A group Christian women theologians in India has expre-ssed shock and pain at the increasing incidents of sexual assaults on young Dalit women in the country.
“We strongly condemn these acts of violence and call upon the state machinery to ensure a free and fair probe into these crimes so that the guilty are brought before the courts of law and justice ensured to the victims/survivors,” says the Indian Women Theologians Forum (IWTF).
In an October 7 press release, the forum deplores the rape of four young Dalit women in Uttar Pradesh districts of Bulandshahr, Azamgarh, Balrampur, and Hathras in September. On Sept-ember 18, another Dalit teenager was set on fire in Telangana state’s Khammam district for resisting the rape attempt of her employers’ son.
“It is time for every right-thinking Indian to raise their voice and demand justice for the Dalits in our country. It is time for each of us to examine our own attitudes and behaviour that continues to treat Dalits as second class. It is time for India to change,” the Christian women theologian assert.
“We are deeply pained that even 70 years after the birth of India’s egalitarian Constitution framed by Dr. B R Ambedkar… Dalits continue to be treated as sub human,” the forum statement bemoaned.
Ambedkar, an eminent jurist, economist and politician, who had himself suffered caste discrimination, ensured that his strong views on social develop-ment, communal harmony and eradication of caste are spelt out in the various articles of the Indian Constitution.