A horrifying video went viral on social media, showing two schoolboys beating up a third boy brutally. The 16-year-old victim Uttam wrote about the attack: “I am a Dalit and so doing well in the examinations or academics, which brings me praise at home, earns me humiliation and abuse in my classroom. …for the last two years, I was beaten every day by two boys who are brothers - one in the same class as me, the other a year junior. At least once a week, they would spit on my face. My teacher, who I approached for help, was very sympathetic. But he said the boys' father is a powerful criminal, so the school could not take action against them, and if I filed a complaint, I would be forced to drop out. … One of the boys used to tell me that assaulting me gave him pleasure, so he had it filmed by a student.
He was a backbencher, where you can cheat easily, and I used to sit in the front, but even so, he used to score poorly and I did well. So that enraged him. And when he found out I am from a Scheduled Caste, he went ballistic.”
A team of AISA-CPI (ML) and Insaaf Manch visited Uttam's family in Muzaffarpur. Comrade Shivprakash Ranjan, Bihar AISA Secretary who was a part of the team reports:
“Uttam, a dalit student in class 12th was beaten up brutally by classmates from the dominant community. Uttam's crime was scoring well in exams - something that a dalit student is not supposed to do, something that violated the code of Manu normalised in our caste ridden society and schools. Those who 'punished' Uttam for being better in studies come from socially influential families. And the school administration was allowing the prolonged bullying because they didn't want to offend their parents.
“Uttam has been going through trauma and depression since the assault. His grandfather with whom Uttam lives says their security is at stake since the video of the assault has gone viral. He fears backlash from the dominant community after assault on Uttam has become public.
“No one from the local administration or the government had visited Uttam's family days after the attack, and even the necessary medical care has not been given. So much for claims of social justice by Nitish-Lalu duo.”
AISA held state wide protests on 23rd and 24th October demanding Justice for Uttam, against the continuation and normalisation of caste based abuse in our educational institutions, against the Mahagathbandhan Government’s complicity with such casteist abuse and violence, and against the silence of the central government on Rohith Act.