Dalit man found hanging from tree – The Times Of India
One person booked for stabbing Dalit man to death – The Business Standard
Cong targets BJP-RSS over Bhagwat’s quota remark – The Statesman
SCHEDULE CASTE OFFICER’S PROTESTS FOR SERVICES SETBACK – The Pioneer
To appease Dalits, MLAs want job quota enforced – The Tribune
A Primary School That Runs under Tree for Five Yrs – The New Indian Express
Stuck Between Cruel Oppression And ‘Ghar Waapsi’, India’s Dalit Muslims Continue To Suffer – Youth Ki Awaz
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The Dalit Voice
The Times Of India
Dalit man found hanging from tree
Uday Rana,TNN | Sep 21, 2015, 11.35 PM IST
Meerut: A 52-year-old Dalit man was found hanging from a tree near a local temple on Monday morning in Muzaffarnagar’s Shernagar village
.“We found the man hanging from a tree. He only goes by his first name. Sheetal was a vegetable vendor who lost his wife around 15 years ago. His family members told us that he had gone to sleep after dinner on Sunday night. They said there was nothing amiss about his behavior that night. He must have slipped out of his house when everybody was asleep,” said Arun Kumar Singh, station officer, Nai Mandi police station.
The SO said prima facie it appeared to be a suicide case. “We didn’t find any signs of struggle so we have reason to believe it was suicide. However, his family members said he did not have any cause to take his life. They said they do not suspect anybody and Sheetal did not have any enemies in the village. We enquired about his financial condition and found it to be more or less stable. Though he made a living by selling vegetables on a cart, he was not under any major debt. No complaint or FIR has been filed in the case so far because the postmortem report has not come. Once we have the report, we can proceed with the case,” he said.
The Business Standard
One person booked for stabbing Dalit man to death
Press Trust of India | Muzaffarnagar (UP) September 22, 2015 Last Updated at 10:57 IST
Police have registered a case against one person in connection with the killing of a Dalit man in the district.
Dham Singh (40) was stabbed to death by unidentified men over collecting grass at Gadla village under Bhopa police station here last evening, police said.
A case has been registered against Arvind Tyagi in this connection, SHO, Promod Pawar said, adding, efforts were on to nab him.
Cong targets BJP-RSS over Bhagwat’s quota remark
PTI New Delhi, | 22 September, 2015
Congress on Monday launched a hard-hitting attack on BJP-RSS and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Mohan Bhagwat’s call for review of reservation policy, saying it was a “manifestation of anti-poor mindset”.
The party’s reaction came against the backdrop of two of its leaders — Manish Tewari and Jitin Prasada — criticising the existing quota policy.
Speaking to reporters, Congress communication department chief Randeep Surjewala said, “RSS-BJP combine continues to spread polarising divisive agenda to undermine the rights of deprived and the underprivileged, particularly the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes.
“The latest interview of RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat in RSS mouthpiece Organiser calling the reservation principles enshrined in the Constitution as ‘politicisation’ as also for a review of reservation for the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes is a manifestation of anti-poor mind set espoused by RSS and now by BJP since pre-Independence days,” he said.
In an interview to RSS mouthpiece Organiser, Bhagwat had pitched for a review of the reservation policy, contending it has been used for political ends and suggesting setting up of an apolitical committee to examine who needs the facility and for how long.
Congress is contesting the Assembly elections in Bihar in alliance with Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD-U, which owe their origin to Mandal politics. Both the parties have taken serious umbrage to Bhagwat’s remarks.
Surjewal’s late night statement that the party was committed to the issue of reservation came even as senior party leaders Tewari and Prasada voiced their opposition to the current caste-based quota.
“Congress introduced the system of reservation for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes in government employment, educational institutions as well as elected bodies as part of affirmative action enshrined in India’s Constitution.
“It is also Congress that introduced reservation for OBCs in government employment and educational institutions in the mid-1990s and later. The party is of the firm opinion that affirmative action in favour of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and OBCs must continue in order to deal with the discrimination imposed by centuries of subjugation and oppression,” Surjewala said.
Accusing Modi of pursuing “anti-dalit, anti-ST ideology, policies and decisions” since the time he was Gujarat Chief Minister, Surjewala cited purported references from his books as well as decisions made by him.
“In November, 2007, Modi authored a book Karmyog in which he stated that he does not believe that they (Valmikis) were doing this job to sustain their livelihood. He argued that had this been so, they would not have continued with this type of work generation after generation. He said and that at some point of time, somebody must have got the enlightenment that it is their (Valmiki’s) duty to work for the happiness of the entire society and the gods,” Surjewala said.
The Congress spokesperson further alleged that on April 30, 2010 during a release of his book titled ‘Samajik Samrashta’, Modi drew parallels between “mentally-retarded children and dalits”.
“He (Modi) stated that just as people give special treatment to mentally-retarded children when they visit their houses, the dalits, too, ought to be treated the same way,” Surjewala alleged.
Noting that as per the orders of Planning Commission each state is required to have a Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) as also Scheduled Tribe Sub Plan (STSP), he said Modi as Gujarat CM did not hold a meeting of SCST or STSP for 10 years since 2004 up to the date of demitting office.
Surjewala also alleged that inter-district filling of vacancies under reserved categories was not allowed in Gujarat during Modi’s tenure, “denying lakhs of job opportunities to dalits and backward classes which went unfilled”.
Claiming that Congress believes in true equality of opportunity, Surjewala recalled that in its 2009 Lok Sabha Election Manifesto, the party had pledged to explore carving out reservation for ‘economically weaker sections of all communities’ without prejudice to existing reservation for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and OBCs.
“In the 2014 Lok Sabha Election Manifesto, the party pledge said that the Congress was committed to finding a way forward for introducing reservation in education and employment for economically weaker sections without in any way affecting existing reservation for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes,” he said.
Surjewals also cited a statement by Congress President Sonia Gandhi in January, 2014 in which she had said that the empowerment of the SC/ST and OBCs has been an “article of faith” with the Congress.
SCHEDULE CASTE OFFICER’S PROTESTS FOR SERVICES SETBACK
Tuesday, 22 September 2015 | Pioneer News Service | Lucknow | in Lucknow
The Schedule caste officers and employees protesting against their reversion in service following the order of the Supreme Court have given a call for observing the 83rd anniversary of the RsPoona Pact’ as the black day on September 24. The Poona Pact refers to an agreement between Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi signed on 24 September 1932 at Yerwada Central Jail in Pune.
The RsAarakshan bachao sanghhrash samiti’, spearheading the campaign for restoration of the facility of reservation in promotion for the SC employees said September 24 will be observed as black day to mobilize the public opinion in favor of their cause.
The convener of the samiti Avadesh Verma said here on Monday that the black day will be organized to protest against indifference of the NDA government at the Center towards the passage of the Constitution (117th) amendment) bill and the persecution of the SC officers and employees by the Samajwadi party government under the cover of the compliance of the Supreme court order. The Apex court in April 2012 had quashed the Legislation providing for the reservation in promotion for the SC/ST employees. The apex court later fixed September 15 as the deadline for the compliance of its order passed in 2012. He said the constitution amendment bill was passed by the Rajya sabha during the previous UPA government. The NDA has clear majority in Lok Sabha and the government can get the bill passed easily but nothing has been done so far.
Over 8: Lakh schedule caste employees across the state will assemble at district headquarters and stage protest. The organization of the Sc employees is already running a campaign RsRsChupee Todo’ to mount pressure on the MLAs of the ruling Samajwadi Party and MPs of the BJP from the reserved seats. The SC MLAs of the SP and MPs of the BJP from the BJP are maintaining silence on this issue.
To appease Dalits, MLAs want job quota enforced
Question hour: Dy CM asked to follow quota policy
Jupinderjit Singh Tribune News Service Chandigarh, September 21
The issue of jobs for Dalits, who comprise one-third of state’s population, dominated the Question Hour today with Assembly Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal asking the government to ensure the reservation policy was followed in contractual/outsourced jobs as well.
The matter was raised by Akali MLA Justice Nirmal Singh (retd). Intervening in arguments between legislators over the issue of ignoring reservation for SCs/BCs, the Speaker told Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal that reservation policy was not being followed in contractual and outsourced jobs.
He asked Sukhbir to find a way out to ensure its proper implementation.
The Deputy CM, in a response to Congress MLA Charanjit Channi’s allegation of the government being anti-Dalit, claimed that the government was committed to the welfare of Dalits. He said more MLAs from reserved classes were in the Akali Dal which proved that the Dalit population favoured them.
With about 32 per cent of state population being Dalits, both Akalis and Congress MLAs strongly raised issues concerning them. Justice Nirmal Singh took on Transport Minister Ajit Singh Kohar and Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani over the recruitment of Class III and IV employees.
Nirmal Singh, who is also chairman of the Welfare of SC/BC Organisation, said the mandatory representation for SCs/BCs was not provided in contractual and outsourced jobs in both transport and health sectors.
Kohar said as per reservation policy, 675 posts for SCs and 324 for BCs were kept reserved, of which only 358 SC employees and 204 BC employees were found eligible.
When Jyani said Class IV jobs were outsourced, Nirmal Singh pointed out that the government had to follow the reservation policy in this category also. He argued that the person or company to whom the jobs were outsourced had a contract with the government and hence, liable to follow the reservation policy. The Assembly could not take up another question on Dalits.
Govt ducks queries on sensitive issues
Chandigarh: The SAD-BJP government on Monday managed to duck queries on certain sensitive issues such as farmer suicides, illegal blue card holders and plots for homeless Dalits by seeking time to submit the reply. While Food and Supply Minister Adaish Partap Kairon sought time to reply to a question by his own party MLA Gobind Singh Longowal on the cancellation of blue card holders in Dhuri Assembly segment, Revenue Minister Bikram Majithia sought time for replying on the number of suicides cases in the farm sector from March, 2012 till date. Congress MLA Ajaib Singh Bhatti raised the issue of suicides. He also sought information on compensation paid and the existing policy. He and other party MLAs were livid when they were informed by the Speaker that the minister concerned had sought time. The Congress MLAs alleged the government was avoiding the issues as the current Assembly session was of a short duration, eight days with four effective sittings. — TNS
The New Indian Express
A Primary School That Runs under Tree for Five Yrs
By Express News Service Published: 22nd September 2015 05:47 AM Last Updated: 22nd September 2015 05:47 AM
BARIPADA: Even as efforts are being made by the State Government to check the dropout rate of school students, loopholes in the education schemes have virtually derailed the process.
Among the handicaps faced by the schools, lack of infrastructure stands out as a prominent reason of the failure of the schemes. Kakrisul Project Primary School in Kuliana block of Mayurbhanj district is one such example. Located nearly 17 km from the Collector’s office at Baripada, students of the school learn their lessons under a tree in absence of a permanent structure.
A revenue village, Kakrisul is dominated by Scheduled Caste (SC) community and has a population of nearly 150. None of the villagers has cleared Matriculation till date.
Opened in 2010, the school was a ray of hope for the villagers who hoped to educate their children. Besides own building, the school lacks other basic facilities like drinking water, electricity and even a toilet. The mid-day meal is not served to students.
The school, having Classes I to IV, has been functioning under a tree for the last five years. Two teachers have been appointed for 14 students including five girls.
Though Mayurbhanj Collector Rajesh Pravakar Patil has been awarded by the Centre for his efforts to make the tribal dominated district free from school dropouts, insensitivity on the part of the authorities concerned has deprived the school of a permanent structure.
While Sports Minister Sudam Mrandi is elected from Kuliana constituency, Lok Sabha MP Ramachandra Hansdah has adopted the village for its all round development. But, with Hansdah in judicial custody in connection with a chit fund case, development of the village has been relegated to the background.
Villagers lamented that neither district administration nor the officials of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) have visited the school to take stock of the situation.
Headmistress Jharana Dandapat said chairs have been provided by villagers. “Attendance is taken regularly and I keep the registers along with other important office files in my house. The school remains closed during rainy days due to water-logging around the tree,” she said. The irony is that though the villagers are ready to provide land, the administration is yet to take any step for construction of the building.
District Project Coordinator of SSA Diganta Routray said he was unaware of the condition of the new primary school but assured to do the needful for construction of a building.
Youth Ki Awaz
Stuck Between Cruel Oppression And ‘Ghar Waapsi’, India’s Dalit Muslims Continue To Suffer
Sep 22, 2015No Comments
By Vaagisha Das:
What do you think?
“We have been facing untouchability, atrocity, boycott and gang-rape – at the root of all these problems is the Hinduwadi system. While living in this system, no friend from outside helps us saying it is our internal issue. We have thought that if we have to save our future, if not present, then we will have to go out of this system,” said Satish Kajla wearing a white Muslim skullcap. He is just one of the victims of the rigid Hindu caste system which, to this day, seeks to vehemently oppress those belonging to the lowest of castes – the Dalits. Satish hails from Haryana, where a majority of the Dalits, tired of being forced to live in seclusion by the upper caste Hindus, have chosen to embrace Islam instead. These Muslim Dalits are part of a growing number of the lower caste Hindus who have converted to other religions such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism in order to escape the shackles of the caste system that was an integral part of the Hindu social order. Although given legal sanction by the Indian Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of caste and directs equal treatment, in most communities of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, caste system- and the ensuing discrimination for the Dalits – is commonplace, and little can be done to regulate it.
The Dalit-Muslim Identity
The term in itself seems to be a contradiction, as there is no concept of a caste system in Islam. Yet the group is slowly seeking to form an identity of its very own, with some Dalits – seen as the lowest of the low in the Hindu caste system, and traditionally performing tasks that rendered them ‘impure’ – converting to other faiths either as a mark of protest against the oppression and acts of violence faced by them due to members of the upper castes, and many more to secure hope for the future, where they will no longer be treated as inferior. With some considering Islam as “a great example of equality in the world”, they became Muslims, hence crafting the term ‘Dalit Muslims’.
What do you think?
However, conversion comes with its own set of difficulties – it is by no means an escape. A majority Muslims in the aforementioned states are low caste converts, and these prejudices of class apparently transcend religions. Muslims are divided into ashrafs – the ‘nobles’ and the ajlafs– the ‘low born’, to say nothing of the ‘jatis’ or sub-communities present within these.
What do you think?
Yoginder Sikand, an Indian writer and academic, says, “As among the Hindus, the various jatis among the ajlaf Muslims maintain a strong sense of jati identity. The emergence of democratic politics is, however, bringing about a radical change in the manner in which this sense of identity is articulated. Aware of the importance of numbers in order to acquire political power and the economic benefits that accrue from it, the Dalit movement has sought to establish a wider sense of Dalit identity that transcends inter-caste and inter-religious divisions and differences among the ‘lower’ caste majority. This wider Dalit identity does not seek to deny individual jati identities. Rather, it takes them into account but seeks to subsume them within the wider collective Dalit identity, based on a common history of suffering as well as common racial origins as indigenous people.” Hence, there is the emergence of a new ‘Dalit Muslim’ identity, seeking to bring all the ‘lower’ caste Muslims under one umbrella, defined by their common identity as Muslim as well as Dalit.
What do you think?
The conditions of Dalit Muslims are worrisome – with respect to poverty, they are unquestionably amongst the worst off Dalits, not even featuring in the affluent group for urban India. In terms of occupation in the urban sector, they are in the bottom slot, with the highest proportion in the ‘casual labour’ and the lowest proportion in the ‘regular wage’ category, and educationally too, they remain lacking- worst off in rural India in terms of illiteracy, but ironically, this is matched by the levels of illiteracy among Dalit Hindus. In short, even when they convert to a different religion, in terms of educational benefits and other forms of help, they remain Dalits first, and Muslims second – a combination ill-suited for survival in India’s hierarchy where wealthy, upper caste Hindus take precedence.
What do you think?
The Ghar Waapsi Philosophy And The Anti-Conversion Laws: The Difficulties Faced In Conversion
Often, converts have to face violent protests from people who do not want them to leave the religion. This now has legal validation – hence the anti-conversion laws in various states that have already been enacted, and the zealous Hindus who have now propounded the concept of ‘ghar waapsi‘, where, as a Vishv Hindu Parishad party member puts it, “We are bringing people back into the Hindu fold, as it is their original religion.”
What do you think?
This is being done under the guise of the Anti-Conversion Law, which forbids conversion to any other religion unless the head of the district administration is duly notified. Supposedly to protect people from forced conversion- conversion under fraud and inducement, the law imposes a double penalty on people from lower castes wishing to convert, if found guilty of the above. Dalit Christian and Dalit Muslim converts, when arrested under Anti-Conversion laws, are subject to a ‘purification’ or a cleansing and made to ‘reconvert’ to their original religion. The ideas imposed by this programme – that of being of an ‘original’ or ‘authentic’ lineage to belong to the land go directly against the secular policies of our Constitution.
What do you think?
Unsurprisingly, these laws seem to be evoked only when the people involved seek to move out of Hinduism. Even more unsurprisingly, while the administration stringently enforces laws in Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, it does not raise the issue of ‘reconversion’ even once. Added to this the violent reactions of the community in which converts are born into (in the community’s pursuit of detainment of those who want to convert, some are even killed), and the difficulties seem to be never-ending.
The Disadvantages Of Conversion: Reservation Act And Positive Discrimination
Even if they do manage to avoid getting arrested on the basis of such anti-conversion laws, the Dalit Muslim converts enter into identity doldrums, where even though they form a minority, and that too a highly disadvantaged one, they are no longer eligible for the positive discrimination extended to Scheduled Castes by way of the Reservation Act.
What do you think?
As a result of wealthy upper-caste Hindus converting to Islam, the concept of class entered the previously class free concept of Islam – thus the Dalit Muslim converts enter a social order that is little different from the one they left behind. Although different in nomenclature, it seeks to do the same thing in principle, which is the continued oppression of the lower class. The Government seems to be of little help, as it fails to recognize Dalit Muslims under Scheduled Caste; effectively cutting off any positive discrimination that might have helped them secure jobs and other opportunities had they not been converts.
What do you think?
Under the Reservation Act, the socially and economically backward classes of society are given advantages in lieu of recognizing years of cruelty, yet “the protection includes Sikhs and Jains, and Buddhists, but it doesn’t include Christians and Muslims, so what happens is that they get excluded from those – the quotas for SCs [Scheduled Castes],” says Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for Human Rights Watch. Since the Dalit Muslims seem to be on the same economic and social level, there is little reason for them to not get the same benefits. When these are denied, they are forced to choose between being socially oppressed or having the opportunity to be an a level equal to the rest of the society, and that is a choice no one should ever have to make in a fair legal system.
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