64 years after independence we have scavengers who manually dispose of human faeces for a living. If that is not enough (and shameful), these very same people, are being intimidated, isolated and evicted because of their caste. Wake up and smell the shit!
Savanur, in Haveri District of Karnataka, was the site of a protest that should act as wake-up call for every citizen and the government. Unfortunately, like every other warning signal that we have seen about the issue of disparity, this too was either ignored or treated like some shit on the road that we need to walk around.
While the citizens of the town need them for scavenging, they are not willing to let them live in their home of 40 years. They are not willing to let them access water - and if they do so - they are accused of theft - or have to pay a fine of 2000 Rs - something that is beyond their means. You clean the town's drains manually ...but are denied water to clean yourself? A 'commercial complex' gets priority over their lives?
Kannada papers did cover it, and one even dedicated an editorial. Vernacular news channels too touched upon it - but it got the treatment of something that came of the ticker. To Deccan Herald's credit, it did cover the story.
What about the national media? Why the hell did they not editorialize it? Why did studios not discuss it?
Did somebody say the caste system is dead? Is India anywhere close to shining? Not when people have to cover themselves in human excrement as a mark of protest against being denied access to water and being displaced from their homes.
If India has to rise and shine, we need to wake up and smell the shit.