Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 03.05.16

 30-Year-Old Allegedly Raped in Kerala, Intestines Pulled Out News 18

http://www.news18.com/news/india/30-year-old-girl-allegedly-raped-in-kerala-intestines-pulled-out-1238031.html

Dalit girl gangraped in Kanpur Dehat The times of india

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kanpur/Dalit-girl-gangraped-in-Kanpur-Dehat/articleshow/52086426.cms

Blackness Around the Globe: Dark-Skinned Dalits Fight an Oppressive Caste System in India – ‘Whatever is Black is Not Welcomed’ Atlanta blackstar

http://atlantablackstar.com/2016/05/02/blackness-around-the-globe-dark-skinned-dalits-fight-an-oppressive-caste-system-whatever-is-black-is-not-welcomed/

Protesters caned; prohibitory orders in Yelandur – The hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/protesters-caned-prohibitory-orders-in-yelandur/article8549944.ece

Caste Hindus Detained for Row Over Love Affair – The New Indian Express

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Caste-Hindus-Detained-for-Row-Over-Love-Affair/2016/05/02/article3410862.ece

SC/ST BODY TO KNOCK SC DOOR AGAINST HC RULING – The Pioneer

http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/bhopal/scst-body-to-knock-sc-door-against-hc-ruling.html

Dalits back suspended TRS ZPTC member – The hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/dalits-back-suspended-trs-zptc-member/article8549607.ece

Why Privilege Boomerangs in Education Sector – The new Indian express

http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns/Why-Privilege-Boomerangs-in-Education-Sector/2016/05/03/article3411828.ece

SC upholds election of Muslim convert to Sikhism from reserved seat – Catch news

http://www.catchnews.com/politics-news/sc-upholds-election-of-muslim-convert-to-sikhism-from-reserved-seat-1462189677.html

Melting pot: For decades, playing for Mumbai’s classical music connoisseurs – The Indian Express

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/melting-pot-for-decades-playing-for-mumbais-classical-music-connoisseurs/

News 18

 30-Year-Old Allegedly Raped in Kerala,

Intestines Pulled Out

http://www.news18.com/news/india/30-year-old-girl-allegedly-raped-in-kerala-intestines-pulled-out-1238031.html

A 30-year-old Dalit law student was allegedly raped and murdered in Ernakulam in Kerala on April 28. The woman was found dead inside her home with were several stab wounds on her body and even on her private parts. Her intestines were found hanging out of her body after the incident.

KERALA-RAPE

Even five days after the brutal murder, no arrests have been made yet. Police claim that two investigation teams have been formed which are working on the leads that have been found.

Police are waiting for chemical analysis to ascertain whether there was rape or an attempt to rape before the murder. They have also claimed that there were no signs of forcible entry into the house.

The mother and the elder daughter were not present at the house when the incident took place.

The times of india

 Dalit girl gangraped in Kanpur Dehat

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kanpur/Dalit-girl-gangraped-in-Kanpur-Dehat/articleshow/52086426.cms

A minor Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped by four villagers in Kanpur Dehat district. The incident, which took place on Friday night, came to light on Sunday when the girl’s parents lodged a complaint with the police. The girl was admitted to district hospital on Sunday and she is under observation, a police official said.

Atlanta blackstar

Blackness Around the Globe: Dark-Skinned Dalits Fight an Oppressive Caste System in India – ‘Whatever is Black is Not Welcomed’

http://atlantablackstar.com/2016/05/02/blackness-around-the-globe-dark-skinned-dalits-fight-an-oppressive-caste-system-whatever-is-black-is-not-welcomed/

There are efforts in India to fight colorism, that nation’s historical system of discrimination against dark-skinned people.

In Southern India, a woman is taking a stand against the discrimination faced by the Dalit community, who are historically known as untouchables at the bottom of the Hindu caste system. And she is taking a stand by painting herself black.

india-black-1-300x200

As the BBC reported, Jaya PS, 26, who has a masters degree in art, paints her body with a type of dark eye shadow when she walks out in public.

“I decided to paint my body black while appearing in public after Rohith Vemula died,” she told the BBC.Vemula, a Ph.D. student at the University of Hyderabad, killed himself in January due to the caste discrimination he experienced at school.

Jaya is now expressing her solidarity with Vemula and others who have committed suicide.

“Caste is closely related to color, and whatever is black is not welcome in the Indian society. I experienced its severity when I started painting myself black,” she said. Her form of protest is viewed as unique, as in other South Asian and African nations, lighter skin is viewed as desirable. And in India, darker skin was always considered ugly.

Known as a brilliant sociology student and an aspiring science writer, Vemula was reportedly isolated and treated like a pariah, and his pleas fell on deaf ears, according to the BBC. Vemula and other Dalit students protested after they were expelled from university housing, and faced unfounded allegations they had assaulted a Hindu nationalist student leader. The university cut off his stipend, and suspended him.

“Please give us poison at the time of admission itself instead of humiliating us like this,” he had written in a letter to the university administration, requesting that each Dalit student receive a “nice rope.”

Further, in his subsequent suicide note, he expressed the pain he experienced.

“For some people life itself is a curse. My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. I am not hurt at this moment. Not sad, just empty. That is pathetic. That is why I am doing this.”

There are 180 million Dalits in India, the lowest caste and the victims of an ancient apartheid system in which people in the highest caste are not to touch anything that was touched by people in the lowest caste. Traditionally relegated to the dirtiest manual jobs such as cleaning toilets, Dalits — 16 percent of the country’s population — face continued poverty, discrimination and marginalization in society. And although the caste system was constitutionally abolished by Indian democracy, the practice continues.

According to Navsarjan, a grassroots Dalit human rights organization, “Dalits have been oppressed, culturally subjugated, and politically marginalized. The principals of untouchability and “purity and pollution” dictate what Dalits are and are not allowed to do; where they are and are not allowed to live, go, or sit; who they can and cannot give water to, eat with, or marry; extending into the minutia of all aspects of daily life.”

Meanwhile, skin lightening creams are a very lucrative business in India. As The Guardian has reported, in 2010 the industry was worth $432 million, and increasing at 18 percent annually. It all started in 1978, when Unilever launched Fair & Lovely cream, leading to the proliferation of various bleaching products, which Bollywood stars and cricket players endorse. Moreover, Indians consume more lightening creams than Coca-Cola. A Dark Is Beautiful campaign has challenged the notion that lightness is the measure of success and beauty.

“Indians are very racist. It’s deeply ingrained. But there is so much pressure by peer groups, magazines, billboards and TV adverts that perpetuate this idea that fair is the ideal,” film star Nandita Das, a campaign supporter, told The Guardian. Das said directors and makeup artists have tried to lighten her skin when she played the role of an educated, upper-class woman.

The hindu

 Protesters caned; prohibitory orders in Yelandur

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/protesters-caned-prohibitory-orders-in-yelandur/article8549944.ece

The police resorted to lathicharge and burst tear gas on Monday after hundreds of protesters gathered in Yelandur town and took out a protest march against the defacing of an Ambedkar flex at Honaganur village in Chamarajanagar taluk on April 29.

The protesters, many of whom came from neighbouring villages, gathered under the banner of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar Seva Samithi and other dalit organisations. They took out a march from Nagamegalamma temple and raised slogans against the miscreants, public representatives and bureaucrats along their way.

They also gathered at a bus stop and set fire to tyres. Consequently, vehicular traffic at NH-209 was suspended.

They demanded the arrest of those who had defaced the flex and “disturbed peace,” and also urged the police to stop “arresting innocent people.” They also asked the district administration to take steps to ensure peace and communal harmony in the village.

 Tense ground

A little over a month ago, more than 10 houses and petty shops in Honganur village were destroyed in a commotion that resulted in stone pelting and arson.

Assistant Commissioner Kavitha Rajaram received a memorandum from the protesters and assured them of action. However, this did not seem to satisfy those gathered, and they continued protesting.

To disperse the mob, the police resorted to mild lathicharge and burst tear gas. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code has been clamped in the town as a precautionary measure.

Most of the business establishments and shops in the town had downed their shutters during the day in support of the protest.

The New Indian Express

 Caste Hindus Detained for Row Over Love Affair

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Caste-Hindus-Detained-for-Row-Over-Love-Affair/2016/05/02/article3410862.ece

By Express News Service Published: 02nd May 2016 05:55 AM Last Updated: 02nd May 2016 05:55 AM

COIMBATORE:  The Negamam Police have detained four caste Hindus, including a minor, for allegedly assaulting two Dalits on finding that a brother of one of the victims was in a romantic relationship with a caste Hindu woman.

Police said Murugavel (22), a worker in a local company, and the 21-year-old caste Hindu, a college student, had been in love for over four years.

On the girl’s brother, S Ramachandran (22), learning of the love affair, he and five others — Santhosh Kumar, Sathish, Ramesh, Prabhakaran and a minor — confronted Murugavel’s brother Selvaraj, on Sunday morning and demanded that Selvaraj ask his brother to break ties with the girl, leading to an argument.

A fight then broke out between two groups, led by Ramachandran and Selvaraj, which ended in a scuffle leaving three persons, including the latter, injured. They were admitted to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital.

Based on a complaint, the police detained four persons and are conducting further investigations. They are likely to be formally arrested, the police said.

The Pioneer

 SC/ST BODY TO KNOCK SC DOOR AGAINST HC RULING

http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/bhopal/scst-body-to-knock-sc-door-against-hc-ruling.html

Monday, 02 May 2016 | Staff Reporter | Bhopal | in Bhopal

The Anusuchit Jati Janjati Adhikari Evam Karmchari Sangh (AJJAKS) decided to approach the Supreme Court challenging the Madhya Pradesh High Court’s ruling on reservation in promotions in Government jobs.

On Saturday, the High Court set aside the provision of reservations in promotion in the Madhya Pradesh Public Service Rules, 2002. Promotions granted as per the 2002 rules stand invalid after this ruling.

AJJAKS held a meeting of its office-bearers here on Sunday.

The judgment would affect 40 per cent of the Government employees and officers and about 2.5 crore population of the State, AJJAKS general secretary SL Suryavanshi said.

“Though the Chief Minister is in favour of reservation, the administration – particularly, the General Administration Department – didn’t present the data well before the High Court,” he added.

It is surprising that the Government didn’t seek services of State Advocate General and Additional Advocate General in defending the rights of SC/ST employees in the court, he added.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced to knock the doors of the Apex court against the court’s ruling — a decision taken to boost the ruling BJP’s prospects in the 2018 State elections. “The Government is in favour of reservation in promotions in Government services. It will appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgment regarding abolishment of reservation in promotions,” Chouhan said.

BJP State vice-president Vijesh Lunawat spoke on similar lines, saying the Government would defend the rights of the SC/ST Government employees.

The Opposition too didn’t want to lag behind the ruling party in sending out a message that it stood for reservation in promotion. “There is a constitutional provision that those who deserve benefit of promotions should get it. The Congress was, is and will continue to stick to its stand,” party chief spokesperson KK Mishra said.

Mishra claimed BJP and RSS were not on the same page on reservation.

“Sangh wants to end reservation while BJP due to electoral complications, cannot afford to support RSS.”

The hindu

 Dalits back suspended TRS ZPTC member

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/dalits-back-suspended-trs-zptc-member/article8549607.ece

A few dalit organisations like the Dalit Aikya Vedika and the SC, ST Protection Sangham on Monday demanded lifting of suspension of State president of ZPTC Members’ Forum K. Hemaji from Telangana Rashtra Samiti.

They accused the ruling party of victimising Mr. Hemaji for belonging to the downtrodden section of the society.

At a press conference here dalit leaders like Landge Surender and Ravinder said that they met Forest Minister Jogu Ramanna and appealed to him to lift the suspension of the Asifabad ZPTC member. They told him that if the ruling party does not concede their demand, dalit organisations would react strongly.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hemaji too accused the top TRS party leadership in the district of victimising him for being a dalit.

Party leadership in Adilabad district accused of victimising Hemaji for being a dalit

The new Indian express

 Why Privilege Boomerangs in Education Sector

http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns/Why-Privilege-Boomerangs-in-Education-Sector/2016/05/03/article3411828.ece

There is hardly a document on education that does not designate it as a tool for social transformation. But evidence continues to mount that social transformation is a receding mirage. This chronic and mounting failure points to the disconnect between the practice of education and the social forces that militate against social transformation. The truth is that currently education serves as a means for obstructing social transformation.

Caste and class-based discrimination and ghettoization go not only against the interests of Dalits and Adivasis, but also against the children of privilege. This struck me with particular force in recent years while conducting admissions to one of India’s most coveted educational institutions. It needs to be flagged as a significant, even startling, reality. The products of privileged, insanely expensive education are failing to make the grade. Its logic needs to be heeded.

Reports on school education from diverse regions of the country provide mounting evidence that our schools — especially government schools — harbour rank discrimination. Dalit children are treated as unwelcome intruders, relegated to the rear of classrooms, disallowed to participate in competitions and cultural programmes and made to do, in places, cleaning and scavenging work. Specific instances do not have to be quoted here; as they are available readily and in abundance on the Internet. Indian schools, concludes a study on the subject, “are often sites of extreme forms of discrimination”. It is also widely known that discrimination and humiliation induced trauma is the main reason why Dalit and Adivasi children drop out of schools in large numbers.

75 per cent of the six million children who are currently out of schools are Dalits (33%) Muslims (25%) or Adivasis (17%). The fact that such children drop out of the system or exist in a shadowy fashion within barriers of discrimination, has been so far noted with grudging disapproval. That this hurts national interests by freezing a substantial portion of our social and intellectual assets is mostly glossed over. End of the day, Dalit children and children of caste privilege belong together.

Together, they constitute the total life-milieu; especially its social and experiential richness. Dalits and Adivasis are as much part of our human resources as anybody else is. This brings us to the core of the issue that concerns us here. The transformative potential of education lies precisely in its power to afford opportunities to all individuals who avail it, to escape from the limitations of the social group into which they are born by enabling them to come into a liberating contact with broader contexts. Living shut up in a small enclave — no matter how privileged — is assuredly harmful to every individual.

This is crucial to a society like ours whose real wealth is its unrivalled richness of variety, diversity and plurality. Imprisonment in the iron cages of caste and class proves self-defeating. Individuals are condemned to live and grow up in narrow social incubators and homogenized educational environments. By no stretch of imagination are they part of the sava sau karod Bharatwasi. They are denizens of scattered archipelagos of barriered affluence.

Those who are familiar with even the rudiments of human growth will readily agree that exposure to what behavioural psychologists call “enriched environments” is essential for human development. Tolstoy, though a Count, educated himself assiduously in the realities of the life of the deprived. Had Amartya Sen and Mohammad Yunis lived unexposed to the broader realities, they would not have become Nobel Laureates. Social integration has been the seed of human achievements. Social and educational incubation, in contrast, works to the long-term disadvantage of the members of ‘privileged’ groups.

It is because of this that children from such backgrounds are now losing out ‘on merit’. They have already lost the cutting edge to their less privileged counterparts. Students from a certain posh public school in Dehradun, for example, who used to walk into St. Stephen’s College in the decades gone by, are no longer making it. They have dropped out of the race, so to speak. Similar is the case with other schools. Dalit children drop out of schools. Rich children, confined to homogenized environments, do not drop out of schools, but they lose out in the race. This is already happening.

From the perspective of intellectual formation, being confined to the framework of the high caste is as bad as being imprisoned in the low. Confinement is the issue. How does it matter that your cage is made of gold, and mine of iron? Broiler chicken tastes fibrously synthetic and fish, grown in domestic aquaria, are inedible for being vapidly tasteless. There is a moral in both.

Unless the present system of school education is radically revamped, education will continue to perpetuate social dismemberment, not promote social integration. In doing so, the educational project flies in the face of every applicable legislation; whether it be the Act of 1989 to protect Dalits against discrimination or the provisions of RTE Act, which mandate every local authority to ensure that children of disadvantaged groups “are not discriminated against and prevented from pursuing and completing elementary education on any ground.”

Reforming and qualitatively upgrading government schools is an urgent need. Many of them are notoriously inefficient, caste-ridden and discriminative. The acuteness of this oppression varies from place to place, depending on where these schools are located. Between them and private schools (attended by nearly 30 per cent of the students) the quality differential is worrisome. Those who attend public schools — the most private of all schools — are on a different plane altogether.

We are, thus, forced to confront the disquieting reality that the idolization of ‘merit’ — understood in a socially insensitive fashion — is today militating against the transformative scope of education. It is in the interest of the high in caste and class to engage with the wider social spectrum and to allow their children to grow up enriched and empowered, rather than protected and anaemic.

Time will prove that such children, not less than Dalit and Adivasi children, turn out disadvantaged; except that the face of the discrimination they suffer unawares is now painted in hues of caste and class privilege.

Catch news

 SC upholds election of Muslim convert to Sikhism from reserved seat

http://www.catchnews.com/politics-news/sc-upholds-election-of-muslim-convert-to-sikhism-from-reserved-seat-1462189677.html

The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Mohammad Sadiq as a Congress MLA from the reserved Bhadaur Assembly constituency in Punjab in the January 2012.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Prafulla C Pant reportedly set aside the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s judgment of 7 April, 2015 that said that Sadiq being a Muslim could not have contested from a constituency reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates. It was his opponent and Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Darbara Singh Guru who had approached the courts after his loss.

The apex court reportedly found that that Sadiq had embraced Sikhism in 2006 and got this notification duly published in local dailies. He had also obtained a certificate specifying that he belongs to the Doom community that falls under the Scheduled Caste category.

The court has reportedly pointed that although he was born to Muslim parents, he belonged to the Doom community. It is a settled law that a person can change his religion and faith, but not the caste to which he belongs as caste has linkage to birth.

The Indian Express

Melting pot: For decades, playing for Mumbai’s classical music connoisseurs

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/melting-pot-for-decades-playing-for-mumbais-classical-music-connoisseurs/

Dabgars specialise in making dhol-tashas, mrudungs, tablas.

Written by Neha Kulkarni  MumbaiUpdated: May 2, 2016, 1:04

SITTING amid teeming commotion in his shop, with tools to mend the broken ring of a tabla, Suresh D Chauhan works hard to bring it to the desired size. Suresh, who keeps a close watch on his subordinate’s work and customers in his century-old Lalbaug shop, belongs to a community of Dagbars, whose expertise in making musical instruments is well-known.

With his life spent as a skilled artisan, Suresh cherishes the age-old art of making musical instruments, particularly related to the origin of Marathi music.

Dabgars come from India’s western belt that includes Gujarat, Rajasthan and some parts of Uttar Pradesh. Having long practised and promoted the art of making quality musical instruments, they specialise in nagadas, dhols, pakhawaj, mrudungs, tablas, dholkis, tuntunas, halgis and other instruments.

“My grandfather would make the jheels (leather strips tied on the tablas) of tablas and get a bag of rice in return. He, and other Dabgars, would also get silver coins which they would use to come to Mumbai,” Suresh reminisces, seated around an ensemble of instruments.

What keeps him going is the satisfaction of putting his hard earned skill to practice in his shop.

For Ishwarlal Chauhan too, another one from the community, the profession is where he derives his identity from. He has been running the shop for over five decades now and takes pride in passing on the art to his sons. His son Atul says, “I have been making dhol-tashas since I was a nine-year-old, and I completely adore my job. I think the market still holds importance for recognising the work of artists like us.”

However, with preferences substantially tilting towards electronic instruments such as keyboards, electric guitars and recorded sounds at processions and devotional functions, Suresh says its future is bleak. “Nobody likes to work in this field now. From about 12 shops in 1940 of dhol-tasha makers in Lalbaug, just three or four remain. I frankly believe the following generations would not even want to touch these instruments,” he fears.

But Dabgars believe they are better-off. With maximum sales of musical instruments happening during Ganeshotsav, musical events and repair works keep accounts running for the rest of the year. As electronic items are a bit expensive and tougher to use, connoisseurs of classical music and musicians who cannot afford to spend more become the target audience for Dabgars.

“It takes ten years at least for any artisan to learn the job perfectly. In our community, we do not care about artisans’ class, as whoever masters the skill and performs the work perfectly is the winner,” says Suresh.

With popular Lavanis or folk music of Marathi films making use of instruments made by these Dabgars, the community has not lost hope, yet.

 News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET

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