Caste system like Taliban, needs to be discussed: Sharad Yadav

New Delhi: Atrocities against Dalits have been increasing since Independence, and the caste system in India has a “Taliban-like attitude”, Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav said on Thursday in the Rajya Sabha.

Yadav also demanded a ban on a cow protection vigilante group that was behind beating up Dalit youths in Una, Gujarat, for allegedly skinning a dead cow.

Initiating the debate on the issue in the Rajya Sabha, Yadav said: “We talk about Taliban … our caste system has a Taliban-like attitude, we need to discuss that.”

The JD-U leader came down heavily on the cow vigilantes and said: “What association is this Gau Rakshak. Why does the government not ban it?”

Yadav also said that youth were joining such groups because of rising unemployment.

“In Gujarat, these Gau Rakshaks (cow protectors) say 33 crore gods and goddesses live in the cow. Such superstitions are being spread in this country,” he added.

In Una, in Gujarat, four Dalit youths were beaten publicly and paraded in the town by cow vigilantes.

The youth were called by farmers to skin dead cattle. The incident came to light after the video of the atrocity went viral on social media.

In protests that followed, at least five Dalits consumed poison — and one of them died.

The Rajya Sabha had witnessed several adjournments on Wednesday on the issue of Dalits being beaten up in Una by cow protection vigilantes.