Documentation of the Oppressed- a national Database on hate violence- was released today at the Constitution Club. The database, a first of its kind is a joint civil society effort and is run by a large network of civil society organizations both at the national and at the grassroots level. The incidents recorded on the database are post the year 2014.
Our database currently has 488 incidents in which 2607 victims are reported. You can get full details and breakup of the numbers at dotodatabase.com. As an example of the kind of numbers which can be extracted from our database, we have taken five important categories and broken them down into three sets: identity of the victims (according to each incident), alleged political affiliation of the perpetrator and reported reason behind, or nature of, the violence.
These categories include Murder/Lynching (54), Physical Assault (125), Attack against Religious Infrastructure (51) and Communal Violence (52), as well as 85 cases where the motivation behind the violence was cow related. Of the 54 cases of Murder/Lynching, victims in 74% of the cases are Muslims, with Dalits and Social Activists being the other two major categories. 39% of the cases of Murder/Lynching are related to cow related violence, 20% connected to religious identity and 14% related to work/ideology of the person. Further, 85 incidents of cow related violence are recorded, out of which 25% cases are of Murder/Lynching and 49% of physical assault. 71% Muslims and around 12% Dalits have been victims of these cow related violence. Our database has been able to record 125 cases of physical assault where Christians and Muslims are major communities targeted. The database also tries to record the identity and organizational affiliations of the perpetrators. Political orientation of majority of perpetrators is related to right wing Hindutva ideology.
The objective of the database is to encourage community based reporting and intervention through a common documentation platform for civil society of marginalized groups: DOTO database. A platform that addresses both immediate and long-term issues related to the systemic violation of fundamental rights, erosion of constitutional values and the organization and deployment of ‘hate’.
DOTO database is simple, and easy to use, and seeks to create a large scale repository which can then be used for various purposes: from activating the legal machinery in individual cases, to national and international advocacy.
Zafrul Islam Khan, the chairman of the Delhi Minorities commission, pointed out that thousands of Muslims and Dalits have suffered. He highlighted that the incidents of state sponsored/saffron terror which has been on the rise in the nation. He lauded the effort behind the database, and stressed on the need of reporting.
Teesta Setalvad, founder of Peacemap and Helpline, was also present at the launch. The initiative Peacemap is a seven stage conflict management platform that aims to warn, predict and prevent violence across India.
Amnesty International has also been working on a database which looks at the prejudice behind the hate crimes.
Likhita Banerjee from the organization pointed out that the database records cases of caste violence, mob lynching, hate crimes against other identities like adivasis, Dalits and transgender. The media of the database is English and Hindi, with incidents starting from 28 September 2015 to 2019.
Ram Puniyani, senior activist, pointed out that the efforts like this database are a major step in moving towards social justice. He said that we should also address the hatred that has been created after 9/11 all over the world so that innocents can live with dignity in the society.
John Dayal, senior activist, illustrated the years of experience of civil society and Christian Networks in documenting cases of violence against Christians, and how they have been using church-based documentation, specific helpline to record data and thereafter the network of lawyers and advocacy tools at national – international level to pursue justice. He stated that they submitted 316 cases of violence against Christians in the year 2017, at UPR process of United Nations.
Other Dignitaries: Adv Sanjay Hegde, Senior Adv, Supreme Court of India, Ravi Nair, Civil rights activist, and senior journalist Saba Naqvi also spoke based on their experiences of dealing with state institutions.
DOTO NETWORK & PARTNERS: Quill Foundation, Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, Citizens Against Hate, United Against Hate, Citizens for Justice and Peace, SIO, APCR, NCHRO, Fraternity, MSO, Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind, Jamiat Ahle Hadees, Mushawarat.