Dalit Protest Paralyse India: Five Dead - In India when a Dalit Converts
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In India when a Dalit converts to another faith he or she still faces the 'unparalleled social abuse of untouchability (A.J.Toynbee)' because caste Hindus would still consider the person 'untouchable'; in reality discrimination increases when a Dalit escapes by conversion into Christianity or Islam, considered 'foreign' religions in India. The real problem for the convert remains Hinduism, not the religion she has converted to.
This month the Dalits mustered unprecedented courage to protest against the state for continuous usurpation of their basic rights as human beings but unfortunately the protests that swept north India have cost five lives today. In Madhya Pradesh, four people died during clashes and a man was killed in firing in Rajasthan’s Alwat. Violence was also reported from parts of Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. Punjab came to a standstill as the government put the army on stand-by and transport off the roads. Hundreds of protesters carrying sticks, baseball bats and flags forced shops to shut in Jalandhar, Amritsar and Bathinda. Traffic in and around Chandigarh was hit as protesters blocked highways and arterial roads.
The shutdown has been called by Dalit groups against a Supreme Court order of March 20.Union government highlighted the high rate of atrocities on the community and the abysmally low rate of conviction. Most opposition parties, including the Congress, have sided with the Dalits.