Category Archives: Equal Rights

#Budget2016 once again fails to deliver for the Dalit Adivasis


On February 29, Union Finance Minister delivered the second full budget of the BJP-NDA government. Though we applaud the allocation of Rs. 500 crores under the stand-up India scheme for SC/ST entrepreneurs, the overall allocation under SCSP TSP is extremely poor.

The allocations for SC under the Union Budget 2016 is only 7.6% when the due amount under SCSP budget should be 16.8% which should amount to Rs.91,301 and 8.6% under TSP which should amount to Rs.47,300 Crs. Thus denying a total of Rs 75,764 crore. NCDHR condemns this denial in allocation.

226018_158150314334299_241024368_nThe budget comes at a crucial point with UGC withdrawing non-NET fellowships and death of Rohith Vemula a PhD student at Hyderabad University. The underlying issue of both these instances has been denial of mandatory funds to research scholars. Paul Divakar, General Secretary, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, holds the finance minister accountable when and questions, “Where is the missing Rs. 75,773 Crs? Yet another massive denial & disinterest to bridge the growing development gap.”

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar reasoned that higher education was an important instrument, to seek power and dignity for all. Hence advocated for public education being critical for the empowerment of Dalit and backward classes. Access and opening of educational institutions by the historically excluded groups has been a moment of rupture in history and met with violent backlash from the dominant community.

The events of the previous months— cutting of non-NET fellowships, denial of fellowship money to PhD students in Hyderabad and other universities— point at this violent backlash from the dominant community. The Union Budget 2016-17 is another example of this violent backlash. The denial in money allocated for the purpose of higher education to be accessed by the community further makes their struggle for equality a tougher one. Additionally, it acts as violation of constitutionally mandated rights of the SC/ST community.

Of the total of Rs 897 crore allocated under UGC. 60% goes towards capital assets and another 30% towards grants-in-aid and only 8% directly benefiting SC and ST students.

SECTOR-WISE          

If we analyse the allocation sector wise, over 86% of the Dalit budget is spent on Social Service, Welfare and Housing Sectors. They do not form the triggers for development except for Higher education. Without greater allocations for Agriculture and allied, rural development Schemes, Energy, industry and mineral, Science and technology and communication, the overall growth of the SC and ST will be very lopsided. Innovation is needed to design schemes for the Dalit & Adivasi men and women in these sectors.

Dalit Adivasi women continue to be at the margins

The budget continues to marginalise Dalit-Adivasi women by allocating a measly 1% to Dalit women and 2% to Adivasi women without taking into account the needs, and voices of women. The schemes lack an understanding of their lived reality and is blind to the concerns of the Dalit and Adivasi women.

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Sati Was Started For Preserving Caste


Sati Was Started For Preserving Caste

Dr. K. Jamanadas

With the much discussed subject, now in India, about a so called “sati” of Charanshah, in village Satpura in Uttar Pradesh, some information about this evil in Hindu social system, may be not only informative but also educative to the masses who wish to build a new India on new values.

Condition of Widows in ancient India

downloadIn India, the condition of women in general, was made more dreadful than that of a slave, but the lot of widows was always very hard and they were forced to lead a horrible life of torture, disfigurement, tonsure and deprivation, with an enforced strict ban on remarriage. They were compelled to undergo sex with other men for procreation under the system of Niyoga. As if this was not enough, a peculiar system existed in India, whereby widows were burnt alive on the funeral pyre of their dead husbands. The practice existed among the higher castes mainly, though it was given a honorable and prestigious outlook among the masses by various means adopted by the Brahmins.

Why this system started in India? It was for maintaining the caste, which was very important for the welfare of those, who are benefited by it. And as the caste system grew more rigid, the sati become more strict. Notable example is Bengal, where it was enforced more strictly because of “Kulin system”, where any of the hundreds of disgruntled young wives could easily poison the old man.

Position of women

Ms. Shakuntala Rao Shastri, in her “Women in Sacred Laws” very aptly describes the pitiable condition of women before the Britishers came to India:

“True it is that anyone who has witnessed the pathetic condition of women in India at the dawn of British rule cannot but be shocked at it: the enforced child marriage, the exposure of female children, putting to death female children by throwing them at the junction of the Ganges and the sea, the violence used to make women follow the Sati rite and thus end their miserable existence, the shameful treatment accorded to a widow, the (in)famous kulinism which made marriage a profession rather than a sacrament, made woman not only an object of pity but many a woman sighed in the secret recess for her heart and wished that she had never been born a woman in this unfortunate country.” [Shastri Shakuntala Rao, “Women in Sacred Laws” p. 171]

The situation described by the learned Vedic Scholar is at the time of dawn of British occupation, but since how long it was in existence? The reply is that this was the situation since the fall of Buddhism around tenth century A.D. That the women enjoyed high position in Buddhist period can be judged by a mere glance at the Buddhist law being practiced in India before tenth century A.D. and which is practiced in all the Buddhist countries even now.

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Constitutional Safeguards for Dalits


SAFEGUARDS IN THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION FOR SCHEDULED CASTES

AND SCHEDULED TRIBES

The important Constitutional safeguards for SCs & STs are mentioned below:

(a) Directive Principles of State Policy

Article 46 is a comprehensive article comprising both the developmental and regulatory aspects. It reads as follows:

“The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections, of the people, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation”.

(b) Social Safeguards

Article 17. “Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of “Untouchability” shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.

616x510To give effect to this Article, Parliament made an enactment viz., Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955. To make the provisions of this Act more stringent, the Act was amended in 1976 and was also renamed as the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955. As provided under the Act, Government of India also notified the Rules, viz., the PCR Rules, 1977, to carry out the provisions of this Act. As cases of atrocities on SCs/STs were not covered under the provisions of PCR Act, 1955, Parliament passed another important Act in 1989 for taking measures to prevent the atrocities. This act known as the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, became effective from 30.1.1990. For carrying out the provisions of this Act the Govt. of India have notified the SCs and the STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995 on 31.3.1995.

Article 23. Prohibits traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labour and provides that any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law. It does not specifically mention SCs & STs but since the majority of bonded labour belong to SCs/STs this Article has a special significance for SCs and STs. In pursuance of this article, Parliament has enacted the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. For effective implementation of this Act, the Ministry of Labour is running a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for identification, liberation and rehabilitation of bonded labour.

Article 24 provides that no child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment. There are Central and State laws to prevent child labour. This article too is significant for SCs and STs as a substantial portion, if not the majority, of child labour engaged in hazardous employment belong to SCs and STs.

Article 25(2)(b) provides that Hindu religious institutions of a public character shall be thrown open to all classes and sections of Hindus. This provision is relevant as some sects of Hindus used to claim that only members of the concerned sects had a right to enter their temples. This was only a subterfuge to prevent entry of SC persons in such temples. For the purpose of this provision the term Hindu includes Sikh, Jaina and Budhist.

Educational and Cultural Safeguards

Article 15(4) empowers the State to make any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for SC and ST. This provision has enabled the State to reserve seats for SCs and STs in educational institutions including technical, engineering and medical colleges and in Scientific & Specialised Courses. In this as well as in Article 16(4)the term ‘backward classes’ is used as a generic term and comprises various categories of backward classes, viz., Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Denotified Communities (Vimukta Jatiyan) and Nomadic/Seminomadic communities.

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Caste and Hinduism – By Gail Omvedt


M V Nadkarni’s recent article “Is Caste System Intrinsic to Hinduism?: Demolishing a Myth”, (EPW, November 8, 2003) comes as a follow-up to his earlier article “Ethics and Relevance of Conversions: A Critical Assessment of Religious and Social Dimensions in a Gandhian Perspective”(Januay 18). Both articles show the fundamental stamp of Hindutva ideology, primary of which is shoddy methodology, selective quotation (for example, his references to my work are to a 10-year old book and selectively at that), and illogic.

caste-step-ladder

The illogic in the ‘Caste System’ article begins with a basic, unexamined premise: that there is some entity called ‘Hinduism’, a religion which has lasted 4,000 years and which comprehends ‘classical’ as well as ‘medieval’ and ‘modern’ forms. This is the most historically unjustified premise, since the term ‘Hindu’ to refer to a religious belief was never used until the establishment of Muslim regimes (and then only in some parts of India; for instance, Tukaram – who Nadkarni takes as one of the ‘Hindu’ bhakti
sants, never in all his 4,700 abhangs used this word) and it never came into generalised use throughout India until the 19th century. This has been documented by numerous scholars and I will not cite them here. The illogic is that Nadkarni assumes, and documents, changes in the caste as a socio-historical structure (which I think is correct) but does not question the supposedly unchanging character of an essential ‘Hinduism’. (Incidentally, Nadkarni is silent on whether Buddhism, Jainism and the shramanic traditions should be considered as part of ‘Hinduism’).

Other mistakes pale before this basic point, but I will take up a few issues.

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#JusticeForRohithVemula


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We demand #JusticeForRohith #RohithAct


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Reality of Hindu Nationalists!


Golwalker advised not to fight against British and save energy to fight Muslims, Christians and Communists.

Savarkar begged for mercy and betrayed the freedom movement.

Nathuram Godse killed Gandhi.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee acted as British spy!

and now they are issuing certificates of anti-national!

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Documentary – Inshallah, Kashmir: Living Terror


Inshallah, Kashmir: Living Terror is a 2012 documentary film directed, produced and written by Ashvin Inshallah,_KashmirKumar. It is the story of contemporary Kashmir. A series of counterpointed testimonies, the heartbreaking coming-of-age of ordinary people; warped and brutalised by two decades of militancy and its terrible response.

Testimonies of ordinary Kashmiris recount a brutal militancy and its terrible response. Dodging agents of Indian armed-forces, the filmmakers were able to obtain rare testimonials in the highest militarized zone in the world. The film tells how freedom is conceded and replaced by fear, governance by institutionalized oppression and a paradise made desolate on the watch of India : a secular, democratic republic. (Source- IMDB and Wikipedia)

 

 

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