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‘Still broken, still suppressed, we are Dalits’

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Let us go back to 2012, when CNN published a very heart-rending rather agonising report on the painfully insulting situation the Dalits in India were facing that time. The report included the story of Dr Vinod Sonkar’s short visit to a teashop in Rajasthan. Dr Vinod Sonkar was a PhD in law and was teaching at a Delhi university that time. He told the CNN correspondent that for years he had worked hard to leave behind his childhood of poverty, abuse at school and teasing at university. By the time he had walked into that teashop, he had turned his life into a success story. As the shop owner handed him his tea, he asked him what caste he belonged to. “I am a Dalit,” Dr Sonkar said. “In that case, wash your glass when you are done,” warned him the tea-shop owner. Dr Sonkar said, “He didn’t want to touch whatever I had touched. I made it impure because I am an untouchable.” Unable to bear that insult, Dr Sonkar flew the glass across the room, straight into the wall, threw money on the counter — enough for the tea he drank and the glass he had smashed — and walked out. Now it is the end of 2018 but situation for the Dalits is still the same there. Amit, a Dalit video volunteer, says in a video message, “Being a Dalit is like you are born with a stamp on your forehead and you can never get rid of it.” The renowned Georgian journalist Natalia Antelava once said commenting on the worst circumstances faced by the Dalits in India, “Dalits are at the........

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