[Video] Upper Caste Deny Dead To Be Carried Through Their Land, Dalits Airdrop The Body To Crematorium
In a disturbing video that has surfaced online, a group of men from Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district can be seen helplessly air-dropping the body of a dead person from a bridge to a crematorium. The body was put on a stretcher with garlands and dropped to the ground from the top of the bridge. While some men held the ropes from the 20-foot high bridge, others received the body in Narayanapuram village. The men were then compelled to carry the dead body to a funeral pyre in a crematorium.
— Sidhant Mamtany (@SMamtany) August 22, 2019
As the men begin to cremate the body, the man shooting the video says that it was happening in Vaniyambadi taluk in Vellore where the Dalit colony in the village does not have access to a crematorium of its own. The heart-wrenching incident took place on Saturday, August 17, after Kuppan, a 55-year-old man passed away in an accident on August 16.
No Dignity Even After The Death
“This is our crematorium. We lower the body like this each time. We don’t have a crematorium,” man recording the video says. Dalits in the village are denied access to a public road and a crematorium by caste Hindus in the area. This has become a common practice for the Dalits who have been deprived of their rights for over four years now.
According to one police official speaking to the Hindustan Times, the caste Hindus, mainly Vellala Gounders and Vanniyars, allegedly prevented Kuppan’s body from being taken through a stretch of their piece of land.
Kuppan’s relatives claim that the caste Hindus encroached upon the way over the Palar river meant for the Dalits to carry the dead bodies. They had purchased lands around the path and did not want the corpses to be transported through the area.
21-year-old Vijay, nephew of Kuppan told The News Minute, “For over 20 years now, we have had trouble accessing the grounds we traditionally used as a crematorium. Members of the dominant caste own the land now and don’t let us enter the area with corpses.”
“Caste Hindus have a separate ground that we can’t use for cremations. Before the bridge came into existence 15 years ago, we used to leave the body in the water. But now we lower it down the bridge to cremate it. We have appealed to various district authorities for years now to help us, but to no avail,” he added.
When contacted, the Collector of Vellore, A Shanmuga Sundram assured appropriate action in the case with the help of a revenue team responsible for the probe.
In a disturbing video that has surfaced online, a group of men from Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district can be seen helplessly air-dropping the body of a dead person from a bridge to a crematorium. The caste Hindus don't allow Dalits to carry the dead bodies from their land. This has become a common practice for the Dalits who have been deprived of their rights for over four years now.
The Logical Indian ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಗುರುವಾರ, ಆಗಸ್ಟ್ 22, 2019
The Logical Indian strongly condemns the incident and disapproves of a society existing on the deeply ingrained belief of caste determining a person’s social status and access to basic amenities and facilities. It is extremely unfortunate that such discriminatory practices exist unchallenged for decades now. Even after death, the struggle for dignity continues for Dalits.