Modern Democracy, Feudal Minds

Despotic politicians in Uttar Pradesh punish Dalits for participating in local elections, terrorise village. "I made this video because I want to show the castism which happens so blatantly against Dalits. I want to tell everyone about the unfair things that happen at the lowest levels of Indian society," Ajeet told us. Three months after a local landlord launched a vengeful and violent attack against a Dalit village, there have been no legal repercussions and no arrests have taken place. In his video, Ajeet interviews Ram Murat, who decided to run in the local village council elections last year. His opponent was the powerful landlord and oppressive ex-legislator Mahesh Narayan Singh, who is involved in multiple illegal businesses and who doesn't allow anyone to rise up or speak out against him. Before the elections, Singh's thugs went around threatening the villagers, saying that they had installed cameras in the voting booths and everyone who voted against them would be punished. Ram Murat lost the elections, but even so Mahesh Singh wouldn't leave them alone. He sent his sons to the village, who demanded that the Dalit villagers pay Rs.200,000 in 'compensation' for all the money he invested in the elections. On 2nd November, they attacked, beat up men, stripped a woman and shot at the walls of houses. The villagers ran into a room with an iron door and stayed there until the tyrants had left. "Every few days, Singh and his troop of thugs come back to harass the Dalit villagers," Ajeet says. "The men go and sleep in other villages at night. The police haven't done anything yet. We have a Dalit government, yes. When Mayawati was running in the elections I had many hopes. But now I am hopeless. The administration and the courts have never been worse than they are now."

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