Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Update (just 30 minutes later): Just noticed that both Anand and Uma have given their perspectives, starting with the same Sainath article.

Do read yesterday's op-ed in the Hindu by Sainath on the burning of 50 Dalit houses in Gohana, Haryana, exactly a week ago. He gives you a glimpse of the long and horrible history of crimes that are committed on Dalits all over the country: Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and on, and on.

Sainath quotes Chunni Lal Jatav, a survivor of the Kumher massacre in Rajasthan:

"All the judges of the Supreme Court do not have the power of a single police constable. That constable makes or breaks us. The judges can't re-write the laws and have to listen to learned lawyers of both sides. A constable here simply makes his own laws. He can do almost anything.

Yesterday, ToI also carried an op-ed, this one by Chandra Bhan Prasad, about the same incident. He draws several eerie parallels between the Gohana atrocity and another that was perpetrated in a far away country (Tulsa, Okhlahoma in the US) a long time ago (1921).

In his piece, Sainath says parenthetically:

But I'm still sure you'll see editorials that tell us these things are wrong because `they send bad signals to investors'.

I am not sure if editorials will say it (though they have used similar arguments in the past), but I am sure lots of individuals -- even ones who should know better -- will say it. If you have any doubt, I just wish to remind you of this.

Thanks to reader Anant for the e-mail alert about Sainath's article.


  1. Anonymous said...

    thanks for pointing to that parenthetical remark of sainath's. editorials might not say it, but op-eds and leader articles certainly will...without wincing. thanks also for linking to chandra bhan prasad's piece. i read it this morning with a deep sense of sadness.