Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 04.01.16

When shadow of caste looms on vote – the tribune

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/when-shadow-of-caste-looms-on-vote/178918.html

Ayanavaram Murder Case: Prime Suspect Among Six Arrested – The new Indian express

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/Ayanavaram-Murder-Case-Prime-Suspect-Among-Six-Arrested/2016/01/04/article3210279.ece

Funds aplenty, but works yet to take off – The hans india

http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/2016-01-04/Funds-aplenty-but-works-yet-to-take-off-197761

Four booked under SC/ST act – The hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/four-booked-under-scst-act/article8063743.ece

For those who live by the word – The hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/for-those-who-live-by-the-word/article8062345.ece

the tribune

When shadow of caste looms on vote

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/when-shadow-of-caste-looms-on-vote/178918.html

With panchayat elections slated for January 24 in Chushala village of the district, while campaigning is yet to kick off, tension between communities is already brewing and the polls have become a Jat versus non-Jat contest.

In a village where there are 3,200 Dalit voters, the members of the community claim to be living in morbid fear of the “upper caste”, who interfere with their right to cast votes in every election. When they meet at the Harijan chaupal of the village, this is the one worry they voice.

“We are never allowed to vote from our free will. The members of the upper castes decide who and where we will vote. This time, we have taken the matter to the SC commission. We have sought extra security and shifting our polling booths out of the pocket where the dominant caste calls the shots. We want our booths to be declared hypersensitive,” said Balraj speaking on behalf of those gathered at the chaupal.

Their grouse is that the votes of the Dalits have been scattered over various wards to deny them the right to elect their representative. “We want these votes consolidated so that we can send back our representative to the panchayat to voice our issues and concerns. Usually, the upper castes monopolise the panchayat and we seem to be nobody’s concern,” said Ram Mehar Singh, a Dalit.

Dhoop Singh, a labourer, who claims he was not allowed to cast his vote in the last election like many others, maintains that his community has never spoken about their fears since they are illiterate and weak.

The members of the community on condition of anonymity also admitted that they did not want to open a front with the upper castes by complaining since their houses run on the wages they earn from working in the former’s fields.

“We are happy with getting extra security till the polls are over. We don’t want to vitiate the atmosphere of the village by making too much noise since we are the ones who will be at the receiving end from the upper castes. They have everything going on for them and they know we are at their mercy. For one election and one vote, they will trouble us for the next five years. So the pressure on us is immense,” a village elder said.

They insisted that they had raised their fears to the members within the village, but had been ignored, forcing them to go to the commission this time.

However, the husband of a former sarpanch and now a candidate himself, Baldev Singh, said there was absolutely no division on caste lines in the village. “A few vested interests among the Dalits are inciting others who are being easily misled. We have no objection to the shifting of booths or to the deployment of extra force. However, we did not want a negative message of divisive politics to go out from the village. We would have accompanied the Dalits to the district authorities and asked them to accept their demands,” he said. “The Jat and non-Jat division will harm the social fabric of the village in times to come,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kaithal Deputy Commissioner Nikhil Gajraj said the administration would go all out to ensure that the interests of the Dalits were protected. “We will personally ensure that the booths are shifted to a building of their choice and we will deploy extra security as well. Their concerns will be addressed to their satisfaction,” he stated.

Rewari: 2 panchayats elected unopposed

Harchandpur and Kamaalpur villages of the district have elected their respective panchayats unopposed. The post of sarpanch has been reserved for a woman in both villages. The district recorded the most depressing sex ratio in the state during the first quarter of 2015. There were 776 women against 1,000 men. Sources said the district authorities had declared Harchandpur a sensitive village, but its residents set an example of social harmony and brotherhood by electing Kavita Devi as the sarpanch unopposed.  Seema, Anguri Devi, Seema, Sudesh, Manjit, Naresh and Hawa Singh have been elected panches unopposed. Of the seven panches, four are women. In all, six candidates had filed nominations for the post of sarpanch in Harchandpur that has 861 voters. The nomination papers of three candidates were rejected for not fulfilling the conditions while two others withdrew their names later, paving the way for Kavita Devi’s victory without a contest. In Kamaalpur, Nirmala has been elected sarpanch unopposed, while Ranbir, Abhay Singh, Dholi, Neelam, Resham and Jagat Kumar have been elected panches unopposed after persuading other candidates to withdraw their nominations. Four candidates had submitted their nominations for sarpanch. After the cancellation of nominations of two candidates on account of technical reasons, the contest was between Anju and Nirmala. Anju gave in to the elders’ request to give Nirmala a chance to be the sarpanch and withdrew her candidature. Kavita and Nirmala told the media they would focus on the development of their villages, besides motivating villagers for implementing the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme.         — Ravinder Saini

Karnal village an example of unity 

Karnal: Residents of Chakmuridka village in the district’s Assandh block elected the panchayat unopposed on Saturday, while Manchuri villagers elected the sarpanch unanimously. Returning Officer-cum-ADC Girish Arora lauded the Chakmuridka villagers and said their effort would strengthen the spirit of brotherhood. Meanwhile, 376 panches from several villages have been elected unanimously. For the remaining 54 posts of sarpanch (there are 56 posts of sarpanch in the district) and 223 posts of panch, 210 and 436 candidates are in fray, respectively. The elections are scheduled for January 10. The ADC asked the candidates to submit their elections expenditure within 30 days of the results otherwise the candidate would be barred from contesting for three years under the Haryana Panchayati Raj Expenditure Order, 1996.  — TNS

6 women elected sarpanch without contest 

Kaithal: Six women are among 12 sarpanches elected unanimously in Kaithal and Guhla blocks. In Guhla, woman sarpanches in Gobindpur, Ratta Khera, Buddanpur, Theh Butana and Khambakhera villages have been elected unanimously. In Kaithal, the sarpanch of Patti Manas village has been elected with a contest. Five panchayats in Guhla — Kheri Daban, Ratta Khera, Buddanpur, Sarakpur and Theh Butana — and two panchayts in Kaithal — Devi Garh and Ujhana — have been elected unanimously. Harsola, Devi Garh, Ujhana, Patti Manas and Bhanpura villages have elected their sarpanches unanimously. DC Nikhil Gajraj told the media for Kaithal panchayat samiti, members in four wards had been elected unanimously and 96 candidates were left in fray. In Guhla panchayat samiti, a member had been elected unanimously and 84 are left in fray.  — OC

Paper cancelled

Sonepat: After a few rounds of meetings, residents of Jharonth village have elected the panchayat unanimously. Kamlesh has been elected the sarpanch unopposed, while Ombir, Beena, Deepak, Neeraj, Sunil, Krishan, Naresh and Savita have been elected panches. The nomination of Surender Kaur from ward number 8, reserved for women, was cancelled as she did not meet the minimum education qualification criterion. The date of polling in this ward has not been decided. There are nine wards in the village. Residents of Jharonth, Jharonthi and Anandpur villages, meanwhile, unanimously elected Rajbir Dahiya as member of ward number 18 of the Block Samiti, Kharkhoda.

The new Indian express

Ayanavaram Murder Case: Prime Suspect Among Six Arrested

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/Ayanavaram-Murder-Case-Prime-Suspect-Among-Six-Arrested/2016/01/04/article3210279.ece

CHENNAI: The city police have arrested six persons including the prime suspect in connection with the murder of a 45-year-old man at Aynavaram.

Arivazhagan, a resident of Villivakam was the secretary of Puratchi Bharatham, a dalit oufit. He was murdered near the Slum Clearance Board at Aynavaram on Saturday.

According to police sources, last year the deceased had filed a complaint against Logu, a local rowdy for demanding ‘mamool’. Following this, Logu was put behind the bars under the Goondas Act.

To exact revenge, soon after Logu was released, he had plotted the murder of Arivalagan, who became the primary reason for his detention.

Since both were from the same locality, Logu with the help of his aides on Saturday murdered Arivazhagan, who was standing in front of his house using deadly weapons. Unable to survive the attack, he died at the spot.

Logu and his aides also attacked auto driver Devaraj (45), who did not their support theur attempt to flee the spot. Devaraj was admitted in Kilpauk Medical College Hospital for treatment.

“A manhunt was launched on Saturday night and based on tip-offs from the neighbourhood, Logu and his aides were arrested on Sunday and they have confessed that they murdered Arivalagan to exact vengeance him.”, told a police official who is investigating the case.

Fake Notes Seized

A cloth merchant from Andhra was arrested  on Sunday for allegedly trying to buy a train ticket with a counterfeit Rs 500 note at Egmore Railway Station. Fake notes with a face value of’ `85,000 were seized from him.

The accused Prabakhar Rao (48) from Vishakapatnam reached Chennai Egmore by Circar Express, Government Railway Police (GRP) sources said. He went to the booking counter to buy a ticket for Madurai with the fake note. However, he was turned down as the Booking Clerk at the counter found the currency note to be different.

The hans india

Funds aplenty, but works yet to take off

http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/2016-01-04/Funds-aplenty-but-works-yet-to-take-off-197761

Warangal: It has been five months since the Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao showered sops and accorded administrative sanction of Rs 10 crore for the development of Gangadevipally, a model village that became cynosure of all eyes across the world with its community-driven development, but the works are yet to gain momentum.

This is exactly the opposite of what the people of this model village were expecting especially when they had an assurance from none other than the Chief Minister, who is slated to visit Warangal on Monday.

The Chief Minister, who was here to launch Grama Jyothi programme on August 17, 2015, could not hide his surprise over the progress that the village had achieved on its own.

When the gram panchayat body urged him seeking Rs 7.28 crore for further development of the village, the Chief Minister was quick to react and announced Rs 10 crore. He then said, “The onus is on the villagers to show the development when I pay a visit to this village next year.” Keeping his word, Chandrashekar Rao gave administrative sanction of Rs 10 crore in a couple of days. Since then, there has been an inordinate delay over the commencement of works.

Internal and external link roads, bore-wells and a pipeline and construction of compound wall for a graveyard are prominent among 51 works proposed by the Gram Sabha. In addition to this, the government sanctioned three acres of land each to nine Dalit families, houses for 25 families, a residential school and a marriage hall.

Meanwhile, there was an effort to divert the surplus Rs 2.72 crore funds which are purely meant for the development of the village. It may be mentioned here that Chief Minister sanctioned Rs 10 crore though the proposals of the gram panchayat needed Rs 7.28 crore.

Sources in the administration said that surplus funds may be used to procure 27 acres for nine Dalit families and for the construction of houses to 25 homeless in the village. Speaking to The Hans India, Sarpanch Itta Shanthi said, “Apart from gravel work for internal roads which commenced three days ago, there is no major development work in the village.”

When asked about the progress of the works, local MLA (Parkal) Challa Dharma Reddy attributed it to model code of conduct due to the Lok Sabha by-poll and Council elections. Though funds were released, there was some delay also due to technical sanctions, he added, stating that tenders had been called for link and main road works worth Rs 2 crore.

“With land cost in the region anywhere between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 30 lakh per acre, the administration is facing difficulty in procuring the required land for Dalits,” the MLA said. Further, he said surplus funds would not be diverted for the purpose of procuring land and constructing houses.

Meanwhile, the developmental works at Medapalli and Rampur villages under Nallabelly mandal in Narsampet constituency are also yet to get underway. The Chief Minister announced Rs 5 crore for developmental works in both the villages on the same day he visited Gangadevipally.

The hindu

Four booked under SC/ST act

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/four-booked-under-scst-act/article8063743.ece

The police have booked four persons from Meenakshipuram near Melur under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act) for allegedly hurling casteist abuses against a Dalit and attacking him with a knife.

The issue allegedly broke out over the playing of ‘beep’’ song on Friday afternoon during the ongoing Margazhi month festival in the village.

The hindu

For those who live by the word

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/for-those-who-live-by-the-word/article8062345.ece

If December is the season of music and dance in Chennai, then January surely is the month when words reign supreme. Shortly after the New Year, the city welcomes The Hindu Lit For Life and its panoply of lectures, readings and panel discussions — all centred around the fascination with the word.

This year, as usual, the Pongal weekend will see authors, politicians, journalists, artists, filmmakers, theatre persons and others hold the city in thrall for three days. In fact The Hindu Lit For Life 2016 is dedicated to the city. In Cities Under Water, Dr. Saleem Beg, Prof. S. Janakarajan, Nityanand Jayaraman and Gopalkrishna Gandhi will discuss the impact of and lessons from the recent floods; while December Deluge and the Spirit of Chennai will feature the voices of people who played a role in helping the city get back on its feet.

Chennai’s link with the arts has not been forgotten. In Sing My Song, Chennai Carnatic singer Sanjay Subrahmanyam will talk about performance and creativity in a conversation with Dr. Nirmala Lakshman while R.B. Bhaskaran, S.G. Vasudev, N. Viswanadhan and A.S. Paneerselvam will talk about the Madras School of Art in Mapping the Madras Line. Star Trek: Following M.S. Subbulakshmi is a tribute to the legendary musician in her centenary year conceptualised by writer and playwright Gowri Ramnarayan.

The keynote address will be delivered by Omar Abdullah, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.

Apart from this, the festival brings to the city a number of renowned names: authors Colm Toibin, Philip Hensher, Alexander McCall Smith and Lionel Shriver, historians Ferdinand Mount and Rudrangshu Mukherjee, photographer Raghu Rai, artists Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh and Vivan Sundaram among others. Other popular and well-known names include Amish, Amitava Kumar, Amrita Narayanan, Anant Padmanabhan, Chitra Madhavan, Deepa Dhanraj, Kanishk Tharoor, Kannan Sundaram, Lavanya Mohan, Margaret Mascarenhas, Maria Reimondez, Nandini Krishnan, Pema Revathi, R.V. Ramani, Rajini Sarma Balachandran, Rubin D’ Cruz, Sadanand Menon, Sharan Apparao, Srilata K., Sushila Ravindranath, Tamizhachi Thangapandian, Upamanyu Chatterjee, Venkatesh Chakravarthy, Vinutha Mallya and Yousuf Saeed.

Audiences will also see the influence of major events — both global and Indian — in the line-up. War has been a huge feature in the news in 2015 and, in Fighting Words, Raghu Karnad, Susan Abulhawa and Shiv Kunal Verma exchange stories of war with Sashi Kumar.

The debate on religious intolerance gets a look in as Devdutt Pattanaik, Laila Tyabji and N. Ram talk about ‘The Uses and Abuses of Religion’. Avirook Sen, Tanvir Ahmed Mir and Geeta Ramaseshan focus on how the Aarushi murder case was handled. Shashi Tharoor will give a lecture on ‘India and the Networked World’ and also be a part of the panel discussion on ‘Making India Work’ along with A.S. Dulat, T.N. Ninan, Jayanthi Natarajan and N. Ram. Barkha Dutt will talk about India’s fault lines in This Unquiet Land .

Urbanisation and its impact is the subject of two sessions: ‘Dilemmas of Existence’, in which Lawrence Surendra, Navroz Mody and Neha Sumitran look at how human aspirations affect eco-system survival and Aham Puram , where award-winning Tamil writers Sa Kandasamy, S. Ramakrishnan, Prapanchan and D.I. Aravindhan talk about how this is reflected in Tamil literature.

Issues like addiction, gender sensitivity and caste also feature in the festival. Diya Sethi, Vidya Singh and Dr. Vijay Nagaswami will discuss ‘The Addict’; while ‘Coming Out’ features Sandip Roy, Living Smile Vidya, Philip Hensher and Manil Suri on what governments and society at large should do to make the world a more liberal space for those whose sexual persuasion and choice is not that of the majority’s. Thol. Thirumavalavan, Ravikumar, K.A. Gunasekaran and Justice K. Chandru will talk about Dalit aesthetics and identity.

Children’s writing finds a place too. While Shailaja Menon, Sujata Noronha, Anil Menon and Vidya Mani figure out what constitutes A Good Book for children; Paro Anand will focus on ‘Teens on Edge’.

In a session that is sure to resonate with the Chennai audience, Gopalkrishna Gandhi will be in conversation with A.R. Venkatachalapathy over The Kural while Tiruvarur Ganesh will render a few verses set to tune by Chitravina N. Ravikiran. Continuing with this theme of ancient works is the one on the poetry of Andal and Akkamahadevi, where Anita Ratnam, Arundhathi Subramaniam and Madhu Natraj discuss the ‘crazy’ words that drove away the taboos.

Last, but not the least, the festival will also see the awarding of The Hindu Prize 2015 on January 16. The shortlisted books are Odysseus Abroad by Amit Chaudhuri, Amitav Ghosh’s Flood of Fire , Anuradha Roy’s Sleeping on Jupiter , Easterine Kire’s When the River Sleeps , Janice Pariat’s Seahorse and Siddhartha Chowdhury’s The Patna Manual of Style . The panel of judges — K. Satchidanandan, Arshia Sattar, Antara Dev Sen, Susie Tharu and Pradeep Sebastian — will select the winner.

So what are you waiting for? Block your dates today!

From page 1

The debate on religious intolerance gets a look in as Devdutt Pattanaik, Laila Tyabji and N. Ram about The Uses and Abuses of Religion. Avirook Sen, Tanvir Ahmed Mir and Geeta Ramaseshan focus on how the Aarushi murder case was handled. Shashi Tharoor will give a lecture on India and the Networked World and also be a part of the panel discussion on Making India Work along with A.S. Dulat, T.N. Ninan, Jayanthi Natarajan and N. Ram. Barkha Dutt will talk about India’s fault lines in This Unquiet Land.

Urbanisation and its impact is the subject of two sessions: Dilemmas of Existence, in which Lawrence Surendra, Navroz Mody and Neha Sumitran look at how human aspirations affect eco-system survival and Aham Puram, where award-winning Tamil writers Sa Kandasamy, S. Ramakrishnan, Prapanchan and D.I. Aravindhan talk about how this is reflected in Tamil literature.

Issues like addiction, gender sensitivity and caste also feature in the festival. Diya Sethi, Vidya Singh and Dr. Vijay Nagaswami will discuss The Addict; while Coming Out features Sandip Roy, Living Smile Vidya, Philip Hensher and Manil Suri on what governments and society at large should do to make the world a more liberal space for those whose sexual persuasion and choice is not that of the majority’s. Thol. Thirumavalavan, Ravikumar, K.A. Gunasekaran and Justice K. Chandru will talk about Dalit aesthetics and identity.

Children’s writing hasn’t been forgotten either. While Shailaja Menon, Sujata Noronha, Anil Menon and Vidya Mani figure out what constitutes A Good Book for children; Paro Anand will focus on Teens on Edge.

In a session that is sure to resonate with the Chennai audience, Gopalkrishna Gandhi will be in conversation with A.R. Venkatachalapathy over The Kural while Tiruvarur Ganesh will render a few verses set to tune by Chitravina N. Ravikiran. Continuing with this theme of ancient works is the one on the poetry of Andal and Akkamahadevi, where Anita Ratnam, Arundhathi Subramaniam and Madhu Natraj discuss the ‘crazy’ words that drove away the taboos.

Last, but not the least, the festival will also see the awarding of The Hindu Prize 2015 on January 16. The shortlisted books are Odysseus Abroad by Amit Chaudhuri, Amitav Ghosh’s Flood of Fire , Anuradha Roy’s Sleeping on Jupiter , Easterine Kire’s When the River Sleeps , Janice Pariat’s Seahorse and Siddhartha Chowdhury’s The Patna Manual of Style . The panel of judges — K. Satchidanandan, Arshia Sattar, Antara Dev Sen, Susie Tharu and Pradeep Sebastian — will select the winner.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET

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