Dalit issues

Uttarakhand: Dalits accuse upper-caste villagers of threatening their lives, flee village

An official said there were tensions after a Dalit youth refused to play the drums at an upper-caste wedding and allegedly pushed the groom’s mother.

A number of Dalits in a remote village in Uttarakhand’s Tehri district have fled their homes after allegedly receiving death threats from upper-caste villagers, The Indian Express reported.

Ghansali Sub-Divisional Magistrate CS Chauhan told the daily that an argument broke out between villagers on December 1 after a Dalit youth named Rakesh Lal backed out from playing the drums at a wedding ceremony for an upper-caste family. When the groom’s mother went to Lal’s house, he allegedly pushed her after she demanded that he play the instrument and refused to take a no for an answer. This sparked tensions in the village.

Lal has reportedly disappeared since the incident, and 19 Dalits left the village on December 4 after their lives were threatened, Tehri Circle Officer HS Rauthan told The Indian Express.

Rakesh Lal’s father Sohan Lal lodged a missing persons complaint at the Ghansali Police Station on December 3. In the complaint, he claimed that the upper-caste villagers had beaten them and ransacked their houses, PTI reported.

Fearing for their safety, the Dalit villagers took refuge in a building nearby that houses the offices of the block administration. Police officer Muhammad Akram said the villagers are afraid and have refused to return till Lal is found and those who threatened them are charged. They filed a police complaint against 19 upper-caste villagers at the Ghansali Police Station under provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The upper-caste villagers have also filed a case against 20 Dalits, including Rakesh Lal, the police added.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Why should inclusion matter to companies?

It's not just about goodwill - inclusivity is a good business decision.

To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Creating a sense of belonging for everyone is essential for a company’s success. Let’s look at some of the real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

Better decision making

A whitepaper by Cloverpop, a decision making tool, established a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. The research discovered that teams that followed an inclusive decision-making process made decisions 2X faster with half the meetings and delivered 60% better results. As per Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, this report highlights how diversity and inclusion are practical tools to improve decision making in companies. According to her, changing the composition of decision making teams to include different perspectives can help individuals overcome biases that affect their decisions.

Higher job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


A research by Catalyst.org stated the in India, 62% of innovation is driven by employee perceptions of inclusion. The study included responses from 1,500 employees from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States and showed that employees who feel included are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, suggest new and innovative ways of getting work done.

Competitive Advantage

Shirley Engelmeier, author of ‘Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage’, in her interview with Forbes, talks about the new global business normal. She points out that the rapidly changing customer base with different tastes and preferences need to feel represented by brands. An inclusive environment will future-proof the organisation to cater to the new global consumer language and give it a competitive edge.

An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

In a video titled ‘She rises’, Accenture captures the importance of implementing diverse policies and creating an inclusive workplace culture.


To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.