8-year-old Dalit girl raped in Muzaffarnagar – The Times Of India
Caste oppression may be key issue – The Hindu
17 years after feud over 5 kilos of rice, warring sides want peace – Gulf Times
PM inaugurates National Conference of Dalit Entrepreneurs – Business Standard
‘Stop harassment of Dalit families’ – The Hindu
The Times Of India
8-year-old Dalit girl raped in Muzaffarnagar
Uday Rana | TNN | Dec 28, 2015, 06.29 PM IST
MEERUT: An eight-year-old Dalit girl was raped by a 27-year-old man in Muzaffarnagar’s Barwala village on late Sunday night. The accused has been arrested in the case.
“The accused Anis (who only goes by his first name) is a neighbor of the girl. He lured her and took her to a nearby sugarcane field. That is where he committed the ghastly act. He raped her and left her there in an unconscious state. The incident took place on Sunday night. A short while after the incident, local villagers saw the girl lying in the field in an unconscious state. They informed the girl’s parents, who filed a case on Monday morning. The girl was sent for a medical examination and it was confirmed that she had been raped,” said inspector SP Gautam, station officer at Shahpur police station.
The accused was booked under section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). “We immediately booked him under section 376 of the IPC. We also took him into custody and have sent him to jail as well,” the inspector added.
Caste oppression may be key issue
Only economic empowerment will make you equal: Yechury
Issues of caste oppression may be addressed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) as a priority area in future, with its draft resolution introduced by general secretary Sitaram Yechury at the ongoing party Plenum here identifying “social oppression” as a key area.
The draft resolution calls “economic exploitation” and “social oppression” as “the two feet upon which stands the advance of class struggles in India.”
The areas of social oppression identified are gender oppression, and discrimination against Dalits, tribals, the disabled and religious minorities. Mr. Yechury said that a red flag should flutter atop every village well, a reference to the restrictions on Dalits’ rights to draw water from public wells in rural India.
He recalled that in IIT-Madras, a study circle on B.R. Ambedkar had been sought to be prohibited. “In such institutes, where there is no student politics, the CPI(M) has to reach out to students at their residential quarters,” he said, underlining the need to suit traditional left politics to the changing context of professional higher education.
Left parties are believed to have addressed the caste question, which became a defining feature of politics in the last two decades in parts of India, somewhat late in the day.
Mr. Yechury, however, insisted this wasn’t so. However, he sought to underline the specificity of the approach of the left movement – in decline at present – at addressing caste. “Caste discrimination in the final analysis can be overcome only when economic empowerment of the sections is guaranteed,” he said, in answer to a question. “Our stress was more on economic factors and empowerment.”
This comes at a time when caste-based parties have, at least in north India, deprived the Left of a potential base among the poor, who have been mobilised around caste by parties like the BSP.
“Give them land ownership, as we did in West Bengal,” Mr. Yechury said. “You had Jyotiba Phule, Dr. Ambedkar and Periyar – people who could command influence among crores of Dalits. Why is the status of Dalits and tribals the same despite this? Change in heart will not make you equal. Changing the economic empowerment will make you equal.” He pointed to the fact that Dalits represented just four-per cent of Class-I officers in India.
As for the minorities’ question, Mr. Yechury claimed that the RSS was communalising society by “replacing Indian history with Hindu mythology and Indian philosophy with Hindu theology.” He said that the Sangh, “totally devoid of any historians of worth…,” was doing this with state patronage.
17 years after feud over 5 kilos of rice, warring sides want peace
Villagers in Bihar say they have lost prime of their life and now want to live in peace and harmony
Published: 17:12 December 28, 2015
Patna: This is quite like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brand of peace initiative.
Two decades after the theft of just five kilos of rice from a farmer’s granary in Bihar led to the killing of two villagers and the arrest of 280 others, the rival sides now want peace, unable to bear the agony of bitter hatred.
The warring sides are furious and frustrated at the way they have been making rounds of the court for the past 17 years, still awaiting judgement.
They say they have lost prime of their life and now want to live in peace and harmony, forgetting the bitter past.
It all happened in February 1998 when a bloody feud erupted between two groups in Pasaur village, Bhojpur district, after Veera Musahar, a man from Dalit community, was beaten by a farmer, Ayodhaya Singh, for allegedly stealing the rice. Singh is a Rajput (a powerful upper caste).
The situation turned serious Musahar’s community members assaulted Singh’s nephew in retaliation.
Following a complaint by Singh, police launched a violent crackdown to arrest the attackers, beating them with batons and kicking whoever came their way.
The infuriated Dalit villagers threw stones at the police and got their people released from police custody.
The subsequent firing by the police on the unruly mob later led to the killing of two Dalit villagers. The police also registered cases against 115 Dalit villagers. However, the Musahar side alleges about 51 Dalit villagers died due police atrocities or other reasons since the trial began.
They registered a case against the police and the farmer’s family members. During the course of the trial at the Ara district civil court, some 250 people went to jail but the case is yet to reach a final conclusion.
While the farmer’s side allegedly put pressure on the police and hired top class advocates, the Dalit villagers boycotted work on the farmer’s fields. With this, Singh’s farmland remained barren for decades, eventually leaving him in utter penury.
Tired of making frequent rounds of the court over the stolen rice, which costs just Rs100, the weary villagers now want to live in peace and begin life afresh.
“I want to live in peace and harmony in the rest part of my life,” said farmer Ayodhaya Singh.
“After the incident, all Dalits and labourers boycotted working on may farms. As no crops grew in my farmland for close to 10 years, this left us in utter penury. We somehow managed to survive doing farm work on our own. Even the Dalit children did not want to talk to us. It was so horrible,” he added.
The accused Dalit has similar opinion.
“I shudder at the mere thought of that incident. I had never thought that a small mistake on my part would make my family and other villagers pay such a heavy price. I remained in jail for years and can’t think of committing this mistake again in my life. I want to leave in peace,” Veera Musahar said.
PM inaugurates National Conference of Dalit Entrepreneurs
Delhi December 29, 2015 Last Updated at 14:20 IST
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today inaugurated the National Conference of Dalit Entrepreneurs at Vigyan Bhawan, organized by the Dalit Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) in New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister recalled one of his “Mann Ki Baat” programmes, where he had exhorted people to talk not just about their rights, but also about their duties. The Prime Minister said that this gathering of Dalit Entrepreneurs is one which has not just talked about their duties, but has successfully fulfilled duties.
Paying tribute to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, the Prime Minister said that while Dr. Ambedkar is widely hailed as the architect of our Constitution, he was also a great economist. He spoke of Dr. Ambedkar’s vision of industrialization in India, saying that Dalits, who had no land of their own, could only progress through industrialization.
The Prime Minister said financial inclusion is at the core of the Union Government’s focus, which is to create job-creators, not job-seekers. In this context, he mentioned the loans being given under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. He also mentioned the Venture Capital Fund for First Generation Entrepreneurs.