National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows that crimes against Dalits increased from less than 50 (for every million people) in the last decade to 223 in 2015.
Among states, Rajasthan has the worst record although Bihar is a regular in the top 5 states by crimes against Dalits.
Many social scientists have questioned the belief that economic advancement of Dalits can reduce crimes against them.
Most of the crimes committed against dalits go unreported due to fear of reprisal, the intimation of the police, the inability to pay bribes demanded by police, etc.
The report, titled ‘Quest for Justice’, by the National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ) – National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights, released in 2020, assessed the implementation of the Act as well as the data of crimes against SC and ST people as recorded by the National Crime Records Bureau from 2009 till 2018.
Crimes against Dalits increased by 6% from 2009 to 2018 with over 3.91 lakh atrocities being reported, at the same time gaps in implementation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 and the 1995 rules framed under it remained.
The report said the crime rate against those belonging to Scheduled Tribes recorded a decrease of around 1.6%, with a total of 72,367 crimes being recorded in 2009-2018.
The report also flagged the rise in violence against Dalit and Adivasi women.
On average 88.5% of cases under PoA Act remain pending trial during 2009 to 2018
Economic empowerment alone not enough : According to Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Economic advancement alone will not diminish the psychic traumas of caste; it may actually create more conflict. The empowerment of these groups rather than becoming a celebration of justice becomes a sign of fatal concoction of guilt and loss of power.
Average asset ownership is still the lowest among Dalits.
Political representation : The representation of Dalits above themandated quota is abysmal. Data collected by the Trivedi Centre for Political Data, Ashoka University shows that in 63 state assembly elections held since 2004, scheduled-caste candidates found it extremely difficult to get elected from a unreserved seat.
While some benefits of social programs and government policies designed to increase primary education rates can be noticed, the Dalit literate population still remains much lower than that of the rest of India.
There remains still, hostility, oppression and flaws in social programs in Indian society that prevent an increase in education growth.
Despite efforts to decrease caste discrimination and increase national social programs, the Dalits of India continue to experience low enrolment rates and a lack of access to primary education in comparison to the rest of India.
Even top officials who are Dalits are insulted and humiliated with caste slurs.
They are often prevented from entering any place of worship which is open to the public and other persons from the same religion, they are not allowed to be a part of social or cultural processions, including jatras.
Dalit children are discriminated against when it comes to mid-day meals and getting access to clean toilets.
The UGC guideline of prevention of discrimination in higher educational institutions came into light after University of Hyderabad student Rohit Vemula’s suicide.
Meanwhile, Dalit women are framed as witches; thereby ensuring that the family is socially ostracized in the village.
Even public servants who are supposed to protect Dalits sometimes fall prey to caste prejudice and work against their rights.