खबर लहरिया Premium State of the (Republic) COW: Bovine Dispatches from Uttar Pradesh

State of the (Republic) COW: Bovine Dispatches from Uttar Pradesh

We begin with death.  In Bundelkhand when cattle die, it is not customary to let the bodies remain in the village. The carcasses are deposited on the outskirts, and a community of cattle skinners is called upon to make the trouble vanish.  The Chamar community who carry out the intergenerational, caste-segregated occupation of cattle-skinning and leather work are mostly Dalit. Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh like much of the country is rife with caste-discrimination. While casteism is often more covert in the cities, for the Chamar community in Chitrakoot district of Bundelkhand, it shapes the daily circumference of their lives — where they live, whom they can sit beside. At weddings, there are specific corners assigned for Dalits to eat, and