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What Price Protest?

In the past few months, parts of north-west India have witnessed incidents of dalit assertion of their rights related to access to resources and to a life of dignity. This has, in all cases, met with retaliation by the dominant castes. After the Hisar incident, where hundreds of dalits from Bhagana village had to come all the way up to Delhi on foot to protest the suppression of their rights, similar acts of oppression have been witnessed in Ramgarh village of Dadri tehsil, Gautam Buddh Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh.

As the youth of this village had begun organising themselves, the members of the dominant Gujjar community retaliated by making 22-year-old Tika Ram their target. Tika Ram had spoken at a convention held on 15 July 2012 at New Delhi about the ongoing suppression of Jatavs in Ramgarh. After this he was beaten up by four Gujjar youth who tied him ruthlessly to the railway tracks. Tika Ram managed to somehow free himself but not enough to save his legs which have had to be amputated after the incident. Tika Ram is battling for life today at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) trauma centre in New Delhi.

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