You can always trust TV media to provide a comic relief during a tragedy. While it was amusing to saw amateur Republic TV reporters nearly collapsing with Asthma attack during SSR case coverage, juvenile attempts by Aajtak and ABP News reporters to copy the same during coverage of Hatharas episode was downright laugh riot. Unlike subtlety displayed by Republic’s trained band of low-IQ boys and girls, ABP and Aajtak people were haughty, insulting and downright dismissive of low-rank policemen with ‘How dare they’ attitude. Moving away from our cringeworthy conscious keepers preaching from TV screens, Hatharas tragedy and its aftermath provide some insights on changing mindset of people living in rural hinterlands.

First of all, Dalit victimhood is dead. Yes, Dalits still lag most communities on socio-economic indicators but caste-driven inferiorities are all but jettisoned. With rise of BJP and its aggressive wooing of Dalits in Hindu fold, Dalits are more confident and even-handed in dealing with secular politicians and their pimps. Nothing testifies better than the attitude of victim’s brother in Hatharas tragedy. Vultures were descending upon him to feast on family grief. He understood that media moguls and political leaders need him more than he need them as Modi and Yogi also care about him and his family. Local BJP MP was standing firmly with his family. For all the circus around the issue, have you ever heard him issuing a single critical comment on BJP, Yogi and Modi.

When media was practically begging him to criticize Yogi, he threw a bone and made DM a sacrificial lamb. When Aajtak was trying to force him to say nice things about Gandhi duo for encouraging words, he plainly said that everyone is sympathetic and it is quite natural for anybody to do what Gandhis did. Gone are the days when Dalits considered it a bliss if a upper-class politician from Delhi graced their muddy hut with their presence. Moreover, He clearly accepted that there was bad blood between his family and family of accused, not because they are Dalits but because of a land dispute. There was no attempt to play caste card.

Thanks to Bollywood, word ‘Thakur’ fill us with dread with image of a Character like Amrish Puri unleashing lashes on naked backs of poor farmers. However, reality is very different. Case of ‘Bhabhi of Hathras’ was even more curious. For all emotional outbursts (sometimes related to caste which clearly excited Aajtak reporters), allegations of false charges and demand of CBI enquiry from local panchayat (which included Dalit leaders) suddenly sealed her mouth. There was absolutely zero mobilization on ground among Valmiki community. Unlike moviemakers and columnists, community has lived under real atrocities for generations. They remember when Congress leaders used to lock them in houses and burn them alive at slightest provocations. That’s why you have not heard a single word form Mayawati as she is aware of ground realities.

Modi’s social sector schemes have changed rural hinterland irreversibly. Already, people have an administration that provide money in bank account, housing, toilets, electricity and water connections with zero caste and religious discrimination. Dalits have been chief beneficiaries of these schemes. That has resultant in a tangible improvement in living standards of Dalit and subaltern populace in rural areas. With such a track record, it is very difficult to push ahead with ‘Dalit atrocities’ charge against ruling dispensation. In fact, Dalit-bias of BJP is so apparent that caste-based politics has much better chances among Rajput and Brahmins. For example, loss of BJP in MP and Rajasthan in 2018 assembly elections was attributed largely to anger among Rajputs over what they felt like excessive appeasement of Dalits by BJP leadership.

One has to understand that Modi has changed the Dalit politics by adding dimension of tangible improvement in daily life. It is turning out to be one of the largest socialist project in world enabling rural masses to compete with their urban peers on equal footing. Now, positive agenda is something that has taken Dalit politicians off-guard who have historically thrived by fomenting ‘historical humiliation’. Somebody called ‘Raavan’ and Udit Raj are reduced to ridiculous caricatures who are subservient to Muslim cause. Chirag Paswan has learnt his lessons well and has moved on to development agenda. Mayawati is in silent agreement with what BJP has done for Dalits but clueless on what should be her next step. Grassroot Dalit leaders like Mayawati and Paswan know that real upliftment of Dalits is in political interest of BJP and RSS with subalterns forming cornerstone of grand Hindutva project.

Finally, if people really want to deal with rape menace, it has to become a secular cause. In response to garbage vomitted by outraged idiots like Nidhi Razdan and Sagarika Ghose, nobody got stirred by Delhi Nirbhaya because she was upper-caste Hindu raped by lower caste men, but we were stirred because of brutality she was subjected to. She was assaulted in an urban setting which make every city-dweller conscious of danger to their family. Just because liberals are not getting mass support in peddling of their narrative, they are reducing spontaneous mass movement of 2012 to caste consciousness.

Media outrage is typically orchestrated depending on identity of accused, identity of victim and commissions fixed by old establishment. One can asked what was so special about Hathras case that differentiated it from Balrampur, Prayag and Baaran cases. This was the only case where “BJP support Upper Caste Hindu atrocities on Dalits” trope can be staged. If you care about rapes, there are 20 other cases in last week itself. If you talk about rape of Dalit victims, 10 out of 20 fit the bill. If you are looking for UC-Dalit angle, there are 5 cases fit the bill but BJP not ruling party in 4 of them. So, the exact trope as mentioned above is only this case. This only shows disrespect and contempt of old media and left-liberal elite towards intelligence of people in discovering their true motives.

Antics as performed by Delhi journalists last week not only dilute the seriousness of crime such as rape but also alienate people from joining ranks against this heinous crime against women. JP created his movement in era of Doordarshan. People don’t need crutches from morally-compromised journalists in bringing a change.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.