Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 13.01.16

Defeated Rajput takes on DalitsThe Tribune


Dalits seek justice for rape survivor – The Times Of India


Houses demolished in Sagar village, dalits take shelter near police station – The Times Of India


Banned from temples, this Hindu sect has still found a way to worship Lord Ram – DNA


‘Anti-quota’ observations: Dalitshonour 3 MPs, ex-minister for their stand against HC judge – The Indian Express


India’s “lowest caste never does any hard work”, are “easy lot”, as to ploughing “they never do”: Vivekananda – Counterview


Will delete word ‘eunuchs’ from police Act: State – The Hindu



The Tribune

Defeated Rajput takes on Dalits


Sat SinghTribune News ServiceBhiwani, January 12

Members of the Dalit community have to bear the brunt of the defeat of a Rajput candidate in the panchayat elections at Kharak village in the district. The defeated candidate blamed the Dalits for his loss.

“Our electricity lines have been snapped. Our children and women are being chased when they go to attend the nature’s call in fields. Supporters of the candidate use derogatory and casteist remarks against us for his loss,” said PawanLangyan, a Dalit from Kharak village.

Dalits said supporters of Narender Rajput uprooted their electricity poles and spread obstacles on the way to their houses after the result was declared on Sunday night. They threatened them with dire consequences for not voting in favour of Narender, they alleged.

Sanju and Mukesh, who had gone to lodge a police complaint, said 14 candidates were in fray for the post of sarpanch and Anil Parmar of the Rajput community won the election.

They said, “The harassment of our community has not been stopped since declaration of the result. BJP MLA BishemberBalimki is from our village but he has not come to take stock of the situation even after being contacted.”

RakeshPehalwan, another defeated candidate, also demanded action against Narender for harassing the entire Dalit community for his loss. “Victory and defeat is a part of the election process but it should not be taken at personal level,” he said.

Kharak police chowki in charge RamkishanJangra said he had received a complaint from the Dalit community and a case would be registered after visiting the spot.

The Times Of India

Dalits seek justice for rape survivor


 TNN | Jan 13, 2016, 08.03 AM IST

RAJKOT: More than 100 dalits came out on the road in Amreli and blocked roads at RajkamalChowk in Amreli town seeking justice for the girl from their community who was allegedly raped.

A husband-wife duo from Savarkundla town, KantiVala and KavitaVala, attempted self-immolation but were prevented by the local police due to timely intervention. The couple was detained and later released on bail.

Last month, 22 members of the 18-year-old rape survivor’s family had fled their homes in Vadli village of Rajulataluka in Amreli after the girl lodged an FIR of kidnapping and rape against two upper caste youths of the same village.

The offence was allegedly committed on December 25, 2015 night. The victim’s family had also lodged complaint against relatives of the accused who had allegedly threatened the family of dire consequence after they lodged the FIR. The girl’s family had fled on January 1 and was now staying outside Amreli collector’s office demanding justice. The family is also demanding compensation from government.

“On Monday, KantiVala and wife Kavita declared that they would immolate themselves on Tuesday. So, we took preventive measures and detained the couple before they could,” said R B Gojiya, investigating officer at Amreli town police station. He said that traffic was cleared soon after the detention of the couple.

Vadli village has a population of 4,000 and is dominated by upper caste kathidarbars. There are nearly 100 dalit families living in the village.

The Times Of India

Houses demolished in Sagar village, dalits take shelter near police station


Desh Deep | TNN | Jan 10, 2016, 09.14 PM IST

BHOPAL: Houses of dalit families of a Sagar village, who were forced to carry their footwear over their head after they refused to withdraw rape FIR have allegedly been demolished by the upper caste members, as police turned a deaf ear to their woes. Fearing for their life, dalits alleged they can’t go back to their village, now.

Police maintains timely action was initiated against both the parties and peace prevailed in the village.

Facing social boycott and threat to their life, over 10 dalits were forced to leave Kaithora village of Bunda tehsil in Sagar on January 2 after they were attacked and police help did not reach despite repeated calls on dial-100 service.

Dalits belong to the same family, whose members were forced to carry their footwear on their head while walking down in the village dominated by Thakurs just because they refused to withdraw an FIR of rape, abduction and murder filed against Thakurs.

Upper caste members ostraciseddalits from the village two years ago and pressurised them to withdraw the crime cases.

On January 4 again we were attacked when we went to the village, said AnarBai, one of the members of dalit family while talking to TOI.

Sukhdeo, her brother said, ” We were beaten up and our houses were demolished.

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politicalgamings has no end but some one innoscent will get arrestedAnanthapadmanabhan G

For the past one week, the family has been staying near Bunda police station taking shelter of the cops.

SHO of thana S Choudhry told TOI, “This family has been creating trouble in the village. They have involved all the villagers irrespective of caste and community in different cases including families from weaker sections.”

“There is peace in the village”, he said.


Banned from temples, this Hindu sect has still found a way to worship Lord Ram


Ramnamis wrote Ram’s name on their bodies as a message to higher-caste Indians that god was everywhere, regardless of a person’s caste or social standing.

Mahettar Ram Tandon is still proud of the indelible message he carries almost five decades after he had the name of the Hindu god Ram tattooed over his entire body. Dressed in a simple white lungi, a traditional Indian garment, and wearing a peacock feather hat called a “mukut”, Tandon is part of the RamnamiSamaj religious movement in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh, one of India’s poorest regions. “It was my new birth the day I started having the tattoos,” he says. “The old me had died.” Denied entry to temples and forced to use separate wells, low-caste Hindus in the Chhattisgarh first tattooed their bodies and faces more than 100 years ago as an act of defiance and devotion.

Ramnamis wrote Ram’s name on their bodies as a message to higher-caste Indians that god was everywhere, regardless of a person’s caste or social standing. Now 76, Tandon’s purple tattoos have faded over decades under the harsh sun of his village of Jamgahan. In the nearby village of Gorba, PunaiBai, 75, spent more than two weeks aged 18 having her full body tattooed using dye made from mixing soot from a kerosene lamp with water.

“God is for everybody, not just for one community,” says Bai, who lives in a one-room house with her son, daughter-in law and two grandchildren. Nowadays the tattoos of Ramnamis, who number 100,000 or more and live in dozens of villages spread across at least four districts of Chhattisgarh state, are usually on a smaller scale. Since the banning of caste-based discrimination in India in 1955, the lives of many lower-caste Indians have improved, villagers said. As young Ramnamis today also travel to other regions to study and look for work, younger generations usually avoid full-body tattoos.

“The young generation just don’t feel good about having tattoos on their whole body,” says Tandon, who has always lived in his village of small mud houses surrounded by fields of grazing cattle, wheat and rice.

“That doesn’t mean they don’t follow the faith.” Children born in the community are still required to be tattooed somewhere on their body, preferably on their chest, at least once by the age of two. According to their religious practices, Ramnamis do not drink or smoke, must chant the name “Ram” daily and are exhorted to treat everybody with equality and respect.

Almost every Ramnami household owns a copy of the Ramayana epic, a book on Lord Rama’s life and teachings, along with small statues of Indian deities. Most followers’ homes in these villages have “Ram Ram” written in black on the outer and inner walls. Despite the 1955 legislation, centuries-old feudal attitudes persist in many parts of India and low-caste people, or Dalits, still face prejudice in every sector from education to employment.Tandon is optimistic about the Ramnamis’ relative change in fortunes since he had his body tattooed all those years ago.”The world is changing, the times are changing,” he says. “We have all realised that we are all the same.”

The Indian Express


‘Anti-quota’ observations: Dalitshonour 3 MPs, ex-minister

for their stand against HC judge


A pamphlet for the function stated that though the observations made by Justice J B Pardiwala have been expunged, it caused damage to the society which could not be compensated.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published:January 11, 2016 3:02 am

Three MPs from Gujarat and a former Union minister, who took initiative to move an impeachment motion in RajyaSabha against a Gujarat High Court judge for alleged anti-quota observations, were felicitated by a Dalit group here on Sunday.

BJP MPs ShambhuprasadTundiya, Kirit Solanki, Congress MP PravinRashtrapal and former Union minister YogendraMakwana were honoured by DrBabasahebAmbedkarAnamatSamarthanSamiti during a function held in Gita Mandir area.

A pamphlet for the function stated that though the observations made by Justice J B Pardiwala have been expunged, it caused damage to the society which could not be compensated.

Such observations, it added, could make the future of those getting reservation benefits bleak and strengthen the campaign to remove reservation.

Justice Pardiwala, in one of his judgments delivered in December last year, had made alleged anti-reservation observations, while deciding a petition moved by Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel.

Following the judgment, 58 MPs from RajyaSabha had moved a petition before the House chairman, seeking to initiate impeachment motion against Justice Pardiwala.

The controversial observations were later expunged by the High Court bench presided over by Justice Pardiwala, while acting on a Speaking to Minutes application moved by the Gujarat Government. The court expunged the observations and termed those as not “necessary” or “relevant” to decide Hardik’s petition.


India’s “lowest caste never does any hard work”, are “easy lot”, as to ploughing

“they never do”: Vivekananda


By Our Representative

Several Dalit rights activists have made the occasion of Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary, January 12, to controversially highlight how the Swami was in favour of the caste system, believed that “Brahminhood” was the ideal of humanity in India, and thought that the so-called lower castes were lazy.

Ambedkar’s Caravan (@Silent Steps) has tweeted “Why I Hate Vivekananda – 16 Castiest Quotes of Vivekananda…” to provide a link to drambedkarbooks.com, which has offers these quotes from the top Hindu spiritual leader. On his birthday, Prime Minister NarendraModi qualified the Swami’s thoughts as “timeless.”
Vivekananda said, “I do not propose any leveling of castes. Caste is a very good thing. Caste is the plan we want to follow.” He added, “The plan in India is to make everybody a Brahmin, the Brahmin being the ideal of humanity… Indian caste is better than the caste which prevails in Europe or America.”

Vivekananda had wondered, “Where would you be if there were no caste? Where would be your learning and other things, if there were no caste? There would be nothing left for the Europeans to study if caste had never existed!”

On Brahminism, Vivekananda had said, “The Brahminhood is the ideal of humanity in India, as wonderfully put forward by Shankaracharya at the beginning of his commentary on the Gita, where he speaks about the reason for Krishna’s coming as a preacher for the preservation of Brahminhood, of Brahminness.”

He had insisted, “This Brahmin, the man of God, he who has known Brahman, the ideal man, the perfect man, must remain; he must not go. And with all the defects of the caste now, we know that we must all be ready to give to the Brahmins this credit, that from them have come more men with real Brahminness in them than from all the other castes.”

On Dalits and Shudras, he had said, “In India, even the lowest caste never does any hard work. They generally have an easy lot compared to the same class in other nations; and as to ploughing, they never do it.”
Quoting Gita, he had noted, “With the extinction of caste the world will be destroyed. Therefore, what I have to tell you, my countrymen, is this: that India fell because you prevented and abolished caste… Let jati have its sway; break down every barrier in the way of caste, and we shall rise.”

Vivekananda had even justified Manusmriti, the ancient Hindu treatise which “legalized” casteism, saying Manu was the “earliest preacher to the Indian races… the first to renounce everything in order to attain to the higher realisation of life before others could reach to the idea.”

He had asked, “Why did not the other castes so understand and do as he did? Why did they sit down and be lazy, and let the Brahmins win the race?”

He had advised “men who belong to the lower castes”, that “the only way to raise your condition is to study Sanskrit”, insisting, “This fighting and writing and frothing against the higher castes is in vain…”

Further: “To the non-Brahmin castes I say, wait, be not in a hurry. Do not seize every opportunity of fighting the Brahmin, because, as I have shown, you are suffering from your own fault.”

Vivekananda’s quotes have claimed to be accessed by drambedkarbooks.com from different volumes of Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda as also Vivekananda’s Ideological Yatra.

Commenting on Vivekananda’s quotations, the Dalit site wonders, “Which caste system prevails in Europe or America?”, saying “Vivekananda supported Brahminism” and “is against anyone fighting casteism, because fighting casteism is fighting against Brahmins, who are, of course, according to him, Gods on earth.”

The site point to how Vivekananda believed “Dalits and Shudras do no work”, wondering whether “the fields plough themselves, by magic”, as if all the hard work “is done by Brahmins.”

Especially taking exception to Vivekananda defending Manu, the site asks, “Is it surprising that most of the followers of the cult of Vivekananda are high caste Hindus?” It adds, “Vivekananda doesn’t want that Dalits write against their oppressors and keep on suffering silently.”

The Hindu

Will delete word ‘eunuchs’ from police Act: State



But government cannot do away with Section 36(A), High Court told

In a relief to the transgender community, the State government on Tuesday told the High Court of Karnataka that it would delete the word “eunuchs” from Section 36(A) of the Karnataka Police Act, which gives powers to the police to “regulate eunuchs”.

However, the government said that it cannot do away with Section 36(A), but a suitable word would be inserted. A government counsel made submission in this regard before a Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice Ravi Malimath during the hearing of a PIL, filed by Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, seeking a direction from the court for declaring Section 36(A) as “unconstitutional”.

On an earlier occasion, the court had asked the government to take appropriate steps to remove discrimination in the provision against a particular section of the society. While granting six months time for the government to amend the law, the Bench orally told government counsel that the police should not harass transgenders, while also advising the transgenders not to harass the public.

The contention of the petitioner was that Section 36(A) “declares eunuchs to be offenders” and such provision is violative of the constitutional right to equality granted to the third gender.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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