The practice of urinating on individuals from lower castes in India is a shocking and repugnant means to assert caste supremacy. This disturbing act, often accompanied by the use of human waste, highlights the deep-rooted prejudice within certain sections of Indian society.
A viral video captured the despicable act of a tribal boy being urinated upon by a local leader, Pravesh Shukla. Swift action was taken by the police, resulting in Shukla's arrest and the demolition of a portion of his home.While this recent incident in Sidhi district, Madhya Pradesh, triggered outrage and condemnation, it is essential to recognize that such acts have occurred in the past, exposing the troubling psyche behind caste discrimination.
This article sheds light on several instances, both reported and unreported, where lower castes have been subjected to urine and human feces, underscoring the urgent need to address and eradicate caste-based atrocities.
Previous incidents reveal a recurring pattern where upper-caste individuals have employed urination as a means to assert their superiority over lower castes. While other methods of dominance exist, the use of excreta and urine to dehumanize Dalits carries a distinctive arrogance. Here are a few examples:
In 2023, a case was registered against seven upper-caste men for throwing human excrement and urine at the house of Lalmati, a Dalit woman from Chauhan Purwa Majre Patna in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh. Lalmati informed The Mooknayak that when she protested against this act, the accused reportedly forcefully entered her house, physically assaulted her, and issued severe threats. The Dalit woman encountered significant challenges while attempting to file an FIR. It was only after seeking assistance from the SC/ST Commission that some progress was made in her case. Following the commission's direction, her case was finally registered at the Dewa police station in the Barabanki district.
In another shocking incident from the Vengavalayi village in the Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu in 2022, human feces were discovered dumped in a water tank designated for the Scheduled Caste community. The issue came to light when children fell ill, prompting doctors to suspect water contamination as the source. Upon inspection, men were horrified to find a significant amount of feces floating inside the tank. The incident sparked outrage, leading to visits from various politicians, including V. Meyyanathan, the Minister for Environment and Climate Change. As a result, the construction of a new tank was ordered. To investigate the incident, a one-man commission, headed by retired judge M. Sathyanarayanan, was appointed, and the CB-CID took over the investigation. However, no significant progress has been made in the case, and no arrests have been made thus far. The CB-CID requested eleven individuals to undergo DNA testing, but only three of them complied. Subsequently, on the 4th of July, a special court ordered eight people to undergo DNA testing.
Moving into 2023, cases of assault and urination against Dalits in Tamil Nadu persist. In Neyavayal village of the Ramanathapuram district, eleven individuals were booked for abducting Jeeva, a 33-year-old Dalit man, and subjecting him to urination. Jeeva had visited the house of a 17-year-old upper-caste individual in an attempt to peacefully resolve an argument.
In 2021, a horrifying incident occurred in Barmer, Rajasthan, where a Dalit man and his son were subjected to brutal violence and forced to consume urine by a group of men. According to the police's First Information Report (FIR), Raichand Meghwal and his son Ramesh were attacked by a gang of at least 15 men while they were at a grocery store in Gohad ka Tala village, Barmer. Raichand was coerced into drinking urine as an act of extreme humiliation. The police suspect that the incident may have been driven by a longstanding enmity between the parties involved.
Thiruvanduthurai Incident (2019): Kollimallai, a 45-year-old brick kiln owner from Thiruvanduthurai village, Madurai district, was subjected to a three-year-old dispute that culminated in him being urinated upon and force-fed human excreta. The assailants, including Rajesh Rajkumar and Sakhivel, used a stick to push excreta into Kollimallai's mouth while urinating on his body. The victim expressed such profound humiliation that he contemplated suicide on the spot. Although an FIR was filed, the attackers were not charged under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act of 2015, highlighting the challenges faced in seeking justice.
Badayun Incident (2018): Sitaram Valmiki, a farmer in Badayun district, Uttar Pradesh, was forced to drink urine when he refused to harvest crops for upper-caste individuals. The accused, belonging to the Thakur community, displayed blatant brazenness during the attack, declaring, "Who is there to help them? The government is ours."
Krishnagiri Incident (2015): During a temple festival in Karunavur, Tamil Nadu, a 20-year-old boy named M Aravindhan and his relative, R Dinesh, were mercilessly beaten by caste Hindus who used derogatory language towards them. The attackers dragged them to a nearby toilet, continued the assault, and even urinated in Aravindhan's mouth.
Chattarpur District Incident (2015): In Chattarpur district, Madhya Pradesh, a 45-year-old woman was stripped, beaten, and forced to drink urine after being allotted a land lease on a piece of land previously owned by Vijay Yadav. The accused let his cattle damage the victim's crops, and when she confronted him, she was assaulted, stripped, and compelled to drink his urine. The woman was further threatened with dire consequences if she dared to report the incident to the police.
Ashok Kumar (2012): Upper-caste men beat and urinated on a 23-year-old Dalit youth, Ashok Kumar, following a dispute over eggs and money. Kumar spent five days in the hospital before filing charges. The issue was eventually settled after the perpetrators paid Rs 31,000.
These incidents of urination and humiliation expose the urgent need to address the deep-seated caste discrimination prevalent in Indian society. The act of urinating on lower castes serves as a degrading reminder of their perceived inferiority. To combat such abhorrent practices, it is crucial to promote equality, education, and awareness, while implementing stricter legal measures. Social activists, politicians, and organizations must continue to vehemently condemn such acts and work tirelessly to create a more inclusive and egalitarian society in India.
Speaking to The Mooknayak, Bezwada Wilson, a Magsaysay Award-winning social activist and convener of Safai Karamchari Andolan, stated that subjecting lower castes to urine and feces is a deliberate attempt to insult and remind them that they are considered inferior. This insight further emphasizes the urgent need for societal transformation, where every individual is treated with dignity and equality, irrespective of their caste.