As hate crimes and human rights violations are increasing at an alarming pace in India, a group of journalists and social activists has launched a Web-based interface that will inform about the incidents of violence in real time.
Launched earlier this week under the banner DOTO or Documentation Of The Oppressed, the platform aims to address all issues related to the “systemic violation of fundamental rights, erosion of constitutional values, and the organization and deployment of hate” in India.
The launch of a platform like DOTO holds paramount importance as India’s failure to protect rights of people is being discussed at different international forums. For example, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has voiced concerns about the increasing human rights violations in India.
Zeid said Wednesday (7 March 2018) that he is increasingly disturbed by discrimination and violence directed at minorities, including Dalits and other scheduled castes, and religious minorities such as Muslims in India.
He also said that he is deeply concerned by efforts to limit critical voices through the cancellation or suspension of registration of thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including groups advocating for human rights and even public health groups in India.
DOTO – an independent, non-profit documentation center based in New Delhi – is being managed by a network of civil society organizations and the DOTO database functions as a tracker of violence and a discussion platform.
The database, according to DOTO organizers, mixes a crowd-sourcing model with its own investigative and editorial teams. “With a large number of cases of hate violence going unreported because of dwindling media interest and investment, DOTO seeks to tip off media reportage in the northern hinterlands of India,” say DOTO organizers.
The DOTO database seeks to create a large-scale repository which could be used for various purposes: from activating the legal machinery in individual cases, to national and international advocacy, it is stated.
The database has so far reported about 489 incidents of hate crimes involving 2,670 victims.
Photo courtesy: DOTO