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Hathras Case and Dalit Representation in Courts

Hathras Case and Dalit Representation in Courts

Rahul Kumar Gautam

Atrocities against Dalits are not new in India. On 14 September 2020, a rape case happened with a Dalit girl in Hathras district, Uttar Pradesh. It was horrible and painful because the victim’s family said they remained alone, and the whole administration and Thakurs were on one side. The girl (victim), before her death, named the four Thakur men who raped her, cut off her tongue, and broke her spine. The UP police refused to file any FIR until her death. Later, the police said there was no rape. UP police do not even stop here. They exhibited extreme cruelty and burnt the dead body with petrol at midnight without her parents’ consent.

After two years, the family made allegations that the SC/ST court gave a verdict on the side of the Thakur caste because the police had tried as per their capacity to cover up and destroy evidence. As we know, the girl had made allegations against four Thakur men before her death. But the court acquitted three of the four Thakur men and said there was no rape. After listening to the verdict, the victim’s sister spoke to the media, crying, “UP mein Thakurwad chal raha hai. Thakuron ko nyay mila hai humein nahi”

The question is – why do Dalits either do not get justice or get only delayed justice (as we had seen in Khairlanji, Karmchedu, and UNA)? The answer is obvious: most of the judges of India belong to the upper castes. It can be proved that a judge who is not a Dalit cannot give judgment without bias.

I can illustrate it with the help of a small social experiment. One day, I was walking on the road. I clicked a picture. In the photo, a man was sitting and reading a book. In the same image, a girl was dancing. I sent that picture to a male and a female; the man replied saying: nice photo. But the girl responded that it was not a good picture. She added that it completely supports the patriarchal norms of society: men should get an education and women will only dance. Do you know why? This man knows education is essential for women, but what are his preferences? That is why he ignored women’s education in the picture and cared only about female beauty. Therefore, women can protect their rights better than men.

Similarly, in the case of the upper caste judges, they never felt discrimination based on caste. They know about discrimination only by reading books. If you have read books on science, you may wonder about what goes on in the laboratory. Laboratory practicals make us think and understand the subject knowledge deeply. Similarly, a person who has never seen untouchability and never experienced the life of a Dalit, he can only show kindness to Dalits and does not give importance to it. Because he knows, if he goes against Dalits, he will not lose anything because their domination is almost zero in government administrations. He can never be a good judge on Dalit-related issues. His interests will always be far from Dalits-related matters, as seen in the above paragraph (on a small social experiment). Otherwise, it seems one oppressor’s case against Dalits is listening to the other oppressor. So, there must be adequate judges from the Dalit community from bottom to top in all courts .


Rahul Kumar Gautam, is from Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh. He graduated from Allahabad Central University and has done his post-graduation at NIT ALLAHABAD. Currently he is pursuing Ph.D. in computer science in the area of social network and analysis at Hyderabad Central University.