Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 06.01.16

Village Tense After Dalit Funeral Rally Stopped – The new Indian express


Assault on dalit woman: Accused Cong leader tries suicide, serious – The times of india


Rape survivor’s family flees village after ‘threats’ – Nyoooz


Rahul Gandhi is losing BR Ambedkar’s legacy to Narendra Modi – The economic times


Dalits protest non-allocation of land – The hindu


Protesters in no mood to give in – Nyoooz



The new Indian express

Village Tense After Dalit Funeral Rally Stopped


VILLUPURAM:  The air is tense in Sankarapuram in Villupuram district since Sunday, after caste Hindus prevented Dalits from taking a funeral procession through the public road when a pooja was on at a local temple. Though the local police acted swift and stern to ensure that the funeral took place without any incident, the tension is palpable in the neighbourhood.

Incidentally, Seshasamudram village where caste Hindus and Dalits clashed few months ago over a temple car procession is in the same taluk.

According to sources,  Sengan (80) of Melapattu Colony area near Sankarapuram died on Sunday morning. He has been staying in his house near the farmland along with his wife Arayi and three sons, Vandikaran, Sadaiyan and Murugesan.

Citing a shakthi pooja that Melmaravathur devotees from the village had planned, the caste Hindus in the neighbourhood said they would not allow the funeral procession pass through the road, the only access way to reach the cemetery, and asked his sons to bury him in the land near their farm.

Though they agreed initially, Sengan’s sons took the body to the cemetery as a procession in the evening. But when they tried to enter the road where the pooja was ongoing, caste Hindus stopped the procession and said they will not allow them to proceed further.

Tension prevailed when the relatives of the deceased insisted that they would take the body through that road.

After receiving the alert about the situation growing tense, local police from Sankarapuram rushed to the spot and tried to pacify both parties. However, both sides stuck to their stands.

In the meanwhile, Tirukoilur DSP R Geetha who reached there talked to the representatives of Dalit and caste Hindu communities. She warned that it was an offence to stop the funeral procession, and asked the caste Hindu villagers to allow it to pass. She also talked tough to the leaders of the Dalit community, warning them not to create any trouble.

Finally, they agreed to stop the pooja for a while when the funeral procession passed through to reach the cemetery with police protection.

However, speaking to Express, DSP Geetha downplayed the incident, maintaining that this was not a caste issue. “A few persons under the influence of liquor have created the issue, but they have gone quiet after the police warned them strictly. Then the procession went on the usual road and reached the cemetery where the funeral took place without any incident,” she said. She noted that there never were such caste tensions in the village in the past.

Police have been deployed in the area.

The times of india

Assault on dalit woman: Accused Cong leader tries suicide, serious


 Mansa: The case of a Dalit pregnant woman being allegedly beaten up at a village in Mansa took a curious turn on Tuesday after Khushwinder Singh alias Kaka, a Congress leader booked for the assault, consumed pesticide.

He has been admitted to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, and his condition is stated to be serious. Before drinking the pesticide, Kaka wrote a suicide note in which he blamed police and members of Dalit organisation Mazdoor Mukti Morcha for his taking the step. Kaka and four others, including two women, were booked last week for allegedly beating up a Dalit woman who was seven months pregnant.

Police are yet to register a case in connection with the attempted suicide. Bhikhi station house officer Jasbir Singh said as per information, Kaka had gone to his sister’s village, Dialpura, where he took the step. He said police were looking into the matter.


Rape survivor’s family flees village after ‘threats’


Summary: There are 100 dalit families in the village but even they have distanced themselves from the rape survivor’s family fear villagers’ wrath. She returned home at around 3am on December 26 and lodged a complaint against two persons Hitesh and Umesh. “Three days after we lodged the complaint of rape, Jakhda threatened to demolish my house. We searched for her till late night and then lodged a complaint of kidnapping. “Vadli has a population of around 4,000 and is dominated by Kathi Darbar, which is traditionally a powerful community in the region.

RAJKOT: Family members of an 18-year-old dalit girl who was allegedly raped by a 29-year-old man have fled their native village in Amreli district after being threatened with dire consequences by the accused’s kin.As many as 22 members of the family of farm labourers, including the survivor’s paralytic father, are camping outside Amreli district collectorate since January 1.The girl was allegedly kidnapped and raped by Vadli village on December 25. She returned home at around 3am on December 26 and lodged a complaint against two persons Hitesh and Umesh.”They kidnapped my daughter in front of my eyes and raped her.

We searched for her till late night and then lodged a complaint of kidnapping.

At 3am on that night, she returned home shaken and told us her trauma. She lodged an FIR and named Hitesh and Umesh but police named only Hitesh in the FIR,” the survivor’s father told TOI.B G Bharvad, deputy superintendent of police (SC/ST Cell), Amreli, said they arrested the accused Hitesh Kathi on December 31. Bharvad told TOI that the investigation has revealed that there was only one accused.Rajula police has also lodged a complaint of criminal intimidation against the accused’s relative Raning Jakhda, who was named by the girl’s father for threatening the family with dire consequences.”Three days after we lodged the complaint of rape, Jakhda threatened to demolish my house.

The economic times

Rahul Gandhi is losing BR Ambedkar’s legacy to Narendra Modi


Indian business has long been represented by Ficci (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry). The new kid on the block is Dicci – the Dalit Industrial Chambers of Commerce and Industry. It boasts of nearly 4,000 members, heralding the new era of Dalit businessman. This represents a social and economic revolution.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a Dicci meeting of over 1,000 Dalit entrepreneurs. Modi said he would like to double the number of Dalit entrepreneurs in two years through access to the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), which gives loans of up to  Rs 10 lakh to small businesses. He said BR Ambedkar rightly understood that empowerment required Dalits to break traditional occupational bonds and become businessmen in their own right. Modi urged Dalits to reach for the sky, stand tall and become job-givers instead of being just job-seekers.

The media paid little attention to this event, and so missed a political transition in the making. Since Independence, the Congress has viewed Dalits as its own vote bank, and claimed to further the interests of this caste through job and educational reservations. Its current platform is to extend these reservations to Dalit Muslims and Christians. For the Congress, Dalit voters are poor people in desperate need of subsidies, freebies and reservations.

Not Only a Vote Bank

Given this approach, it is no surprise that Rahul Gandhi never agreed to address or embrace Dicci, even when this was suggested by some advisors. The Congress was not comfortable with the idea of Dalits becoming millionaires. It preferred to see them as objects of pity, not objects of envy. It preferred to proclaim that its heart lay with poor Dalits, rather than celebrate with those that had crashed through income barriers and become the ‘suited-booted’ types that Rahul Gandhi rails against in the fond but mistaken belief that this will yield votes. It is another matter that Congressmen themselves are mostly multimillionaires in khadi, brimming with ill-gotten riches.

BSP leader Mayawati was able to make major inroads into the Congress claim to represent Dalit interests. So did, to a much lesser extent, Ram Vilas Paswan in Bihar. But now we have Modi aiming to win a chunk of the Dalit vote by appropriating the legacy of Ambedkar.

Ambedkar had a socialist streak, but also wrote of the perils of stifling government controls and the need for globalisation and private enterprise. Modi is able to grasp and capitalise on this second aspect of Ambedkar, which Rahul Gandhi seems incapable of or uninterested in doing.

Modi’s electoral strategy has been to go beyond Congress povertarianism, and kindle the hopes and aspirations of those who want to soar, not just receive freebies and quotas. Dalit entrepreneurs represent the new class of aspiring Indians who fit into Modi’s aspirational vision like a glove. No wonder Modi grasps the importance of empathising with Dicci, something Rahul Gandhi cannot.

Many politicians and academics are unwilling to see the rise of Dicci as a revolutionary event, and prefer to focus on continuing caste discrimination. At the Times Literary Festival in Delhi in November, there was a discussion of the book Defying the Odds by Devesh Kapur and two Dalit academics, Chandra Bhan Prasad and Shyam Babu. The book provided heart-warming stories of Dalit entrepreneurs who had battled against odds to make it to the top.

Pride Against Prejudice

The two Dalit academics at the Litfest saw this as a revolutionary breakthrough. One of them had been a Maoist revolutionary in his youth, but now saw capitalism as the most revolutionary force of all that had earlier smashed feudalism in Europe and was now smashing casteism in India. A contrary view came from academic Surinder Jodhka, who preferred to highlight the many tribulations that Dalits were still subject to, and the growing gap between lower and upper castes.

Jodhka said that through history, a few Dalits had repeatedly made it to the top. Many great Maratha kings were in fact Dalits. Even Maharaja Ranjit Singh, he said, came from a caste that would be classified as Dalit. Caste barriers did not prevent a handful of talented Dalits from becoming soldiers and hacking their way to the establishment of kingdoms and empires.

It was another matter, said Jodhka, that after conquering with the sword, these Dalits kings underwent ceremonies to give themselves Kshatriya or Rajput status. The success of these Dalit kings did nothing for the oppressed Dalit masses, and could not be celebrated as Dalit uplift. For the same reason, Jodhka said, he did not celebrate the rise of Dalit millionaires as a breakthrough.

I think Jodhka is dead wrong. The Baroda Gaekwads and Ranjit Singhs of yore were ashamed of their caste ancestry, and did their best to cloak it. By contrast, Dicci boasts with pride of its Dalit ancestry. The Maratha and Sikh Dalits who become kings did not create a Dalit Chamber of Princes to rival the Indian Chamber of Princes. But Dalit businessmen have done almost exactly this. That is a revolution that Modi can see and Rahul Gandhi cannot. It will have electoral consequences.

The hindu

Dalits protest non-allocation of land


Sixty-eight families from Kuravakudi panchayat near Usilampatti, along with members of Samam Kudimakkal Iyakkam, a Madurai-based NGO, staged a protest in Anna Nagar on Monday, condemning the non-allocation of land by the district administration despite issuing the patta 16 years ago.

Displaying the relevant documents, the families said that they were together allocated 1.26 acres of land by the Department of Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare in 1999 but were never able to occupy the land as the ownership was claimed by a non-Dalit family from the same village.

“We have filed repeated petitions to the government authorities over the years and staged protests. However, no step has been taken so far,” said P Selvam, belonging to one of the families.

  1. J. Rajan, State president of Samam Kudimakkal Iyakkam, said that all the 68 families, like other Dalit families in the village, were landless labourers. “How can a private person claim ownership to a land measured and allocated by the Revenue department,” he questioned.

“Even as the matter is in court, the non-Dalit family forged revenue documents to claim ownership to the land,” he alleged. He said that a case had been registered against two persons of the family at the Valandur police station in this regard for alleged cheating. A police official said that while the Dalit families were indeed allocated the land by the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare department but the non-Dalit family had complicated the issue by approaching the court claiming that the land was taken over from it by the government without following due process.

When contacted, a revenue official said they were awaiting the judgment of the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court.


Protesters in no mood to give in


Summary: But, four months later, the tents have swelled in numbers to almost 500 and the protesters under the leadership of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Ambedkar Democratic Party of India are in no mood to give in. Divisions had cropped up between the protesters here and a new group had emerged claiming leadership. More homeless Dalit families from the suburbs of the city have come here in recent days to set up tents. “We have decided to stay here till the Corporation authorities took a decision regarding the housing project. But the residents have asked them to wait till their protest leaders came back from custody.

Tents at Mannammoola site grows in number In the fag end of August last year, when a few families started setting up makeshift tents on 2 acres of land owned by the city Corporation at Mannammoola, protesting against the delay in executing a housing project here for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, it was seen as a feeble protest movement which would fizzle out in a few days. But, four months later, the tents have swelled in numbers to almost 500 and the protesters under the leadership of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Ambedkar Democratic Party of India are in no mood to give in. A small petty shop at the entry point of the plot and two public toilets inside have come up in recent months. After being ignored for months, the protest was back in the spotlight in mid-December when clashes were reported here. Divisions had cropped up between the protesters here and a new group had emerged claiming leadership.

According to the people here, on December 17, the rival group came and attacked the settlement with stones. In the ensuing fights, a few from both sides sustained injuries. According to them, S. Babu, a daily wage worker from Uzhamalakkal, who passed away 10 days later at the Medical College Hospital here, died allegedly because of an injury during the fight.

 ET small biz

Maharashtra to launch incentives for Dalit businessmen by January-end

MUMBAI: Dalit entrepreneurs in the state will soon get incentives to launch projects as part of the Maharashtra government’s outreach to encourage Dalits to set up more businesses here.

The state Cabinet is likely to clear a proposal by month-end which envisages a number of sops to encourage these entrepreneurs.

The sops may include preferential allotment of MIDC land and funds to set up businesses. According to state government officials, under the new policy, every integr ..

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET

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