Dalits protest against statute review

New Delhi, July 30

Representatives of several associations of dalits have given a representation to President K.R. Narayanan expressing their protest and anguish over formation of the Constitution Review Committee and stating that it is nothing but a plot against the dalits.

In a memorandum, they have stated that any change in the present Constitution is not acceptable to them and such a review is against the social justice for dalits, backward classes, women and minorities. It is a "big conspiracy" to curb their lawful rights, they added.

According to spokesperson Hansraj Suman, who represents these associations, "In the name of review of Constitution, some people want to deprive dalits of their constitutional provisions such as reservation, opportunities in employment and education by writing off such provisions from the Constitution. If such things happen, the social, educational and economic standard of these down trodden will fall to such a low status that they will revert to their earlier conditions."

Mr Suman stated that instead of a Constitution review, only those points of the Constitution should be reviewed which are hurdles in implementing the Constitution. He added: "It should be introspected whether the Constitution failed to fulfil our aspirations or we failed to implement the Constitution." He questioned why there is a need to review the Constitution when there are already provisions for amendments.

The signatories of the memorandum which include Dr K.P. Singh, Dr P.D. Sahare, Mr Bhagwan Yada, Mr R.R. Kuril and Mr Kafil Ahmad Ansari and others have stated that while the nation is celebrating the golden jubilee of the Constitution, those who made the Constitution along with Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar are being insulted by reviewing their creation.

They have demanded that provisions such as education, employment, health, land reform, special provisions for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes like reservation be implemented effectively and extended to defence services, judicial services and the private sector. The have further added that the VIP system in parliamentary system be abolished.

The representatives of these organisations have stated that since there is no provision of review in the Constitution, all such attempts are unconstitutional. These organisations have threatened to launch an agitation if these attempts are not stopped.

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