In Hathras Victim’s Village, Upper Castes Confess to Practising Untouchability Against Dalits

Access Denied: To Faith and Fields

Right beside the victim’s house, stood another Dalit family’s house. When we walked in, the question that greeted us bears witness to the years of oppression faced by the community. “Madam, will you be okay drinking a glass of water in our house?”

One of the four Dalit homes in Hathras village.

One of the four Dalit homes in Hathras village.
(Photo: Asmita Nandy/The Quint)

Sabina, a middle-aged woman, took a break from her daily chores to sit down with us for a chat. “There are two-three temples in the village, one for the Brahmins and two owned by the Thakurs. We are allowed entry in only one of Thakur-owned temples. If we try to go to the other ones, they harass us, insult us.”

Sabina continued, “If we ever refuse to go to work in a Thakur home or lands, they threaten us that they will stop access to their fields. Agricultural land is mostly owned by the dominant caste group, if they stop access, we won’t be able to get fodder for our cattle or go out for defecation.”

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