woman bites dog

[an old draft]

a dalit woman is abused, called before a panchayat and fined because she fed a roti to a dog that belonged to an upper caste villager. the local police don't listen to her, nor does the sc/st police station where she goes next. finally, the police wake up only after the district administration takes notice.

look at how one of the initial news stories looked at the issue. you would think the dalit woman was the heroine of the story, no? but what's this title - 'Dog cast(e) away after Dalit touch' - where does the woman figure in it?

let's look at how the reporter probably saw the story.
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this is the sad tale of an upper caste dog which lost caste because it hobnobbed with a dalit:
BHOPAL: A dog's life couldn't get worse. A mongrel brought up in an upper caste home in Morena was kicked out after the Rajput family members discovered that their Sheru had eaten a roti from a dalit woman and was now an "untouchable". Next, Sheru was tied to a pole in the village's dalit locality. His controversial case is now pending with the district collector, the state police and the Scheduled Caste Atrocities police station in Morena district of north MP.
this is also the sad tale of the dog's owner who was cheated of his right to just compensation:
The black cur, of no particular pedigree, was accustomed to the creature comforts in the home of its influential Rajput owners in Manikpur village in Morena. Its master, identified by the police as Rampal Singh, is a rich farmer with local political connections.

A week ago Sunita Jatav, a dalit woman, was serving lunch to her farm labourer husband. "There was a 'roti' left over from lunch. I saw the dog roaming and fed it the last bread," Sunita said. "But when Rampal Singh saw me feeding the dog and he grew furious. He yelled: 'Cobbler woman, how dare you feed my dog with your roti?' He rebuked me publicly. I kept quiet thinking the matter would end there. But it got worse," she said.

On Monday, Rampal ex-communicated the dog. A village panchayat was called, which decided that Sheru would now have to live with Sunita and her family because it had become an untouchable. Sunita Jatav was fined Rs 15,000.
also interwoven with the above sad tales is the sad tale of the panchayat which did not get due respect...
An outraged Sunita and her brother Nahar Singh Jatav rushed to Sumawali police station. They were directed to take the matter to the SC/ST Atrocities police station in Kalyan. "When we went there, the officer asked us why we fed the dog," recalls Nahar. "So we went to the DSP in the SC/ST Atrocities department and submitted a memorandum to him, as also to the district collector. But no one has registered our FIR so far.
and all those sad tales ended in the sad tale of the police who were harassed into action because of all the 'political' pressure imposed on them:
DSP SC/ST Atrocities (Morena), Baldev Singh, recalls, "We got a complaint in which it has been alleged that a dog was declared untouchable and a dalit family fined for feeding it. We are investigating the allegation," said the officer.
we are investigating. such a laid-back approach. does he realize the trauma the dog went through? 

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