Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 01.11.15

 ‘No SC/ST Officer’ – The New Indian Expess


Protest by Dalits stops Pejawar seer’s padayatra for total prohibition – The Hindu


Two held for assault on Dalit – The Hindu


 ‘Ensure early disposal of SC/ST Atrocity cases’ – The Hindu


 ‘Systematic denial of justice to Dalits is genocidal hate’ – The Hindu


Will Dedicate my Award to Civil Movement: Akkai – The New Indian Express


A play based on reality – The Hindu


Has Supreme Court contradicted itself by pitching against quota in higher education institutes? – Catch News


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The New Indian Expess

 ‘No SC/ST Officer’


By Express News Service  Published: 01st November 2015 06:02 AM  Last Updated: 01st November 2015 06:02 AM

CHENNAI:During the University of Madras (UNOM) Senate meeting, Professor S Devadoss said no Liaison Officer was appointed in the SC/ST cell and the post of Deputy Registrar for the cell remained vacant despite UGC guidelines 2006.

The Governor appointed a Senate member, Suriyan added and that the constitutional guidelines were violated and the UGC might stop giving funds if the violation was not set right.

The Academic Council and Syndicate meeting’s decision to appoint only principal for affiliated colleges operating on two shifts was ratified in the Senate meeting.

Accordingly, colleges affiliated to UNOM cannot have a separate principal for Shift – II from academic year 2015-16 and Shift-II faculty can be appointed as Dean or Director, based on seniority for administrative convenience. The search fee for tracing old records and outdated regulations and syllabi for attestation has also been increased for students of university departments, affiliated colleges and IDE.

Complaint to UGC

UNOM students submitted a memorandum to UGC on Friday for scrapping M Phil courses, violation of students’ rights, alleged corruption, and administrative excesses by the VC.

The Hindu

 Protest by Dalits stops Pejawar seer’s padayatra for total prohibition



Dalits of Duttargoan village in Aland taluk of Kalaburagi district protesting

The padayatra, led by Pejawar Mutt seer Vishwesha Tirtha Swami at Duttargoan village in Aland taluk of Kalaburagi district for total prohibition, ended in an anti-climax with Dalits of the village protesting against the silence of the seer over recent incidents of untouchability here. The seer had to make a hasty retreat after the protesters surrounded him, and he left in his car after police blocked the protesters.

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Trouble started after the seer completed his brief address in the Veereshwara temple, appealing to the people to give up the practice of consuming liquor. He urged the women to take the lead in introducing prohibition. Dalits, who had collected in large numbers at the function, protested against the silence of the seer over incidents of untouchability in the village and the denial of permission for them to enter Veereshwara temple. Dalit leader and gram panchayat member Kalyanrao Siddramappa Bhavimani raised their voices but the seer did not to respond. As he stepped out of the temple, the protesters surrounded him. The police swiftly cleared the way for the seer to get to his car. The vehicle sped away without the seer participating in the padayatra. The padayatra, organised by the Shrama Jeevigala Karmikara Vedike, also came to a stop.

The Hindu

 Two held for assault on Dalit



A Dalit was allegedly assaulted by a group of upper caste people for grazing sheep on their fields in Shellagi village in Surpur taluk in Yadgir district, on Friday.

Basappa Ramappa (50) was injured in the incident and was shifted to the taluk hospital. He was later referred to the district general hospital, Kalaburagi and his condition is stated to be stable. R.B. Basaragi, Deputy Superintendent of Police, told The Hindu over phone that the situation was under control. However, additional forces from the district head quarters had been deployed, he added.

A case under various sections of the IPC and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has been registered in Surpur police station against 12 persons. Two of them have been arrested, were produced in court and remanded in judicial custody.

The Hindu

 ‘Ensure early disposal of

SC/ST Atrocity cases’



District Collector Siddarth Jain on Saturday directed officials of the police, revenue and the social welfare departments to coordinate with each other in ensuring speedy justice to the victims in Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes atrocities cases.

Addressing the district-level vigilance and monitoring committee meeting here, Mr. Jain wanted the officials to hold periodical vigilance meetings at the mandal level to review the progress of cases. On being informed that the police were insisting on caste certificates from the complainants while registering FIRs in the SC/ST cases, the Collector wanted the revenue officials to issue relevant certificates to the complainants within a week.

On the problems being faced by people of Dalitwadas owing to lack of burial grounds, Mr. Jain sought a report on land availability for burial grounds in different villages. Chittoor MP N. Siva Prasad sought more teeth to the provisions under the ST/ST Atrocities Act to effectively deal with cases.

The Hindu

 ‘Systematic denial of justice to Dalits is genocidal hate’



Questioning the pattern of acquittals in cases of caste massacres and atrocities on Dalits, Meena Kandasamy, writer and activist, drive home the “compromised nature” of the justice-delivery mechanism in our country.

The author of The Gypsy Goddess, a book based on a massacre at Kilvenmani in Tamil Nadu in 1968, was speaking at the seventh Anuradha Ghandy Memorial Lecture, “No one killed the Dalits”, here on Friday evening.

Citing the incidents of caste violence in Kilvenmani, Villupuram, Tsundur, Dharmapuri, Bathani Tola and Laxmanpur Bathe, Ms. Kandasamy said, “The judgments were as merciless as the massacres themselves. There is a large element of victim blaming, dismissing the evidence of witnesses and denial of the caste element, denial of the case element and reducing the entire case into compensation as if Dalit lives can be purchased. Systematic denial of justice to Dalits is genocidal hate.”

She said the idea of “unreliable witness” was a steady feature of the judgments, which systematically acquitted the accused. “Testimonies of Dalits are found to be faulty and unreliable.” In the case of Bathani, prosecution witnesses were dismissed and in the case of Bathe, the accused were given the benefit of doubt.

There was also a lack of judicial intervention when witnesses turned hostile. Furthermore, courts viewed technical aspects such as delay in filing the complaint as “lack of merit” in cases. This weighed heavily against the Dalit victims, who in the Tsundur incident, for instance, had to go into hiding as they were chased by the attackers, she pointed out.

‘Paper tigers’

The “caste-Hindu and feudal” nature of the judiciary made it an “important aspect of the bourgeois democratic State”, which functioned only to protect the interests of the ruling dominant castes. “Though the judiciary expressed the occasional anger, one has to look closer to understand its true face,” Ms. Kandasamy said.

With reference to the recent burning of two Dalit children in Faridabad and the 2002 carnage in Gujarat, she said, “The killing of children is a caste-Hindu specialty.”

Ms. Kandasamy termed judicial commissions “paper tigers”, and said that if the civil society had raised the voice against the acquittals in the Kilvenmani case, in which 44 Dalits were killed, the fate of other massacres would have been different.

The New Indian Express

 Will Dedicate my Award to Civil Movement: Akkai


By Express News Service Published: 01st November 2015 05:47 AM Last Updated: 01st November 2015 05:47 AM

BENGALURU: Social worker 30-year-old Akkai Padmashali, who will receive the Kannada Rajyotsava award on Sunday from the Chief Minister, is said to be the first transgender person to get the prestigious award.

Born and brought up in Bengaluru, Akkai was born a male to a middle-class family. “I used to live with my parents, elder sister and younger brother. People started making fun of feminine characteristics in me. This demotivated me and I failed in Class 10. I started working in smaller organisations, including as assistant at a ceramic shop. Wherever I went, people teased me. Some harassed me sexually. Unable to hide my identity, I quit working,” she said.

When she was 16 years old, Akkai met some transgender persons near Corporation Cicle. “That was a turning point in my life. I was happy to see some like-minded, who do not discriminate. Later, I became female and when I was 17 years old, I started begging and working as a sex worker at Hosur Road and Cubbon Park. One fine day, when I was around 20 years old, I realised, this should be put to an end. We need to live with dignity. That’s when in 2004, I joined Sangama, an organisation that works for transgenders, sexual minorities and others,” Akkai said.

Akkai said that she got a chance to meet people from various sections such as the judiciary, media, political establishments and others to whom she could express concern about transgenders. “Because of our approach to these people, our voices were heard. There was a public hearing too. Society is rigid about us,” she added. In 2013, Akkai quit Sangama and started Ondede, along with like-minded people.

When asked about the changes over the years, Akkai said that 15 years ago people used to beat us like onions and tomatoes. “Now, some of us are able to join evening colleges, work at better places and not have to practise sex work. It has not changed in a day or two. I will dedicate my award to the entire civil movement. I want to see a non-discriminating world where they treat transgenders like any human being,” she said.

The Hindu

 A play based on reality



Students of the Government Veterinary Sciences College here have won the first prize in a one-act play event at inter-collegiate youth festival by enacting a play based on killing of Dalits at Kambalapalli.

Kambalapalli, a village in Kolar district, was in the news after eight members of a Dalit family were killed in March 2000. However, all the accused in the case were later acquitted.

The play enacted by the students of Government Veterinary Sciences College focussed on the victims not getting justice. Anil Revoor, theatre personality, who graduated from the drama school at Sanehalli in Hosadurga taluk, has written and directed the play.

The students wanted to enact a play concerning atrocities on the downtrodden. “I suggested Kambalapalli and they readily agreed. We worked on the script and staged the play,” he said.

The Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries University of Bidar organised the inter-collegiate youth festival — Waves 2016 — at Mangaluru, recently. Seven veterinary colleges coming under the university participated in the festival.

The play revolves around the incidents that led to the massacre of eight people and the subsequent legal course.

Venkatarayappa, one of the witnesses in the case, had lost his wife, Ramakka, sons Sriramappa and Anajaneya, and daughter Papamma in the incident. Towards the climax of the play, the character of Venkataramappa says, “the accused are still roaming about, freely. When Saddam Hussein was killed, many people condemned it.

Similarly, when Sadhvi Prajna was arrested, a section of people reacted in her favour. But, in my case the accused are still roaming about. None was convicted and people hardly spoke.” The statement sums up the message the play wants to convey.

Kiran Kumar and Ashwini, two fourth-year students, played the lead roles in the play and attracted appreciation for their performance. “When the day of competition was very close, the students did rehearsals day and night . Sometimes, I don’t see the same dedication shown by students in this play among many amateur troupes,” Mr. Revoor said.

Vasanth Shetty, sean of the college, and R. Jayashree, Associate Professor, extended support to the students in presenting the play.

Catch News

 Has Supreme Court contradicted itself by pitching against quota in higher education institutes?


DILIP C MANDAL@dilipcmandal

29 October 2015

Apex court positions

  • The Supreme Court seeks to do way with quota in higher education

  • Earlier, a larger SC Bench had decided in favour of reservation

Anti-merit or pluralistic

  • No student can complain that merit is compromised in socially inclusive admission

  • US varsities are an example of how plurality helps education

More in the story

  • What should the petitioner in the Supreme Court case do?

  • What should the government do?

The recent Supreme Court suggestion of scrapping reservation in higher educational institutes for the sake of “national interest” goes against its own verdict.

The apex court’s advice to the central government is unfortunate. A larger Bench earlier decided in favour of reservation in higher education. It is surprising that a smaller Bench has raised questions over the judgment of a larger Bench.

The concerned parties should appeal against the verdict, and the Chief Justice of India should take the lead by forming a constitutional Bench to scrutinize all aspects of the issue. Any Bench dealing with the matter must keep in that mind the principle of reservation and providing special opportunities to the deprived classes is part of the basic spirit of the Constitution.

Any conclusion in this regard merits careful consideration and sincerity as this principle is enshrined in the chapter of Fundamental Rights in our Constitution.

No country as diverse as India can move forward without the judicious inclusion of various social segments. This is why the principle of special opportunities to the deprived classes was among the top priorities of those who shaped our Constitution.

The debates in the Constituent Assembly reflects complete unanimity among its members over the proposition of affirmative action.

The spirit of the Constitution

The great people who laid the foundations of modern India had no doubt on the issue. The whole country stood with Baba Saheb Ambedkar when he said reservation was necessary in nation-building. The same sentiment is evident in the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly.

India adopted the concept of western democracy with an inherent contradiction. It was based on the premise that every vote has an equal value. However, the makers of our Constitution were aware that the social status of every individual was not equal due to a centuries-old social set-up.

Baba Saheb Ambedkar stressed this fear in his last address to the Constituent Assembly.

“In politics we will be recognising the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value.

SC questions higher education quota. But are quotas really bad for education, asks Dilip C Mandal

“If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy,” he said.

The suggestion of the Supreme Court must be interpreted in the light of this warning issued by the father of our Constitution. The government must make it clear that it will not tamper with the reservation in higher educational institutes.

Flawed argument of meritocracy

The argument that reservation affects the level of education does not hold ground on close scrutiny. All the great universities of the world promote social, racial and gender diversity in giving admission to students as well as appointment of teachers. All the higher learning institutes of the United States of America believe in this principle.

In a case related to the Texas Law School, the US Supreme Court ruled that all educational institutes are free to ensure plurality in their admission criteria. The court also held that it strengthens equality among various sections of the society.

No student can complain that merit is compromised in a socially inclusive admission process. The US educational institutions have clearly not degraded their merit by embracing diversity.

In fact, thousands of Indian students get a chance to study in American universities only because of the principle of plurality. The inclusion of students from diverse backgrounds not only enriches the talent pool but also encourages competition.

The best US varsitites believe in pluralism. Then what’s wrong with India’s academic quotas

The feeling of deprivation among some sections of the society does not augur well for national unity. A nation is made up of people who are equal participants in its joys, sorrows and dreams.

Any country where people do not get equal opportunities to fulfill their aspirations is nothing more than a political entity defined only by the outlines of a map. It is not a nation in true sense of the word.

Therefore, we need a thousand more affirmative actions to uplift the historically under privileged sections of our society. Reservation is just one of the attempts in that direction.

In this context, raising fingers at the reservation policy is inimical to our national interest. It is incumbent upon the government to intervene and withhold the basic spirit of the Constitution.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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