#Hathras is in the long line of caste-based sexual violence in India. It's a different age, or name or geographical location of the victim each time, but the pattern is starkly the same. It doesn't help to compare this with #Nirbhaya. Did we forget #Khairlanji?
From the Bhateri gang rape to Unnao- how does the institution respond to sexual violence of dalit women by higher/upper caste males? Unnao is a Brahmin and Thakur dominated district; the woman was set on fire and the prime suspects including Shivam Trivedi was Brahmin.
Bhanwari Devi had to walk 3 km from the police station at midnight after depositing her lehenga and cover herself in her husband's turban. The Vishaka judgment has no acknowledgment of this. A gang-rape case in a bizarre way became the foundation for SHW guidelines.
Its therefore necessary to acknowledge that while the women's movement(s) in India have obsessed with domestic violence, the same attention has not been paid to caste-based atrocities on bodies of Dalit women by upper-caste males, or the institutional impunity that it accompanies
We all need to make institutional impunity- from rape to torture to custodial violence, central to our feminist rage. Yes, the family is also that site and must be interrogated as such. Caste has to be central to foreground all kinds of feminist intervention.That is the only way.
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