Alleged attacks over moustaches in India prompt WhatsApp protests

Dalit men in India have allegedly been targeted in brutal attacks over the past week for sporting moustaches, prompting protests on WhatsApp.

Men posting photos of them twirling their moustache in protest following alleged attacks on Dalit men.

Men posting photos of them twirling their moustache in protest following alleged attacks on Dalit men. Source: Twitter

Reports alleged that two men were assaulted last week in western India's Gujarat's Limbodara village by Rajput men, which is believed to be a result of long-held beliefs by upper castes that Dalits were not supposed to sport moustaches.

On Tuesday, it was alleged another attack occurred when a 17-year-old boy - cousin of one of the men allegedly attacked last week - was slashed in the back with a blade while walking home from school, according to .

The young school student was rushed to hospital, but was in a stable condition.

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Piyush Parmar (pictured left) was allegedly attacked for sportina moustache and his cousin Digant Maheria (pictured right) was allegedly attacked this week.
Piyush Parmar (pictured left) was allegedly attacked for sportina moustache and his cousin Digant Maheria (pictured right) was allegedly attacked this week. Source: SBS / , Damayantee Dhar


In protest to the alleged attacks, hundreds of Dalit men from surrounding villages have changed their WhatsApp display photos to the picture of a moustache with the caption: "Mr. Dalit".

This has also prompted men to post photos of themselves sporting a moustache on social media - with the hashtag RightToMoustache - in defiance to the attacks.



The reported attacks follow the tragic death of a young Dalit man who was killed in a village in Anand district.

The 21-year-old was allegedly beaten to death for attending a garba event (dance) in the community. All men accused have been arrested.

A Dalit is considered an outcast in the hierarchical Indian caste system based on karma (work) and dharma (duty).




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2 min read
Published 5 October 2017 at 7:40am
By Riley Morgan
Source: SBS