`Constitutional rights of dalits at stake'

The Times of India News Service

MYSORE: The Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University, Hampi K. Lakkappagowda on Monday said the globalisation and privatisation policies of the Union and state governments have endangered the constitutional rights of dalits and the poor and these two groups have no job guarantee in the new set up of market economy.

Delivering a keynote address at a seminar here on `Dalit thinking's and the contemporary challenges;, organised by the Kannada University Dalit Studies Centre, Lakkappagowda said even the people who are in the government are also violating the directive principles and the rights of an individual enshrined in the Constitution. "This being the case how could one expect the businessmen and industrialists to follow the Constitution and protect the rights of the dalits", he asked accusing the people in power of encouraging communal and casteist forces.

Stressing the need for a broad-based movement against these forces, Lakkappagowda urged progressive writers and thinkers to give a serious thought to this issue of fighting the communal and casteist forces which exist in every walk of life.

The chairman of Kannada Development Authority, Baragur Ramachandrappa said the present day government is "pseudo democratic", the people believe in the theory of power politics. "The present day rulers are of the opinion that they will survive in power politics if they have power and this encourages feudal forces in a democratic garb", he felt. He chided the people who take oath in the name of the Constitution and violate it.

In the pre-Independence period while Gandhi fought for political power to the natives, Dr Ambedkar raised his voice on behalf of the have-nots and the oppressed classes. "Now it is time for the progressive forces and leaders to combine these two aspects and fight for dalits' rights", he added.

Referring to the changes in the economic and education policies of the government, Ramachandrappa said it is regretful to note that things have come to such a passe that industrialists and the rich decide the educational and cultural policies.

"No body will imagine what would be fate of the natives if the industrialists play a dominant role in the field of education", he said.

In his welcome address, writer and director of Dalit Studies Centre, Hampi, Mogalli Ganesh said the dalits in the country are at crossroads and there is need for the people concerned to chalk out an action plan to fight for their cause and rights.

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Source: http://www.timesofindia.com/today/29mban43.htm
Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: May 30, 2001
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