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Mainstream, VOL LIII No 45 New Delhi October 31, 2015

I am a Dalit and proud to be one

Wednesday 4 November 2015, by Suhas Borker

I am a Dalit and proud to be one.
You set my family on fire in my village Sunped-Faridabad
You burnt alive my nine-month-old daughter, Divya,
and my two-and-a-half-year-old son,Vaibhav.
My twentythree-year-old wife, Rekha, is still critical in the Burns ICU.
 
I am a Dalit and proud to be one.
You held my fourteen-year-old brother, Govind, in Gohana-Sonipat
for stealing a pigeon and got him killed in police custody.
You said after the postmortem the doctors had said he died of hanging
and You said he hanged himself.
 
I am a Dalit and proud to be one.
You hacked my ninety-year-old grandfather, Ahirwar,
with an axe and burnt him alive in my village Bilgaon-Hamirpur
You said he was killed by a drunkard and drug addict who wanted money
and You said it had nothing to do with my grandfather wanting to enter a temple.
 
I am a Dalit and proud to be one.
You gang-raped my thirteen-year-old sister, ‘Bitiya’,
You made a video of the act and sold it in the local video store
But my courageous sister took on the whole village and the police
and all You four rapists are now in jail and my sister continues to fight for justice.
 
I am a Dalit and proud to be one.
I shall now rise and arise I will from the rotten muck
in which You have kept me entombed
with all my scars of a thousand years.
I have nothing to lose.
 
I am a Dalit and proud to be one.
Jai Hai My India! Jai Hai!

October 25, 2015 Suhas Borker

Suhas Borker is an independent documentary film-maker and Editor, CFTV NEWS. He is also Convener of the Working Group on Alternative Strategies. He can be contacted at suhasborker@gmail.com