Muslims cremate dalit boycotted by community for not voting on caste lines- The Times Of India
Kin of victims of manual scavenging go to HC – The Hindu
Gujarat Government plans 22% job quota for SC, ST – The Indian Express
Guv has lunch with dalits in Himchal’s caste-ridden village – The Times Of India
‘Ambedkar’s teachings are tools for change’ – Free Press Journal
Dr B R Ambedkar’s MahaPariNirvan Day 6th Dec 2013
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The Times Of India
Muslims cremate dalit boycotted by community for not voting on caste lines
Sandeep Rai,TNN | Dec 5, 2015, 09.53 PM IST
MEERUT: One has to go no further than this incident in Saharanpur to see how polarisation is playing out in villages of Uttar Pradesh.
In the just-concluded pradhan elections in Dayalpur village, electorates were clearly divided along religious lines: while Muslims supported Saeed Ahmad, the dalits showed allegiance to Deepak Kumar. But Ram Daiya, a 55-year-old dalit, and his family went against the tide to support Ahmad, triggering off an unfortunate sequence of events that began with their social boycott by the dalit community. On Thursday night, when Ram Daiya died, due to natural causes, no one from his community came forward to attend his last rites. Eventually, it was Muslims who helped the bereaved family with the cremation on Friday.
Ram Daiya’s son Rajinder Kumar told TOI, “The Hindus, particularly Dalits and members of the Saini community, completely boycotted us socially. In fact, we were told that nobody will assist us in performing the last rites when anybody in our family dies.”
However, on hearing news of Daiya’s death, a large number of Muslims began to gather at his house on Friday morning. They then arranged for wood and other material for his cremation.
Saeed Ahmad, the gram pradhan candidate Daiya’s family voted for, said, “We knew that no one would attend his cremation, so we extended all possible help to the family. But the way things are turning out is very sad. At least, no bitterness should be carried forward following one’s death.”
Kumar said that his father was a very old associate of Saeed Ahmad and valued the ties with him. “He gave priority to his relationship with Ahmad and did not vote on caste lines,” he added.
Deepak Kumar, Ahmad’s rival who was supported by the dalit community, said, “The social boycott story is all concocted. I was out of the village, so I could not attend his funeral.”
Kin of victims of manual scavenging go to HC
Families of manual scavengers who had died due to asphyxiation while cleaning sceptic tanks in private establishments have begun to make a beeline to the Madras High Court Bench here seeking a compensation of Rs.10 lakh for every death in the light of a directive issued by the Supreme Court to all States and Union Territories last year.
Allowing a writ petition filed by a 60-year-old N. Madathiammal whose husband had died while cleaning the sceptic tank in a private school at Sankar Nagar in Tirunelveli district in 2012, Justice K. Ravichandra Baabu on Friday directed the State Government to consider her plea for compensation of Rs.10 lakh, in the light of the Supreme Court order, within 12 weeks.
The order was passed at the admission stage itself since two other judges — Justice R. Subbiah and Justice R. Mahadevan— of the High Court had already passed similar orders in cases filed by family members of other manual scavengers.
Disposing of a case filed by Safai Karamchari Andolan on March 27 last, a three-judge Bench of the apex court led by the then Chief Justice P. Sathasivam had directed all State Governments to pay Rs.10 lakh to families of each of those who had died during sewerage works after the enactment of the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993.
However, advocate R. Karunanithi claims that till date the State Government had not paid the amount to even a single family though almost all of them were Arunthathiyars facing the agony of being treated as “untouchables among untouchables” and therefore provided with an internal reservation of three per cent within the reservation granted to Scheduled Castes in employment and education.
“Even in September this year, the First Bench of the High Court had come down heavily on the government for not paying the compensation despite identifying 238 families to be eligible for it across the State. The apathy has left the victim families with no other option but to approach the High Court,” he said.
The Indian Express
Gujarat Government plans 22% job quota for SC, ST
The state government has worked out 7 per cent reservation for Dalits and 15 per cent for STs in all contractual government and semi-government jobs.
The Gujarat government has planned 22 per cent quota for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (SC) in contractual government and semi-government appointments, given that the state government has not opened jobs for over a decade. To be announced soon, under the year-long 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar with Rs 125-crore budget, the state government has worked out 7 per cent reservation for Dalits and 15 per cent for STs in all contractual government and semi-government jobs. December 6 marks Ambedkar’s death anniversary.
This has been decided given that the Gujarat government has not opened up regular appointments since late ’90s and makes up by contractual and fixed pay appointments. It has also rolled out preference for Dalits in the open merit system. In addition to the already implemented ‘zero backlog’ scheme for SCs, 100 per cent filling up of all reserved seats is a part of the Ambedkar celebration year which began last April 14.
“Various meetings have already been conducted with the social justice and empowerment department after which 7 and 15 per cent reservation have been worked out for SCs and STs, respectively, in appointments which are under fixed pay based on certain agreements between the employer and employee and the eleven month contractual appointments or the similar ones outsourced to private contractors. For instance, if 100 appointments are done on contractual basis, 7 seat would be reserved for SCs and 15 for STs. Till now, there is no such provision in government and semi-government jobs,” said Pravin Pandya, chairman of Gujarat Scheduled Caste Most Backward Caste Development Corporation (GSCMBCDC) under the Social Welfare and Justice (SWJ) department.
According to the pamphlets circulated in villages and urban areas by the SWJ department, the benefits for SCs to mark the celebrations touch every government department. Apart from the benefits, various events and inaugurations, along with laying of foundation stones, are also planned during the year.
One of the major projects also includes building a complex in Devni Mori in Aravalli district where the remains of Lord Buddha were found, as a research centre to propagate teachings and philosophies of Lord Buddha with Babasaheb Ambedkar. at the cost of Rs 18 crore, besides a complex to be built in Vadodara for Rs 10 crore, which was considered Ambedkar’s ‘Sankalp bhoomi’.
The state government also promises special emphasis on maximum inclusion of beneficiaries from SCs in various housing and health schemes recently launched by Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.
The annual celebration plan with an estimated budget of Rs 125 crore includes a hike in financial assistance to SC victims of atrocities. For instance, in case of murder, assistance to the victim be increased from the current Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7.50 lakh. Grievous injury and rape victims from Rs 1.2 lakh to Rs 1.8 lakh, and other cases victims — from Rs 60,000 to Rs 90,000.
The government also plans to include those Dalits who are not in the BPL list under Dr Ambedkar Awaas Yojana. “Efforts to include maximum beneficiaries from SCs under Sardar Awaas Yojana, Indira Awaas Yojana and Mukhyamantri Shaheri Awaas Yojana. Maximum benefit to ‘safai kamdars’ and their families under Dr Ambedkar Safai Kamdar Awaas Yojana.
Compulsory attached toilets in all new settlements and campaign to construct toilets in already built up settlements,” are some of the schemes listed out in the plan. Pandya said, “With various schemes and benefits to be carried as a part of this celebration, the estimated budget would easily cross Rs 125 crore. For instance, soon a camp would be organised to give 200 autorickshaws, bonds under Mahila Samrudhi Yojana to 500 women and microfinance loan to another 500 to the tune of Rs 8.40 crore.”
Out of total 36 castes under the SC, 12 are categorised as most backward identified for special treatment and exclusive schemes formulated for their benefit under the GSCMBCDC.
The Times Of India
Guv has lunch with dalits in Himchal’s caste-ridden village
Anand Bodh,TNN | Dec 6, 2015, 11.26 AM IST
Shimla: In a bid to set an example in the hill state, where discrimination against dalits is rampant, HP governor Acharya Devvrat had food with dalits during his recent visit to Kullu. Acharya Devvrat, on Thursday, visited Kotla village in Banjar sub-division of Kullu, where 77 families were left homeless after a devastating fire. He sat in the same row with dalits and had lunch with them. Kullu DC Rakesh Kanwar accompanied him.
But in the end, it was just another social formality for people, sources said. They had lunch together in front of the governor and officials but when they left, the rows for upper caste people and dalits were segregated again.
After 68 years of independence, dalits are not allowed to enter temples, especially in rural areas. In some places, dalits are constructing their own temples.
At Tosh village of Manikaran valley in Kullu, dalits have constructed their own temple where they can worship without invoking the ire of upper caste residents. Uttam Kumar, a village resident said the temple was constructed as dalits were not allowed inside the main temple.
On seeing dalits barred from entering the Markendya temple complex of Bilaspur, a division bench of Himachal Pradesh High Court, comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sureshwar Thakur, last year, directed the Bilspur SDM to remove the board saying dalits are not allowed inside the temple.
The court also directed the Bilaspur SDM to place a new signboard clarifying that people from all communities are allowed inside the temple.
Sukhdev Vishwa Premi, national convener, People’s Campaign for Socio-Economic Equity, said despite court intervention, dalits are being blatantly persecuted. He said children are forced to discriminate on the basis of caste during the serving of the mid-day meal, dalits have to sit in a separate area during social functions and they are not allowed to enter temples.
Noted writer SR Harnot, who brought the discrimination at Markendeya temple to fore, said the caste system is deeply entrenched in the state.
According to him, it is more blatant in village temples and social functions like marriages. Politicial reservation and vote bank division is another reason for discrimination, he said.
Free Press Journal
‘Ambedkar’s teachings are tools for change’
— By chitra sawant | Dec 06, 2015 12:39 am
Mumbai : Today, December 6, is the death anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution. In this backdrop, it would be pertinent to note that a race is on among various political parties to claim the legacy of Ambedkar as their own. The parties that had earlier ignored his contribution in nation-building are seen engaging the Dalit icon’s name on several occasions. Right from the BJP to the Congress and CPM, the strategy has been to pay symbolic respect to Dr Ambedkar.
While stating that the rise of Dalit assertion and Dalit politics over last three decades across the country as the basic reason behind the change in the scene, noted Dalit activist Anoop Kumar said, “It is because of the growing consciousness in Dalits and other lower castes which are trying to wage an anti-caste struggle making Dr Ambedkar and his teachings their great symbols and tool for mobilisation. BJP, Congress and even CPM cannot ignore Dr Ambedkar.
There is a growing feeling that BJP’s appropriation of Ambedkar is because it could give the party passage to Dalit votes in various states including Uttar Pradesh. In the recent past, RSS launched its mouthpieces, The Organiser and Panchjanya, with Ambedkar’s writings as well as those written on him.
While shedding light on the challenges right-wing political parties may face while appropriating Dr Ambedkar, former MP and Dr Ambedkar’s grandson Adv. Prakash Ambedkar said, “Dr Ambedkar had said ‘the greatest loss in India is worshiping a leader as a God’. But unfortunately the present political parties are trying to convert Ambedkar into a God. That is where Ambedkar will be defeated. BJP is not honouring him, the party believes in Vedic religion which he was against.
The party will find it difficult to preserve their ideology in this process. Their efforts are basically to accept Ambedkar physically. They are trying to develop five places of ‘thirths’ (pilgrimage) of Ambedkar”.
“A great leader who brought significant changes in lives of common masses, irrespective of caste, class, religion, gender and ethnicity, which gave him followers having huge potential political value.
Therefore every political party, even the right wing which opposed him bitterly, are trying to appropriate him,” said political activist Nitin Lata Waman.
“Dr Ambedkar and the Dalit movement is the only real challenge for Hindutva ideology on the ground. So to counter this challenge, there are two ways — one to challenge Ambedkar and his followers and other is to try and appropriate the icon. The first is quite a difficult challenge because they will not be able to demolish Dr Ambedkar and his teachings from the hearts of dalits and other lower castes. So they are going for the second option of trying to appropriate him,” added Anoop.
To conclude, Prakash Ambedkar said: “The Congress and the non-BJP opposition believed in individual and religious freedom. They believed in parliamentary democracy and the court of law. BJP does not believe in individual and religious freedom, it believes in parliamentary dictatorship. It is becoming apparent to the common man.”
News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET