Bol | Cynthia Stephen reads her poem, Red

The 19-year-old dalit girl from Hathras succumbed to her injuries a fortnight after she was brutally raped by four upper caste men. The police refused to file an FIR for several days, and denied the victim the immediate medical treatment that could have saved her life. Finally, in the ultimate act of caste cruelty, the family was denied the right to give their daughter a dignified funeral. The police cremated her body in the dead of the night, blockading roads, locking the family and other local members up. Now all erasures follow as the CBI refuses to take into account the rape charges mentioned in the dying declaration of the girl. Those who have protested demanding justice, have been booked under UAPA.

Hathras is not an isolated incident. 

In these dark times, will there be singing? Yes, there will be singing of the dark times. Cynthia Stephen, dalit activist and writer, reads her powerful poem Red, to commence Bol's month of #DalitResistance poetry. 

No matter, you say that you are from head or belly or thighs, we sprang from the earth,
And still we stand on this earth, our mother.

Cynthia Stephen is a dalit activist, writer, poet, independent researcher and journalist. Her key areas of work are in gender and development policy analysis.