Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 09.12.15

Scant Aid For Low-Caste Villagers Hit By Floods In Tamil Nadu, Says Survey By Two Charities – The huffington post


Dog remark: Court to hear complaint against VK Singh today – The siasat dairy


Modi tells BJP MPs to spread Ambedkar vision – Asian age


PM Narendra Modi, Amit Shah ignoring ‘indecorous’ remarks against Dalits: Mayawati Gazette

Standard – Gazette standard


City celebrates books across genres – The hindu


The History and Future of a Demolition without End – The Kashmir monitor


Concerns over India intolerance, rape and Narendra Modi’s cabinet raised in UK Parliament – International business times


Teacher held for sexually abusing a minor Dalit girl Web india 123


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The huffington post

Scant Aid For Low-Caste Villagers Hit By Floods In Tamil Nadu, Says Survey By Two Charities


CHENNAI/NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Hundreds of poor lower-caste families who lost their homes and jobs after devastating floods swept Tamil Nadu have been neglected by government relief efforts, a survey conducted by two charities has found.

About 280 people have died and more than 400,000 have been displaced across Tamil Nadu since torrential rains began in early November, swelling rivers and reservoirs and inundating the state capital Chennai and neighbouring coastal districts.

A study of the first days of the floods found that although low-caste or “Dalit” families were the group worst hit by the floods, few had received any help, said National Dalit Watch and Social Awareness Society for Youth – Tamil Nadu.

“No relief has reached the community properly till now. During the distribution of food relief there has been priority to the families having concrete houses, people having connections with leaders of villages,” the report said.

“Relief camps and medical facilities have been organised far away from the villages, or are in dominant caste areas which Dalit people cannot access due to the lack of transport and fear of discrimination and violence,” it added.

Government officials in Cuddalore district said the report was incorrect and helping marginalised Dalit communities was considered a priority after a disaster.

“In times of inundation, Dalit colonies are usually more affected since they are in low-lying areas,” Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Cuddalore’s Monitoring Officer for Disaster Relief, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“The state government is very sensitive to the needs of Dalits. For them, we have built a temporary shelter in record time.”

The rains, the heaviest in a century, hit Chennai last week, putting some areas under eight feet (2.5 metres) of water, trapping people on rooftops with no power or communications.

The rains have now stopped, water levels are dropping, and the government has set up relief camps across Tamil Nadu. Dry food and tarpaulins are being distributed, but some interior areas have been difficult to reach due to damaged roads.

The survey polled 1,500 families in Cuddalore district, more than 40 percent of them Dalits, from Nov. 19 to 21. It found that 95 percent of damaged houses, 92 percent of livestock lost and 86 percent of crops lost belonged to Dalits.

Caste-based discrimination was banned in India in 1955, but centuries-old attitudes persist in many parts of the country and low-caste Indians still face prejudice in every sector.

Aid workers say that in times of flood or drought, many Dalits do not get the same access as higher-caste Indians to emergency aid such as clean water, dry food rations or shelter.

In most Dalit villages surveyed in Cuddalore’s Parangipettai and Bhuvanagiri blocks there was no clean drinking water, and in some areas dominant castes had refused to share their water sources with Dalits, the survey showed. Most Dalit villages also lack medical services, it added.

But government officials said the bulk of the relief budget had been spent on helping rebuild and repair over 70,000 damaged homes of Dalits.

“District and state government are aware and make conscious efforts to ensure that the poor and Dalits are given the greatest care,” said Bedi.

(Reporting by Nita Bhalla in New Delhi and Sandhya Ravishankar in Chennai, writing by Nita Bhalla, editing by Tim Pearce. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change.

The siasat dairy

Dog remark: Court to hear complaint against VK Singh today


New Delhi: An advocate on Tuesday challenged, in the sessions court, a magistrate’s order dismissing a criminal complaint seeking to lodge an FIR against union minister Gen VK Singh (retd) for his alleged “dog” remark.

Advocate Satya Prakash Gautam, the complainant, filed the revision petition before District Judge TR Naval and the matter would be heard on Wednesday .

The metropolitan magistrate had rejected on Monday the plea of Gautam seeking to lodge a first information report against VK Singh under provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Last month, Delhi Police told the court that no offence has been made out against VK Singh, a former Indian Army chief, who triggered a row on October 21, when he used an analogy of stoning a dog while commenting on the burning of two Dalit children in a Haryana village by upper caste villagers.

The criminal complaint was filed last month by the advocate.

Challenging the magistrate court’s order, Gautam alleged that the magistrate has only “desperately tried to shield the proposed accused under various pretexts including those not even on record, like the intention of the proposed accused while making impugned statements which were the basis of filing the present complaint”.

Filing the criminal complaint against Singh, Gautam had said the minister had “deliberately” used such language to insult the community.

He had told the court that he had requested police to register a case against the minister but they refused.

Asian age

Modi tells BJP MPs to spread Ambedkar vision


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked party MPs to spread dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar’s vision and principles among the masses.

Addressing the BJP Parliamentary Party, the Prime Minister also spoke about the upcoming birth anniversaries of BJP stalwart and former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and spiritual leader Swami Viveknanda, asking members to start projects which they deem fit on the former Prime Minister’s birthday on December 25.

Mr Modi said his government had given “maximum respect” to Dr Ambedkar as he spoke about the Centre organising a number of events related to Dr Ambedkar, including the announcement of November 26 as Constitution Day and the launch of special coins to honour him.

The Prime Minister, it was learnt, told the MPs that Dr Ambedkar was so far projected as a dalit icon and for his role in the making of the Constitution but his government had worked to highlight various other facets of him, including his economic vision.

He also spoke about the year-long celebrations being organised by the government marking his 125th birth anniversary.

Noting that the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, whom the Prime Minister has often referred to as an inspiration to him, is observed as National Youth Day, he asked the party leaders to “work overtime” to spread his vision and connect youth with the BJP, sources said.

Gazette standard

PM Narendra Modi, Amit Shah ignoring ‘indecorous’ remarks against Dalits: Mayawati Gazette



On the notion that the BSP had developed friendly ties with the BJP, she accused the Samajwadi Party of spreading “false rumours” that her party would join hands with the saffron party. “There is a marked difference in what the Modi government practices and preaches”, she said in remarks which are seen as an attempt to consolidate the Dalit-Muslim vote ahead of Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh in 2017. “As far as my party’s view is concerned, commenting on the case will not be appropriate as of now because the matter is sub-judice”, she said while speaking to reporters outside the Parliament here. Neither with BJP nor Congress. However, there is no doubt that even the state capital is talking about Mayawati these days as the possible counter to the BJP when elections are held. People of Uttar Pradesh want change as the situation is not good there, she added. She claimed that the atrocities against the Dalits, tribals, Muslims had gone up since the BJP came to power at the centre and the states. On V K Singh issue, she said, “We have already demanded resignation of Singh before the commencement of the session”. “I don’t think the government is going to take any action against Singh”. But dalits did not get any justice. Mayawati compared the BJP and the Congress with,”it is now hard to the believe that the present government will do something different from the Congress regime to help the common man from burning issues the nation is facing…it is a bitter truth that such a communal mindset was displayed when the Prime Minister made an anti-Muslim remark on 2002 Gujarat riots in an interview ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls”.

The hindu

City celebrates books across genres


The reading pattern of the city seems as heterogeneous as its population, going by the response to the ongoing Kochi International Book Festival.

From the racy potboilers of Jeffrey Archer and Amish Tripathi and memoirs of enigmatic celebrities like the late Kamala Surayya to serious Dalit works, the city’s interests can hardly be confined to a specific genre.

Significantly, this edition of the book festival has witnessed a revival of interest in Dalit literature and caste-related works. “This can be attributed to the nation-wide churning owing to heinous crimes against the Dalits and communal venom spewed by right-wing fringe elements,” said T. Jayachandran, proprietor of CICC Books.

Books like Swathantra Samudayam by E. Madhavan, a critical work on reservation, first published in 1934 and banned by the erstwhile Travancore and Malabar governments have found many takers on its return after years of obscurity.

Similarly, the History of Hindu Imperialism , authored by Swami Dharmatheertha Maharaj way back in 1941 on how Hinduism has been hijacked by upper castes, has also evoked interest in the present national context.

Among the most sought after titles by fiction aficionados is Harper Lee’s new novel Go Set a Watchman .

“The interest is natural as it comes more than five decades after the author’s path-breaking work, To Kill a Mocking Bird ,” said Abdul Latheef, who has set up a stall of his used books shop, Blossom, at the festival.

Manushyanu Oru Aamukham , an award-winning work by Subhash Chandran and Aadujeevitham by Benyamin top the list when it comes to popular Malayalam fiction. Thanks to the Prithviraj blockbuster Ennu Ninte Moideen , there is a revived interest in the book, Moideenum Kanchanamalayum .

The Love Queen of Malabar , a book by award-winning Canadian author Merrily Weisbord on her long-time friendship with the late Kalama Surayya, and its Malayalam translation are much sought after.

Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Dairy of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, the Scion of Ikshvaku , a fantasy work by Siva Trilogy-fame Amish Tripathi, Make India Awesome , a collection of essays by Chetan Bhagat, are among the other popular titles.

Then there are those works that have withstood the test of time: R.K. Narayanan’s Malgudi Days and M.T. Vasudevan’s works being shining examples.

The Kashmir monitor

The History and Future of a Demolition without End


The destruction of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 was not merely an instance of state-sponsored lawlessness. Neither was it a momentary lapse in the enforcement of rule of law. While it is seen by many as just an episode or a trigger that unleashed forces of Hindu religious nationalism, it was, in fact, the culmination of a process that began in the 19thcentury. European modernity, orientalism, ideas of reform, restatements of society and religion were the ingredients that went into the making of an Indian nationalism in that century. It was just that: one idea of India rather than many ideas of India.

Out of a dazzling constellation of sects, doctrines, philosophical arguments, rites, rituals, practices, social realities, identities and differences, a unique entity called Hinduism was confected. Its central purpose was to be compatible and commensurate with the idea of sovereignty and the state.

In order to exist and to be legitimate, this version of Hinduism depended on certain affirmations. The first was its own centrality as religion and its salience as the core of national identity. In being so, it had to be modern, scientific and rational. Affirmation of caste was the second element. It resurrected the ideal of the cerebral Brahmin as the repository of culture and tradition. But it also celebrated the ideal of the Kshatriya as the embodiment of force, violence and masculinity in the service of maintaining order, stability, and justice. The Kshatriya was no longer just the dispenser of punishment, waging just war: he held independent charge of the instruments of violence and retributive justice. Early Indologists and orientalists contributed to this effort. Texts and scriptures were often quoted out of context in the belief that texts scientifically and empirically reflected the social and historical reality in India.

A third element in constructing the Hindu self-image appears at first to be a contradiction of the previous two elements, but was, indeed, a legitimising device for the new Hinduism that was taking shape. This was the myth of the mild, peaceful, soft, otherworldly, non-materialistic, tolerant, and all-embracing Hindu.

In constructing this shared myth, two processes were at play. A subtle internalisation of the caricature of Muslim identity was the first of these elements. From the 18th century onwards, the caricature of Muslims portrayed them as religious zealots, with the Qur’an in one hand and sword in the other, exhibiting a fierce theocratic unity and religious fervour, but, more importantly, as a people ready to die for their religion and nation. Nineteenth century restatements of Hinduism were bewitched and mesmerised by their own caricature of the Muslim. This view has had an unusual longevity; hence in its 20th century formulation, it could still impel V.D. Savarkar to exult that this religious unity and fervour made the Muslims ‘irresistible’. While part of this caricature was absorbed for the sake of fabricating the ‘new’ Hinduism, the Muslim also had to be distanced. Temple destruction was one such element that went into the process of demonising the Muslims. Despite this, another view of the Muslims as sensuous, lascivious, indolent – Bankim’s bearded, opium-eating degenerates – existed side by side and was used when convenient, often in conjunction with the first (as in the modern Hindutva myth of ‘love jihad’ and its earlier variants)

The shared myth of the mild, soft, peaceful, reasonable and tolerant Hindu also helps in escaping any serious discussion of the excesses of caste. While many nationalist thinkers expressed pious sentiments regarding the plight of the Dalits, they did little to alter the primacy of the upper castes or the social structures that supported caste oppression. Symbolic gestures were offered periodically but every single one of these were geared towards bringing about a preconceived, elite-driven Hindu unity for the sake of the nation. Not only did the shared myth help in muting any serious discussion of caste, but it also attempted to whitewash violent and invective-ridden antagonisms between Hindu religious sects.

Indian nationalism and the modern Indian state were crafted out of these affirmations. In a deft and effortless move, the word ‘Indian’ replaced the word ’Hindu’. After 1947, while Indians were formally citizens governed by a constitution, there was an unspoken understanding among many (within both the Congress and the sangh parivar) that ‘we’ were governed by a pre-political and pre-social unity that transcended the Constitution and the rule of law. The conflict with democracy and its institutions dates back to 1947 and is not something that is a recent development. This is how the conflict unfolded.

Democracy and its institutions sought to convert the shared myths of the Hindus into reality. It was no longer a question of self-image or self-identity. The concept of citizenship meant the Hindu had to be mild, soft, reasonable and tolerant and submit to the rule of law. The cerebral Brahmin had to admit to other versions of tradition and culture. The Kshatriya could no longer possess the instruments of violence, punishment and retributive justice. The Constitution spoke of equality before law, unmindful of caste, class, gender or religion. This inaugurated a slow but steady distrust in the institutions of democracy while retaining a ritualistic faith in elections as a means of conferring legitimacy on the central tenets of the shared myth. The demolition of the Babri Masjid was the unshackling of this impulse and an attempt to reappropriate the instruments of violence.

The Mandal movement went a long way towards disturbing this pre-political and pre-social consensus. The Dalits, more than any other section of Indian society, have a greater stake in the promises and hopes the Indian Constitution offers. It offers, above all, radical equality, if only on paper. The various ‘Backward Class’ and Dalit movements – and their growing resurgence – also give a lie to the myth of Hindu unity and a chimerical Hindu vote bank.

The elections of 2014 and the emergence of a BJP majority in Parliament has only consolidated the process that started in the 19th century. While there is much to cheer from the election results in Bihar, three major trends have emerged from 2014.

There is, firstly, a move to ensure that the ‘nation’ takes over the state. The ’nation’ is often defined in terms of numbers, but also tradition and culture. The simple formula is that whoever wins a majority in parliament represents the ’nation’ – the mandate, in other words, is the ’nation’. This ’nation’ is arbitrary, wilful, intolerant and aggressive. It is above principles and legal niceties.

The second trend is of greater significance. It lies in the realisation that not only Hindutva but the 19th century version of Hinduism can only exist with the help of the state. For the mild, soft, tolerant, reasonable and peaceful Hindu to survive, the state has to ensure that differences be eliminated in the name of unity, that plurality be eliminated in the name of the survival of a scientific and rational Hinduism. The enemies of this state-supported Hinduism could be the folk and the tribal traditions, the Dalits, the Muslims and all forms of free expression.

Given the contestations within the democratic framework, where elections can be lost on grounds of mis-governance and non-governance, a neutral space for the ’new’ Hinduism to survive had to be found. This space had to be modern, technologically savvy, and scientific. But it also had to divorce governance from its details, reducible to technocratic and managerial solutions. The exhortation is to look at the larger picture, one that invariably excludes the poor, and involves atrocities on Dalits, women and minorities. It is a space that systematically represses alternative views, dissent and ideology, branding them dirty and manufactured. Politics itself had to be neutralised: it has to be reduced to throwing up a majority in the service of order and stability. The public space is to be sanitised from all enemies of stability and order, even if they are Indian citizens: they have choices now of either going to Pakistan or being branded terrorists or anti-national.

This neutral space is the zone of progress and ‘vikas’, or development. It envelops the traditional upper castes, and also upper classes and corporates. But its formal logic and appeal also includes farmers, Dalits, women and minorities. It is today’s version of the 19th century ideal of making Hindu men more manly. Married to the rhetoric of nationalism, progress and development is all about the physical and economic muscle of the ’nation’. Here, GDP figures replace principles and basic freedoms. The ideal of India as an economic superpower, encashing its quiet, supine, uncomplaining, orderly and disciplined demographic dividend is the 21st century culmination of the myth of the mild, soft, reasonable, peaceful, otherworldly and non-materialistic Hindu. In the 19th century, this myth was created to serve the demands of sovereignty and the state. It fares no better in our century

International business times

Concerns over India intolerance, rape and Narendra Modi’s cabinet raised in UK Parliament


British MPs raised the issue of human rights and intolerance in India in UK Parliament on 7 December. Lord Harries of Pentregarth was the first to raise the concern, after which a number of other MPs contributed their concerns to the discussion.

Lord Harries noted the “human rights situation is extremely worrying” in India and placed emphasis on abuses against minority groups such as the Dalits. Other MPs voiced their concerns over rape in the country, while Lord Singh of Wimbledon called on the UK government to ensure that human rights is respected everywhere, “without considerations of trade”.

“Every week 13 Dalits are murdered and five have had their homes burned, and every day three Dalit women are raped,” said Lord Harries. “While legal mechanisms are in place, their enforcement and implementation are weak or non-existence. Will Her Majesty’s Government encourage the Indian authorities to strengthen the whole legal justice system so that perpetrators are charged and brought to justice?”

The discussion in Parliament came weeks after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the UK. Modi faced widespread protests from the British-Indian community during his time in London as thousands took to the street to raise their voices about intolerance in India.

Minister of State Baroness Anelay responded to the questions raised in Parliament, noting India faces “numerous challenges” because of its size and social and economic development. She said David Cameron has raised the issue of intolerance with Modi and welcomed the Indian prime minister’s speech at Wembley Stadium, during which the Baroness said he displayed a “commitment to human rights”.

However, Lord Singh dismissed Modi’s speech as a sign of commitment, saying: “Reference to respect for human rights in a constitution does not necessarily guarantee those human rights, and there has been disturbing evidence of discrimination in particular against the Christian and Muslim communities since the coming in of Mr Modi’s government.”

When asked whether the UK government agreed that human rights should be respected without “considerations of trade”, the minister of state replied: “We never allow issues about our economic relationship to get in the way of upholding international law.”

Baroness Morgan of Ely and Shadow Spokesperson for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs raised the issue of “escalation in the number of rapes” in India. She also cited “several allegations made against ministers in the Modi cabinet against whom criminal cases are pending” and questioned whether Cameron had raised the issue of violence against women with Modi.

Baroness Anelay replied that a “wide range of human rights issues” had been discussed between the two prime ministers in November.

Web india 123

Teacher held for sexually abusing a minor Dalit girl


A school teacher was today assaulted by the villagers and later arrested by the police for sexually abusing a dalit minor girl.

According to police sources, a class IV girl student of Dighi primary school under seaside Iswarpur gram panchayat of Rajnagar police station was sexually abused by one Sudhir Kumar Jena, the assistant teacher, of the said school.

The school teacher asked her to come to the first floor of the school after luring her to provide notepad and pen. When she went to the first floor of the school, the teacher sexually abused her and threatened not to disclose the matter to anybody else she would face the consequences.

The mother of the victim girl lodged an FIR at Rajnagar police station and also informed the matter to the headmistress of the school, locals and SHG group members.

The locals and the SHG group members

today went to the school and assaulted the accused teacher and confined him in a class room by locking the door from outside.

The police on being informed about the incident, rushed to the spot and rescued the accused teacher from the wrath of the locals. A case under Section 376(2)(ii) of IPC, Section 4,8 of POCSO Act, 2012 and 3 SC & ST PA Act was filed against the teacher and he was arrested by the police.

Both the victim girl student and the accused teacher were later sent for medical examination to district head quarter hospital, according to the DSP (headquarter) of Kendrpara S N Das.UNI XC-DP AKM SHS RJ NS2305

— (UNI) — C-1-DL0213-477331.Xml 1234

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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