Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 15.11.15

Dalit student allegedly snubbed by teacher – The Hindu


Dalit boy of Class II forced to remove excreta in school – The Hindu


Dalits seek suspension of police officials – The Hindu


Dalit discrimination rampant in south – The Hindu


Dalit writer returns Padma Shri, Sahitya Akademi awards – The Times Of India


Dalit Student Issue: Teachers’ Body Flayed – The New Indian Express


Sanitation workers in Mahrashtra can nominate kin for job – DNA


UK Dalits Angry at the Inauguration of Ambedkar House by Narendra Modi – Milli Gazette


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The Hindu

 Dalit student allegedly snubbed by teacher



Dalit organisations have alleged that a schoolteacher in a government upper primary school in the district has subjected a Dalit student to psychological torment by forcing him to touch the feet of a student in the lower class.

The act was apparently as a punishment for not knowing the meaning of an English word.


Speaking at a press conference here on Saturday, Adivasi Gorthra Mahasabha State coordinator M. Geethanandan and Kerala State Pattika Samajam (KPJS) secretary Thekkan Sunil Kumar said a Class VI student at the Kunneru Government Upper Primary School was forced by a teacher, allegedly belonging to a pro-Left teachers’ organisation, to touch the feet of a class II student.

They said that when the Dalit student could not give right answer to the teacher’s question on the meaning of the word ‘tree,’ the teacher brought the class II student to the classroom and asked the same question to him.

When the class II student, who they said came from a financially well-to-do family, said the right answer, the teacher asked the Dalit student to touch the former’s feet and prompted other students to laugh.

The Hindu

 Dalit boy of Class II forced to remove excreta in school



Teacher arrested; Dalits allege school is forcing kids to do menial work

 A Dalit student of standard II was forced to remove excreta in a municipal middle school in the district a few days ago. The teacher, R. Vijayalakshmi (35), who made the child do the job, was arrested after the boy’s father lodged a police complaint.

Sasidharan of Ramapuram Pudur Colony told his mother Revathi (28) that Vijayalakshmi forced him to remove the excreta after a classmate defecated in the school. She also allegedly abused him using caste names.

Shocked over the incident, his father R. Veerasamy (33), a load man, along with relatives and members of various Dalit outfits thronged the school on November 13 demanding action against the teacher. After he gave a complaint, the Namakkal police registered a case under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, and arrested her. She was lodged at the Salem Central Women’s Prison. The Education Department placed the teacher under suspension.

Not just the family, but all the 100 households in Ramapuram Pudur Colony are afraid to send their wards to the school.

“I was away on the day when the incident happened and my son spent a sleepless night. He informed me as soon as I came back the next day,” Veerasamy told The Hindu . He also added that his children had become a laughing stock after the incident as other children mock at them.

“This incident of caste discrimination has hurt us much. We will get a transfer certificate and admit our children in another school even though it is far away,” he added.

A former student of the same school S. Gobi said the teacher had asked Dalit students to practice dance for an annual day separately nearly seven years ago, but they had refused.

Residents of the colony alleged that their children had to go to school by 7 a.m., clean the premises and close the gate after school hours every day. With discrimination becoming rampant, Dalit families were beginning to send their wards to other schools. Currently, 10 students from the colony study in the school.

The Hindu

 Dalits seek suspension of police officials



A group of about 300 Dalits staged a dharna in front of Jaitaran Deputy Superintendent of Police Veer Singh’s office, on Saturday, demanding against police officials who allegedly beat up people from their community.

On Tuesday, a day before Diwali, nine Dalit men from Kushalpura village in Pali district’s Raipur tehsil were allegedly thrashed by three police officials of Kushalpura police station. One of them was severely injured.

“The [Dalit] men were at their temple in the evening offering their prayers when three police officials took them to the nearby police station and along with few other men brutally beat them up,” Leela Dhar Advani, a resident of Kushalpura village told The Hindu . The protesters claim that the police officials abused them over their caste, used physical strength on them, beat them with sticks, and stripped them.

One of the officials involved said that he wants all Bavris [a Dalit community] at Kushalpura to leave the village,” Mr. Advani said.

The injured persons have demanded strict against the police officials. However, Deputy Superintendent of Police Veer Singh told The Hindu , “The Bavris were beaten up and were detained by the police because they were constructing a building on an illegally acquired land.”

The Hindu

 Dalit discrimination rampant in south



MADURAI: For almost 43 years from 1970, Dalit students were never given admission in a government middle school in Kurayur, T. Kallupatti, near here, villagers said. Such is the level of discrimination that the children had to trek long distances from their home to other schools, they charged.

Baffled, a Madurai based NGO, Evidence, obtained the information under the RTI Act and found that the school, which was established in 1964, had stopped admitting Dalit children since 1970. “I have the data issued by the government officers,” its Executive Director A. Kathir said. In the southern districts of Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin, teachers are known for discriminating Dalit students on school campuses. These students were used as a tool by the non-Dalit teachers to get menial tasks done , faculty members from Madurai Kamaraj University, who are familiar with instances of caste discrimination in the southern region, told The Hindu .

In 2012, after a child was forced to clean the toilets in a panchayat union school in Vedankulam in Tirunelveli district, the National Human Rights Commission recommended the State government to impose a fine of Rs. 25,000 on the school headmaster. It also directed the police to register criminal case against the person .

In a bid to identify themselves as non-Dalits, some students from caste Hindu communities wore colour vests, in Virudhunagar district in 2013, with the portraits of their leader. When the issue led to a controversy, the government intervened and directed all the Education Department officials to ensure that students wore only white vests or shirt.

Fed up over the discrimination, a Dalit, who had named his son Saathi Olippu Veeran (a warrior who would eliminate caste), was attacked by a group of caste Hindus in 2014. The boy’s father lodged a complaint and the case is on.

Mr. Kathir said absence of social dialogue had contributed to high incidence of discrimination on school campuses. Just as how the villages are disciplined by various caste groups, the schools in these locations are also under the rule of the dominant caste, he added.

The Times Of India

 Dalit writer returns Padma Shri, Sahitya Akademi awards


H M Aravind,TNN | Nov 15, 2015, 05.52 AM IST

MYSURU: Noted Dalit litterateur from Karnataka Devanooru Mahadeva on Saturday joined writers and activists, who have returned their awards to register their protest against intolerance in India. 

He announced his decision to return Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi award and took on those indulging in violence in the name of religion. 

“Even god cannot save those who perpetrate murder, looting, hatred in the name of religion,” he said in an open letter.

He was honoured with the Padma award in 2011 and got the Sahitya Akademi award for his novella ‘Kusumabale’ in 1990. 

The reticent writer, based in Mysuru, hit out at those arguing there is no intolerance in India. 

Sources told STOI the writer was disturbed about the rising intolerance in the nation for some time and had expressed his desire to return the awards. 

He approached the Mysuru district administration asking it to take back the medal given with the Padma award. 

The sexagenarian writer said: “I have always believed that for every government to remain sensitive and society-oriented, writers, artists and intellectuals should act like the restraining bridle… but when some writers and artists organised themselves in support of the ruling government, I felt it was a sure sign of evil.” 

The writer, who now focuses on farming and social activism, said returning awards was symbolic. 

“I feel awkward that I am not able to return the position and prestige I may have obtained indirectly through these awards,” he said. 

He referred to Nehruvian concepts and said that dreams nurtured by the freedom struggle – freedom of expression, tolerance and social justice – have somehow eroded and are now in jeopardy. 

“Those values may not be tangible or materially visible, but they are like the very breath of the cultural, social India we need to build. The lack of this awareness appears to be the reason for today’s intolerance.” 

Absence of such sensitivity has led to the present situation, he said, pointing at leaders of the central government for arguing that incidents like Dadri and killings caused by ideological differences are the problems of the respective states. 

Mahadeva also criticized Union law minister DV Sadananda Gowda for saying returning of awards by intellectuals is intolerance to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

The minister “should at least know that returning of awards by intellectuals is an expression of non-cooperation in protest against social and cultural intolerance”. 

He expressed his reservations about the Pejawar mutt pontiff Visvesha Teertha Swami and accused him of being anti-Muslim. 

According to him, the group which is now indulging in violence is emboldened by the feeling that those whom it voted to power will protect them. 

That explains why violent incidents of intolerance which used to take place in a clandestine manner are now happening in daylight. Only if the Union government introspects can it provide governance, he said. 

He referred to former Pakistan president General Parvez Musharraf’s statement that “Sayeed, Lakhwi were our heroes when they were fighting for the liberation of Kashmir”. 

“When religious fundamentalism began to mix with their struggle, it was transformed into terrorism. Now this terrorism is targeting our own people.”

The New Indian Express

 Dalit Student Issue: Teachers’ Body Flayed


By Express News Service  Published: 15th November 2015 04:36 AM Last Updated: 15th November 2015 04:36 AM

KANNUR:Adivasi Gothra Maha Sabha state coordinator M Geethanandhan ripped into the Kerala School Teachers Association, affiliated to the CPM, for trying to protect a teacher who allegedly humiliated a Dalit student in Kannur Government UP School, of late.

Sunil Kumar, a teacher of the school and a member of the teachers association, allegedly forced a Class VI student to touch the feet of a student of Class II when the former failed to answer a question. The teacher further humiliated the student by asking his classmates to laugh at him.

The student discussed the matter with his single mother. The issue become a topic of discussion on social networking sites after People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) activist Mohanan Pulikodan took it up. Subsequently, Childline authorities intervened and a report on the issue was submitted to the State Commission for Child Rights protection.

When the issue caught the attention of the public, the Kerala School Teachers Association members reportedly visited the family of the student and took a written statement that they have no issue with the incident.


 Sanitation workers in Mahrashtra can nominate kin for job


Sunday, 15 November 2015 – 7:25am IST | Agency: dna | From the print edition

Kanchan Srivastava

Warsa system was implemented in 1975 but discontinued in 2011

All sanitation workers employed in the government, semi-government and civic bodies across Maharashtra can now nominate their kin for their job after they retire or take voluntary retirement.

In a major development, the state government has given its approval to bring back the “Warsa system”, as recommended by the Lad-Page committee during seventies. Under the system, sanitation workers can nominate their family members for the job after their retirement, death or disability. The policy was discontinued in 2011.

A government resolution (GR) to bring back the system was issued this week by the social justice and special assistance department. The move aims to “economically empower” the Valmiki and other scheduled caste (SC) communities, which have been traditionally involved in the cleaning jobs, states the GR.

This virtually means the government departments and civic authorities will have to curb the outsourcing of housekeeping jobs, which has become a trend off-late. All India Safai Karmchari Congress and other unions had been blaming that outsourcing was affecting the job prospects of the SC community.

“This policy was in place since 1975 but was discontinued in 2011. The argument was that the younger lot of the scheduled caste community was getting the government jobs without any struggle or rationale. The community, however, wanted the system back as the discontinuation led to joblessness,” said a highly placed official from the social justice and special assistance department.

Several posts of sweepers in different departments and hospitals in the state are lying vacant since the discontinuation of the warsa system, said an official. The GR stated the sanitation workers from SC community can nominate their wife, son/brother, unmarried or widowed daughter/sister or any other dependent for their posts.

If there are no heirs of the person, he or she can nominate any other person who takes care of him or her. If a kin is already working with the government, it doesn’t prohibit the person to nominate another kin for the job.

Sociologists, however, were of the opinion that bringing back the system will only ensure that SC community will continue to do the dirty jobs, defying the very purpose of reservation. “The Warsa system was meant to address the issue of housing of scavengers and sanitation workers in the cities many decades ago. Now supporting the same social structure is a regressive move,” said a government official.

Surendra Jondhale, professor of civics and politics, condemned the move calling it “absurd” and “pro-casteism”. “This is nothing but perpetuation of centuries-old caste system. On the one hand, the government still doesn’t provide safety gear to these workers who perform their duty in dangerous conditions, on the other, they want their families to continue this dirty job for generations.”

He added, “Sanitation work doesn’t require any special skill that only scheduled caste people possess. It is only poverty that is forcing them to continue the job. The government move only proves that all policies to uplift the SC community have failed to remove the poverty of this section.”

A sociologist said the Safai Kamgar unions might have made such demands and not the community leaders. Social justice minister Rajkumar Badole could not be reached for the comments.

Milli Gazette

 UK Dalits Angry at the Inauguration of Ambedkar House by Narendra Modi


 By M Ghazali Khan, The Milli Gazette Online

Published Online: Nov 15, 2015

 London (14 November 2015): Two leading Dalit (the former untouchables) organisations have condemned the inauguration of Dr Ambedkar House in London and unveiling of the stature of the Dalit icon and one of the most prominent and widely respected fighter for India’s freedom.

Dismissing the move as a “cynical exploitation”   Caste Watch UK, one of the largest Dalit organisations, called it “a ploy to garner support of Dalits numbering over 260 million people.”

A statement issued by the anti-caste body working against caste discrimination and caste crimes, said that it finds “it abhorrent that his [Dr Ambedkar’s] memory is being used as a political tool by the Indian Prime Minister to try and confuse Dalits who are asserting their human rights in India and are also asserting the demand for equality in the UK.”

Taking a dig at British Prime Minister David Cameron the statement said, “At the Tory Party Conference this year, David Cameron declared that the Conservative Party wants to end discrimination and bring real equality in UK today! Why then, we ask, is his government still dragging its feet and not implementing the provisions of section 9(5) of the Equality Act to prohibit Caste discrimination in UK.”

The statement further said that Dalits are one of the, “most marginalised groups in India who face daily atrocities at the hands of upper-caste Hindus. Number of atrocities against Dalits has increased since the BJP has come into power. According to statistics compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), crimes against Dalits rose to 47,064 in 2014 from 39,408 in 2013. In 2012 there were 33,655 crimes against Dalits, about the same as in 2011 of arson, murder and rape.  The rate of such crimes against Dalits surpass the national average in many states.”

Highlighting the cunning and dubious method of working of Hindutva forces in India and its veiled crawling into Britain the statement said, “The BJP is the political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an openly Hindu supremacist organisation. The RSS also operates in the UK through its overseas wing the Hindu Swayamsevak Samaj (HSS) which is currently being investigated by the Charity Commission for hate speech against Christians and Muslims. The HSS however continues to operate along with other Hindutva organisations in the UK, who continue to oppose UK Equality legislation which aims to outlaw caste-based discrimination in Britain. This law is essential because the virus of caste has travelled to the UK and many Dalits face caste discrimination as highlighted by the UK Government’s own research. The UK based campaign for Equality led to the enactment of Equality Act 2010, section 9(5) mandating the Minister of crown to prohibit caste-based discrimination. However, the UK Hindutva forces along with upper-caste Sikh leaders continue to campaign against the law’s implementation.”

Expressing the displeasure of Dalits in Britain at the warm welcome being given to Narendra Modi in Britain the statement says, “We are unhappy with David Cameron’s invitation to Narendra Modi and his support for the Indian Prime Minister’s outrageous act of hypocrisy in unveiling the statue of Dalit icon and great Indian leader Dr B. R. Ambedkar.”

Another Dalit organisation, DR Ambedkar Memorial Committee of Great Britain (DAMC), said that it “views the inauguration of Ambedkar House, London by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with utter abhorrence.”

DAMC President Tarsem Kaul, “It is the height of hypocrisy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is inaugurating Ambedkar House.”

Mr Kaul said, “Modi is a long-term organiser of the Hindu Supremacist paramilitary organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which models itself on the Nazi party, stands for upper caste Hindu power, and is a bye-word for attacks on Dalits and other oppressed castes”.

Mr Kaul added, “Dr Ambedkar stood for democracy, secularism, equality and justice and gave Indians a powerful constitution enshrining fundamental rights for its citizens. Narendra Modi’s party the BJP, and its sister organisations like the RSS are constantly infringing this constitution with their attacks on Dalits and minority rights.”

Touching upon the injustices Dalits are subjected to Mr Kaur said, “Dalits continue to live in extreme poverty, social degradation, deprivation and remain victims of caste violence. This was the case at the time of Dr Ambedkar and is the case in present times. Nothing much has changed in this respect. Dr Ambedkar lived and died for the cause of Dalits.”

Expressing his anger at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence at the atrocities committed against Dalits Mr Kaul said, “The continuing escalation of atrocities on Dalits should be a cause for shame but Prime Minister Modi adopts silence instead of condemnation, and this has become his hallmark. The Dalits and oppressed castes in Bihar have seen through his cynical attempts to divide and rule and have decisively rejected him. This is why he is now attempting to save face and salvage his image with Dalits. This is not likely to happen since all we have seen from his party is anti-Dalit violence and certainly no Dalit-friendly development policies.”

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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