Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 22.11.15

 

Two dalits shot dead in Chhatarpur – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Two-dalits-shot-dead-in-Chhatarpur/articleshow/49877695.cms

In this village, dalits being thrashed for entering temple – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/In-this-village-dalits-being-thrashed-for-entering-temple/articleshow/49873768.cms

Dalits called upon to pursue higher studies – The Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dalits-called-upon-to-pursue-higher-studies/article7904650.ece

Installation of idol triggers tension – The Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/installation-of-idol-triggers-tension/article7902319.ece

Cops Flayed for Failure in Dalit Woman Case – The New Indian Express

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Cops-Flayed-for-Failure-in-Dalit-Woman-Case/2015/11/21/article3138783.ece

CM Devendra Fadnavis calls for research on Ambedkar – The Indian Express

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/cm-devendra-fadnavis-calls-for-research-on-ambedkar/

Our waste, our responsibility – The Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/avinash-kumar-thoughts-on-brahmanical-notions-of-purity-and-pollution-on-world-toilet-day/article7903778.ece

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The Times Of India

 Two dalits shot dead in Chhatarpur

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Two-dalits-shot-dead-in-Chhatarpur/articleshow/49877695.cms

Deshdeep Saxena,TNN | Nov 22, 2015, 08.45 AM IST

BHOPAL: Two dalits were shot and another suffered bullet injuries after a gunfight triggered by a running feud between two families. 

The incident took place at 6pm on Friday when members of a family tried to stop kidnapping of their kin at Mawaighat village, 120 km from Chhatarpur district of Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh. All accused are on the run. Gaurihar police station SHO RS Sen said the incident took place when Kalloo Patel, 48, and his six accomplices were abducting Rakesh Khangar, 30. When other members of Khangar family learnt about it, they rushed and tried to stop Kalloo from doing so. 

Kalloo opened fire resulting in death of Ayodhya, 60, father of Rakesh and his brother Daulat, on the spot, police said. Around 10.30 pm, Rakesh recorded his statement to police and was referred to Gwalior.

The Times Of India

 In this village, dalits being thrashed for entering temple

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/In-this-village-dalits-being-thrashed-for-entering-temple/articleshow/49873768.cms

Kautilya Singh,TNN | Nov 21, 2015, 08.09 PM IST

DEHRADUN: In a short span of 45 days, the second instance of dalits being allegedly thrashed for entering a temple in Gabela village in the outskirts of Dehradun has been reported. However, this time the victim includes a pregnant woman, who along with her father and husband had gone to the renowned Kukarshi Maharaj temple to seek blessings for the child. 

The matter was reported to revenue police and on the complaint a case under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC has been registered against the accused. 

A resident of Mallawala village Tikam Singh along with his wife Kavita and father-in-law Daultu Ram went to Gabela village to offer prayers in the temple on November 18. While Daultu preferred to remain outside, Kavita and Tikam entered the temple. Some locals identified Daultu and thrashed the trio. As per the allegations, the locals instructed them to give a goat for sacrifice. However, after a payment of Rs 501, which had been slapped as cash penalty on them and a warning to never enter the temple again, the three were given permission to leave the temple. 

A similar scenario had been witnessed in the village on October 5, when a group of dalits led by Daulat Kunwar were denied permission to enter the temple. After days of protest and fast, the dalit group was made to offer prayers in the temple in the presence of police and administrative team on October 12. 

When contacted SDM Chakrata Prem Lal told TOI, “We have received the complaint and an FIR has been registered. In the next few days, we will record the state of the victim and the probe would be taken to the next level.” He pointed out that the complainants have identified three residents of Gabela village. “Once we question them on the issue, we will proceed further in the matter and if required arrest the accused,” he added. 

Kavita told the district authorities that she and her family members had been publicly humiliated. She maintained that the entire family was “terrified” after the instance and was looking forward for justice in the matter. 

This is not for the first time when such allegations have been made in Gabela, which is about 130kms from Dehradun and has the temples of two villages gods – Mahasu devta and Kukarshi. 

On October 5, Quansi resident Daulat Kumar under the aegis of his organization Aaradhna Gramin Vikas Kendra took out a 10 day procession for “the welfare of dalits.” He first reached Quanu village where he was reportedly denied an opportunity to address a gathering following which he reached Gabela village on Monday evening. 

A high voltage drama was witnessed at the village as “a group of locals under the influence of village god” did not permit them to enter the temple. Hundreds of villagers gathered at the spot claiming that the almighty did not want them to enter the “holy place.” 

First Kunwar held a protest at Gabela and thereafter shifted it to Dehradun. After much hue and cry, he and his team offered prayers at the temple in presence of police and district officials.

The Hindu

 Dalits called upon to pursue higher studies

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dalits-called-upon-to-pursue-higher-studies/article7904650.ece

STAFF CORRESPONDENT

Parameshwara, Home Minister and president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, has called upon Dalit youths to study well and secure high posts in the administrative set up. “Dalit students should not stop their education at SSLC. They should take up higher studies and become IAS officers so that the Backward Classes got justice,” he said in his address after unveiling a bronze statue of B.R. Ambedkar at Gorur in Hassan taluk on Saturday.

For centuries, Dalits have been denied education. Ambedkar had said that only education could liberate the depressed classes. “Only India has the caste system and this should go. Ambedkar had suffered because of this system and he had said that he would not die as a Hindu in as early as 1935. However, he waited till 1956 to see if changes happened. As he was disappointed, he embraced Buddhism,” he said.

Even today, he said, Dalits were not allowed inside many hotels and temples. Such practices should end. “Younger generations should understand what all troubles Ambedkar had to face during his fight against atrocities. His life should be a model to others,” he said.

Minister for Animal Husbandry, Sericulture and in-charge of Hassan district A. Manju said that Ambedkar was a role model for all communities.

The Hindu

 Installation of idol triggers tension

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/installation-of-idol-triggers-tension/article7902319.ece

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Tension prevailed at Udaippaankulam under Thiruvenkatam police station limits in the district on Friday after an idol was allegedly installed inside a temple even as a case on administering the temple is pending in the court.

As a group of caste Hindus reportedly installed the idol of Lord Krishna in a temple on a poramboke land on Friday, the dalits of the hamlet opposed it saying that they could not do so as a case pertaining to the administration of the temple was pending in the court.

When tension mounted, police removed the idol, saying the caste Hindus, who were once administering the temple, could do so after getting proper permission from the Collector.

The decades-old enmity between the Dalits and the Caste Hindus worsened after three youths, all from the “oppressed community” were murdered on June 1 last year.

An altercation erupted between groups of Dalit and Caste Hindu youths of Udaippaankulam a couple of days prior to the murder in a Tasmac bar over offering prayers in a temple and taking the dead bodies of Dalits to the cremation ground via a common path. A case was subsequently registered against the Cast Hindu youths under the SC/ST Act.

Against this backdrop, an armed gang hacked to death K. Murugan (40), his brother K. Kaliraj (45), and their relative R. Venugopal (42) – all Dalits – when they were going to Sankarankoil on a motorcycle around 8 p.m. on June 1 last year.

Since then, every incident triggers tension in the village.

The decades-old enmity between Dalits and caste Hindus worsened after three youths were murdered on June 1 last year

The New Indian Express

 Cops Flayed for Failure in Dalit Woman Case

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Cops-Flayed-for-Failure-in-Dalit-Woman-Case/2015/11/21/article3138783.ece

By Express News Service Published: 21st November 2015 06:13 AM Last Updated: 21st November 2015 06:13 AM

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has condemned the Madurai police for failing to register an FIR on a complaint filed by a Dalit woman against her in-laws for allegedly separating her caste Hindu husband from her within a few hours after their marriage.

M Sundaravalli (21), who is four-months pregnant, had filed a habeas corpus petition in the court to rescue her husband who, she claimed, was abducted by his family members from the temple soon after their marriage. She also expressed fear that her in-laws might murder her husband P Ramar to protect their caste honour, if he refused to marry a girl from their caste.

Though she had sent a complaint through courier to the Superintendent of Police, Madurai, and the Inspector of Police of Karuppayurani station on Nov 14, they failed to take steps to rescue her husband, Sundaravalli said in her petition.

When the Karuppayurani police produced Ramar before justices Ramasubramanian and N Kirubakaran of the division bench on Friday, Ramar denied marrying Sundaravalli.  After recording his statement, justice Ramasubramanian asked the police why they did not register a case on a complaint from the petitioner.

When the police cited the jurisdiction issue, the judge condemned the police for the “irresponsible” reply.  

“While the complaints raised by the petitioners are of serious nature, how can the police escape from the responsibility by citing the jurisdiction issue,” he asked.

Stating that it is a well-established fact that the police need not consider jurisdiction for registering an FIR, the judge directed the police to immediately file a case and posted the hearing for Nov 23. Later, when Express spoke to Ramar outside the court hall, he admitted that he was in a relationship with the woman when they studied together in college, but claimed he did not marry her. Ramar said he has not met Sundaravalli for five months.

The Indian Express

 CM Devendra Fadnavis calls for research on Ambedkar

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/cm-devendra-fadnavis-calls-for-research-on-ambedkar/

Fadnavis said that Dr Ambedkar wasn’t just a politician but an intellectual as well who did some great work as an economist.

By: Express News Service  PunePublished:Nov 22, 2015, 0:35

Stressing on the need for research on the writings of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hailed him as a great economist who thought far ahead of his times. Fadnavis was addressing a public function on Saturday to mark the inauguration of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Library by the Symbiosis Society on Senapati Bapat Road in the city. The event was presided over by former President, Pratibha Patil, who inaugurated the library, and attended by Republican Party of India chief Ramdas Athavale.

Addressing the audience, Fadnavis said that Dr Ambedkar wasn’t just a politician but an intellectual as well who did some great work as an economist. “There was barely any economist who had as much insight as him in that era. Hence, he was able to write many books on subjects like Indian economic system, and his writings are relevant even after several decades,” he said. He also spoke of the Constitution of which Dr Ambedkar is considered to be the architect and said that it plays an important role in the development of a nation.

Patil too spoke of Dr Ambedkar’s role in drafting the Indian Constitution, which, she said, is like a security cover for all citizens and empowers even the weakest link in society. SB Mujumdar, founder president of Symbiosis Society said that besides providing a library to students at affordable rates, the society would soon come up with an Ambedkar Chair for students to pursue research on him.

Meanwhile, speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the event, Athavale said he has demanded at least one ministerial berth at both the central and state cabinets. The announcement comes ahead of the expansion of the state cabinet by this month-end. However, prodded by reporters that his wife Seema Athavale might be inducted as her name has been proposed, he clarified he hasn’t pushed the names of any of his family members.

The Hindu

 Our waste, our responsibility

http://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/avinash-kumar-thoughts-on-brahmanical-notions-of-purity-and-pollution-on-world-toilet-day/article7903778.ece

AVINASH KUMAR

 November 19 was World Toilet Day and the country is abuzz with Swachh Bharat slogans, but none of this will make any impact unless we get rid of old, Brahminical notions of purity and pollution

 Early in September this year, the legendary Prof. Robert Chambers visited a village in Uttar Pradesh to survey the progress of the Swachh Bharat Mission. In one home, he went down on his knees and put his hand in literally to inspect the contents of the twin pit latrine there.

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The idea was to allay the fears and scepticism of the villagers and show them that the human waste in the five-year-old pit had changed completely into compost, with no odour or contaminants, and was ready to use as fertiliser.

Few of us would do what Prof. Chambers did, and he in turn was merely following in the footsteps of Gandhi. But with World Toilet Day just going by on November 19 and the government now levying a Swachh Bharat cess on our incomes, it is time to think of not just superficial ways to improve cleanliness but to go deeper and jolt us out of our deeply ingrained notions of purity and pollution.

As Swachh Bharat slogans buzz around us, many scholars warn that this mission’s fate will be similar to previous experiments such as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and Total Sanitation Campaign if primacy is not given to changing hygiene behaviour rather than to merely meet toilet construction targets.

Last year’s SQUAT report showed clearly that most Indians continue to believe in perverse notions of ‘purity and pollution’ driven by rigid Brahminical ideas wherein polluting the external environment is taken for granted while homes are kept ‘clean’ by not building or using toilets indoors. As long as this mindset continues, the idea of a ‘clean India’ cannot materialise.

This is the reason why the issue of open defecation must be opened up, public conversations created around it, and collective action initiated. The situation is ironic because the act of defecation is kept outside the home, thus attempting to hide it, but by defecating outside people are exposing themselves in public.

The real idea of ‘purity and pollution’ must be linked to healthy living and physical and mental wellbeing. This puts diarrhoeal deaths, malnutrition and stunted growth at the forefront and makes safe sanitary conditions primary. Second, the message needs to be driven in that it is not someone else’s responsibility to clean your waste, but your own.

A recent news report told a horrifying story of a young Dalit boy being asked to clean up a schoolmate’s excreta. Manual scavenging persists, despite laws banning it. All of it is due to the age-old notion of individual purity being maintained by the labour of others. A recent paper by JNU scholar Amit Thorat and the Rice Institute’s Dean Spears talks of how our sanitation habits are deeply rooted in caste and untouchability practices.

One way to address this would be to ensure the presence and participation of Dalits and other communities, who have been exploited as society’s ‘cleaners’, in the decision making at each level. They must be a part of mandated decision-making bodies such as Village Water and Sanitation Committees, District Water and Sanitation Missions/ Committees and State Water and Sanitation Missions so that they can influence sanitation planning, implementation and monitoring.

Could the marketplace provide some answers? For this, it is worth looking at some examples of how companies have transformed consumers into responsible customers. Today, a McDonald’s customer collects the food, pays for it, consumes it and then disposes of the waste. Similarly, travellers taking flights are increasingly buying tickets, doing self check-ins and carrying their luggage on their own. While a McDonald’s may follow this method to cut costs, the logic could be institutionalised to inculcate the idea of the individual taking responsibility for the safe disposal of the waste produced by defecating in the open. But this also means that the government must ensure that the poor, who still can’t afford basic housing (whether in rural or urban areas), are not penalised for open defecation by this logic of citizen’s accountability — unless they are included within a broader umbrella where such basic services are provided for them by the government.

In fact, even people who use a flushable toilet need to be told that there is no guarantee that the waste they create is being safely disposed of at the end of the sanitation cycle. A recent Faecal Management Study conducted by WaterAid India finds that New Delhi, with the best sewage treatment capacity in the country, is at present able to treat only about 60 per cent of the total sewerage being produced, leaving 40 per cent untreated in the open environment. In essence, it would not be wrong to suggest that 40 per cent of Delhi’s population indirectly defecates in the open. The challenge is to create a narrative of responsibility and awareness around this.

While state accountability is undoubtedly a part of it, citizen accountability, especially of the well-off sections, needs to be addressed. In this context, the story of the sanitation drive in 19th century London needs to be redesigned and re-disseminated in India. It was only after the elite began to be badly impacted by cholera epidemics in London that they began to take the issue of sanitation and hygiene seriously. The narrative of a campaign, therefore, needs to weave in both the rich and the poor in a role of common responsibility and complementarity to ensure the larger health of the society. The Swachh Bharat Mission would merely provide an entry point to this.

At the policy level, the government needs to invest adequately in behavioural change. Ironically, the present government has cut down the budget ratio for this from 15 per cent to a meagre 8 per cent. But even that small amount rarely gets utilised due to a hardware-obsessed bureaucracy. Similarly, 60-70 per cent of the budget earmarked to rehabilitate manual scavengers is returned unutilised every year because it is on nobody’s priority list. And the business of cleaning up someone else’s waste continues unabated.

While all of us need not start digging into decomposed waste like Prof. Chambers did, we do need to know that our responsibility for our waste does not end once it leaves our bodies, but actually begins then. We need to ensure that it is disposed of in a safe, humane and sustainable manner. Only then can we claim full purity of our souls, homes and environs.

(Source: WaterAid)  Avinash Kumar is Director of Programmes & Policy at WaterAid India.

 News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET

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