A fringe section of Dalit outfits in Kerala are planning to organise a mass conversion here on April 14 next in which, according to the organisers, about 25,000 Dalits would embrace Buddhism. Though a majority of organisations representing Dalits have decided to stay away from this ceremony, the Kerala unit of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisation is going ahead with its proposed meet. Announcing the programmes, Confederation State president K Ramankutty told a press conference here that even 54 years after India getting independence, Dalits were not getting social justice.The major hurdle before them in this regard was the existing caste system in the country. ''It is against this background that we are planning to organise a mass conversion here,'' he said, claiming that those who were converted to Buddhism could continue to enjoy the job reservation benefits as entitled by the SCs and STs. ''We won't force anybody to convert into Buddhism. Though we are working unitedly with other organisations in matters concerning the Backward Classes, the mass conversion is a special programme and only those who are interested should cooperate,'' he added.
Kerala's Adivasi Dalit Action Council ends its struggle over land and livelihood issues following an agreement with the State government.
THE 48-day-old agitation over land and livelihood issues undertaken for the tribal people in Kerala ended on October 16 following a seven-point agreement between the State government and the Adivasi Dalit Action Council. The Adivasi "refugee camps" erected by the agitating tribal people outside the State Secretariat and the Chief Minister's official residence in Thiru-vananthapuram and in the district headquarters were dismantled soon afterwards. There was jubilation in the streets, and praise for C.K. Janu, chairperson of the Action Council, who led the agitation.
This is what the Adivasi agitation has seemingly achieved for the 3.2 lakh tribal people:
Jubilant Adivasi agitators carry C.K. Janu, chairperson of the Adivasi Dalit Action Council, in Thiruvananthapuram.
* "Wherever possible", the government is to provide five acres (two hectares) of land to each landless Adivasi family; at other places, the offer is a minimum of one acre, which can go up to five acres, "depending on the availability of land";
* A five-year livelihood programme is to be implemented in the land thus provided until it becomes fully productive for Adivasis to sustain themselves;
* The State is to enact a law to ensure that the land provided to Adivasis is not alienated as had happened in the past;
* The State Cabinet is soon to pass a resolution asking the Union government to declare the Adivasi areas in the State as scheduled areas, bringing them under Schedule V of the Constitution;
* The government also gave a commitment that it will abide by whatever decision the Supreme Court takes on its appeal against the Kerala High Court order quashing the unpopular law (the Kerala Restriction on Transfer by and Restoration of Lands to Scheduled Tribes Bill, 1999) passed by the State Assembly in 1999;
* The government is to implement a master plan for tribal development and the plan is to be prepared with the participation of Adivasis;
* The maximum possible extent of land will be found and distributed in Wayanad district - at least 10,000 acres - where there is the largest concentration of landless Adivasis.
The agitators' demand that all landless Adivasi families must be given five acres each has not been conceded. Chief Minister A.K. Antony told Frontline it was impossible for any government to agree to such a demand in a State where there was so much pressure on land. But the government had readily agreed to provide at least one acre during its earlier round of discussions with leaders of the Action Council and other tribal organisations (Frontline, October 26).
In effect, this is what the Action Council accepted eventually.
This does not mean that the agitation was a failure. For the first time, landless Adivasis in Kerala have got a firm commitment from the government on at least one acre of land. They are also to get the protection of a new law preventing any further alienation of their land. In Janu's own Wayanad district, the government is to make an extra effort to find more land for Adivasis.
Perhaps the most important fallout of the latest agitation is that both the government and the Action Council leaders have succeeded in shifting the focus of the nearly 50-year-old tribal struggle in Kerala from the issue of "restoration of alienated land" to one of "land for the landless tribal people".
In short, whether Adivasis are any better off as a result of the agitation will be known only in January 2002, when the government, as per its promise, has to start distributing the land. The identification of the beneficiaries would prove a major hurdle in the interim period.
CHENNAI: A head constable was killed and an inspector sustained fracture injuries, when a group of Dalits, staging a road blockade, turned violent and attacked a police team at Sankaralingapuram in Tuticorin district on Friday.
Police sources said the inspector, Shahjahan, and two constables went to disperse the group, which was agitating in protest against the arrest of four Dalits from the village on Thursday.
On seeing the police, the group turned violent and attacked them with clubs and other weapons, in which the head constable, Murugan, was killed on the spot. The inspector was rushed to the hospital with fracture injuries.
Additional reinforcements were rushed to the spot and senior officials, including Tuticorin Superintendent of Police Sumit Sharan, were camping in the area.
Sources said the arrests of the Dalits followed a complaint from members of another community stating that they were being threatened by the Dalits, whose candidate lost the recently held panchayat polls.
http://www.ndtv.com/ NDTV Correspondent
Saturday, November 17, 2001 (New Delhi):
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes presented its sixth report to the President today. But more than its recommendations, what is likely to stir up a fresh controversy is the commission's stand that the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi must step down because he is not a tribal.
This year's annual report of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission has one recommendation that could raised political temperatures that is stricter action against those with forged SC/ST certificates.
This comes just a month after the Commission's head Dileep Singh Bhuria, a former BJP MP, attacked Congress leader and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi for allegedly having a fake Scheduled Tribes certificate. It is a charge Ajit Jogi has denied and called politically motivated.
The Commission's other recommendations are less controversial. They include: Extending reservations to private institutions that have got subsidized land and funding from nationalized banks.
Constitutional power to the Commission so that it is mandatory to implement its recommendations.
Creation of more special courts to try cases of atrocities against Dalits. The report also lists Uttar Pradesh as the state with the highest incidence of crimes against Dalits followed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 17: THE National Commission for SC and ST today reiterated that Chattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi was not a tribal by birth as his grand father was a member of the Scheduled Caste Satnami community who had converted to Christianity. Descendants of his grand father 's brother, who did not convert, still belong to the Satnami caste, he said.
''We have the evidence about all his relatives and the High Court of Chattisgarh will be the first court to see it,'' commissioner Dileep Singh Bhuria said today, adding that of two earlier petitions before high courts, one was dismissed and the other withdrawn without the matter of Jogi's tribal status being adjudicated upon.
At a press conference here Bhuria said that the Chattisgarh High Court had stayed the commission's ruling for six weeks and the hearing is to come up on December 4 when the court will also hear evidence presented by the commission.
Jogi was a SC convert and people belonging to this category do not get reservation under SC category, commission members said.
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 17: THE annual report of the National Commission for SC/ST isn't exactly one to go to town with, given the marginal drop in crimes against Dalits and the inadequate number of courts to dispense justice.
A day after submitting the report to President K.R.Narayanan, commissioner Dileep Singh Bhuria said that Uttar Pradesh topped the list of states with the highest rate of crimes against SCs and was followed closely by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh - Bhuria himself comes from MP. The three states together accounted for 65.4 per cent of the total cases.
While a total of 23,742 crimes were committed against the Dalits in 2000, it was slightly lower from the figure of 25,062 the previous year. Bhuria said that the same trend continued. In Uttar Pradesh, which saw 6122 cases in 1999, there were 6599 cases in 2000. Rajasthan, which reported 5623 cases in 1999, could draw some consolation that the 2000 figure stood at 5190. Madhya Pradesh dropped from 4667 cases in 1999 to 4631 in 2000.
A total of 3958 cases of crimes were committed against tribals across the country, the report says. Here, the maximum 1845 cases were reported from Madhya Pradesh (1845). This was followed by 1130 cases in Rajasthan, 221 cases in Gujarat and 202 cases in Andhra Pradesh.
While the crime rate was high, the special courts were failing to deliver justice to the Dalits, the commission said, asking for more courts and for reservation in the judiciary.
It said that over a lakh cases were still pending in courts and 75,000 of these were in courts in Uttar Pradesh.
However, in 2000 itself, of the 9,000 cases filed only 27 were pending the commission said. The rest were all old cases and would take another 20 years to be settled.
The commission also criticised violation of forest land laws like PESA or the Panchayat Extemnsion to Scheduled Areas Act of 1996 and the Samatha judgement to dole out land to commercial interests in various states to set up steel plants and for mining.
As per PESA and the Samatha, the parties have to get the consent of gram sabhas in any deals concerning forest lands, Bhuria said.
In Orissa, a Norwegian steel project has been suspended for the time being after the Centre intervened following protests by tribals against attempts to lease out forest land for the project, Bhuria said.
In Chattisgarh, two steel projects are pending purely because of objections raised by activists, he said. The Commission has called a meeting on November 22 of representatives of the state government, Central ministry of coal and mines and the gram panchayats which would be affected by the projects.
http://www.deccan.com/regional/template.shtml#Tribal woman says cops raped her
Warangal, Nov. 17: Tribal woman, Shanti, who was raped by a group of armed men in Yapala thanda village on the outskirts of Obulapuram village in Jafferghad mandal on November 8, said that the armed men were none other than policemen.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Shanti said that one armed man brandishing a revolver, knocked the doors of her house on the night of November 8 and asked for her husband Tikya. They whisked him away on the plea that they need to discuss some important matter with him.
They did not pay heed to the pleadings of Shanti who insisted that they discuss the matter in her presence. Four masked men armed with guns appeared on the scene and dragged her to the nearby bushes. They gang-raped her after gagging her mouth.
Later, they threatened to 'encounter' her if she dared to reveal the truth. They asked her to bring some more married girls from her thanda. When she expressed her inability to do so, they threatened that they would come the next day and asked her to keep some girls ready.
Shanti could not tell the truth to her husband who returned after a while. But the next day, she revealed the entire story to her husband. Fearing that the armed miscreants may come back again, they took shelter in the house of landlord Narsi Reddy in Obulapuram.
They lodged a complaint in Jaffarghad police station on November 10. Based on the complaint, the police has registered a case and sent Shanti to CKM hospital in Warangal for medical test.
Shanti said that she strongly believed that the armed men who raped her were policemen.
The dress, haircut and the language they used strengthen suspicion that they were policemen of special party, she said.
Due to profuse bleeding, Shanti is undergoing treatment at the Rohini nursing home in Jafferghad.
Shanti threatened to launch an agitation in front of the police station if action was not taken against the culprits.
When contacted, Warangal rural DSP Vijay Kumar said that there was no truth in the statements of Shanti. The Jafferghad police alleged that a case was booked against Shanti in Matwada police station for indulging in flesh trade. But on enquires it was found no cases were booked against her in the past.
HT Correspondent (New Delhi, November 17)
http://www.hindustantimes.com/nonfram/181101/detNAT06.asp Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh top the list of states where large-scale atrocities against scheduled castes and tribes have been reported, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has said.
The panel, in its sixth annual report, recommended the setting up of more special courts to try such offences against the SCs and STs.
The Commission has demanded that the functioning of the special courts should be closely monitored to ensure that there is timely disposal of cases and increase in the conviction rate. It also wants that the SC-ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act should be suitably amended to provide for admission of cases pertaining to atrocities by special courts directly without going through committal proceedings.
The report said during the year 2000, UP had the highest number of 6,122 cases of atrocities, followed by 5,623 in Rajasthan and 4,667 in MP.
Uproar in Kerala Assembly
The alleged police atrocity on a Dalit youth at a police station at Adimali in Idukki district yesterday rocked the Kerala Assembly today leading to a walkout by the Opposition LDF in protest against the Speaker's refusal for an adjournment motion on the issue.
According to the statement given by Mr C G Madhu, who also happens to be a local branch secretary of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, a forum of the powerful Ezhava community, he was beaten up by policemen at the Rajakkad station and made to eat his own excreta which came out under the impact of the combined police assault.
The 36-year-old youth was allegedly beaten up for turning up at the police station several days after he was summoned as a witness in connection with a border dispute in his neighbourhood.
However, when the matter was raised in the Assembly today, Chief Minister A K Antony said that according to the information received by him from the Idukki district SP, the youth was wanted in connection with a sexual harassment case and he tried to assault a police constable at the station where he was summoned to. The SP had also told him that the doctors in the hospital where the youth was admitted had certified that he had no visible signs of being beaten up.
Whether the youth did attack a police constable or vice versa, it has been somewhat taken at face value by the Opposition and a section of the press that the youth was made to eat his excreta after the police assault. It has also been alleged that the police later threatened that the youth would be made an accused in a sexual harassment case if the happenings in the station were made public.
Mr Antony said that the SI and the constables would be transferred. The District Collector had already been asked to conduct a detailed inquiry into the issue.
Dissatisfied with the reply, LDF leaders led by Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan walked out from the Assembly. They told newsmen later that the youth happened to be an `I' group Congress worker also and this might have been the reason for the Chief Minister's ''slow reaction''.
However, Finance MInister K Sankaranarayanan said that the government had no vested interest on the issue and it had already promised prompt action. The Opposition had been trying to drive the Chief Minister to the wall for quite some time now on ``police high-handedness and this will not succeed.''
DH News Service
Untouchability has existed throughout mankind and Dr Ambedkar had done yeomen service for the betterment of Dalits, said MLA G S Gaddadevarmath. He was speaking after inaugurating the untouchability eradication day by performing a pooja at Doddur. The Revenue Department, Social Welfare Department, Doddur Gram Panchayath and Dalit Sangharsh Samiti had jointly organised the programme at the Doddur gram panchayat premises here recently. Recalling the contribution of Dr Ambedkar, Prof Satish Pase said, "thirst of knowledge raised him to great heights." He said that Dalits can better their position through education, organisation and agitation.
Speaking on the occasion, Principal K B Talageri called upon the downtrodden to come out of vices and superstitions. He said that unless this was done, their progress was difficult.
Old age pension and widow pension were given to three members. The local MLA presented steel tanks to 17 SC members.
GP president MS Neelavva Hiremath presided over the function. Tukkappa Karabhari, TP president Mahendra Mundawad, Ms L S Lamani, Ningappa Guddannavar, Channappa Bagalad, Muttanna Kenchangoudra, DSS leader H N Nandennavar, M S Potaraj, B M Doddamani, Deepak Nayak, Ramanna Waddar, Tahsildar S K Patil, TP Executive Officer Ravi Basarihalli, Mahadevagouda Narasammanavar, Gram Devata Yuvak Mandal members and others were present.
BAMCEF(The All India Backward(SC/ST/OBC)and converted Minorities(Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist and Christian)Communities Employees Federation) BAMCEF every year organises its national convention in different parts of the country to access its strength and development in network. Last year this convention was organised at U.P. Capital, Lucknow.
BAMCEF cordially invites you all for its 18th National Convention to be held in New Delhi at Ramlila Ground from 16th to 19th December 2001. The convention will be inaugurated by Dr.Vidya Sagar Anand, Chairman , Phoolan Devi memorial Committe, UK. Special guest of the convention is MR.Jagdish Rai, chairman Dalit Sahitya Akadimi, London. In this convention website of BAMCEF will be inaugurated by Dr.Vidya Sagar Anand. The detail programme of the convention is given below.
Please go through the subjects designed and try to be one of the delegate of the convention. This convention will be attended by intellectual delegates from 300 districts of India out of 583 districts in 26 states.
Also almost 25 delegates from international level are also going to participate in this convention. Two sessions had being designed keeping in view the participation of international delegates. One is on Durban conference and the other on internationalising Phuley-Ambedkarite movement. Please attend the convention and don't miss the oppurtunity. Also please try to pass on the invitation to all our bahujan co-brothers in entire world.
The All India Backward (SC,ST,OBC) and Minority
Communities Employees Federation,New Delhi.
Central Office :- 4765/46(3rd floor) Raigherpura,
Karolbagh, New Delhi-110005.
18th National Convention
Date :- 16th ,17th, 18th,and 19th December 2001.
(Sunday,Monday,Tuesday and Wednesday.)
Inauguration: Sunday 16th Dec. 2001 at 11.00 a.m.
Special guest: Mr. Jagdish Roy
Mr. Waman Meshram, National President BAMCEF shall Preside over.
Mr. Vidhya Sagar Anand shall release website of BAMCEF www.mulnivasibamcef.org (http://www.mulnivasibamcef.org/) on this occasion.
SPECIAL AWAKENING SESSION No. 1
(Sunday 16th December 2001 at 2.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.) India has completed 54 years of its independence. In the struggle for freedom, people were dolled with the promises that the poverty shall be eradicated in independent India. But we do not see an end to poverty. On the contrary 20 crore 80 lakh people reached to starvation line(FAMINE LINE) still below poverty line. Most of these people are Mulnivasi(Indigenous)Bahujan from amongst SC, ST, OBC and converted minorities. We have a firm conviction that conspiracy of racial discrimination is the cause of starvation(famine).
SUBJECT:- 20 Crore 80 lakh people had reached below starvation line, after 54 years of independence is the result of conspiracy of racial discrimination. Speakers:
1) Mr. Chandrabhan Prasad (Journalist, New
SPECIAL AWAKENING SESSION No. 2
(Sunday 16th December 2001 at 6.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.) Special efforts have been made by the NGOs to raise the issue of caste discrimination in the Durban Conference. It was expected to discuss as to the success or failure of the people who raised the issue. However, no such discussion took place. After the Conference it is strange to note that nobody knows who has won and who has lost. Neither the winner nor the losers are discussing the issue. The so-called National press has maintained apt silence. People need to have information to plan future strategy. We are therefore discussing the following issue.
SUBJECT:- Success or Failure of the issue of caste discrimination raised in Durban Conference-A Critical Analysis. Speakers:
1) Mr. L.K. Madavi. (Tribal Thinker
Delegate session No. 1.
Monday 17th Dec. 2001. 9 A.M To 11 A.M.
Sub:- Public debates on thousands of organisations of Mulnivasi bahujan Samaj- A Brahminical conspiracy.
DELEGATE SESSION NO. 2
Monday 17th Dec.2001. 11,00 A.M To 1.30 P.M.
Two subjects are being deliberately discussed in this session. BAMCEF workers and important functionaries shall participate in this session. Most backward, scheduled castes and most backward castes are being disintegrated in the names of social justice. However these steps are not really for social justice but to use them for political purposes. We propose deliberations on the below mentioned subject to awaken our people. Similarly, Brahmanisation of tribals is being carried on a large scale. This is a campaign to blur the identity of Tribes, they are being enslaved. It is a dangerous conspiracy. Very few know about this. Considering this we have decided to discuss following two subjects in this session. SUBJECT:
1) The trend of further disintegration of
most backward caste and most backward scheduled castes
is "use & throw" conspirical politics of high castes.
SPECIAL AWAKENING SESSION NO- 3
(Monday - 17th December 2001 2.30p.m. to 5.30 p.m.) The purpose of the subject being discussed in this session is to expose the Brahmanical conspiracy of imposing the term ‘’Hindu’’ on Mulnivasi(Indigenous)Bahujan and make them to loose their identity as aboriginal inhabitants of our mother land and to create supremacy of Brahmins to perpetuate Slavery upon Mulnivasi bahujan. SUBJECT: Are the Mulnivasi Bahujan Hindus? OR Can there be a common religion of slaves and who made them slaves? Speakers:
1) Mr. J.S. Kashyap (Advocate Allahabad
SPECIAL AWAKENING SESSION NO- 4
(Monday 17th December 2001 6.00 p.m. to 9.pm.) The backwards are shudras in Brahminical social order but backwards are ignorant about this. On the contrary they claim themselves either Hindu or Kshatriya due to their mental slavery. We have decided to analyse this subject in depth to keep them well informed and create a wave of awakening amongst them.
SUBJECT: “The backwards are ignorant that they are shudras and derive pleasure to be Hindus. This is the root cause of their mental slavery.”
1) Mr. R.L. Chandapuri (Founder of backward
class movement, Bihar)
Mulnivasi Sangh (Student, Youths and ladies WING)
DELEGATE SESSION NO-1
(Tuesday 18th December 2001 from 9.00 A.M. to 11.30. A.M.)
SUBJECT:- Difficulties in co-ordinating activities of Mulnivasi Sangh with BAMCEF and the way of resolving them.
DELEGATE SESSION NO. 2.
(Tuesday 18th December 2001 from 11.30. A.M. to 1.30. P.M.)
The concept of “educate, ” organise” and ”agitate” is being debated throughout the country. Most of those participating in this debate either do not know anything about it or they are not seriously involved in the affairs of the movement. This creates confusion in the society. We would like to clear the confusion and therefore we have decided to deliberate on the following subject.
SUBJECT:- Meaning of concept of educate, organise and agitate in the contest of movement - An analysis.
Guidance by Mr. Waman Meshram, National President, BAMCEF
SPECIAL AWAKENING SESSION NO. 5
( Tuesday, 18th December 2001. FROM 2.30 P.M to 5.30 P.M) Religious minorities are basically converts from amongst SC, ST, Most Backward class & Backward class. This is their historical identity and can be a basis to organise entire Mulnivasi Bahujan Samaj and put an end to communal riots. We would like to discuss following subject to create a potential weapon to fight communal riots.
Subject:- “Realisation of their historical identity by converted minorities in spite of their religious sanction. ” Speaker:-
1) Mr. Ali Anwar (Well-known journalist,
SPECIAL AWAKENING SESSION. 6
(Tue, 18th December 2001 From 6.00 A.M. to 9.00 A.M.) Brahmin historians have succeeded in their design to create an impression that Aryans have not come from Central Asia but are original inhabitants of this land. However DNA research has scientifically proved that Arya Brahmins are not original inhabitants of this land but they are of foreign origin. This research will have far reaching effect on present and future generation of Mulnivasi Bahujan Samaj. We have therefore decided to discuss the following issue.
SUBJECT:- IMPACT of DNA research on the present and future life of Mulnivasi Bahujan samaj- A serious discussion.
Speaker:- Invited guests
Mr. Waman Meshram, National President, BAMCEF shall preside over.
DELEGATE SESSION NO.3
(Wed, 19th Dec 2001, from 9.00 A.M. to 11.30 A.M.) “Mulnivasi Karmachari Kalyan Mahasangha” had already been established. We would like to seek opinion of our machinery whether to take up the following subjects for social action during the coming year and organise a nationwide protest and rallies.
1) Office memorandums issued by the govt.
against the system of Reservation.
DELEGATE SESSION NO.4
(For International delegates)
Wed.19th Dec.2001. 11.00 A.M To 1.30 A.M. Today the world has taken a shape of global village. It is therefore essential to build international network if we really want to lead our struggle successfully. Keeping this in view we have invested our efforts in this direction and made limited success. We have therefore decided to deliberate the issue in national convention to achieve greater results in this field.
SUBJECT: The building of international network of Phule-Ambedkarite Movement-A present day need. CHIEF SPEAKER:-
Mr.Maulkiat Singh Bahal( ENGLAND),Co-ordinator (BAMCEF International Network)
Mr. Waman Meshram, National president BAMCEF shall preside over.
SPECIAL AWAKENING SESSION NO. 7
(Wed. 19th Dec. 2001, from 2.30 P.M to 5.30 P.M.) The struggle for independence was a myth, but people have taken it to their heart as there was no reason to doubt the honesty of freedom fighters. However, after 54 yrs of independence when we see the approach of rulling castes towards Mulnivasi Bahujans, it is proved beyond doubt that struggle for independence was only for Aryan Brahmins and not for Munivasi Bahujan. Large numbers of evidences are available if we analyse history in the present context. We would therefore like to expel clouds of myth and hence decided to discuss on the following subject.
SUBJECT: Struggle of independence was not for the Mulnivasi Bahujans, but for independence of Arya Brahmins to establish their supremacy. SPEAKERS:
1) Dr.Pradeep Aglawe (Prof. Nagpur
(Wed 19th Dec. 2001 from 6.00 P.M to 9.00 P.M) Fight for the cause of other backward caste comes to decisive end and again slips back. Other backward castes have been provided reservation on the basis of caste but their caste has not been registered in CENSUS -2001. We feel that whatever they have achieved through implementation of Mandal report is lost by not ensuring caste census. However we do not find any discussion or agitation in the backward castes. We have therefore decided to debate the following issue. SUBJECT:- Non-enrollment of O.B.C. on the basis of caste in the census 2001 is nothing but defeat of achievements of Mandal Commission benefits. SPEAKERS:
1) Dr. Yogendra Yadav. (Famous election
results analyst, N.Delhi.)
The hindu fascists are become increasingly aggressive against the Buddhists.The anger against the Buddhist minorities have increased manyfold after thousands of dalits ,the victims of hindu untouchability and apartheid have chosen to embrace Buddhism.
We have been persistently warning against the impending attacks against the Buddhists for almost an year.Infact this is not a new phenomenon.The hindutva propganda machinery had been engaged in an anti-Buddhist campain for sometime.Hindutva egroups and RSS cyber-pracharaks had been distributing anti-Buddhist literature for quiet some time.The article of Fracois Gautier slandering the Buddhists was a starting point. The Buddhist have been blamed for their non-violence which ,the hindu nazis say were responsible for the 'subjugation' of India by the moghuls.
P.PARAMESWARAN KICKS START A CAMPAIGN.
The self-proclaimed intellectual of hindutva P Parameswaran has launched a bitter attack against the Buddhists after the Kerala chapter of Udit Raj's association announced that they are converting 25,000 dalits to Buddhism soon.
P Parameswaran,the head of 'Barateeya Vichar Kendra' accused the Buddhists of 'converting' Kshatriyas to Buddhism,rendering them 'impotent' and making them 'bikshus' and 'sanyasins'. This he alleged ,caused the downfall of Indian kings before the islamic invaders. This statement ,understandably is a malicious attempt to 'demonise' the invaders while giving a clean chit to the hindu kings whom historians say were absolute failures in governance and known for their women,wine and song and associated with tax collection and oppression.There are descriptions of the local popualtions actually welcoming the 'invaders' as an escape from the tyranny.The other hidden fact is that it was the infighting and unending power stuggles which causef their downfall.
P Parameswaran alleges that India lost 'Afghanistan' because it had become Buddhist.The kshatriya warriors, he laments ,had become 'non-violent'.Paramewaran may be one of those hindutva dreamers who dream of creating a hindu rashtra and an Akhand Bharat by annexing the territories of India's sovereign neighbours.Further the elements of hindutva are now actively asking the hindu civilians to renounce 'non-violence' and demanding that the hindu arm themselves.If one were to read any of the hindutva messages now flying around the internet,one would understand the militarising move.
The hindutva's malafides and dishonesty is revealed when they say that the Buddhists had made the Indian fighters impotent and 'non-resistant' but they suddenly became 'extremist' and 'aggressive' as they converted to Islam.
Hindutva now tries to glorify the kings of the past,who had been dethroned by history.But to cover up their eternal failures,they need to scapegoat Buddhism. And why this exercise of all of a sudden,from those who have been swearing that 'Buddhism is a panth of hinduism'? The motives are clear.It is obvious that in the coming days,the hindutva campaign against the Buddhists will receive greater force.
'Social justice yet to reach the poor'
KOCHI, NOV. 17. Swami Agnivesh, social and civil rights activist, today criticised the institutionalised justice delivery system. Speaking at a seminar on `Public interest litigation and social justice' organised here in connection with the 87th birthday celebrations of Mr. V.R. Krishna Iyer, former Supreme Court judge, he said ``the system is on the side of the exploiters, not the exploited,''.
Eighteen years after the cause of quarry workers was taken up by him through a public interest litigation (PIL), petition, the plight of the workers remained the same. Social justice did not reach the underprivileged due to the sheer manipulations by different mafia ruling over various strata of society.
The fight against injustice was coming to naught in the hawala and Narmada cases though he did not mean to offend the judiciary, he added.
On the contrary, Ms. Padma Seth, former chairperson of the National Commission for Women, said that the public interest litigation route held out hope. The condition that the petitioner need not be an aggrieved party was giving scope for a liberalised view on jurisprudence.
Mr. Rajeev Dhavan, senior Supreme Court lawyer, said that rule of law should not be abandoned. The system was a mixed blessing. The legal process was not a gift of God. ``We are lucky that we have a viable judiciary,'' he said and cited examples of countries where the judicial system died out. PIL was democratisation of judiciary and had to be utilised properly.
To those who sought solution for everything in PIL, he said, ``judiciary is not a substitute for democracy''. Mr. Krishna Iyer was among the judicial luminaries who exercised judicial statesmanship, he said.
Reservation policy not implemented in full
NEW DELHI, NOV. 17. Despite the Indian Constitution being the first in the world to provide for affirmative action, the vision with which this provision was made remains a distant dream half-a- century later. Be it in educational institutions or government jobs, Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe representation, according to the Sixth Annual Report of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, is far below the 22.5 per cent provided for under the reservation policy.
Releasing the report at a press conference here, the chairman of the commission, Mr. Dileep Singh Bhuria, said the representation of Scheduled Castes on January 1, 2000, was 11.29 per cent in Group A services of the Central Government and 12.68 per cent in Group B as against the stipulated 15 per cent. In other areas such as public sector enterprises, public sector banks, insurance companies and central universities, the situation was even more bleak.
Since such a situation has arisen because the scheme of reservation is based on Executive Instructions - violation of which does not entail penal action - and judicial interventions, the commission has urged the Government to bring the reservation policy within an appropriate legislation and place it in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution to avoid ``judicial interference''.
While ``legal loopholes'' is part of the problem, the commission has identified lack of access to quality education as another contributing factor to their low representation in government services. In the absence of quality education, their ability to compete for senior level positions in the Government has been affected.
The commission has called for extending the policy of reservation in appointments and admissions to private institutions which avail of facilities like land at concessional rates and funding from financial institutions and nationalised banks.
Another aspect that the commission has laboured upon in its report submitted to the President, Mr. K.R. Narayanan, on Friday, pertains to atrocities and exploitation by other communities. Though there has been a decline in such cases, the practice of untouchability continues in many overt and covert forms.
Providing statistics for 1999, the report states that Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh accounted for 65.4 per cent of the total number of atrocities against the Scheduled Castes. While 6,122 cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan had 5,623 cases and Madhya Pradesh 4,667 cases. As for Scheduled Tribes, Madhya Pradesh topped the list with 1,976 cases followed by Rajasthan with 1,221. While the report takes note of the fact that there are several States with no incidence of atrocities/exploitation, it laments the delay in disposal of cases.
Citing the example of Uttar Pradesh where 74,307 cases are pending at present, the commission has urged the Government to strengthen the investigation and judicial machinery, create exclusive special courts in the States with a heavy pendency, and have a monitoring mechanism to ensure the implementation of protective legislations.
Given the fact that tribals in many a State have been stripped off their land with the coming into force of the Forest Conservation Act, the commission has sought the review of the National Forest Policy and Forest Laws by the Ministry of Environment and Forests so that they are made compatible with the development of tribals.
The Andhra Pradesh government (India) headed by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had a three-day gala time from November 1, 2001 in campaigning against caste system and untouchability.
The entire administration of the State government and the ruling party were on the streets campaigning against untouchability, promoting entry of Dalits into temples and encouraging inter-caste marriages. The officials at the village-level were asked to hold meetings to discourage the practice of untouchabilty and ensure the entry of Dalits into temples.
But, the three-day fun had no commitment on the part of the Chief Minister or his administration. There were no temple entries, except in the places where the Chief Minister himself was present. Even in these places, where the Chief Minister had lead the Dalits into the temples, the caste Hindus have protested and kept themselves away from the festivity. It was later, the caste Hindus have locked the temples in protest and are now getting ready to purify them.
In other places, the officials have either ignored the temple entry for Dalits or lead the Dalits into temples at the noon, which is not an auspicious time for the worship. In any temple, the auspicious time for worship is early morning or evening, when the temple priest performs the pooja reciting the Vedic hymns. But, the administration never bothered to ensure the temple entry at these auspicious hours. The village-level meeting as part of the campaign was also went unnoticed as any government programme. The speakers – all from the caste Hindus – had never bothered to make the Dalits speak, explain the hardships that they are facing in every day life. All this only speaks the lack of commitment on the part of the Chief Minister for the cause.
We have seen two aspects during the three-day programme of the State government. The community dinner and temple entry were carried out by the administration during the three days with gaiety.
The three-day campaign included an important component like community dinner. The State government and the ruling party have asked caste Hindus to sponsor community dinners wherein the caste Hindus would sit with the Dalits and eat together to display the social equality. The question before the Dalits is not that they eating food provided to them by the caste Hindus. But, the caste Hindus should accept the food provided by the Dalits. Is Chandrababu Naidu ready for this? Is he ready to accept the food provided by the Dalits?
The Chief Minister was seen dining with the Dalits during the three days. But, he had his own water and food prepared by the caste Hindus. The Dalits have no problem in accepting the food provided by the caste Hindus. In fact, they have been accepting the leftover food of the caste Hindus for centuries and they don’t need Chandrababu Naidu to give them the hot food from the caste Hindus.
The Chief Minister should understand that no Dalit in Andhra Pradesh had asked for temple entry. The Dalits have their own religious culture. They have Gods and Goddesses, who are related to their lives. The festivals that the Dalits celebrate are also related to their lives. Unlike the Gods and Goddesses of the caste Hindus, who depend or who are described in the Hindu mythology, the Gods and Goddesses of the Dalits is a reality.
The Poleramma, Pochamma, Mutyalamma, Maremma, Gonthemma and Mysamma of the Dalits are associated with their lives. These festivals or celebrated by the Dalits when they get new crop or when they have an important event in the family. They don’t need multi-storied temples with security guards, video cameras and serpentine queues. All that they need is a shade of a tree to place the idols of these Goddesses. They also don’t need Chandrababu Naidu’s to lead them to the temples.
Several of the Dalits have quit the Hindu religion to follow the Christianity. Majority of the Dalitwadas – the localities of the Dalits – are guarded by the Churches and not temples. When the Hindu Gods (represented by Brahmin priests) have closed doors for the Dalits, the Christianity has opened the Church gates and owned the Dalits. Every village has a Church and every Church is open for the Dalits. They don’t need Chandrababu Naidus or any other government officer to lead them to these places of worship.
If at all the Dalits want from the Chandrababu Naidu government is not an entry into temple, but entry into the surplus lands. The Dalits, who are deprived of owning land, but still toil in the soil to provide surplus food for the caste Hindus, are looking for Chandrababu Naidu to shoulder the responsibility of distributing the surplus lands for them.
Distribution of surplus lands for the landless Dalits has been a mere political slogan for the political parties to generate votes once in five years. No political party has come forward so far to distribute the surplus lands for the Dalits and make them economically independent. It is here; the Dalits look forward to the government. One should not forget the fact that the economic independence would clear some of the social evils, including the caste system. But, it is for Chandrababu Naidu and his administration to tell the world how committed they are in fighting against caste system and removing untouchability from the society.
I have sent two emails to the Chief Minister offering my suggestions in the campaign, when he actually started the campaign on November 1, 2001. But, he did not respond to either of the e-mails and made his secretaries only to acknowledge the messages.
My first suggestion was to change his Endowments Minister giving it to a Dalit. And the other important suggestion was to distribute the surplus lands and make the Dalits owners and not workers. I am sure, Chandrababu Naidu may accept my first suggestion as it would give him some political mileage. But, he would never accept the second suggestion as it amounts to empowering the Dalits.