Dalits Criticize Approach Paper to Tenth Five-Year Plan

In a meeting organised by the Centre for Alternative Dalit Media, speakers’ criticized the Approach Paper to 10th Five Year Plan and dubbed it as anti-Dalit, anti-poor and anti-people.

Presenting his detailed analysis on Approach Paper to 10th Plan, Mr. Ashok Bharti, founder President of Centre for Alternative Dalit Media (CADAM), questioned the wisdom of the planning commission issuing the approach paper with incomplete conclusions. He said that the Approach Paper to 10th Plan was full of contradictions. It accepts the abject poverty of large population and alarming gaps in social attainments but suggests market led mechanisms, which will lead to the concentration of wealth and power and making life of the Dalits and disadvantaged miserable. He said that the Paper says that “Experience shows that the economic prosperity measured in terms of per capita GDP does not always ensure enrichment in quality of life, as reflected, for instance, in social indicators on health, longevity, literacy, and environmental sustainability, etc.”, but excessively emphasize on doubling the per capita in next 10 year by achieving 8% Growth Rate and that too without adopting any mechanism that ensure equitable distribution.

“This Approach paper is the closure notice to the public sector undertakings and open invitation to private sector to loot and rob the national assets for private good” said Mr. Bharti. Mr. Bharti pointed out that the concern of the Approach paper was reflected in its terminology. The Approach Paper has not touched the problems of the Dalits at all. Instead it proposes the reduction of jobs in Govt. Sector and levy, user charges and fee on each and every public service, which will make life of the Dalits hell. Mr. Bharti said that the Approach Paper was the final declaration of withdrawal of the Government from Public Good. While appreciating the frankness of the approach paper of accepting the facts that the Indian Economy was currently in decelerating phase and growth in 1990s generated less employment than expected, he wondered as to why the Planning Commission was interested in furthering the policies responsible for the same.

Addressing the gathering of the Dalit and concerned masses, Mr. H.L. Harit, ex-Joint Advisor Planning Commission lambasted the Planning Commission for ignoring the interests of the disadvantaged sections. He said that the Approach Paper narrate a lot but hardly suggest any concrete approach to solve the problems. He said that it was expected that the Plan would benefit the poor, but this approach paper focus more on the market forces and if adopted for the planning of 10th Plan, will certainly damage the cause of the Dalits. He called upon the Dalits to be vigilant to foil the nefarious design to their planed marginalisation.

Speaking on “Tribals and the Approach Paper to the 10th Plan”, Dr. Prakash Louis, Director Indian Social Institute said that the focus of the Approach Paper was more on the Economics and mathematics than the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and poor. He said that the main agenda of the Approach Paper is to double the per capita income by achieving growth rate of 8% and for this it advocate market oriented policies. While welcoming the Approach paper’s boldness of accepting the fact of deteriorating situation, Dr. Louise said that the Dalit/Adivasies, women and poor were missing in the Approach paper. He pointed out that Approach Paper fails to link the Human Resource and Material Resource.

Dr. Aurobindo Ghose of Peoples’ Rights Organisation said that the Approach Paper was casual and trivial. He said the Approach paper violates the constitutional mandate of equity, justice and protection to the Dalits. “This Approach paper does not have social planning”, said Dr. Ghose. He charged Planning Commission of hob-nobing with Multi National Corporations, and ignoring the just rights of the Dalits and Deprived.

Participants discussed various implication of the Approach Paper to 10th Plan and suggested the submission of views of the Dalits to the Planning Commission. It was decided that CADAM will prepare a memorandum incorporating all the points of concerns raised in the meeting and shall submit the same to the Chairman, Dy. Chairman and Advisor to the Planning Commission.

Ms. Rajni Tilak, President of CADAM conducted and presided over the meeting and Mr. Mukesh Manas and Rajiv R. Singh gave the introduction of CADAM.

Ms. Rajni Tilak, President, Centre for Alternative Dalit Media

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Source: Dalit E-Forum
Referred by: Mukandan CM
Published on: June 27, 2001
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