gathered outside,” the official said.

“Two Dalit youths, Rahul Bharatiya (20) and his cousin Shubham alias Ashu Bharatiya (18), sustained bullet injuries in their stomachs. While Rahul died on the spot, Shubham succumbed on the way to the hospital,” the official said.

Two others were injured in the firing.

Police said the victims’ family torched the cowshed, the mill and a balcony in the Dubey house.

Senior police officers, including DIG (Allahabad Range) Bhagwan Swaroop, reached the spot with a contingent of security personnel to bring the situation under control.

Police said a murder case has been registered against Vashishtha and his four sons, Suresh, Rakesh, Rajesh and Sunny. The sons have been arrested.

“We have recovered the gun and four empty shells from the spot,” said SP (Trans-Yamuna) Ashutosh Mishra.
Mishra said there is no evidence so far to suggest that there was any enmity between the two families. “We initially thought such a minor issue could not have led to such major violence. But neither the victims’ family, nor the villagers indicated there was any old issue,” he said.

The New Indian Express
KSIDC Denying Justice to Candidates: SC/ST Confederation
http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/thiruvananthapuram/KSIDC-Denying-Justice-to-Candidates-SCST-Confederation/2015/06/14/article2865223.ece

By Express News Service
Published: 14th June 2015 06:00 AM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The All-India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations on Saturday alleged that the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) was among the leading institutions which were denying justice and constitutional rights to candidates from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled the Tribe communities.

At the Press Club here on Saturday, All-India Confederations of SC/ST Organisations state president and Dalit leader K Ramankutty said that KSIDC, a government agency fully funded by the Government of Kerala, was practising nepotism and scuttling the reservation system by appointing top-level employees directly.

“The general manager and executive director of KSIDC claim that the recruitment to the institution is being done through the PSC following reservation,” Ramankutty said. “However, only posts at the lower levels are filled through PSC and all other appointments are being done by KSIDC directly without adhering to any reservation pattern,” he added.

Ramankutty also alleged that the top leadership at KSIDC had been heavily influencing the High Court and legislative committees to deny reservation for SC/ST categories. He also said that the SC/ST Department secretary had proved that the claims had been true in an inquiry conducted following the filing of a petition to the chief secretary and industries department secretary.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had issued an order demanding action against the KSIDC employees responsible for the act and the chief secretary had instructed the KSIDC managing director to adhere to the reservation rules. However, there had been no respite from the situation, Ramankutty said.

Despite already having SC/ST employees who fulfilled eligibility for top posts, including that of executive director on their rolls, KSIDC was recruiting from outside for those posts. Government institutions should not become a club of people who did not respect the Constitution, he said.

The Hindu
Kalathur residents protest for second day
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/kalathur-villagers-protest-by-cooking-staying-in-temple-for-second-day/article7314765.ece

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A.D. Balasubramaniyan

They cook and stay in temple demanding release of arrested villagers

People of Kalathur village in Arakkonam taluk of Vellore district, who were allegedly subjected to ruthless police attack and arrests, assembled in front of the Bajanai temple in the village for the second day on Saturday, and cooked their meal in common.

The small village of 350 Dalit families is fighting for several months against the plan to set up a sand quarry in the Palar River near their village.

About 200 villagers arrived near the Collectorate on Thursday to demonstrate seeking release of 19 villagers already in prison in another case. They were subjected to attack and abuse before they were arrested and lodged in a marriage hall. Later in the midnight police transported them back to their village where police attack allegedly continued. Nearly 19 villagers were again arrested and six women among them were released later.

Enraged by police action and fearing further raids, villagers assembled in front of the Bajanai temple in the village and stay put there on Friday. According to Thamizh, one of the villagers participating in protests, they went home in the night but came back to temple again in the morning and staying put there since then, cooked their food in common there.

Mahesh of Makkal Mandram, an organisation supporting protesting villagers said, “they sit there in protest demanding release of all those arrested, withdrawal of cases foisted against them, giving up of the plan to set up a sand quarry near the village.”

The New Indian Express
Scars of Police Torture Haunt TN Dalit Youth as CB-CID Goes Slow on Probe
http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/Scars-of-Police-Torture-Haunt-TN-Dalit-Youth-as-CB-CID-Goes-Slow-on-Probe/2015/06/14/article2865187.ece

TLDBNHI-W124_GF_14_2438486f

CHENNAI: Nearly nine months have passed but the scars of police torture continue to haunt Poovarasan as CB-CID is allegedly going slow on the case after filing an FIR directed by Madras High Court.

Poovarasan, a Dalit youth, was illegally detained and tortured by police inspector Kandiban of Kaveripakkam police station, Arakkonam taluk, Vellore district along with Mohan, special sub inspector and constables Sundar and Velmurugan on September 2014 after he allegedly protested entry of lorries into Athipattu village to reach sand quarries.

“Four months ago the case was handed over to CB-CID on the directive of Madras High Court, who also orderd an FIR to be registered against the four policemen. Apart from filing of FIR, no action has been taken against the policemen. They continue to enjoy their office and discharge their duties,” said V Suresh, national general secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).

Poovarasan while recounting the horrors of torture broke down while stating how he was stripped and beaten after being taken into police custody while protesting against the entry of lorries through his village.

Interestingly, it is not only Poovarasan who highlighted the attitude of the policemen after protesting against sand mining on Palar River. Even Kalathur village in Vellore district faced the ire of sand mining contractors when they protested against setting up a sand quarry in Sankaranpadi-Kalathur area.

Rights activists during a press meet demanded that it was time the government gave an assurance in writing that sand quarry would not be set up at Sankarapandi-Kalathur area. They also demanded that alleged false cases booked against protestors on instigation by sand mining contractors should be withdrawn besides Kalathur people should be given protection from sand mining contractors.

Suresh also demanded adequate compensation for victims of police brutality. “Policemen joining hands with sand smugglers should be immediately transferred from the area, pending investigation,” Suresh demanded.

Nyoooz
RTO says minister issued death threats for not following�diktat
http://www.nyoooz.com/lucknow/126626/rto-says-minister-issued-death-threats-for-not-followingdiktat

Regional Transport Officer (RTO) of Mirzapur district, Chunni Lal, alleged on Friday that “the police are bowing to political pressure” and not registering the FIR against a state minister who “issued death threats” and whose supporters “manhandled” him at the minister’s residence on Friday. Lal has accused Minister of State for Child Nutrition and Basic Education, Kailash Chaurasia, of “threatening me with dire consequences” and his supporters of “manhandling” him when he refused to comply with Chaurasia’s “verbal order asking me not to assign duty to a clerk”. Lal said he has submitted a written complaint to the local police station in this regard but the police denied receiving it.

Significantly, the minister was convicted by the Chief Judicial Magistrate court of Mirzapur in March earlier this year for manhandling and threatening a postman in 1995. He, however, was acquitted by the district court in May. RelatedECI disqualifies ‘convicted’ ChaurasiaMinister jailed in manhandling case, later released on bailEx-BSP worker gets a case registered against minister under SC/ST Act On Saturday, Lal met senior officials in Transport Department in Lucknow and apprised them of the situation, so that the “system could be compelled to function”.

Transport Commissioner K Ravindra Nayak said: “We have asked the Commissioner (Vindhyachal Division) to look into the matter. Our role ends there. The responsibility to ascertain the veracity of the complaint lies with the local administration and the police.

” The minister, whom this correspondent spoke to Saturday evening, refuted Lal’s allegations and instead accused the officer of “indulging in corrupt practices”. “Whatever allegations are being conveyed to you are false. You will soon see the official being punished for corrupt practices.

Already, I have given a clarification in the media,” he said. Lal, speaking to The Indian Express over phone, said: “I was called to the minister’s residence in Katra on Friday. There is a clerk in my department, Dinesh Malviya, whom the Minister had got transferred to Chitrakoot.

But Malviya had got the order stayed by the Allahabad High Court. In fact, Malviya had been issued transfer orders after the minister’s intervention in the past as well but each time he got those orders stayed. This time, too, when the court stayed the order, I could not release him and told the minister about it but he wanted me not to assign him duty.

” Lal went on to allege that “the minister had been putting pressure on me to bring him money” ever since he joined as RTO, Mirzapur, in October 2014. “It appears that my predecessor had obliged him in some way and he was now expecting that I would toe the same line. He became angrier when I told him that I cannot do it and that I was ready to be transferred.

This was when his supporters beat me up and the minister threatened me with dire consequences to life. I have left the place and I am now in Lucknow,” he said. SHO, Katra police station, Shafique Ahmed said: “We have not received any complaint.

I have got one letter seeking action against a person in the transport department, who has been dismissed for using fake mark sheets to get …continued » ….

The Hindu
Villagers seek transfer of police officials
htthp://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/villagers-seek-transfer-of-police-officials/article7314085.ece

Special Correspondent

Ask for written assurance from govt to drop quarrying plan

Residents of Kalathur village in Vellore district protesting against the setting up of a sand quarry in the area have made a slew of demands from the Tamil Nadu Government including transfer of policemen acting in nexus with sand smugglers.

The villagers have demanded that the Tamil Nadu Government give an assurance in writing that a sand quarry will not be set up in Sankaranpadi-Kalathur area, withdrawal of false cases against the protesters and protection to be provided to the villagers from the sand mining contractors.

“We demand that policemen from the Kaveripakkam police station, especially inspector Kandeepan, sub inspector Mohan and three other policemen who have been booked under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act on directions of the Madras High Court, be transferred from the police station,” Dr. V. Suresh, National General Secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, told a press conference on Saturday.

The policemen were hampering enquiry, intimidating witnesses and destroying evidence, he said.

Three villagers from Athipattu and Kalathur, who spoke at the press conference, alleged police brutality against the villagers for protesting against the sand mining contractors. They alleged that the police was acting hand in glove with the contractors and politicians and were intimidating and threatening the villagers.

The police have filed a number of cases under various sections of the IPC at the Avalur and Kaveripakkam police stations against the villagers protesting against the sand mining.

On Friday, the police allegedly attacked and detained a number of residents of Kaveripakkam, a day after the villagers had staged a protest in front of the Vellore Collectorate seeking the release of 18 persons arrested for agitating against sand mining.

The Times Of India
Man sends help to jail on his behalf
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Agra/Man-sends-help-to-jail-on-his-behalf/articleshow/47658801.cms

Agra: A man from Ghiror town of Mainpuri district, wanted for assault and under the SC/ST Act, tried to dodge the law by sending his servant to jail on his behalf, authorities have discovered.

Amar Singh Yadav (52) alias Munna Yadav, wanted for beating up a Dalit youth, had surrendered at Mainpuri court a month ago. However, later events led to the discovery that, instead of Yadav, it was 52-year-old Sopali, a daily wage labourer and Yadav’s servant.

Yadav, it turned out, had managed to convince the illiterate Sopali that the court had ordered his (the servant’s) property to be confiscated and being his master, Yadav would help him surrendering in court.

The identity swap, which has exposed the ineptitude of policemen who were blissfully harbouring the wrong man in jail for almost a month, was eventually revealed when the village headman approached policemen complaining about the injustice done to the poor labourer. The court has ordered a probe in the matter.

Amar Singh Yadav, owner of a factory, was accused of thrashing a Dalit youth at his workplace five years previously. He was booked under SC/ST Act and sections 323, 504 and 506 of the IPC. After the court issued several summons to him and finally the confiscation orders, he devised the plan to send a replacement and dodge the law.

“Yadav sent Sopali to court with a fake ID so that he could go to jail in place of him. He also convinced his servant that the latter must surrender in court or he would lose whatever little property and other assets he had. But the village headman’s disclosure spoiled his plans,” said Diwakar Singh, inspector, Ghiror police station.

Meanwhile, Sopali is in further trouble, after being booked by the police for aiding a criminal, and has landed back in jail. The cops however claimed that the labourer will be released after the final report is submitted in court. And as for Yadav, the hunt, say officials, is on.

The Age Aisan
The legacy of BR Ambedkar
http://www.asianage.com/columnists/legacy-br-ambedkar-308

davar.thumbnail

Jun 13, 2015

Ambedkar paid tributes to the role of other members: ‘There were in the drafting committee men bigger, better and more competent than myself such as Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer… The credit that is given to me does not really belong to me. It belongs partly to Sir B.N. Rau, the constitutional adviser…’

As political parties vie with each other to celebrate grandiosely the 125th anniversary of B.R. `, or inherit his legacy, it is an appropriate occasion to assess his contribution as a nation builder, especially as the architect of the Constitution of India.

In a recent biography of Ambedkar, the author Narender Jadhav states that “Dr Ambedkar was not simple leader of untouchables, not even only a leader of oppressed people of India, he was a national leader, period. He made outstanding contribution as an economist, sociologist, anthropologist, educationist, journalist as an authority on comparative religion, as a policymaker and administrator, and a parliamentarian, besides, a jurist who became the principal, architect of the Indian Constitution.” The author concludes his magnum opus by identifying Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar as the “trinity of makers of Modern India”. Gandhi as supreme commander of India’s freedom struggle and its moralist idealist; Nehru as the international voice and architect of modern Indian nation state, and Ambedkar as a social democrat and principal architect of the Indian constitution.

Though Ambedkar’s whole life was devoted to the uplift of the dalits and oppressed classes, surmounting most difficult hurdles, it was his role in the making of the Constitution which is seen as his crowning achievement. But while giving him his due it is also important that the contribution of others in making of India’s magna carta is not erased from memory.

The groundwork for the drafting of the Constitution had been prepared by B.N. Rau, the constitutional adviser. He prepared for the members of the Constituent Assembly handbooks of extracts from other constitutions and notes of his own on various aspects of a constitution for India. There was no aspect that he left uncovered, though the flesh and blood of the Constitution had to be supplied by political decisions. The Constitution borrowed largely from the Government of India Act, under which India was governed and which was the basis of transfer of power, and from the American, Australian, and Irish constitutions.

According to Jawaharlal Nehru’s biographer S. Gopal Nehru’s major contribution was in settling the general lines on which the Constitution was to be drawn up. He drafted and moved in December 1946 the objectives resolution, stipulating that India would be an independent sovereign republic, free to draw up her own constitution.

Rajendra Prasad, who before becoming the first President of India, was the president of the Constituent Assembly, in his final and concluding address to the Assembly recalled the steps the Constitution making had gone through: “The method which Constituent Assembly adopted in connection with the Constitution was first to lay down its ‘terms of reference’ as it were in the form of an Objectives Resolution which was moved by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in an inspiring speech and which constitutes now the Preamble to our Constitution. It then proceeded to appoint a number of committees to deal with different aspects of the constitutional problem…

Several of these had as their chairman either Pandit Nehru or Sardar Patel to whom thus goes the credit for the fundamentals of our Constitution… they produced reports which were considered by the assembly and their recommendations were adopted as the basis on which the draft of the Constitution had to be prepared. This was done by B.N. Rau, who brought to bear on his task a detailed knowledge of Constitution of other countries and an extensive knowledge of the conditions of this country as well as his own administrative experience. The assembly then appointed the drafting committee which worked on the original draft prepared by B.N. Rau and produced the Draft Constitution.”
In April 1948, Ambedkar in a speech at a public meeting revealed that 250 clauses of the 1935 Act had been embodied into the new Constitution. This meant that nearly four-fifth of the Constitution was based on the 1935 Act. Let us also not forget that the resolution on Fundamental Rights at the Congress session in Karachi (1931) under the presidentship of Sardar Patel, and earlier, the Nehru report (1928) under the chairmanship of Motilal Nehru, had many clauses incorporated in the 1935 Act. Even though the Nehru report was rejected by the Muslim League, its letter and spirit formed part of the Karachi resolution.

Ambedkar was a member of Viceroy’s executive council during the sunset years of the British Raj. Despite the fact he had bitterly opposed the Congress, especially Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle, it was at Gandhi’s insistence that he was made the chairman of the drafting committee of the Constitution after being inducted as the country’s law minister.

Also, Ambedkar paid glowing tributes to the role of other members: “There were in the drafting committee men bigger, better and more competent than myself such as my friend Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer. I am grateful to the Constituent Assembly for reposing in me so much trust and confidence and to have chosen me as their instrument and given me this opportunity of serving the country. The credit that is given to me does not really belong to me. It belongs partly to Sir B.N. Rau, the constitutional adviser to the Constituent Assembly, who prepared a rough draft of the Constitution for the consideration of the drafting committee. A part of the credit must go to the members of the drafting committee without whose ingenuity to devise new formulae and capacity to tolerate and accommodate different points of view, the task of framing the Constitution could not have come to a successful conclusion. Much greater share of the credit must go to S.N. Mukherjee, the chief draftsman of the Constitution. His ability to put the most intricate proposals in the simplest and clearest legal form can rarely be equaled… without his help, this Assembly would have taken many more years to finalise the Constitution.”

How many of Ambedkar’s followers today will repeat their icon’s words uttered, in all humility, 65 years ago? But for his heroic struggle and iron will the dalits would have taken much longer to become equal and empowered citizens of India. All parties believing in egalitarianism and social justice have an equal claim to the legacy of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. No single party enjoys this monopoly today.

The writer, an ex-Army officer, is member, National Commission for Minorities. The views expressed are personal.

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The Dalit life: fighting with vultures for the meat of dead cattle
http://scroll.in/article/734129/the-dalit-life-fighting-with-vultures-for-the-meat-of-dead-cattle

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An excerpt from ‘Baluta’, the first Dalit autobiography to be published in Marathi.
Daya Pawar • Today • 12:30 pm

It is difficult to describe the shock with which the middle-class reader received Baluta. Speaking of it personally, this was the first time I had been exposed to a life of such squalor, deprivation and cruel discrimination. As a middle-class woman who had had a privileged upbringing, it was a rude awakening to the realities of our pernicious caste system.

…I was ignorant of all the humiliating of what being a Mahar meant. I didn’t know that Mahars skinned dead cattle and ate their flesh. I didn’t know that Mahar children were made to sit apart from the upper castes in village schools. I didn’t know that their touch was supposed to pollute water, rendering it undrinkable for the upper castes.

Baluta opened this other world to me without mincing words, in direct, simple language, making escape impossible. I had to look at Daya Pawar’s world as part of the reality of being Indian. It filled me with shame. I felt complicit in the creation of these harrowing lives. I felt frustrated because there appeared to be nothing I could do about it….I do not know whether today’s reader will feel the same sense of shock that I did on first reading Baluta. Atrocities against Dalits are reported every day in newspapers. Has that blunted our sensibilities? Daya Pawar felt the need to create an alter ego to whom he was going to relate his story. It was a defence mechanism.

– Shanta Gokhale

So have you eaten the meat of dead cattle? Tell me honestly, how does it taste?’ I was asked recently by an intellectual at Sahitya Sahvas, a writers’ colony in Mumbai. The question took my breath away. I answered in some confusion:

‘When I ate it, I was not at the age at which one remembers tastes. I only knew how to assuage my hunger, by filling the hole in my belly. During a famine, Vishwamitra ate the leg of a dog. During the great war, the Maratha platoons ate the meat of horses. So I won’t talk about the dead cattle that I may have eaten.’

But it is true that the death of cattle brought great excitement to the Maharwada.

It is also true that if the animal had died falling off a cliff, the excitement was even more acute. Such an animal’s flesh would be fresh. News that an animal had died in the wilds did not take long to get to the Maharwada. It would pass along faster than the telexes of today. When the vultures and kite began to circle, like aeroplanes, the Mahars would locate the fallen animal. They would rush to get there before the birds picked the carcass clean.

How many vultures? Fifty or so. Their wings flapping, they would make strange sounds, ‘Machaak machaak.’

Annabhau Sathe has compared vultures to the velvet-jacketed sons of money-lenders. If you threw a stone at them, they’d flap and move away a little but their greed drew them back to the body. They probably hated the Mahars. After all, we were snatching food from their claws. Their cruel eyes, their sharp beaks! Were they considering me as a possible snack? I would wonder.

‘It’s been a while since we’ve had a good cut of meat in the Maharwada,’ many an aged person would be heard saying. ‘I’ve forgotten what it tastes like.’

Taking whatever was to hand, pots, pans, dishes, ghamelas, the Mahars would run. Until the last strip of skin had been cleared, no one took a break. The women would chatter excitedly with each other. Children our age would be delighted for an entirely different reason. Just under the hide was a membrane that could be used to make musical instruments like the dafli and the dholak. A piece the size of a lota or an empty rolling board was enough. Stretched out and left to dry in the sun, it would thrum like a percussion instrument in a day or two.

Carrying a dead cow is killing. Its dead weight is enormous but only two men would carry it. All four of its hooves would be tied and a bamboo would be inserted between them, a huge needle threaded through the gap between its legs. It looked as if a palanquin were being carried. When it was a cow, the sight of those pathetic eyes turned sightlessly towards the sky would chill me. Those eyes haunt me still. My mother’s eyes and a cow’s eyes showed remarkable similarities, it seemed to me. When it was our family’s turn to carry the carcass, my mother would have to do it. I could not bear to see her struggle for breath. I wished I were a little older, so I might be able to lessen her burden.

The carcass was distributed among the entire community. It was divided according to annas in the rupee, so that one Maharwada meant one rupee.

Each family had a different share. One family might be entitled to half — or eight annas, as a rupee then had sixteen annas; another might get just one-and-a-half anna. These divisions and entitlements reflected our social structure. If a family was large, it got a smaller share. Within a family, the male siblings were entitled to portions of the share. If you had a larger share, you were worthy of respect. Those who got large shares were seen as our elders and betters. Our share was two annas in the rupee, one-eighth of whatever the Mahars were given. The suffering of those whose share was one or two paise (one-hundredth or one-fiftieth of the whole) was inhuman. Into some houses, half the carcass would go; into others, it would only be the intestines, the cartilage, the offal.

The animal was divided according to the gudsa. This word appears in Laxmibai Tilak’s autobiography. Who knows whether the Marathi litterateurs have heard of it or not? Laxmibai had heard of it. After all, she knew some Mahar Christians. Unless you know something about that caste, you wouldn’t know.

What was I saying? I was talking about the gudsa, a name for the animal’s bones. I remember some of those names even today. The one near the back, we called ‘dhharya’. The one above the fetlock, we called ‘chaaklya’ and the one above the knees, ‘metya’. The Mahars would fight over these bones. Sometimes blows were exchanged. The women would pull each other’s hair, and abuse each other’s mothers. Even today, the struggle for the bones continues. It’s a struggle over who should get the cut of meat with the gudsa. And everyone curses and swears, so much abuse flowing that it covers the whole carcass, from the tip of the horn to the end of the tail. I remember one of the scenes of this division. There was a huge boulder in the Maharwada. There were hollows in it, which looked like vessels of different shapes carved into the stone as if it were wood. Some old ladies would recount their childhood memories: ‘We would sit and eat on this boulder. You could break the gudsa easily on the edge of the boulder. The gudsas of those days! How thick the blood that oozed out of them.’ Who knows why but this would bring back my school history text books. Illustrations of primitive men sitting at the mouth of their caves. A fire in the middle. The carcass of an animal on the spit. Teeth tearing into the meat. I could see a relationship somewhere, or so I would think.

Excerpted with permission from Baluta, Daya Pawar, translated from the Marathi by Jerry Pinto, Speaking Tiger Books.

News monitored by Girish Pant & AJEET

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