Tag Archives: Caste

Challenges faced by Dr. Ambedkar to write the Constitution of India


Written by – Ashwin Jangam

Indians today are governed by two different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them. ~Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Every year on 26 January, we celebrate Constitution Day, also known as Samvidhan Divas, in India in honor of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the Architect of the Indian constitution.

Constitution Drafting Committee

Dr. Ambedkar

Dr. Ambedkar

India obtained independence on 15 August 1947 as a constitutional monarchy with George VI as Head of State and the Earl of Mountbatten as its Governor-General. The country, though, did not yet had a constitution; instead, its laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act of 1935. On 29 August 1947, a resolution was passed by the Constituent Assembly to appoint a Drafting Committee with seven members, including Dr. Ambedkar, for preparing a draft of the Constitution of independent India. It is said that when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel asked Sir Guor Jennings, an internationally-known constitutional expert of that time to draft the Constitution of India, he responded, “Why are you looking outside of India when you have within India an outstanding legal and constitutional expert in Dr. Ambedkar who ought to be entrusted with the role which you so badly need and which he so richly and rightly deserves?”

Committee Membership

Then Law Minister Dr. Ambedkar was appointed the Chairman of the Drafting Committee on 28 August 1947 because of his educational qualifications and deep knowledge, great command of the English language, and expertise in articulating the subject. Other members of the Drafting Committee were N. Goipalswami, Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyas, K.M. Munshi, Saijio Mola Saadulla, N. Madhava Rao and D.P. Khaitan.

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Member Responsibilities

The workload of drafting the Constitution of India fell entirely on Dr. Ambedkar and required his full effort and concentration. The other members of the Constitution Committee did not participate for various reasons. Some resigned, some were in ill health, some were busy with political work in their respective States, some were traveling abroad, and so on. It is generally agreed that Dr. Ambedkar was the sole author of the Constitution of India. We Indians owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Ambedkar for such a perfect Constitution which is still in effect after 60 years of Indian Independence.

In his self-evaluation of his work, Dr. Ambedkar told the Assembly, “I do not want to say how good or bad is the Constitution. I feel that it is as much good as bad. It will be bad in the end when the ruling people/party are bad. It will be good in the end when the ruling people/party are good.”

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30th मार्च 2016 – जस्टिस फॉर रोहित वेमुला – मण्डी हाउस से राष्ट्रपति भवन तक रैली


जस्टिस फॉर रोहित वेमुला

हैदराबाद केंद्रीय विश्वविद्यालय में क्रूर राजकीय दमन के विरोध में उठो!

मण्डी हाउस से राष्ट्रपति भवन तक रैली 

30th मार्च 2016, 1 : 00 pm

जॉइंट एक्शन कमिटी फॉर सोशल जस्टिस – दिल्ली

17 जनवरी को हैदराबाद केंद्रीय विश्वविद्यालय के एक छात्र रोहित वेमुला कोप्रशासन की तरफ से लगातार बने हुए भेदभाव और अपमान ने आत्महत्या कीओर धकेल दिया. इस संस्थागत हत्या ने सारे विश्वविद्यालय समुदाय कोझंकझोर कर रख दिया. भारतीय जनता पार्टी के सांसद बंडारू दत्तात्रेय कारोहित वेमुला सहित ४ और दलित छात्र और आंबेडकर स्टूडेंट्स एसोसिएशन केकार्यकर्ताओं पर  ‘देश – द्रोही’ होने का आरोप लगाना, उन छात्रों के निलम्बन के लिए मानव संसाधन मंत्री स्मृति ईरानी का दबाव बनाना, और कुलपति पी.अप्पा राव का इन छात्रों को न केवल निलम्बित करना पर उनका सामाजिकबहिष्कार करना, इन सभी कारणों ने रोहित को अपनी जान लेने पर मजबूर करदिया. आज इन सब मुद्दों को नज़रअंदाज़ करते हुए, पी. अप्पा राव, जो की रोहित की हत्या के लिए साफ़ तौर पर ज़िम्मेदार है, अपनी गद्दी पर वापस लौट आया है. और आते ही उसने विश्वविद्यालय परिसर को एक जंग का मैदान बना  दिया. २२ मार्च २०१५ को जब इस बात का विरोध करने विद्यार्थी इकठ्ठा हुए, तब उन पर तेलंगाना पुलिस, सी.आर.पी.एफ. और आर.ए.एफ. की फ़ोर्स ने बर्बरता से हमला किया. विद्यार्थियों और शिक्षकों पर इस क्रूर और गैर – संवैधानिक हमले ने विश्वविद्यालय परिसर में आपातकाल जैसी स्थिति बना दी. विद्यार्थियों को हथियारबंद फ़ोर्स ने खींचते और खदेड़ते हुए, विश्वविद्यालय के गेट के बाहर कर दिया, उनके साथ लगातार गाली-गलौंच और मार-पीट की, बहुत सारी महिला विद्यार्थियों को बलात्कार की धमकियां दी गई और पुलिस यौन हिंसा पर उतर आई. पुलिस वैन और कस्टडी में भी मार-पीट की गई और प्रशासन ने मेस बंद करवा दी और बिजली और इंटरनेट की सेवाएं रद्द करवा दी.

हैदराबाद केंद्रीय विश्वविद्यालय के प्रशासन, तेलंगाना पुलिस, और भ.ज.पा. के मंत्री-नेताओं की मिली-भगत ये साफ़ तौर पे दर्शाती है  की ब्राह्मणवादी हिंदुत्व फ़ासीवाद किस कदर हमारे समाज में अपनी जड़ें जमा चूका है. एक अन्यायपूर्ण व्यवस्था  के खिलाफ और अपने अधिकारों के लिए आवाज़ उठाने वाले विद्यार्थियों पर ये दमन, एक लोकतंत्र कहलाने वाले  देश में अपना विरोध ज़ाहिर करने के लिए सिकुड़ते स्थानों और संसाधनों की तरफ इशारा करता है.

FTII से लेकर JNU तक सारे उच्च शिक्षा संस्थानों पर ये हमले, सत्ताधारी सरकार की प्रतिरोध की आवाज़ों को दबाने की एक सोची समझी साज़िश है. लेकिन, HCU के उदाहरण से ये साफ़ है की जब ये प्रतिरोध की आवाज़ें दलित-बहुजन और अल्पसंख्यक समुदायों से आये विद्यार्थियों की होती हैं, तो राज्य का दमन और भी तीव्र और बर्बर होता है.

हम सभी रोहित के साथ और HCU के संघर्षरत विद्यार्थियों और शिक्षकों केसाथ उनकी लड़ाई में एक जुट खड़े हैं. रोहित वेमुला की हत्या के बाद जिससंरचनात्मक अन्याय का पर्दा फाश हुआ है, उसके जवाब में देश भर में जॉइंटएक्शन कमिटी फॉर सोशल जस्टिस का गठन हुआ. रोहित की हत्या के बाद से ही, मानव संसाधन मंत्रालय का रवैय्या और  मीडिया की रिपोर्टिंग ने उच्चशिक्षा संस्थानों में जातिगत उत्पीड़न और विद्यार्थियों के अधिकारों से  ध्यानभटकाने की तमाम कोशिशें  की, लेकिन हम रोहित की आवाज़ को दबने नहींदेंगे. आइये और इस लड़ाई में शामिल हों.

30 मार्च को एक बजे से मंडी हाउस से राष्ट्रपति भवन के मार्च में शामिल होकर,एकजुटता से ये मांगें हम  रखेंगे:

  •  हैदराबाद केंद्रीय विश्वविद्यालय के कुलपति पी. अप्पा राव को हटायाजाये.
  •  ‘रोहित एक्ट’ लागू करो.
  • मानव संसाधन मंत्री स्मृति ईरानी और  भारतीय जनता पार्टी के सांसदबंडारू दत्तात्रेय का इस्तीफ़ा.
  • सभी विद्यार्थियों और शिक्षकों पर लगी सारी धाराओं को बिना किसीशर्त के और तुरंत हटाया जाये
  • गच्चीबोली पुलिस थाने में एस.सी./एस.टी. एट्रोसिटीज क़ानून केअंतर्गत दर्ज किये गए सारे अपराधियों की गिरफ्तारी.
  • जिन पुलिस कर्मियों और फोर्सेज ने विद्यार्थियों और शिक्षकों पर हमलेकिये, उन सभी के खिलाफ कानूनी कार्यवाही.
  • हैदराबाद केंद्रीय विश्वविद्यालय के परिसर से पुलिस और फोर्सेज कोतुरंत हटाया जाये!
  • विश्वविद्यालयों की स्वायत्ता.
  • रोहित के परिवार को कंपनसेशन की न्यूनतम रकम, ५० लाख रुपये,दिए जाएं और साथ ही उसके परिवार के व्यक्ति को HCU में नौकरी दीजाये.
  • रोहित के केस में एक सार्वजनिक अभियोक्ता की नियुक्ति.
  • सारे उच्च शिक्षा संस्थानों  में दलित – बहुजन, आदिवासी, औरअल्पसंख्यक विद्यार्थियों के साथ होने वाले  भेद -भाव और अत्याचारके खिलाफ एक  कमिटी का गठन हो, जिसमे मानव संसाधन मंत्रलायके अधकारी न हों.
  • सारे उच्च शिक्षा संस्थानों में, सरकारी या निजी, समाजिक न्याय कीनीतियों को लागू किया जाये.
  • Justice for Rohith Vemula

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[Video] Police brutality at University of Hyderabad #JusticeForRohith


Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad, Appa Rao, who is responsible for the death of Rohith Vemula again joined the university as VC and when students were protesting this and were demanding justice for Rohith, Police did beat students at University of Hyderabad! Such a shameful act.

Manu Smriti Irani, your ‘children’ have been attacked by police and are without food, water and electricity at Hyderabad university.

Which mother will let her children without food?

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#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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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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Dr. Ambedkar’s Perspective on Restructuring Indian Nation in the context of Dalit Question


Dr. Ambedkar’s Perspective on Restructuring Indian Nation in the context of Dalit Question

Written by – Sukhadeo Thorat

Introduction

ambedkarThe Caste System in its classical form is an unique institution of social governance of the Hindu society. It is based on some specific principles and rules which make it an unique one. Foremost of them is that it involve a division of persons in various social groups called castes The division is created and maintained through institution of endogamy. The duties and the rights, (civil, cultural/religious, political and economic) are assigned to each of these castes by birth in advanced but in an unequal manner . The duties and rights are thus pre-determined by birth in to the specific caste and are hereditary ,not subject to change by deeds of the individuals . The social position or standing of each caste is hierarchically arranged , in the sense that the rights gets reduced in descending order, that is , from the Brahmin( who are located at the top of hierarchy) to the untouchable ,who are placed at the bottom of the caste hierarchy .The caste are hierarchically arranged in a manner that they are interlinked with each other such that rights and privileges of the high castes become the disabilities of the lower castes .In this sense caste does not exist in single number but only in plural , and interlinked (or made interdependent) with each in an unequal measure of relationship. Therefore one has to look at castes as “system” and not caste as single entity in isolation. Another distinguish feature of this system is that it laid down a systematic machanism for enforcement in the form of social and economic ostracism involving penalties and punishments against the violation of the system in practice. But above all the system is sanctified and supported, directly or indirectly by the philosophical elements in Hindu religion. Therefore for generality of Hindus the caste system is religiously sanctified institution to be practice as system of divine creation and matter of religious faith. It is this religious foundation and sanctity, which provide enduring strength and stubbiness to the institution of caste (Lal Deepak, 1984, Ambedkar 1936 and 1987 )

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Research Shows Caste Discrimination in Indian Private Sector


Discrimination on the basis of caste endures in the formal labor market of contemporary India, according to Paul Attewell of the City University of New York Graduate Center and Katherine S. Newman of the Johns Hopkins University Department of Sociology.

Check also – Caste Discrimination in Jobs at Private Sector. What is the caste of your company?

Speaking at the Institute this month, Attewell and Newman outlined three of four discrimination studies collaboratively undertaken by Princeton University and the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies: a field experiment based in employer-employee correspondence, a study focusing on employer attitudes toward caste, and a prospective cohort study of lower-caste university graduates in elite institutions.

Read also – Caste Discrimination in Public Distribution System (PDS)

The origin of the overarching project, Attewell said, lies in the recent debate in Indian English-language press over extending the reservation system currently operating in India into the country’s private sector. The Indian reservation system allots a percentage of public sector jobs and places in higher educational institutions to minority applicants, including those of religious minorities and Dalits, a group traditionally regarded to be of low caste. Representatives of the private sector expressed overwhelming opposition to the possibility of extending reservation, citing an ostensible lack of evidence of discrimination against Dalits in the modern private sector, Attewell said.

Check also – Caste Discrimination at UGC

In order to correct the “dearth of research [speaking] to these issues,” the project employed a series of empirical techniques developed by social scientists in the US to investigate “enduring discrimination against African Americans,” Attewell said. The studies aimed to determine whether modern inequalities are “based on caste or community leftovers from the past,” whether these inequalities are “reflections of low education or working in an economically ‘backward’ sector,” and whether discrimination continues to take place “even in the most modern, dynamic sectors of the Indian economy.”

Read also – What is the caste of your food?

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The field experiment focused on the correspondence between job applicants and prospective employers in the modern private sector, including both Indian and multinational corporations. Only first-stage discrimination was taken into account: whether or not applicants received an interview invitation.

Report Caste Discrimination – Facing Caste Discrimination at an Education Institution? Now, report online at www.castediscrimination.com

Researchers submitted multiple sets of fabricated resumes by mail in response to job advertisements aimed at recent university graduates. All fictitious candidates shared strong credentials and differed only in names, which were “recognizably affiliated by caste or religion,” Attewell said. Three groups of candidates were set up: those with names associated with a high caste, those with typically Dalit names, and those with typically Muslim names.

Check also – Caste at College

Researchers found a clear statistical pattern, according to Attewell. Applicants with names associated with a low-caste background faced odds of a positive outcome only 0.67 as large as those for an application with a typically high-caste name. Muslim applicants were at an even greater disadvantage, with odds of a positive outcome only 0.33 as large as those for a high-caste name applicant. These findings clearly imply that discrimination against applicants based on name association occurs even in the very first stage of the job search. “Social exclusion is not a residue of the past; it is alive and well even in modern, high-tech India,” Attewell said.

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Caste Discrimination at UGC


The University Grants Commission annually allots only 11 per cent of the total money it gets under the SC and ST sub plans on scholarships and fellowships, which directly benefits the students of these marginalised communities.

As per a reply given by UGC to a RTI query, it spent only Rs 107.86 crore for scholarships and fellowships out of the Rs 1047.33 crore in the SC sub-plan in 2012-13 and Rs 35.56 crore of the allotted Rs 507.20 crore of the Tribal sub-plan.

In the preceding year it spent Rs 87.86 crore of Rs 814.50 crore on scholarships and fellowships in the SC sub-plan and Rs 33.53 crore out of Rs 400.61 crore in the Tribal-sub plan.

A major chunk of the total money, around 60 per cent, was spent on building “capital assets” which are not specifically beneficial for SC or ST students, like construction of hostels or buying computers.

Caste at UGC

For this reason the UGC has come under fire from Dalit rights organizations.

Mr Paul Divakar, general secretary of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, which filed the RTI said, “This is not an issue which pertains just to the UGC. Ineffective spending and diversion of funds meant for SC and ST development exists in many well known institutions like the IITs, IIMs and ICSSR. This is just another form of discrimination. We have complained about the UGC problem to the minister of HRD, Ms Smriti Irani and head of other government bodies, but to no avail. We are planning to approach the courts now.”

When contacted, former UGC chairman Mr Sukhdeo Thorat said, “The allocation of money should be increased for fellowships because it helps the students directly and will result in more Dalit scholars pursuing research. What is the point of allocating money meant under the sub-plans if students do not benefit from it directly?”

Source – Deccan Chronicle

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