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If You’re Dalit, You Can’t Tie the Knot in Tirupur Marriage Halls – The new Indian express
No bail for 27 HCU students and 2 profs till Monday – Catch news
Pujari suicide case: SPP wants four police officers treated as accused – The hindu
Pro-Dalit organisations fume over officers’ absence at meeting – The hindu
HC directs authorities to store body of Dalit man in govt hosp – Business standard
Demand for reservation to Dalits in private sector intensifies – The hans india
Congress alleges diversion of Sub-plan funds – The hans india
Losing humanism in nationalism – Deccan chronicle
Prof. Tathagat Sengupta & Prashanth who were brutally beaten & detained by Modi gov.
The new Indian express
If You’re Dalit, You Can’t Tie the Knot in Tirupur Marriage Halls
TIRUPUR: Your caste is one of the first questions that wedding-hall owners in Kanagayam ask if you want to book it. And if you happen to be a Dalit, there is no question of the facility being rented out to you, whatever the amount you are willing to pay.
The Kangayam region in Tirupur district, famous for its breed of bulls, is becoming infamous for its deep-rooted casteism, which is seen in various forms.
The wedding hall problem is a good example. There are over 20 wedding halls in the small town, but only two, both on Coimbatore Road, are rented out to Dalits. One of them, which used to be a warehouse, still looks like one. The other is a small hall, built in a six-cent plot, without any parking space. Their owners are ostracised by the owners of the other halls for renting them out to Dalits, said a Dalit activist.
Dalits conduct weddings and other family functions at their houses, native villages or at the Sivanmalai temple, which is about 5 km from Kangayam. A recently married Dalit youth said, “The first question the hall owners asked was my caste.
No bail for 27 HCU students and 2 profs till Monday
The Hyderabad police have jailed 27 students and two faculty members of Hyderabad University till Monday after a delay in producing them before a magistrate meant that their bail pleas could not be heard.
The students and faculty had been arrested on Tuesday and charged under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, after they allegedly vandalised the residence of vice chancellor Appa Rao Podile the day he returned to the university to take up his duties.
Appa Rao had been sent on leave after protests on campus for his role in the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in January. Vemula and five other Dalit students had been suspended by the university.
The two faculty members arrested were Prof Konda Yesu Ratnam, 53, a Dalit teacher of political science and founder of the Ambedkar Studies Centre at the university, and Tathagata Sengupta, 31, an assistant professor in Mathematics.
Human rights lawyers J Bhim Rao, Vasudha Nagaraj, C Damodar Reddy, and B Raghunath filed the bail petition was filed on behalf of the students and teachers. The public prosecutor opposed bail for the students. The court posted the matter to Monday.
“We do not know why and how Prof Ratnam was detained,” said S Munna, a student leader. “All our pleas to the police were in vain. They booked him for vandalism just on hearsay, even though he had neither said a word nor done anything.he is also diabetic, and we are very worried for him.”
The students alleged that Prof Ratnam was picked up by the police because he is opposed to Appa Rao. Sengupta, secretary of the Teachers’ Association, is also said to be strongly opposed to Appa Rao.
V Kumar of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice, which is protesting Vemula’s death, said: “Police officials have not disclosed information about them (the professors) since they were detained. Family members, professors and students have been running from pillar to post since Tuesday and are yet to meet or speak with a single person detained.”
The university’s complaint read: “.about 10 students.came to the lodge, jumped over the main gate, broke open the man door windows/door glass panes and entered the premises. They.ransacked the VC’s lodge, damaged the TV, furniture, computers and laptops.”
The complaint names students Munna, Ramjee, Vijay Kumar, Lingam, Sanjay, Seshaiah, Venkatesh Chauhan, Kesaban Roy Choudary and Dontha Prashanth.
The JAC said in a statement issued on Thursday, that besides these nine students, the FIR mentions “other students of UoH”. This, the JAC stated, means “anyone can be picked up by the police and slapped with false charges. We strongly condemn the misuse of state apparatus to crush voices of the students. The use of police force and unnecessary detention and slapping of false cases against the faculty and students has started to become a pattern. We witnessed the same in FTII, JNU and many other campuses.
Pujari suicide case: SPP wants four police officers treated as accused
Principal District and Sessions Court Judge R. Poornima adjourned the trial in the temple pujari suicide case till March 30 as the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) sought to remove the names of four police officers from the list of witnesses and include them in the list of accused on Thursday.
Examination of 11 witnesses – all police officers – commenced in the court here in the morning. Two police constables, Palpandi and Selvam, Special Sub-Inspector Pichaimani, Inspectors Ilangovan, Anand, Chellapandi and Muthu Kumar, DSPs Sethu and Uma Maheshwaran and ADSPs Uma (retd) and Selvaraj were present. All the accused, including O. Raja, brother of Finance Minister O. Paneerselvam, were produced before the court.
After examining constable Selvam and Inspector Anand, SPP B. Mohan sought to treat them as hostile witnesses. The court accepted it. Later, Mr. Mohan filed a petition seeking removal of the names of four police officers – ADSP (retd) Uma, DSP Sethu, Inspectors Ilangovan and Chellapandian – from the list of witnesses and their inclusion in the list of accused.
He said that they did not register the case under the PCR Act, and acted in favour of the accused. They should be included in the charge sheet, he stressed.
Defence counsel M. Kannappan, however, argued that the SPP had no locus standi to file a petition to remove the names of the police officers from the list of witnesses and add them in the list of accused.
The Judge adjourned the case till March 30 to enable the defence counsel to file a counter. With the filing of the petition, the court could not examine other police officers.
Out of the 61 witnesses, 20 have so far been examined and cross-examined. Five witnesses have turned hostile in the case.
The case pertains to the suicide of S. Nagamuthu (22) of T. Kallupatti village, a Dalit, who worked as pujari in Sri Kailasanathar Hill Temple in Periyakulam, on December 8, 2012, after he was allegedly subjected to harassment.
Pro-Dalit organisations fume over officers’ absence at meeting
A meeting convened to discuss preparations for birth anniversary celebrations of B.R. Ambedkar and Babu Jagajivan Ram witnessed protest by pro-Dalit organisations after some senior officers did not turn up. The meeting was convened by Deputy Commissioner Umesh H. Kusugal.
Superintendent of Police Raman Gupta and zilla panchayat chief executive officer R. Venkatesh Kumar were not present for the meeting when it began.
Dalit Sangharsha Samiti leaders Jayaram, H.K. Sandesh and others protested the absence of the officers.
The SP was represented by Additional SP Shobha Rani and the CEO had deputed the Deputy Secretary for the meeting.
The Republic Party of India and others slogans against the district administration.
They demanded that the officers be summoned immediately.
Within a few minutes, the SP turned up and said he was not informed about the meeting in advance. He held N.R. Purushottam, district social welfare officer, responsible for the confusion. Mr. Gupta said the district social welfare officer should have informed him about the meeting at least one week in advance, so that he could attend it as per the schedule.
HC directs authorities to store body of Dalit man in govt hosp
The Madras High Court today directed authorities to keep the body of a 45-year-old Dalit man, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Erode district, in the ‘cold storage’ of Coimbatore Government Hospital till the second post-mortem was conducted.
The court also restrained officials in Erode from harassing the man’s son, who is the petitioner, to accept the mortal remains.
Justice T Mathivanan, before whom the petition by C Balasubramanian came up, in his order said, “Till the conduct of second post-mortem on the body of the father of petitioner, Chinnasamy, district authorities shall not threaten the petitioner to take the body.”
When Additional Government Pleader P Sanjay Gandhi submitted that he has to get instructions from the government and sought listing the matter on March 28, the judge said, “Authorities are directed to keep the body in cold storage at the Government Hospital, Coimbatore till then.”
The petitioner sought a second post-mortem examination on the body.
The matter relates to the altercation that took place between two groups of people on March 19. Members of one group had picked up a quarrel with a group of Dalits who were allegedly consuming liquor near a well in Dasampudur village, where a local temple festival was held.
An upper caste person had reportedly “abused” a 19-year- old Dalit boy by his caste name following which Chinnasamy, leader of a Dalit outfit, intervened and objected.
The following day, Chinnasamy’s body was found floating in a well in the village, where he was working as a labourer.
The petitioner submitted there was no chance of his father committing suicide and suspected that he was done to death by somebody.
He also prayed the court for a direction to authorities to conduct the post-mortem in the presence of a doctor as per the guidelines of National Human Rights Commission and till the disposal of the writ petition.
The family members and activists from some Dalit outfits had on March 21 staged a protest in the district alleging “foul play” in the death and demanded a thorough probe.
Relatives had refused to accept the body demanding proper investigation into the death and arrest of persons responsible for it.
The hans india
Demand for reservation to Dalits in private sector intensifies
Demanding reservation for SCs and STs in private sector, various backward class organisations took out a massive rally from Tummalapalli Kalashektram to Alankar Centre here on Thursday. Leaders from 13 districts of the State participated in the rally and raised slogans against the BJP-TDP combine for their inefficiency in formulating proper guidelines for the implementation of SC, ST sub-plan.
Addressing the gathering at protest camp, CPI leader and Former MLC Jelli Wilson came down heavily on the BJP-TDP combine for not leaving any stone unturned to acquire lands belonging to the poor and Dalits and handing them over to industrial units. He said that majority of people hailing from Dalit community remained untouchables and were lagging behind on all the fronts even after 60 years of independence.
The CPI leader said that the SCs, STs and other backward classes had less representation in government jobs in proportion to their population. “The upper castes, with only 15 per cent of population, had occupied majority of posts in the government. The State government had not filled the vacant backlog posts,” he added.
Dalit Bahujan Front (DBF) State secretary Melam Bhagya Rao underlined the need to put an end to caste oppression in the society and added that they should be developed economically by putting an end to the caste atrocities. He said that the NDA government had completely failed to increase the budgetary allocation for SCs and STs to eradicate social inequalities in the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take immediate measures to fill the SC and ST backlog posts in various government departments, he demanded.
Dalit Hakkula Parirakshana Samiti (DHPS) State president B Rayappa, Jai Andhra Committee convener Jai Babu, KVPS State secretary A Malyadri, MRPS State president P Venkateswara Rao and others took part in the protest.
The hans india
Congress alleges diversion of Sub-plan funds
Eluru: JD Seelam, Rajya Sabha Member and the Congress leader, alleged that the State and Central governments are cheating people in the State as well as in the country. He was speaking at the meeting held at Old Bus Stand centre here on Thursday.
He reached here as part of Bus Yatra that was launched by the Congress at Visakhapatnam. He received the guard of honor from Seva Dal workers and garlanded the Ambedkar statue at the old bus stand centre. Speaking on the occasion, Seelam said the Congress had taken up the Bus Yatra with a view to celebrate Ambedkar birth anniversary across the country.
He pointed out that the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Dr BR Ambedkar would conclude on April 14. He said that through the Yatra, the Congress had focussed on the plight of the people. The party would pressurise the Centre and State government to solve the problems.
He alleged that the State government was diverting the SC/ST Sub-plan funds. He demanded the State government to publicise the sub plan funds details immediately. He also demanded the government to appoint Ministers for tribal welfare and minority welfare. He called upon the workers to strive hard to bring the Congress back to power.
Congress SC Cell president K Vinay Kumar alleged that the State government was weakening acts and legislations made for the benefit of the scheduled castes. He alleged that the government was treating students in universities as traitors.
Congress BC Cell president Venkateswara Rao, party leaders Sudhakar and Ahmad Khan spoke on the occasion. West Godavari district Congress president Rafiullah Baig, TTD former chairman Kanumuri Bapiraju, PCC general secretary Janga Gowtham, city Congress president Rajanala Ramohan Rao, Peddireddy Pradeep and others participated in the programme.
Losing humanism in nationalism
Inclusion is exclusion.
Hierarchy is fraternity.
Imagination is captive. Privilege is discrimination. Tolerance is intolerance. National is antinational.
History progresses by means of contradictions. It allows us to simultaneously hold two conflicting ideas/images — knowing fully well that they negate each other, and still believing in both — drawing back to the conscious whenever they are needed and conveniently forgetting them when they are not needed. This revolving glass door of contradictions has been set in motion ever since Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD scholar and activist was suspended by the Hyderabad Central University for attacking an ABVP activist and the MHRD took an unusual interest in his case.
The intense pressure exerted by BJP’s ministers and MPs, who condemned him after his brush with the ABVP, led to his eventual suicide and consequently, massive protests across universities. Next, the government, arrested 3 more JNU students for being ‘anti-national’ under the colonial sedition law. JNU and the student community have subsequently fought back and challenged the narrow, chauvinistic and aggressive conceptions of nationalism.
So how do they manufacture the ideas of nationalism, who does it include and who are left out and is it at all possible to conceive of a nationalism that is inclusive and non-discriminatory? These are questions that deserve a closer appraisal.
There are two important features of nationalism, one cultural and another political. No version of nationalism has never been culture neutral, whether, German or Italian or Pakistani, or Indian, they all tie citizenship and rights to certain necessary cultural traits that their nationals should possess. The emergence of fascism in Italy and Germany which saw the most significant nationalist movements is not as much a coincidence as inevitability. When a country is created for giving sovereignty to a religious or ethnic group, then those who aren’t part of it are naturally viewed with suspicion.
The most overarching preoccupation of the Sangh Parivar was to unite Hindus under Hindutva nationalism and yet, the Sangh conception of nationalism excludes the cultural, political and economic history and concerns of the oppressed castes of India. Much of the historic commonalities that they allude to are more a modern invention than historic fact. The language of Sanskrit, for instance, is considered a great relic of Indian history, for Dalits, Sanskrit is, a symbol of oppression.
Reservations were vehemently opposed by many in India and clever and innovative ways are found to propagate caste discrimination against Dalits/SCs in educational institutions. The privileged, particularly those belonging to the creamy layer, keep away. The fact that the majority of students who have committed suicide recently have been Dalits points to a deeper malady. The difficulty the marginalised face in coping with the issues that alienate them can only be exacerbated by this fight on nationalism.
Apart from the broad right wing discourse on antinationalism, even sub-nationalist movements have served as tools of discrimination and oppression against Dalits and SCs. The Tamil nationalist discourse, for instance, is hegemonised by dominant intermediate castes and excludes and is antagonistic towards Dalits. The spate of honour killings due to inter-caste marriages serve to illustrate this point. For the Dalits thus, rejecting caste is not an option as it is due to their caste that they face the inhuman treatment that they do. Prioritising their ‘Indianness’ over their caste is therefore, only a luxury that privileged castes enjoy.
Unlike the complex and contradictory implications of nationalism on Dalits, the relationship of Hindutva nationalism with Muslims is quite straightforward, they’re simply not a part of it. It is important at this stage to examine the imagery and the cultural iconography of the Sangh’s nationalism in order to see how it excludes and alienates Muslims. The idea of India as a venerable Hindu goddess complete with a lion for a ride and the saffron flag of the Sangh Parivar is essentially antithetical to the religious beliefs of Indian Muslims.
The Sangh’s instance on forcing them to subscribe to such imagery is a very unsubtle effort to negate the religious and cultural features of Muslims. Campaigns such as the Babri Masjid demolition, love jihad, cow vigilantism etc., have further contributed to the ‘other’-ring of Muslims, which has served to segregate and isolate them.
Where there is venal religiosity and aggressive nationalism, a potent economic objective cannot be far behind. The section of society that has, perhaps, lost the most as a consequence of India’s economic development is the forest dwelling tribes. The tribals who resist and the NGOs and activists who champion tribals’ rights and the journalists who report are all labelled ‘naxals’, and by extension anti-national.
For instance, when Soni Sori was attacked or the public spirited brave women lawyers working in Jagdalpur were harassed with death threats and forced out, ironically the victims and not the attackers were labelled anti-national. The nationalist discourse therefore, is envisaged in self-serving terms, not just in the cultural and political spheres but also in the economic sphere.
News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET