Reporters Without Orders Ep 136: Hathras and the political dodge

A reporters’ podcast about what made news and what shouldn’t have.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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In this episode, host Snigdha Sharma is joined by Damini Kain, a student activist and academic researcher of issues related to caste and gender, along with Newslaundry’s Ayush Tiwari and Nidhi Suresh.

The conversation begins with UP government’s denial of rape in the Hathras case. Nidhi begins the discussion by highlighting, on the basis of medical records and other evidence, how the no-rape claim does not hold.

“Something that's become very evident through the research is that firstly this was not an inevitable death. This was simply not prevented, it was just not taken care of, nobody was there for her, nobody attended to her on time,” says Nidhi.

While the incident has shockwaves throughout the nation, Damini who hails from western Uttar Pradesh herself, tells Snigdha about how government’s and the police’s response when it comes to crimes against the Dalit community are evasive to the extent of being oppressive . She says that the nexus of upper caste dominance even in the Hathras case is a reflection of how Dalit women are treated, even by law-makers.

Ayush draws out the ridiculousness of Uttar Pradesh Police’s “international plot to defame UP government” claim. He adds more context to the discussion on crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh. In a recent report, he pointed how the Adityanath government has trying to protect bureaucrats who in turn were accused of protecting Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the former BJP MLA from Unnao sentenced to life in prison for raping a minor.

Coming back to the dynamics of caste in rural and urban areas, Damini says that we shouldn’t reduce the discussion just to atrocities against Dalits but also how caste functions on a day-to day basis. She shares a recent report that shows how caste dominates Indian cities. “We need to come to a meeting ground that can be established when enough representation is given to people from all marginalized communities,” she adds.

This and a lot more as they talk about what made news, what didn’t, and what shouldn’t have.

Tune in!


Nidhi Suresh

The Unwomanly Face of War

Damini Kain

Annihilation of Caste

India Untouched: Stories of a People Apart

Ayush Tiwari

Bad Boy Billionaires: India

Gandhi Against Caste

Snigdha Sharma

In Evil Hour

Recorded by Lipi Vats, Produced by Jude Weston, edited by Umrav Singh

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