Rajasthan village tense as Dalit bride wants groom to ride a mare – The Hindustan Times
50 years on, Dalits Seek Pathway to Carry their Dead to Graveyard – The New Indian express
Alleged harassment of woman: action sought – The Hindu
Removal of Ambedkar statue triggers row – The Hans India
When jallikattu conundrum overshadowed caste atrocity – The Hindu
People’s mindset have to change to attain social equality: Kharge –The Hindu
Tattoos tell of devotion, caste, defiance – The Asian Age
BSP woos non-Dalits to expand Punjab footprint – Live Mint
Note: Please find attachment for DMW Hindi (PDF)
The Hindustan Times
Rajasthan village tense as Dalit bride wants groom to ride a mare
MukeshMathrani, Hindustan Times, Barmer
Updated: Jan 15, 2016 10:53 IST
When she became the first girl from her family to become a graduate, 25-year-old NeetuMeghwal wished that her groom came riding a mare, something that no Dalit in her village had dared to do.
Now a constable with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and posted at Bangalore airport, she shared the dream with a cousin who wrote to the chief minister’s office about Neetu’s wish.
Soon, her wish reached the National Commission for the Schedules Castes (NCSC) that asked district authorities to take necessary steps.
Cousin LaxmanSariyala said he alerted authorities because he knew upper castes villagers would not allow a Dalit to ride a mare during a wedding procession.
Rajasthan has witnessed violent incidents in the past, especially in Bhilwara and some parts of Alwar and Jaipur where Dalit grooms were assaulted for riding a mare during weddings.
“She studied with us in Pali and has been the only girl among five siblings to get educated and a government job. Her four brothers are daily wage labourers in Goa and a younger sister is illiterate. She had the will to break caste stereotypes but it looks very difficult.”
His fears came true. Neetu’s wish has triggered tension in her native village, Khimda, near Somesar railway station, 350km from Jaipur.
Khimda has around 400 households; 30% of them belonging to the scheduled caste. Most Dalits work as farmhands in fields of rich farmers.
A day before her wedding, police took a written undertaking from the family that it doesn’t want Neetu’s groom to ride a mare — considered a traditional prerogative of the village’s upper caste inhabitants whose grooms come on horseback to the wedding venue, mostly the bride’s home. A mare is preferred because it is considered auspicious.
Elder brother ChampaLal said the family didn’t want the groom to ride a mare during bindoli, a ritual where he takes a round of the village. “We want to follow the old tradition where groom comes with the marriage procession, not riding a mare,” he said.
Neetu’s phone was switched off on Thursday. MahavirMevada, a resident, said the bride told him she was scared but keen that her groom rode a mare.
Police dismissed allegations of pressure from upper caste villagers. Sanderao police station SHO AmarlalMeena said the family didn’t feel any threat and was assured protection if the groom came riding a horse.
The New Indian express
50 years on, Dalits Seek Pathway to Carry their Dead to Graveyard
By Express News Service Published: 15th January 2016 04:57 AM Last Updated: 15th January 2016 05:22 AM
VILLUPURAM: Dalits in Kalapathur Colony near Ulundurpet have been seeking a pathway leading to the cemetery for decades since they had to carry the dead through farmlands owned by mostly caste Hindus. This had sparked off tension between the two castes.
Also, the Dalits members threatened to boycott the forthcoming Assembly elections if steps were not taken to establish the cemetery.
This issue again reared its ugly head on Tuesday when a Dalit family was carrying the body of an elderly man to the cemetery through a farmland. Since it was not cultivation time, the farm owners remained silent.
Nearly 350 Dalit families stay in Kalpathur Colony and they managed to get them a 1.5-acre land for a separate cemetery near the Pidagam River about five decades ago. But there was no approach road to the graveyard and the families had to trek through fields for over two kms with the bier.
It was said the farmland owners used to argue and quarrel with the Dalits only during the cultivation
The owners would demand those carrying the bier walk on the furrow, which was so narrow and threw the mourners out of balance.
The Dalits told Express that they had been submitting petitions to the Collector, MLAs, MPs and Ministers since the tenure of former Chief Minister C N Annadurai, but to no avail.
lleged harassment of woman: action sought
Dalit Liberation Movement-Tamil Nadu has sent a petition to National Scheduled Caste Commission seeking action against those who reportedly harassed a woman Home Guard at work place.
Karuppaiah, State joint general secretary of the Movement, said that the woman, who was posted at Kangayam, faced harassment from a colleague during November last.
“Though she brought the matter to the notice of the authorities in the Home Guard and also moved away to a posting at a different location from the office where she was deployed, the harassment continued. However, no action has been taken against the accused till now though she gave a petition to the police officials too,” he alleged.
When contacted, Superintendent of Police Saroj Kumar Thakur told The Hindu that the complaint had been received and the matter was under investigation.
“Appropriate action will be taken soon on the merit of the complaint”, he said.
The Hans India
Removal of Ambedkar statue triggers row
THE HANS INDIA | Jan 14,2016 , 11:25 PM IST
Kadapa: The decision of the Kadapa district administration to remove Ambedkar statue, which was installed by some Dalit organisations, from the new Collectorate premises is snowballing into a major controversy.
All opposition parties in the district have become vocal demanding the resignation of the Collector, alleging that the latter had humiliated Ambedkar. The Congress, YSRCP, CPI, and CPM have joined together to form a joint action committee for the purpose.
On December 29, 2015, Mahajan Front party founder S Manohar, BC leader A Mallikarjuna, SC, ST, and human rights organisations had installed Ambedkar statue in the Collectorate premises without the knowledge and authorisation of the officials concerned. However, Dalit activists claim that they had sought permission and had given prior intimation to officials.
With the police not willing to lodge complaint against any official, Congress leader Sattar has decided to impress upon the district SP about the same. “When I went to One Town Police, the staff there had told me out rightly that they would not accept any complaint. So we have nothing but to take this issue to district SP,” he said.
The YSRCP , CPI, CPM leaders have threatened to launch massive protests if the district administration fail to re-install the statue. They had already held protests last week flaying the ‘indifferent’ attitude of the Collector to respond to their demands. However the collector was not available for his comment when The Hans tried to get his version of the story.
When jallikattu conundrum overshadowed caste atrocity
Kin of a Dalit who died in Vazhvur were not allowed to take out funeral procession
The loud clamour the State witnessed for lifting the ban on jallikattu over the last two weeks virtually eclipsed an atrocious case of discrimination against Dalits. The kith and kin of an elderly Dalit man who died in Vazhvur near Mayiladuthurai were denied the dignity to take out the funeral procession through a route dominated by the Caste Hindus despite the Madras High Court directing the police to ensure that the funeral route was not disturbed. Finally, he had to be buried after being carried on an alternative path as instructed by the police.
Multiple fact-finding reports by activists claim those who protested the police action were roughed up. Despite condemnation from outfits sympathetic to the Scheduled Castes, no disciplinary action has been taken against officials who ostensibly flouted the court order.
Dalit activists, writers and politicians say this incident reflected the growing apathy to the plight of the community from major political parties and the administration. The two leading Dravidian parties — AIADMK and DMK — have consistently avoided any strong action against such incidents in recent years. Whether it be the riots in Seshasamudram in Villupuram district last year or the murder of Dalit youth Gokulraj in Namakkal, condemnation has either been muted or weak at best and does not come anywhere close to the response the jallikattu issue has elicited.
Writer Imayam, who has chronicled the lives of the subaltern communities extensively, says many villages across Tamil Nadu have the system of separate burial grounds for Caste Hindus and the Dalits. Clashes take place when the location of a burial ground or a crematorium is such that the Dalits have to take the body through the upper caste settlement or the public road.
“In places like Salem and Coimbatore, you would actually see such places managed by trusts explicitly named after specific caste groups. Dalits will not be allowed to bury or cremate their dead in these places though the undertaker always hails from the SC community,” he says.
Thus, while the two-tumbler system was rightly deemed casteist and efforts were initiated to address the problem, the aspect of separate burial grounds remain largely untouched.
Ravikumar, writer and general secretary of the VCK, says even horrific crimes against Dalits, such as honour killings, go without condemnation in a State that claims to be progressive in its politics. “Neither the DMK nor the AIADMK has come out strongly to condemn the recent incidents. There is a fear among these parties that taking such actions will polarise the Caste Hindu vote bank against them and so they tend to remain silent,” he charges.