Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 16.10.15

Dalit girl allegedly gangraped in Rohtak – The Times Of India


Dalit Leaders Stage Walkout – The New Indian Express


Municipal Commissioner accused of ill-treating Dalit corporators – The Hindu


Double murder: teens watched movement of ‘actual target’ – The Hindu


Caste and deprivation in India – The Tribune


Kin of labourers who died in sewage tank get Rs 20lakh  – The Tribune


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Villagers Shun Techie for Marrying Lower Caste Girl – TOI


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The Times Of India

 Dalit girl allegedly gangraped in Rohtak


Manvir Saini,TNN | Oct 15, 2015, 09.04 PM IST

CHANDIGARH: A dalit girl studying in class 9 was allegedly gangraped by five persons, including a resident of her own village in Rohtak.

Police have started the investigation after registering the case at Sadar police station, and are yet to make arrests. Police claimed to have sent teams to apprehend the accused.

The incident allegedly occurred on Tuesday when the girl was returning home after collecting a passbook from a bank. 

Meanwhile, Deepak, who also lives in her village, allegedly offered her a lift. Instead of taking her home, he allegedly took her to some fields, where his four friends were already waiting. 

They then allegedly drugged her and sexually assaulted her throughout the night. 

In her statement to police, the girl said that after sexually assaulting her through the night, Deepak and his friends abandoned her outside her school and threatened her with dire consequences if she told anybody about the incident. 

She reached home and informed her parents, who took her to police station. 

The New Indian Express

 Dalit Leaders Stage Walkout


By Express News Service Published: 16th October 2015 05:06 AM Last Updated: 16th October 2015 05:06 AM

BENGALURU:As complaints poured in at the grievance meeting organised by the National Commission of Scheduled Castes, a section of dalit leaders walked out of the meeting here on Thursday.

The incident took place after former chairperson of Karnataka Backward Classes Commission C S Dwarkanath was instructed to stop reading out a memorandum submitted to P L Punia, chairman of the Commission.

Dwarakanath, on behalf of Karnataka Federation of Nomadic, Semi-Nomadic and Denotified Tribes, was speaking on the problems faced by the communities. However, Punia asked Dwarkanath to refrain from reading out the memorandum. However, a section of the gathering urged the chairperson to allow him to speak, and Punia told Dwarakanath, “Do as you like”.

Following this, Dwarakanath stopped his speech and walked out of the venue, followed by a section of the gathered audience.

Grievances During the meeting, several complaints regarding the poor status of SC communities in the state were highlighted. Rangaswamy of the Samata Sainika Dala alleged that despite laws to curb atrocities against dalits, the number of atrocities had not decreased as oppressors had discovered new ways to inflict injustice. “The State’s High Power Vigilance Committee formed to check it has been inactive,” he said.

In his brief address at the meeting, Punia said he would discuss the issues with the state government on Friday. “We have received independent feedback from the members of dalit communities. The commission will direct the state to sort out the issues, which can be addressed at the state level,” he said. 

The Hindu

 Municipal Commissioner accused of ill-treating Dalit corporators



 Municipal corporator Lingampalli Srinivas has alleged that Municipal Commissioner K.V. Ramana Chary was ill-treating Dalit corporators and failing to respond to petitions about various developmental works.

In a memorandum submitted to the Collector, a copy of which was released to the media here on Thursday, he said that he had informed the Commissioner about the irregularities and corruption in various developmental works in his municipal division of Karimnagar town, but in vain.

He also alleged that the Commissioner was not visiting the wards to inspect sanitation and drinking water works.

The Hindu

 Double murder: teens watched movement of ‘actual target’



While the arrest of two teenagers in connection with the murder of two Dalits has sent shock waves among the public, the police are on the lookout for the person and his gang who actually orchestrated the crime for the juvenile offenders as they all belonged to a particular caste.

When the prime accused of this case, a 15-year-old ITI student, boarded a share autorickshaw a month ago to reach the institute, the driver took a long time to start the vehicle as he was waiting for a few more passengers.

When he was pestering the driver to start the vehicle as he had to reach the ITI in time, the bus going via the ITI reached the stop.

As the boy got down from the share autorickshaw and boarded the bus, the auto driver and his friend Rajkumar forcibly brought him down and asked him to travel in the autorickshaw.

When he resisted, Rajkumar and the auto driver assaulted him, which started enmity between the boy and Rajkumar.

As the boy, a caste Hindu, felt humiliated on being attacked by Rajkumar and his friend, both Dalits, he discussed this ‘abasement’ with one Ayyappan of his caste, who promised him that he would teach “an unforgettable lesson” to Rajkumar and his associates.

The ITI student and his friend, a 17-year-old boy, were closely watching the movements of Rajkumar and kept Ayyappan posted until the assault was finalised.

When the plan was ready, the armed gang led by Ayyappan went to Paraiyadi area on Monday night. As the attack was unleashed, Rajkumar, after sustaining two cut injuries on both hands, ran towards Paraiyadi, and escaped while Mariappan and Shanmugam, who just accompanied him on the moped, were hacked to death.

“We’re on the lookout for Ayyappan and a few others. We’ll arrest them within a day or two,” said a police officer.

Demanding the arrest of Ayyappan, the relatives of the deceased refused to accept the bodies, which are still kept in the mortuary.

The Tribune

 Caste and deprivation in India


Repeated denial of certain ordinary rights to life and liberty to the SCs, STs

S Subramanian

A WIDELY-RECOGNISED basic indicator of the socio-economic status of a population is its infant mortality rate (IMR), or the proportion of the population under age one that fails to survive. The census data for 1981 (as analysed in collaborative work with Manabi Majumdar) again suggest that, other things equal, a group with SCs and STs has a higher IMR than a group with ‘Others’; and a group with rural members has a higher IMR than one with urban members. The combination of being  SCST and rural is deadly: at the all-India level, the IMR for this group is 121 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which is nearly twice the IMR for urban ‘Others’, at 63.


A second very rudimentary demographic indicator of the socio-economic status of a society is the ‘agedness’ of a population. One can speak of the ‘agedness of the population’, as one might speak of the ‘the poverty of a population’. Employing a very conservative cut-off age of 49 years, we find from the census data for the year 1991 that various agedness indices for the SCST group are systematically lower than for the ‘Others’ group in every single state of the Indian Union. Furthermore, it is found that in every state of India, and for every agedness index, the contribution of the SCST group to the total population outweighs the group’s contribution to total agedness. Taken together, the demographic indicators of agedness and of infant mortality clearly reveal that the dice are loaded against the Scheduled Castes and Tribes in the matter of both living and dying. 

The examples of disproportionate deprivations suffered by the SCST group can be multiplied over and over again: no doubt these dully repetitive numbers are both boring and tedious for the reader; but I dare say that the existential facts which the numbers describe are a good deal worse than just boring and tedious for those that have to live under the burden of these facts. 

Even more scandalous than the failure of positive freedom is the failure of negative freedom experienced by the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. This is reflected in a history of repeated denial, to this segment of the population, of certain ordinary rights to life and liberty.

A grisly feature of the violation of negative freedoms is constituted by the phenomenon of caste atrocities, which are violent acts of arson, destruction of property, rape and murder. A (seriously incomplete) roll-call of infamy, in this regard, would be constituted by the following list of dates and locations of violence against the SCST community: Kilvenmani, Tamil Nadu (1969); Bathani Tola, Bihar (1996); Laxmanpur Bathe, Bihar (1997); Melavalavu, Tamil Nadu (1997); Jhajjar, Haryana (2002); Muthanga, Kerala (2003); Khairlanji, Maharashtra (2006); Jhabhar, Punjab  (2006); Nayakankottai, Tamil Nadu (2012). S. D. Prasad Rao points out, employing data from the National Crime Records Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs, that in 2011, out of 33,719 recorded crimes, 11,342 were crimes under the SCST Prevention of Atrocities Act. This makes for a proportion of one-third — a massive number, even if one does not allow for the fact that many crimes against the depressed castes are not reported for fear of reprisal, or that reported crimes are simply not registered by the police. 

Decades ago, Dr Ambedkar had observed: “I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.” It is hard to speak of progress when rape is so central a feature of a woman’s life, as it is for the Scheduled Castes. In a grievously stark statistic put out in a 2005 issue of People’s Democracy, it is reported that between 1992 and 2000, on average, three Dalit women were raped and six disabled every day.

The right to freedom of religious conviction is another libertarian right that is frequently a casualty for the SCST community. This is nowhere more clearly reflected than in the intolerant and often violent resistance displayed by upper-caste Hindus to religious conversion from Hinduism to Buddhism or Christianity or Islam which Dalits and tribals resort to as a means of liberation from the oppression of the caste system. The case of Kandhamal in  Orissa, in 2007, is a case in point.

To these violations of libertarian rights to life, bodily integrity and freedom of religion, must be added the routine, everyday restrictions placed on freedom of mobility and association, and the right to treatment with the same respect and consideration as any other person. A list of humiliations to which the disadvantaged castes are systematically subjected would include residential segregation; denial of access to public sources of drinking water; denial of entry into places of worship; denial of access to  crematoria and burial places; segregation of students at midday meal sessions in schools; the operation of the ‘two-glass’ system in tea-shops; the continued practice of manual scavenging even after it has been banned under the law; and the routine infliction of abuse and insults.  

This essay began with the proposition that a meaningful way of assessing deprivation in a society is to regard the phenomenon as a failure of both positive and negative freedoms, a failure which is rendered the more acute when there is evidence of an inequitable distribution of these freedoms across well-defined socio-economic groups within the population. I have attempted to provide a factual account of caste and deprivation in India by pointing to the systematic bias which obtains against the Scheduled Castes and Tribes in the distribution of positive freedoms, whether we speak of freedom from monetary poverty, or ownership of assets, or participation in the fruits of economic growth, or attaining to a decent age, or enjoying a reasonable prospect of surviving early death, or avoiding the rigours of school-less-ness. These failures of positive freedom for the SCST community are compounded, and ratcheted, by systematic violations of ordinary libertarian rights to life, to bodily integrity, to freedom of religious persuasion, and to what the philosopher of jurisprudence Ronald Dworkin has called equal treatment and treatment as equals. 

Caste-consciousness often comes to the fore only in the form of upper-caste resistance to caste-based reservations in education and employment; or in the form of elaborately devious arguments constructed to deny, at forums such as Durban, that caste is race; or in the form of opposition to collecting and presenting census data on the socio-economic status of the population by caste. This essay on caste and deprivation in India — as has already been clarified at the outset — is not intended to promote knowledge, for I imagine it says little that is not known; but it is intended to promote acknowledgement, which must be regarded as a first and necessary step in any move toward rectification. Shame, after all, cannot be erased by neglect or forgetfulness: there is therefore every reason to be continuously mindful — until it is no longer a truth — of the truth of Dr Ambedkar’s observation: “Turn in any direction you like, caste is the monster that crosses your path.”

— This is the second and concluding part of the article based on the Ambedkar Memorial Lecture S Subramanian delivered in the University of Madras in 2013

The New Indian Express

 Economically Backward Kingmakers to Go With the Wave


By Bathula Suresh Babu Published: 16th October 2015 04:25 AM  Last Updated: 16th October 2015 04:25 AM

One of the beauties of democracy is that pretty often the voiceless section determines the one who ought to get the mandate. This was best seen when Peoples Pulse toured Bihar to assess the situation for the 2015 Assembly elections. It is clear that the battlelines were fully drawn on the basis of caste. The upper castes like the Brahmins, Bhuminars and Rajputs along with Banias, Kushwahas, Paswans, and Mushahars have predominantly decided to back the NDA – BJP, LJP, RLSP and ex-Chief Minister Jitin Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha.

The Yadavs, Kurmis, Muslims and some sects of the Maha Dalits are openly with the Grand Alliance or the Maha Gathbandhan constituting the RJD, JD(U) and the Congress.

Despite this, the only section that is refusing to give a hint, let alone open up are the Economically Backward Classes. They form a solid 24 per cent of the electorate. The race over the past three weeks has been nerve-wracking, with the NDA and Grand Alliance headed for a photo finish. Therefore, it is the EBCs that hold the key to these keenly and fiercely fought elections.

The EBCs became an electoral power only because of Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar. Though the EBCs have been defined and re-defined since the 1950s, Kumar carved them out as a key political constituency with a collective political identity by devising for them specific policies like reservations in Panchayat Raj elections, educational institutions, health schemes and jobs. He embarked on this soon after winning his first term in 2005 and over time the EBCs became a well-defined electoral power and electoral constituency.

The EBCs are different from all other social groupings. At a basic level, they are too dispersed in every Assembly seat and at another level they have no leader. Therefore they are not a dominant community like the Yadavs or Kurmis. The variance can be further seen as they are referred to as Panchpanias in one place, Panchporna elsewhere and Solhkan in yet another place. This being so, they acknowledge that Kumar is the only leader who fulfilled their aspirations and recognised their legitimate rights, and point to 28 EBCs MLAs in the outgoing Assembly as proof. The huge misconception among many political observers is that EBCs voted overwhelmingly for Narendra Modi in last year’s Parliament elections and are therefore expected to vote similarly now. Nothing can be farther from the truth, as the EBCs said then and even now that they voted so because that vote was “not for or against Kumar” but “for Modi”. And herein lies the debate whether they would continue to back Kumar or seek a change and tilt in NDA’s favour.

It is precisely for this reason that Peoples Pulse adopted a scientific method and on paper segregated the EBCs into three groupings. The first are the small business traders, like Teli, (oil pressers ), Paneri, (betel leaf sellers), Sav, (small shop keepers) and so on. The second are the artisan castes like Kumhar, Tanti (weavers), Badhai (carpenters), Lohar (blacksmiths), Sonar (goldsmiths), etc. The third are the labouring castes like Mallah (fisherman), Bind (Salt-tappers), Noonia, Patwa, Dhanuk, Kahar (formerly palanquin carriers), Amat, and others. Kumar, ahead of the elections, ordered a re-categorisation of the Teli community, to nip the chances of Modi striking a chord with them.

The common thread that runs through these groupings is that they are fond of Kumar. The other binding factor is that they are fearful of Lalu Prasad Yadav. That’s because if the Grand Alliance comes to power it might lead to a throwback to those days when the Yadavs were dominant and sometimes militantly so. It’s largely for this reason that Kumar empowered the EBCs a decade ago. When Peoples Pulse specifically asked them if Yadav would become more powerful if the Grand Alliance came to power, their response was that Kumar would be the Chief Minister and not Yadav. They are emphatic that he is not pliant. They cite a variety of reasons to substantiate this view.

The EBCs are equally wary of the NDA, particularly the BJP. They view the BJP as an upper caste party and are disinclined to see upper castes in power as that would mean a return to their days of suppression.

What’s worse, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s recent remarks on reservations could not have come at a more inappropriate time for the BJP. His remarks have become an election issue, with the Grand Alliance focusing sharply on this. The EBCs’ worry is compounded by fears that if the BJP-led government comes to power, they stand to lose all those benefits, which Kumar has extended to them.

When Peoples Pulse began to sift through this complex and interesting picture and spent time with the EBCs, a section of the small business traders and artisan castes were found to prefer the NDA. Yet a majority of them are keeping their views to themselves. However, a decisive outlook was found among the labouring castes, numerically the strongest among the EBCs. They view themselves as the greatest beneficiaries of Kumar’s schemes for EBCs. Also, they are not averse or disinclined towards Yadav.

This being the EBCs’ perception, by and large, Peoples Pulse reiterates the basic point that they are scattered. It means that a homogenous, cordial atmosphere needs to prevail between them and the other communities from today till the date of polling.

During our 6,000-kilometre tour, the most interesting reply to our prodding was, “Jiski lehar dikhti hai uske saath ho jaate hain. Fir hum sab ka mann chahe kahin bhi ho, ek mann ke ho jate hain, kharbooja kharbooje ko dekh kar rang badalta hai.”  (We go where the wind is blowing. Then, irrespective of our personal preferences, we back the winning horse. A couple of days before the election we decide whom to vote for, according to the wave and we get along with the candidate/party that we perceive as winning. We may have different electoral preferences but merge our preferences to suit each other in the same way as a melon changes its colour in the proximity of other melons.)

The Tribune

 Kin of labourers who died in sewage tank get Rs 20lakh



Following directions of Haryana Human Rights Commission (HHRC), the district administration has given a compensation of Rs 20 lakh to the legal heirs of migrant labourers who had died on March 25 while cleaning a sewage tank. Anil Dass (40) and Rajesh (25), two labourers from Bihar had suffocated to death after inhaling poisonous gas. On March 26, NCSK Chairperson M Shivanna had visited the spot and announced Rs.10 lakh as compensation. But the money was not paid. Following this, Munil Das and Bechanpassi of Bihar, relatives of deceased, had filed a complaint in the HHRC for getting the amount. Disposing off the complaint, HHRC said in a press release on Thursday that notice was served on Bhiwani DC and SP for speedy action. — TNS

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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