Priest beaten for pushing Dalit woman out of temple in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur – UMMID
CM bats for quota in private sector – The Hindu
Right wing leader brought shame to community with ‘100 pigs in mosque’ comment: Balmikis – The Times Of India
This teenage girl is a rapist’s nightmare – The Times Of India
Dalit nation – Front Line
Short Film on Young Dalit Boy Ilavarasan: Truth vs Hype – When Prejudice turns Fatal
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Priest beaten for pushing Dalit woman out of temple in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur
Sunday October 18, 2015 7:15 PM, IANS
Patna: A priest was beaten up by a group of men after he pushed a Dalit woman and forcibly stopped her from
ffering prayers at a temple in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, police said on Sunday.
Rishikesh Jha, the priest of the Sankatmochan Hanuman Baba Anandeshwar Mahadev Mandir in Muzaffarpur, about 70 km from here, pushed her out of the temple, police said.
“The priest’s behaviour angered Dalits so much that they attacked him,” police said.
The woman, Anita, has also lodged a a police complaint against Jha, who, however, denied the allegations against him.
CM bats for quota in private sector
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday favoured extending the reservation facility in education and employment to the private sector.
Speaking at a national seminar on social justice and reservation here, he said injustice had been meted out to the oppressed classes by denying reservation in the private sector. Reservation would end discrimination and inequalities in the society, the Chief Minister observed.
Taking exception to the BJP and RSS leaders’ remarks on the quota system, Mr. Siddaramaiah said nationwide debate should be held on providing reservation in private sector.
Karnataka Law Commission Chairman S.R. Nayak said the Constitution needed to be amended to ensure reservation for socially and economically weaker sections in the private sector. More jobs are available now in the private sector, which was expanding in the aftermath of the liberal economic reforms in the 1990s, he said.
The Times Of India
Right wing leader brought shame to community with ‘100 pigs in mosque’ comment: Balmikis
Deepak Lavania,TNN | Oct 17, 2015, 10.47 PM IST
Agra: The Agra unit of the Uttar Pradesh Safai Mazdoor Sangh burnt an effigy of Dharma Jagran Manch (DJM) leader Nand Kishore Balmiki on Saturday for allegedly trying to disturb communal harmony among citizens and threatening officials of Agra Municipal Corporation (AMC). The Sangh accused the Manch leader of bringing shame to the entire Balmiki community.
Gaurav Balmiki, convener of Safai Mazdoor Sangh, accompanied by several sanitary workers submitted a memorandum to deputy municipal commissioner Anil Kumar condemning Nand Kishore Balmiki and demanding strict prohibition on his entry in the municipality area.
Earlier, on October 13, Balmiki had threatened to let loose a hundred pigs in the Jama Masjid if the meat ban was not enforced during the navratras. Nand Kishore, the man behind the ‘conversions’ of 200 Muslims last year,
ad held a protest outside the AMC office. Balmiki cited the example of the recent communal tension in Shahganj, when anti-social elements hurled chunks of meat at a religious procession during Ganesh Chaturthi, to insist that if the DJM’s demands were not met, they would get meat shops closed “in our own way”.
“Nand Kishore, who is a self-styled Hindu leader, has brought shame to all sanitary workers and the Balmiki community. A true Balmiki will never try to harm communal harmony. We do not see any difference between temple and mosque when we do our sanitary work. In Agra, 90% of the sanitary workers are Balmikis and are upset at the disgusting statements Nand Kishore has been making,” said Gaurav Balmiki. “He is no Balmiki. Nand Kishore and his family adopted Christianity seven years ago and he is a registered member of the Methodist church at Agra. He is a fake Hindu leader, and is in the illegal liquor business,” he added.
The Safai Mazdoor Sangh has constituted 21 special sanitary committees to maintain cleanliness near temples during navratras. “He defamed the community last year with the conversion row, but we will not allow it to happen here at AMC. Licenced meat shops should be allowed to do business and events must take place as they have for decades. We have demanded that the Deputy Commissioner ban his entry in AMC,” Gaurav added.
Nand Kishore Balmiki told TOI, “Except Sanatan Dharma, I don’t see or hear anything. I’m from Etah, my village is Punhera and for last 37 years I am a resident of Dev Nagar, Devri Road, Agra. I’m a swayamsevak from the 1992 batch and at present a factionary of Dharma Jagran Manch. My comments on Tuesday were unfortunate and I took them back in the presence of the additional district magistrate. I was assured by senior district officials that religious sentiments are not hurt during festivities. On the ninth day of Navratri, all meat shops will remain closed. Gaurav is taking a photo opportunity by using my name. The protest against me is politically motivated.”
The Times Of India
This teenage girl is a rapist’s nightmare
Nicholas D Kristof,NYT News Service | Oct 19, 2015, 12.18 PM IST
LUCKNOW: For as long as anyone can remember, upper-caste men in a village here in northern India preyed on young girls. The rapes continued because there was no risk: The girls were destroyed, but the men faced no repercussions.
Now that may be changing in the area, partly because of the courage of one teenage girl who is fighting back. Indian law doesn’t permit naming rape victims, so she said to call her Bitiya — and she is a rapist’s nightmare. This isn’t one more tragedy of sexual victimization but rather a portrait of an indomitable teenager whose willingness to take on the system inspires us and helps protect other local girls.
I’m on my annual win-a-trip journey, in which I take a university student along on a reporting trip to the developing world. The winner, Austin Meyer of Stanford University, and I see in Bitiya a lesson for the world about the importance of ending the impunity that so often surrounds sexual violence, including in the United States.
Bitiya, who is from the bottom of the caste system, is fuzzy about her age but thinks she was 13 in 2012 when four upper-caste village men grabbed her as she worked in a field, stripped her and raped her. They filmed the assault and warned her that if she told anyone they would release the video and also kill her brother.
So Bitiya initially kept quiet.
Six weeks later Bitiya’s father saw a 15-year-old boy watching a pornographic video — and was aghast to see his daughter in it. The men were selling the video in a local store for a dollar a copy.
Bitiya is crying in the video and is held down by the men, so her family accepted that she was blameless. Her father went to the police to file a report.
The police weren’t interested in following up, but the village elders were. They decided that Bitiya, an excellent student, should be barred from the local public school.
“They said I was the wrong kind of girl, and it would affect other girls,” Bitiya said. “I felt very bad about that.”
Eventually, public pressure forced the school to take her back, but the village elders continue to block the family from receiving government food rations, apparently as punishment for speaking out.
In the background hovers caste. Bitiya is a Dalit, once considered untouchable, at the bottom of the hierarchy.
Civil society scrutiny belatedly led to the arrest of four men, who were then released on bail. The case has been dragging on since, and Bitiya’s father died of a heart attack after one particularly brutal court hearing. The family also fears that members of upper castes will kill Bitiya’s 16-year-old brother, so he mostly stays home — which means he can’t take jobs, leaving the family struggling to afford food.
The rape suspects offered a $15,000 settlement if Bitiya’s family would drop the case, bringing the money in cash to her home with its dirt floor. Bitiya had never seen so much cash — but scoffs that she wouldn’t accept twice as much.
“I want them in jail,” Bitiya says. “Then everyone watching will know that people can get punished for this.”
“I never felt tempted,” adds her grandfather.
Bitiya says she does not feel disgraced, because the dishonor lies in raping rather than in being raped. And the resolve that she and her family display is having an impact. The rape suspects had to sell land to pay bail, and everybody in the area now understands that raping girls may actually carry consequences. So while there were many rapes in the village before Bitiya’s, none are believed to have occurred since.
Madhavi Kuckreja, a longtime women’s activist who is helping Bitiya, says the case reflects a measure of progress against sexual violence.
“There has been a breaking of the silence,” Kuckreja said. “People are speaking up and filing cases.”
Kuckreja notes that the cost of sexual violence is a paralyzing fear that affects all women and girls. Fearful parents “protect” daughters from sexual violence and boys in ways that impede the girls’ ability to get an education, use the Internet or cellphones, or get a good job. For every girl who is raped, Kuckreja says, many thousands lose opportunities and mobility because of fear of such violence.
That holds back women, but also all of India. The International Monetary Fund says that India’s economy is stunted by the lack of women in the formal economy.
In one village, I asked a large group of men about rape. They insisted that they honor women and deplore rape — and then added that the best solution after a rape is for the girl to be married to the rapist, to smooth over upset feelings.
“If he raped her, he probably likes her,” explained Shiv Govind, an 18-year-old.
I’m rooting for Bitiya and strong girls like her to change those attitudes and end the impunity that oppresses women and impoverishes nations.
The findings of Census 2011 provide remarkable insight into the lives of Dalits across the country, clearly demonstrating that the government must go the extra mile if it is serious about inclusive growth. By RAMESH CHAKRAPANI
THE Socio-Economic Caste Census 2011 has stirred up a controversy after the government refused to release some findings from the data. But months before it became the eye of a storm, the government had released thorough and insightful statistics on how people belonging to the Scheduled Castes (S.C.s) live, which went practically unnoticed.
The data, from Census 2011, give a clear picture of the socio-economic situation of the S.C.s, with details on the States where they are in significant numbers, their presence in rural and urban areas, the condition of their dwellings, their access to drinking water, the presence or absence of toilets, the type of fuel used for cooking, and the number of households availing themselves of banking services and owning assets such as radios, televisions, telephones, computers, two-wheelers and four-wheelers.
Of the 4,42,26,917 S.C. households in the country, 3,29,19,665 or over 74 per cent live in rural areas and 1,13,07,252 in urban areas. The distribution is similar in most States, with the exception of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Gujarat is the odd man out among all States, with more S.C. households in urban areas (5.04 lakh) than in rural areas (4.91 lakh). In Maharashtra, which has a total of 33.11 lakh households, 17.77 lakh are located in rural areas and 15.34 lakh in urban areas.
A look at the distribution of Dalits across States shows that 60 per cent of the entire S.C population is concentrated in six States: Uttar Pradesh (76.49 lakh households), West Bengal (51.40 lakh), Tamil Nadu (37.59 lakh), (undivided) Andhra Pradesh (36.71 lakh), Maharashtra (33.11 lakh) and Bihar (32.30 lakh).
According to the findings, more than 91 per cent of all the households live in good or livable residences, a encouraging sign of the progress in their living conditions over the years. It is also encouraging to note that 3,98,20,398 households, over 90 per cent, live in own residences. However, data on the number of dwelling rooms present a distressing picture. Of the total, 2,06,16,913 households live in houses with just one dwelling room and 1,39,24,073 get by with just two rooms, and they account for 78 per cent of all S.C. households in the country. Only about 30 lakh households have at least four rooms at home.
The data also show that some 1,75,35,781 households depend on handpumps for drinking water, while 1,29,80,745 access tap water from a treated source, together accounting for 70 per cent of all S.C. households in the nation.
The main source of lighting is electricity in 2,61,04,596 households, or 59 per cent of the total, which may be a measure of how successful the government’s electrification programme has been. One must note that even with universal electrification, kerosene is still the chief source of lighting for 1,74,64,007 households all over India, 1,61,36,903 of them in rural areas. The data are an illustration of how electricity is yet to reach millions of marginalised people in rural areas.
A crucial metric of quality of life is the availability of toilets within the premises, and on this count S.C. households still lag behind, with only 1,49,75,126, about 34 per cent of the total, falling under this category. It is distressing to note that 1,82,616 households still dispose night soil into an open drain, while 64,111 depend on a human to remove night soil.
According to the census data, for more than 50 per cent of all people belonging to S.C. communities (2,42,76,493 households), firewood is the main fuel used in cooking. While liquefied petroleum gas has reached only 74,84,864 households, it is heartening to note that 39,729 households use electricity and 87,166 depend on the eco-friendly biogas for their kitchen fuel needs.
Given the government’s major push to make banking services available universally, it would do well to start with the S.C. communities, of whom than 50 per cent remain outside the purview of banks. Census 2011 data show that 2,25,29,047 households make use of banking services, less than half of the total, a pointer to how far the government has to go.
On the assets front, it is most disturbing to note that 99,95,804 households do not own any of the following assets: mobile phone or landline, radio, TV, computer, two-wheeler and four-wheeler.
News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET