Why Dalit lives don’t matter in a castiest India

Upper caste men continue to take it upon themselves to decide what a Dalit can or cannot do. Photo: Reuters

Jitendrapal Meghwal was young, fashionable and Dalit, and he died last month with a knife stabbed multiple times to his back, chest and stomach.

On June 23, 2020, Meghwal, a resident of Barwa village in Rajasthan’s Bali tehsil in Pali district, was beaten up by two upper caste men – Suraj Singh and Ramesh Singh – for looking into their eyes directly. According to his brother, the attackers were already peeved at Meghwal’s good looks and lifestyle – particularly his handlebar moustache which is something a Dalit man isn’t supposed to aspire to have.

Following the incident, Meghwal had approached the local police and filed a complaint under the......