Mulnivasi Employees Welfare federation has launched a nationwide dharna on 17th Feb. 2002 in 325 districts and 2000 Tahsils of INDIA at a time on 11:00 A.M on the points mentioned herewith:
NATIONWIDE DHARNA/PROTEST AND DEMONSTRATIONS
Against Govt. Conspiracy to end reservation Conspiracy to end reservation:
The govt. had introduced the policy of liberalization, privatization and Globalization to abolish the Democratic system of reservations i.e. the right of representation of Mulnivasi(Indigenous)Schedule caste, Schedule Tribes, Backward Classes and Converted Minority from amongst these communities. Bureaucrats, particularly the Department of Personnel & Training(DoPT) have under a design and plan started systematic assault on Mulnivasis to cut down the scope of reservation in services under the guise of court cases due to which there is a great discontment and dissatisfaction prevailing in the rank and file of this class in whose favour constitutional provisions have been made to raise them from the position of handicap to that of improvement. It is not the only intention to abolish reservations but they have hatched a conspiracy to enslave these communities. Not only the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is responsible for the conspiracy but the congress has given mute consent. Rather it is the congress which was instrumental to initiate the policy of LPG. The Congress is the biggest Bramnical force. The judiciary is also a party to abolish the reservations and enslave these communities. Not only Judiciary but also Central Govt, State Govts. and executive are party to this conspiracy. We have therefore decided to launch a strong nation wide protest against following 22 points :
1. Five Govt. orders against the system of reservations and various judgments of judiciary against reservations
2 The constitutional amendments which are mere eye wash of Mulnivasi Bahujan.
3 Anti-National decision to review Constitution with the silent support of congress
4 Privatization and Brahmanisation of Education
5 Conspiracy against reservation with the policy of Liberalization, Privatization and globalization, and to enslave Mulnivasi Bahujan .
6 A conspiracy to end adult franchise through constitution review commission.
7 Inaction to make representative Judiciary and formulate judicial commission for the appointments of judges even after 54 years of Independence & 50 years of Constitution enactment.
8 Conspiracy to deny census of OBC on the basis of Cast & to perpetuate poverty amongst them.
9 The employment of Brahmin is a cause of unemployment of Mulnivasi Bahujan.
10 Denial of reservation to "Maratha Community" at par with " Jat Community"
11 Denial of unemployment allowances to unemployed people.
12 We condemn the economic policy of liberalization, privatization and globalization, which is against the spirit of constitution.
13 Denial of 60% reservation to Schedule tribes in new state of Zarkhand
14 Denial of Govt of India Scholarship to the students from NT,DNT,OBC& MBC Communities .
15 Denial of reservation in education to OBC, specially professional education in Medical Science, Engineering, & Management studies.
16 Denial of reservation in promotion to OBC
17 No preparation of the list of OBC as per the recommendations of Mandal Commission.
18 Fraud against Mandal Commission by rejecting various recommendations.
19 Denial of 52% reservations to 52% OBC.
20 Non-preparations of central list for MBC.
21 Non-preparation of central list for NT&DNT.
22 Application of criteria of creamy layer to aforesaid two communities.
DHARNA ON: Sunday, dated 17th February 2002 AT: Dr.Ambedkar statue, Ambedkar Bhawan, Rani Jhansi Road, Karol Bagh, New Delhi
The demonstrations has been organized at 2000 Tehsil Offices of 325 Districts in 26 States throught INDIA at 11:00 A.M
APPEAL: We appeal to the officers, employees, workers, cadres, members and well-wishers from amongst Mulnivasi Bahujan Samaj to participate in the Dharna and make it a grand success with financial support.
TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2002 2:03:53 AM ]
AGRA: As you drive through the streets of Agra, amidst the enormous hoardings announcing the names of the various party candidates, the BJP's provocative anti-terrorism slogans hit the eye: "Laden samarthak SIMI par lage pratibandh ka virodh karne wale ko kya aap pradesh ki bagdor sonpenge? Nirnay aapka (Will you hand over the state to the supporters of the pro-Laden SIMI? The decision is yours)". Or "Laden ya Vande Mataram? Nirnay aapka."
But despite the BJP's best efforts to make its battle against terrorism an election issue, especially against its main rival, the Samajwadi Party, it is cutting no ice with the electorate.
In the Gokul assembly segment in Mathura, a group of Brahmins, taking shelter from the rain, are sitting at a tea shop, gossiping animatedly about the elections. But when this correspondent asked them whether terrorism is an electoral issue, the response was most unexpected.
One of the older men, J P Sharma, with a tilak on his forehead, shoots back: "Can you define who is a terrorist? Until you decide who is a terrorist, how can you fight it? When Jaswant Singh flew to Afghanistan along with terrorists and released them honourably, who was the terrorist - those he released or he, himself?"
Taking cue from Sharma, some youths - also Brahmin — add, "Here, the police are the terrorists — they sit drinking whisky with the criminals and then they pick up some innocents and throw them in the lock-up.
S S Sharma, the one man in the group who says the BJP is doing a great job fighting terrorism and wants the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (Poto) to be enacted, is silenced.
Explains S K Sharma, who runs the tea shop, "There is nothing wrong with a law to check terrorism, but its predecessor, Tada, was misused by the government. That is why it is being opposed."
And in the Mathura city assembly segment, Kunjlal Chaturvedi, a trader, is even more dismissive: "Terrorism — that's a subject for intellectuals. There's been no electricity since last evening, the roads are a mess — here people are bothered about local issues".
If there is scepticism among the `twice born', Muslims — across the class spectrum — are angry at the attempt to make terrorism an election issue.
Professor Firoz Ahmed, who teaches chemistry at Aligarh Muslim University, points out that it is the duty of any government to fight terrorism, and the BJP government's efforts to take credit for military achievements — "as though our soldiers who fight for the nation, for all of us, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, are all BJP cadres" — are highly objectionable.
Ahmed's indignation is matched by that of the Muslims of Nai Mandi, a Muslim-dominated locality in the Agra cantonment assembly segment.
Dusk has fallen and the men standing at a little cigarette and paan stall — from the bearded older men to the younger clean shaved ones — are all one when they say: "People of all religious denominations want terrorism to end. So how does it become an election issue, unless you want to target one community. If someone in Afghanistan has done something wrong, what has it do with us? They live in Afghanistan — we live in Hindustan".
No bite, no vision
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is a statutory body, which came into being with the passing of the Constitution (68th amendment) Bill 1990. It is meant to look after the welfare of these communities but, unfortunately, is little better than a rehabilitation centre and parking lot for defeated politicians and unwanted bureaucrats. The Commission comprises six members and one chairperson and whoever happens to be in power decides on these appointments. The last Commission's tenure came to an end on November 14, 2001. The NDA government then had to appoint a new chairman and members and once again appointments were made keeping political considerations in mind.
The Commission has three components ? the social and economic development wing, the service safeguards wing and the prevention of atrocities wing. The first is supposed to look into the implementation of government schemes and other issues relating to Dalits. The service safeguard wing is meant to entertain grievances of SC/ST employees and officers. The prevention of atrocities cell deals with police-related matters and those cases that come up under the Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.
But how effective is the Commission? To get an idea, let us examine the performance of the service safeguards wing. Thousands throng the Commission's office with the hope that they will get justice for acts of discrimination against them committed largely by their colleagues and superiors. If the person manages to get a hearing, it is because the case is earmarked as one warranting special attention. Letters are dispatched to the concerned department, which are normally ignored. Reminders are then sent and still don't elicit a response, generally speaking. In the rarest cases, summons are issued and a representative of the department made to appear before the Commission. The Commission is also empowered to arrest those who do not comply with its orders, but so far I have not heard of a single arrest being made for such defiance.
Going by the feedback I have received from aggrieved people, in not more than one per cent of cases is proper action initiated. Only if the head of department is sensitive to the issue of caste discrimination, or the concerned member in the Commission committed to pursuing justice, is compliance ensured. For one thing, it is not easy to prove the case of the petitioner. The concerned department is usually represented by qualified lawyers and well prepared officials. In contrast, most members of the Commission are not sufficiently aware of the finer points of service rules or the law.
An aggrieved person gets a shock when his case is not properly argued. Even if the Commission's findings favour him or her, there is still no guarantee that justice will be done in the case, because the Commission does not have the power to ensure that its observations are translated into policy. In fact, on January 1, 1998, the secretary, department of Personnel and Training, even issued an office memo informing all departments that the Commission's findings are not binding and that it cannot issue any injunction order in any case. As for the unit handling atrocities, the story is the same. The process of getting justice is, in any case, so tortuous that it takes weeks, even months, to issue notices and get compliance, by which time things could have become even worse.
The SC/ST Commission is required to monitor whether funds released by the Centre for projects to empower SC/ST communities are utilised properly. The earlier chairman from Karnataka did some hectic touring to review the implementation at the state government level. It was discovered that most states had diverted, for other purposes, the funds earmarked for Dalits. There is, besides, no one to audit and monitor the performance of the individual members and the chairman. In the outgoing Commission, a tribal member from Orissa, and the vice-president from Bihar, must not have disposed of more than two or three cases in their entire tenure. How then could their involvement in the Commission have been justified? For the last two months, there are only two working members in the Commission, the chairman and four other members having retired. Similar things have happened in the past. The reason for this is that the government takes its own time to accommodate its chosen nominees. There is also a shortage of staff in the Commission but nobody seems to care.
Clearly, those who serve on such a Commission must have some exposure to the law if they are to be effective. A member from Punjab who has just retired, did exceptionally well as a member of the Commission because of his knowledge of the law. The chairman, who came from Karnataka, was also effective because of his legal background. Members must also display courage and conviction in the discharge of their duties ? characteristics that are usually missing in those whose appointments are just a means of acquiring a cosy sinecure. Usually the secretary of the Commission ? a senior IAS officer ? does not take any interest in its working. There are other problems as well. For the last many years, the ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has been headed by a minister of state who has the power to release funds and deploy staff. The chairman of the Commission is a person of Cabinet minister rank but he has to depend on the minister of state to get his directives translated into action and often he is not obliged.
There is shortage of staff in the Commission but nobody cares. The Commission has got its subordinate offices in the states but in many places very junior officers head these bodies. Some even use it as a platform to run their NGOs and collect data that are later used to showcase their concern for Dalits in various fora.
Incidentally, the Commission also prepares a report which is given to the President and tabled in Parliament. But it invariably goes through without a proper discussion. Many valuable suggestions therefore remain unimplemented. For instance, the Commission, in its fourth report, had sought power of direction for itself but to little avail. The All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations has taken up the cause of empowering the Commission in its financial, administrative and judicial aspects, but the government has not responded.
It needs courage and conviction to make this Commission ? the apex body to safeguard the welfare of Dalits ? a force to be reckoned with. Indeed, we need someone like T.N. Seshan, who transformed the Election Commission and made it an instrument of change, to shake up the system and make a difference to the lives of Dalits everywhere.
The writer heads the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations and is a Dalit leader
By Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI, FEB. 13. The Bahujan Samaj Party has made a major strategic shift in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections by fielding candidates from communities other than Dalits, on which it has a firm grip.
A visit across Khurja-Aligarh areas indicates that the party has decided to reach beyond Dalits and has fielded candidates from among the upper castes, including Brahmins and Thakurs.
The BSP vice-president, Mayawati, makes it a point to explain that her party had given tickets to more number of Muslims (86) than the Samajwadi Party and the Congress. The party has fielded 92 candidates from upper castes. ``The BSP is not against upper castes,'' she says at election meetings.
Having contested the last election as a major partner with the Congress, the BSP vote-share (the State then had 425 Assembly seats) stood at 19.64 per cent. This time the attempt is not just to increase its vote-share but to bag more number of seats. (The party won 67 seats in 1996).
According to party strategists, the BSP wants to improve its votebank and, therefore, the effort is to wean away votes from other segments by fielding members from other dominant communities.
For instance in Aligarh, the BSP has fielded a Muslim - Haji Ali Qureshi - against Vaish candidates fielded by the BJP, the Congress and the Rashtriya Kranti Party. The seat was held by Samajwadi Party's Abdul Khaliq. The constituency has 18 per cent Muslims and 24 per cent Scheduled Castes, the majority of whom back the BSP. Similarly, in the Iglas constituency in Aligarh district, the BSP has a Brahmin, Narendra Dixit - who takes on the sitting member, Malkhan Singh, of the BJP.
In the neighbouring Atrauli constituency, where the Rashtriya Kranti Party founder and former Chief Minister, Kalyan Singh, is seeking re- election the BSP has fielded Vinod Sharma, a Brahmin. The Congress has a Muslim - Anwar Hussain and the BJP, Umesh Kumari. These are just random samples from among the 402 contestants the BSP has in the fray.
Whether the strategy pays off or not, Ms. Mayawati's rivals, including the Samajwadi Party chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav, are perhaps not comfortable with the situation.
One point of their campaigning is to level allegations that the BSP's tickets were granted for a consideration, while the latter counters it as a conspiracy by `manuwadi' forces.
By V. Krishna Ananth
BAGHPAT, FEB. 13. Jainarayan, who works in one of the factories that dot the landscape around Rampur Tiraha, and many others like him in the 92 Assembly constituencies in this region that go to the polls in the first phase tomorrow, do not fear that anyone will prevent them from voting. Nor are they under any pressure from the local elite while deciding whom they shall vote. The Dalits here do not depend on labour in the sugarcane fields. Intense mechanisation of agriculture that began in the sixties has led the region's politics on to a different course. The landless agricultural workers, the Dalits in social terms, were released from the fields to be engaged in the factories that came up here.
This, indeed, has effected far-reaching changes in the socio- political discourse in western Uttar Pradesh that is behind the assertion by the Dalits and the consequent resurgence of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Barring a handful of old men and women who are engaged as labour in the sugarcane fields, the rest of the Dalits across these villages are workers in the small and medium scale industrial units; there are also a good number of them who run their own business.
All these mean the retreat of feudalism. It has brought about a situation where the Jats - particularly those in their forties - realising that their interests could be served better if only they resist charting the path laid out by their fathers. They realise the futility of lording it over the Dalits. Gone are the days when Charan Singh's wishes - to defeat Indira Gandhi's Congress party - were implemented by the Jat farmer even if it meant preventing the Dalit labourer from reaching the polling station. It was possible for them to do this, simply because they were dependent on labour in the Jat farmers' land.
And though they would prefer, in those days, to vote for the Congress (only because the Jats were opposed to it) they never felt emboldened to do it.
The emergence of the Lok Dal in the region in the sixties, marked as it was by a consolidation of the Jat identity behind Charan Singh is not to be seen any longer. The second round of this consolidation, in the eighties behind Mahendra Singh Tikait too has withered away. And while Ajit Singh and Om Prakash Chautala are battling for the mantle, the ground reality is different. This was proved when Mr. Ajit Singh lost Baghpat to the BJP in the 1998 general elections.
``The scenario has changed now. It was necessary then for a leader who would place the farmers' concerns in the minds of the policy- makers; Chaudhury saab (Charan Singh) achieved that. Now we know all these leaders are more concerned about themselves and we do not have any reverence towards them as we had towards Chaudhury saab. We decide our choice on the basis of the performance by the incumbent MLA,'' says Surinder Singh, a farmer.
While the Jat consolidation, constructed around the Charan Singh legacy has cracked up, the consolidation of the Dalits around the BSP is complete. This leaves the BSP as the only party with a solid votebank in the region and attracting the the Muslims as the best bet to defeat the BJP. For the Muslims the Samajwadi Party is no longer the strongest force against the BJP.