SUDHIR K SINGH
TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 09, 2002
BHOPAL: The 'Bhopal document' to be released on the occasion of the first state-sponsored convention of Dalit intellectuals at the end of this week makes it quite clear that solutions beyond reservations would have to be sought to improve the lot of the country's 250 million Dalits.
Brought out by the Madhya Pradesh government in consultation with a prominent Dalit 'scholar', the document says that schemes such as poverty alleviation or empowering the community through micro loans for cow, goat, or pig-rearing or opening small roadside shops had not resulted in any thing substantial. Dalits, therefore, continued to rely on reservations as their principal tool of survival. But this had over the years proved to be a mirage.
Since the SC and ST quota in most departments remained unfulfilled, Dalit betterment has remained a pipe dream. Efforts, says the document, would thus have to be made to understand the limited role which reservations in government jobs have in the overall emancipation of Dalits.
Statistics show that more than 17 crore people would remain outside the job market even if reservations were extended to the private sector. Guaranteed jobs in the organised sector would ordinarily have given employable Dalits the required job security, better wages, provision to protect right, better living and working conditions.
But since the size of this sector is much too small at eight per cent, the only alternative lay in pressing for a ''total democratisation'' of the unorganised sector which comprised mainly agriculture and related activities.
The authors of the document admit that given the dynamics of development in the country, changes cannot be abrupt. The key to Dalits' long-term prosperity would thus necessarily depend on their ability to carve out a share in the political power structure and create conditions where no SC/ST is identified by his/her traditional occupation.
The killing of a tribal legislator Ragyah Naik is turning out to be the biggest political blunder and embarrassment of massive proportions for the outlawed Peoples War Group (PWG).
Ragyah Naik was perceived by all quarters as an honest political worker who rose from the grass roots to serve the tribal and his death has evoked tremendous condemnation and revulsion from all quarters. Naik, Lambada legislator from Devarkonda in Nalgonda district was shot dead by PWG Naxalites in Maddimudugula village of Mehboobnagar district on December 29.
The wave of anger and dismay has been tremendous against the senseless killing by the outlawed PWG. Following this incident, the Naxal organisation has been deprived of all the sympathy that it might have been enjoying among the tribals and other down trodden sections of Telangana region. In a clear indication that the PWG has been pushed on the defensive, the Mehboobnagar district secretary of the underground outfit has apologised and said that a terrible mistake has been committed by the PWG. It has been a terrible mistake and the killing of Mr Naik is a result of mistaken identity. "We apologise to people for this mistake," district secretary, Santosh said. "Our target was someone else but Mr Naik became the victim. We regret it," he added. The fact that Naik was one of the few tribal leaders in the State and had not blot on his image but he still fell to the bullets of naxalites has come as a shattering blow to the people, specially the tribals.
What wrong had he done to be killed? Is the question which is being bombarded at the PWG even from those quarters which were earlier seen as sympathetic towards the left wing extremist movement.
The apology of the PWG has been rejected as meaningless by Ms Bharti Nayak, the wife of the legislator who was the eye-witness to his gunning down in a remote village of Mehboobnagar district last week. "Will the apology return the life of my innocent husband. Is this the way Naxalites wants to solve problems of the poor?" She asked.
"We are ready to go to any place where the Naxalite summon me and my family. They can kill all of us and then tender an apology," Bharti added.
The timing of this action has been disastrous for the PWG. Apart from robbing the Naxalites of any sympathy from the public, it has also poured cold water on the serious efforts which the Opposition Congress was making to force the Government to start dialogue with PWG.
A few days before the Congress legislator was killed, the State Congress president M Satyanarayana Rao had convened a meeting of all political parties to discuss the issue of Naxalite violence and wrote a letter to the Chief Minister urging him to initiate talks with the PWG. This pressure from Congress as well as other quarters had forced the Government's relent from its uncompromising stand and the State Home Minister T Devender Goud announced that Government will convene an all party meeting to discuss the idea of talks with PWG. But two days later Ragiah Naik was shot down and that has created a situation in which Congress is finding it difficult to press the idea of talks with PWG.
This is not the first time that the trigger happy Naxalites of PWG have committed a blunder of targeting innocent people. In one of the most heinous crime against the citizens, the Naxalites had set fire to a bogey of Secunderabad-Warangal Bhagyanagar Express in 1990 in which scores of passengers were killed.
Though it later apologised, the PWG continued with its policy of reckless violence and in the spree of derailing the trains in 1991-92, it caused several casualties. The killing of the people in the village in suspicion of being police informers, has also turned many sympathisers in to opponents of PWG in Telangana.
By Our Special Correspondent
HYDERABAD, JAN. 8. Implementation of the Adarana scheme meant for backward classes has been kept in abeyance pending finalisation of the new guidelines/modalities proposed by the Government to overcome the defects in the scheme.
The Government wants to introduce a uniform and fixed format for all the welfare schemes through which the beneficiary can claim the benefit, according to official sources. The fixed format will ensure uniformity regarding the subsidy to be allowed to a beneficiary under different schemes, the application procedure, documentation, margin money, and funds to come from the Government as well as banks.
An allocation of Rs 85 crores has been made in the budget for Adarana for this year and Rs 7.5 crores released to the BC Corporation, the implementing agency. The scheme will be grounded shortly after finalisation of the guidelines by the Government for which it held a consultation meeting with the officials involved in implementation of all welfare schemes and MDs of the financial corporations existing for SCs, STs, BCs and others.
Officials dealing with the scheme, however, affirm that their adherence to "antyodaya" concept during implementation will be "strict" this time ensuring benefit to the more backward people among the BCs, referring to the criticism made by representative organisations of these groups that only dominant sections among the 91 listed BC communities could get the benefit out of the scheme so far edging out others.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Backward Classes headed by K. S. Puttaswamy is "making allout efforts" to submit its report to the Government before March 31 when its term expires. Regarding inclusions and deletions of castes in the official list meant for reservation benefit which contains 91 castes now, the Commission held a meeting from January 2 to 5 and is going to have another from January 28 to 31.
TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ TUESDAY, JANUARY 08, 2002
ANDHINAGAR: The gang-rape of a 15-year-old Koli girl after she was kidnapped on December 17 at Khambala village near Barwala town, 125 km from Ahmedabad, snowballed into a major controversy on Tuesday.
Two ministers of state, Purshottam Solanki and Karsanbhai Patel, both OBCs, supported by two other BJP MLAs, Bhagwanbhai Kargatia and Hiralal Solanki, and 150 Koli community leaders rushed into minister of state for home Gordhanbhai Zadaphia's office in protest against "police indifference" in the case.
Talking with TNN here on Tuesday, Solanki, who is known to be a major Koli vote-catcher for the BJP, said: "I don't care for the party or the government. I fail to understand how those who are involved in kidnapping and rape can be freed on bail. I will launch a movement against the way the police has handled the whole incident." While on Tuesday, as many as 500 people gathered at Solanki's residence in Gandhinagar, he claimed in Botad he addressed a rally of 5,000 Kolis on the issue.
"The girl belonging to a landless family was kidnapped from a field by powerful elements of Khambala village," Solanki said. "She was kept in captivity for 15 days. Despite the fact that four persons were arrested, they were set free even before they could be produced before the court. I fail to understand how police inspector Zala, investigating the matter, is treating a poor family like this."
"The girl was taken to the Botad Civil Hospital, the nearest to Barwala, where I met her. She told me what had happened. Her condition is pitiable. The doctors confirmed she was raped. She even identified the victims before the police, yet they did not act.
"Now, Zadaphia says he will inquire into the whole incident. The answer is unacceptable. I will not tolerate this. What is there to inquire when the whole case is crystal clear," he asked, threatening a full-scale campaign against the government if he is not heard.
"I will take the matter to the chief minister on Wednesday. I'm not going to sit quiet. I'll wait for an action for three days before starting a campaign. It is not a question of a girl belonging to my community being attacked. It is a question of justice, whichever community one belongs to," Solanki added.
In Another incident of killing of lovers by their family members, a Dalit youth was beaten to death by the family members of his beloved. A case has been registered against the family members of the girl but no arrests have been be made so far.
According to sources, Sudhir Jatav, 18, son of Teluram, who is an ex-Pradhan of village Hurnangla under Nagina Police Station, was having an affair with Sarita (name changed), 16, of his own village for a log time. Although the two belonged to the same community, Sarita's family members objected to the relationship.
But Sarita did not care much about the objections and kept on meeting Sudhir secretly.
It is believed that the couple got involved so much that Sarita used to call Sudhir at her residence late at night, when all her family members used to go to bed.
The couple were unable to keep their meetings a secret and the family members of Sarita came to know about the visits of Sudhir to their house.
The family members of Sarita then started keeping an eye on Sudhir's activities.
Sarita's father Ram Singh Jatava gave the responsibility of catching Sudhir red handed to his sons Pramod, Vinod, Mahendra and Satpal.
It is believed that Sarita had again called Sudhir on Saturday night. Sudhir reached there as per the fixed programme. He entered the house after jumping the boundary wall and entered Sarita's room, who was standing there to receive him.
The family members of Sarita, who were alert, knocked the door of Sarita's room after they were sure of Sudhir's presence there.
Hearing the knock, the couple got scared and did not open the door. But Sarita's brothers and other family members broke open the door and pulled Sudhir out of the room.
All the family members then allegedly started beating Sudhir with iron rods and wooden sticks. The family members got so enraged that they ended up killing Sudhir.
The family members then allegedly threw Sudhir's dead body in front of his house.
They also allegedly abused Sudhir's family members and threatened them of dire consequences if they approached the police.
Superintendent of Police, Bijnore, Ashutosh Pandey, told The Pioneer that Sudhir's father Teluram went to Nagina police station and informed the police about the whole incident.
A case under section 302 was registered by Teluram in which he accused Vinod, Pramod, Mahendra and Satpal for his son's murder.
Sudhir's dead body was sent for post mortem by the police. The police also raided Ram Singh's house but all his four sons managed to escape.
The police has detained the girl for interrogation and more raids are being planned to arrest the people behind the heinous crime.
Lucknow, Jan. 9: "Hanuman was the first terrorist who burnt down Ravan's kingdom in Lanka. If Shivaji was not a guerilla warrior, then what was he? In the last century, from Bhindarawale to Prabhakaran - all have been terrorists.
Doordarshan has been telecasting 'India's Most Wanted' programme in which it has been showing photographs of Naxalites when actually it should have been showing photographs of Bal Thackeray, Advani, Sudarshan, Ashok Singhal and Vinay Katiyar"
This is an excerpt from an editorial written in monthly Hindi magazine Hans by its editor Rajendra Yadav and the Bharatiya Janata Party, expectedly, is up in arms against the article.
BJP's regional media incharge in Uttar Pradesh Narendra Singh Rana has filed public interest litigation in the court of the chief judicial magistrate and the petition has been admitted.
Rana, in his petition, has pleaded that the controversial article has hurt the sentiments of the Hindu community and by terming national leaders as 'terrorists', the writer has committed an anti-national act.
The petitioner has pleaded that the accused be given an exemplary punishment - be ordered to leave the country immediately on charges of treason.
Hans a reputed Hindi monthly was founded by renowned Hindi litterateur Munshi Premchand and is now edited by Rajendra Yadav.
By Our Staff Reporter
ERODE, JAN. 9. The Pattali Makkal Katchi is not supporting Dalits and is against them, the party MLA, Sivagami Vincent, told mediapersons at Dharapuram last evening.
Recalling that Dalit Ezhilmalai had quit the PMK (he is now the AIADMK MP from Tiruchi), Mrs. Vincent said the PMK was now functioning only as a Vanniyar Sangam.
The PMK chief, S. Ramadoss, was making all efforts to dismiss her from the party, but no one could remove her from the PMK, Mrs. Vincent said. She claimed that she was a real PMK worker.
Some days ago Dr. Ramadoss complained that some AIADMK functionaries had kidnapped Mrs. Sivagami.
But she said no one kidnapped her and that she had on her own gone to Kerala for medical treatment.
By Our Staff Reporter
KARIMNAGAR, JAN. 9. As part of the district-wide campaign launched to clear affected villages of naxalite influence and open the doors for development, the Manthani Mutharam police have taken up the ambitious project of construction of houses for shelterless primitive tribals of interior Parupalli village of Mutharam mandal, about 90 km from the district headquarters.
The Godavarikhani DSP, Lal Shankar Chauhan, performed the bhumi puja on Wednesday for the construction of houses for about 15 Chenchu families in the village. These tribes have been living in pathetic conditions in small huts without basic facilities. The tribes do not know anything about education, medicare, immunisation etc and have been living in unhygienic conditions for the last 25 years on the outskirts of the village.
The district administration had sanctioned nine houses to tribals in 1999 during the Janmabhoomi programme, but the works were not taken up as the tribals did not have the required 30 per cent matching grant for grounding the work. So the project was shelved.
The Manthani Mutharam SI, Mahesh, who had visited the village as part of organising gram sabha, was shocked to see the living conditions of tribals and decided to improve their living conditions. After enquiry it was found that the tribals do not have money to take up the work. So the local SI had sought the assistance of philanthropists from the region. There was tremendous response to the appeal made by the police for construction of houses for tribals and material was supplied material to start the work.
The Ganesh Hospital of Godavarikhani had issued health cards to all tribals, providing free medicine and medical tests to them throughout their life, while a villager, Shyam Sunder, had promised to donate wooden material, including doors and windows, for the tribal houses. Several other philanthropists were coming forward to extend aid in various forms to tribals.
The Godavarikhani DSP told The Hindu that they had also enumerated the remaining six tribal families for allotment of houses. He said they would represent the matter to the district administration for sanctioning the houses at the earliest. They would complete the construction of the houses within three months and give them a new lease of life, he said
DH News Service
BANGALORE, Jan 9
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is committed to uphold the principles of Dr B R Ambedkar in ensuring social-justice in the nation by extending the benefits of reservation to the deprived and oppressed classes, Union Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Urban Development H N Ananth Kumar said here. He was speaking after inaugurating a seminar on '92nd Amendment of Indian Constitution', organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party State unit Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Morcha.
"The Bharatiya Janata Party has made its stand clear that the governance of the country will be based on Dr Ambedkar's ideologies and not Manu Smruthi. We are here to set right the wrong-doings of all the previous parties that ruled this nation. The first step in this direction was the 92nd amendment to Indian Constitution which provides for seniority in promotion of government employees," Mr Ananth Kumar said. He further said the BJP gave top priority to SCs / STs in the party's affairs. "BJP is the only national party in the country that has the highest number of MPs, legislators and ministers belonging to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe categories. The policies of all other parties are caste-based, which has created an imbalance in society. If this imbalance has to be completely removed, then the deprived classes should group themselves and fight for their rights," Mr Ananth Kumar said. He further claimed that incidents of caste-based violence or oppression of the backward classes and Dalits are less in States ruled by the BJP. Former president of BJP State unit B S Yediyurappa and Leader of Opposition in the State Legislative Assembly Jagadeesh Shettar also spoke on the occasion. BJP State unit SC / ST Morcha President Veeraiah was present on the occasion. All the leaders of the party were felicitated at the programme.
DH News Service
DAVANGERE, Jan 9
Two dalit women were molested and a man assaulted at Aanegod near here on Monday night. The incident occurred when the women and the man were on their way to a relatives' house after submitting applications for widow allowance in Davanagere here. Three men accosted them, assaulted the man and kidnapped the women. The man then ran to Aanegod. and assaulted the old man Bosappa. They fled away with the women. Though the old man tried to stop molestation, he was again assaulted. The old man ran to Aanegod and villagers then went in search of the youth. One of the women escaped.
But the other hasn't been found yet. A case has been registered and investigations are on here.
TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 2002
CHANDIGARH:The alliance between the Panthic Morcha and the BSP has come under strain following conflicting claims on the number of seats that both intend to contest in the coming assembly election.
While Morcha leaders have announced that the distribution of seats should be in 60:40 ratio in favour of the Morcha, the BSP has expressed its reservation over it.
Instead BSP supremo Kanshi Ram has asserted to stake claim to 65-70 seats.
Senior Morcha leader Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, who is a close aide of Gurcharan Singh Tohra, while justifying the Morcha's claim on larger number of seats due to "widespread panthic base" said the BSP should honourably accept the role of a junior partner.
He said in case the BSP did not accept the proposal the Morcha was prepared to go it alone in the elections.
He said in the event of alliance breaking down the Morcha would field its candidates at all the 117 Assembly seats.
Speaking to Times News Network, Tohra said on Wednesday that the final announcement regarding the Morcha nominees would be made in couple of days.
While denying that there were any differences between the Morcha constituents over distribution of seats among themselves,Tohra said final announcement regarding it would be made by Morcha convener Sarabjot Singh Bedi.
Sounding an optimistic note, Tohra, however, added that Bedi would resolve differences between the Morcha and the BSP.
He admitted that Kanshi Ram's reluctance to strike any compromise with Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann could also become a stumbling block in forging the alliance.
Asked if the internal differences between the Morcha constituents had been sorted out, he said the Morcha remained a cohesive unit and faced no threat of disintegration.
He, however, pleaded ignorance about another meeting of the Morcha leaders that took place here on Wednesday evening.
The meeting, called to deliberate on finalising seat distribution, included senior Morcha leaders like Ravi Inder Singh, Simranjit Singh Mann and Prem Singh Chandumajra.
The meeting is in continuation of the discussions held by senior Morcha leaders at a meeting near Fatehgarh Sahib on Tuesday.
Indications are that while deciding to contest 65-70 seats the Morcha constituents had strong differences on allocation of five to six seats.
K SREEDHAR RAO
TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 09, 2002
HYDERABAD: To constitute the statutory Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes at the earliest, the government is adopting a two-pronged approach, as the state legislature could not approve the related bill introduced during the closing days of the recent winter session of the assembly.
The government will be promulgating an ordinance soon to create the commission, and the matter is likely to come up before the next cabinet meeting for discussion and approval. The government was of the view that the assembly would give its stamp of approval for the bill and the same could be sent to the Centre for its assent, but the session came to an end without even taking up a discussion on the issue.
Once the ordinance is promulgated, it will be sent to the Centre for approval, and a modified bill will be introduced in the House, as per the requirement, after the Centre gives its assent to the ordinance.
Since the scope of the bill encompasses several provisions like the Criminal Procedure Code, Evidence and Oaths, judicial procedure, social security and inquiries, which are in the Concurrent List, it is required to go through by several ministries at the Centre.
On the other hand, the government has approached the Centre with the bill, seeking its approval urgently.
In a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs on January 8, the government said that based on the recommendations of the K Punnaiah Commission of Inquiry, which went into the practice of untouchability, the government wanted to create a Commission for SCs and STs on the lines of the National Commission for Women to perform duties under Clause (5) of Article 338 of the Constitution of India, by giving it a statutory status.
"As there is a lot of pressure from the members of the legislative assembly, the government has introduced the bill in the assembly", the letter said. Since the subject matter of the legislation falls within the scope of some entries in the concurrent list of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the bill should be assented by the Centre.
Top government officials told The Times of India that the entire process would take a minimum of one month. "In case the Centre gives assent to the bill, the government would go by it and immediately constitute the commission. If it is delayed further, we will take the ordinance route as it will be promulgated in any case", the official said.
"Our only anxiety is to constitute the commission at the earliest without getting caught in the formalities", the senior official observed.
The government will appoint a judge of the high court, either retired or working, or a Supreme Court judge to head the Commission which will have a three-year term The commission will have the powers of the civil court trying a suit
Hectic preparations are on for a two-day conference on Dalits slated to be held here from Saturday. The meet will witness brainstorming sessions by 250 delegates from all over the country.
Noted Dalit intellectual Chandrabhan Prasad is assisting the State Government in organising the meet, which will finally end with the finalisation of a Bhopal declaration. The basic aim of the declaration would be to chart out a new course of action for Dalits for the 21stcentury.
Mr Chandra Bhan Prasad, who is currently in Bhopal, told The Pioneer that major cause of worry for Dalits is lack of job avenues. During the conclave, ways and means to increase jobs to candidates from dalits would be discussed. As it is, job avenues in various government departments are on the decline whereas the global economy is being liberalised.
He felt that another area that needs to be focused on is land reforms. It is Dalits who comprise half the population of India. Therefore, land reforms need to be carried out in a way that would enable Dalitsto as well become landowners.
Replying to aquestion Mr Prasad said it was quite sad to notethat there is hardly representation of Dalits in industry or business. These area should also be opened for dalits, opined Mr Prasad.
There was no harm in diversifying the private sector as in the USA, hesaid.
In order to ensure the country's economic development in a peaceful manner, it is essential that citizens share assets and institutions with the Dalit masses.
Otherwise, Mr Prasad said, there could be development in the country but without peace.
Mr Prasad stated that the time has come when the country would have to make a choice.
Bhopal, January 13
A distinguished participant in the two-day Dalit conference has advised Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh to embrace Buddhism and do his daily prayer ?in a Buddhist temple where a Dalit himself is a priest? to prove his affinity with the Dalits.
Prof Kancha Illaiah of the Osmania University, Hyderabad, who chaired the panel discussion on the Dalit human rights on the second day on Sunday, said it would be a ?powerful symbolic but revolutionary step? by Mr Digvijay Singh who organised the conference at an historic juncture.
He said the Hindutva forces at the Centre and in different states where they were in power were attacking the right to religion of Indian citizens. Addressing the Chief Minister, he said, ?I am told that you come from the social caste/class background of Gautama Buddha himself. In the true spirit of Ashoka and to become an inspiring Ambedkarite, you must embrace Buddhism when you continue to be the Chief Minister.
Prof G. Nancharaiah, Vice-Chancellor of the Dr Ambedkar National University, Lucknow, who chaired the session on the alternate Dalit agenda, observed that the problem of poverty among Dalits, which included both Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, was directly related with the concentration of land.
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 11
The All-India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations today decided to hold a meeting at Kurukshetra in the first week of April to appeal to Dalits to embrace Buddhism.
Addressing a conference Mr Udit Raj, alias Raj Ram, chairman of the confederation, said the BSP had never protected their interests. He accused the BSP leadership of allotting the party ticket to general category persons for contesting the coming Assembly elections in UP by taking money from them.
Flanked by Mr Jasbir Singh Pal and Mr Karamvir Singh, presidents of the Punjab and Haryana units of the confederation, respectively, Mr Udit Raj said the confederation would support only that party in the Assembly elections which would promote and protect the interests of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
He told mediapersons that the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab had done nothing for Dalits. It was for this reason that they had decided to work against this alliance and vote for any other political party.
Mr Udit Raj said BJP leaders were under the influence of the RSS and it was for this reason that the Union Government was not in favour of permitting members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes to embrace Buddhism.
He told mediapersons that the confederation would back only that political party in the Assembly elections which would support reservation and the abolition of the caste system. He said once the caste system was abolished, the Dalits would not seek any reservation.
The confederation would hold rallies in Punjab at the tehsil and block levels against the SAD-BJP alliance on January 15 and 16. He said: ?We shall strain every nerve to ensure the defeat of the SAD-BJP coalition in Punjab.
Mr Udit Raj said their struggle would continue for getting reservation in promotion at all levels.
This is to inform you of the incidents which have rocked the University of Hyderabad over the last few days. There has been grossly exaggerated reports of "arson" and "large-scale violence" in the University. In the name of taking disciplinary action, the University has unilaterally and undemocratically rusticated 10 dalit students without a proper enquiry or even a hearing.
All the rusticated students are members of The Ambedkar Student’s Association. They have been accused of causing violence. The students were, infact, protesting the humiliation of a dalit faculty member who is the warden of research scholar’s (men) hostel. The student protest and the small altercations which followed have been blown out of proportion by the administration. False ‘evidence’ of violence has been planted and deliberate misinformation has been spread in the media. All this has heigtened the already prevaailing anti-dalit atmosphere on the campus. The vilification campaigns that have been mounted against the dalitsd have amterialized in the form of posters, which refer to them as "brutes". Demands have also been made to "smoke the criminals out."
Such hate campaings against the downtroddeen communities are not new in the university campus. The marginalized secitons have been publicly accused of being cheats, animals and parasites thriving on other’s money, and are eating and enjoying comforts at the cost of others. The Ambedkar Student’s Association has relentlessly brought such instances to the notice of the administration with supporting evidence. However, visible action has not been taken in these instances. But one organised protest by the dalits has been met with draconian action by the administration. And the dalits have been dubbed as the problem elements of the campus. Consequently, the real issues have been sabotaged.
In the light of these events, a Joint Action Committee has been formed drawing on various sections of the campus community. The JAC demands the release of students from police custody, revoking of the rustication of the students and a full-fledged enquiry into the whole episode.
We request you to mobilise opinion inside and outside the country. You can help us by sending this e mail to various like minded individuals, groups, and organisations. You can send letters to the press, write protest notes to the universty authorities which can be sent to the following address:
The vice chancellor,
University of Hyderabad,
central University P.O.
hyderabad - 500 046.
Do send a copy in this e mail id of any of your follow up actions.
Udit Raj (Ram Raj)
Mr. Rajeev Dhawan’s article published on 28th December, 2001 in The Hindu - The Equality Amendment of 2001 neither talks about law nor talks about society. He has selectively quoted the statistics which show high percentage of SC/STs promoted at higher levels. Exceptions can’t be the rule but he has tried to make them so. He has condemned the accelerated promotion and justified the judgement given by the Supreme Court in the case of Ajit Singh. His courage to condemn the’ Will of the People’ of this country is surprising. The Parliament represents the will of the people, which he has called undemocratic, ill-conceived and mindless, because it has tried to rectify the wrongs done by the Supreme Court. I think he suffers from elitist syndrome.
Reservation is nothing but a compensatory measure for thousands of years’ old ancient wrongs. If Rajeev Dhawan had been born in a dalit family he would have never condemned Parliament’s act in favour of reservation. I am representing the will of millions of people and I am ready to exchange the position enjoyed so far by the upper castes in lieu of reservation. Why did we at all fight against British was precisely because of non-representation of indigenous people in decision making process, i.e., the freedom struggle was for participation of natives in sharing wealth and power etc.. After independence , power came into the hands of Indians and dalits also aspired to share in the decision making process. Dalits are also citizens of this country and hence reservation is not a favour but their share in the political and administrative realms in a limited way. Mr. Dhawan seems to treat dalits as aliens. Except where there is reservation ,dalits are still at the periphery, be it industry, trade, commerce, higher judiciary, art and culture, higher education, profession and in many other fields.Should they not even be allowed to share political and administrative fruits? Of course, Mr. Dhawan does not want that.
He appeared before the Supreme Court for the implementation of Mandal Commission report and no body denies his contribution. Sometimes the system favours even what it does not want to do. It is done precisely to legitimize the longevity of the system and perhaps Mr. Dhawan is a product of this process. The issue before the Supreme Court was not to decide or give observation (obiter dicta) in respect of dalits’ reservation but to consider reservation for backwards. However,the Supreme Court made observations to the effect that reservation should be restricted at the entry point meaning thereby to deny reservation in promotion, limiting the recruitment level below 50% and withdrawing relaxation in departmental exams etc. Subsequent judgements of Supreme Court based on obiter dicta in Mandal judgement paved the way for the Department of Personnel & Training to issue five anti-reservation orders in 1997.The All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations came into existence under my leadership to get these anti-reservation orders annulled. For achieving this objective, the Confederation had organized four massive rallies on 26th November 1997, 16th November 1998, 13th December 1999 and on 11th December 2000 of about 1 lakh, 4-5 lakh, 7-8 lakhs and more than 10 lakhs respectively. Because of our struggle 81st and 82nd amendments were made in the Constitution by the Parliament to restore the right of back log recruitment and relaxation in departmental examinations etc. Parliament has again made 92nd Amendment in the Constitution on 28th November,2001 to enable dalit employees to get accelerated promotion with a view to share administration at higher level. It has irked Mr. Dhawan and issue of merit has cropped up again.
The so called argument placed by Mr. Dhawan regarding merit is all humbug.As on date Westerners are more meritorious than us in many fields if we apply his standards. Britishers gave us law, Acts, judicial system but why we woke up against them was because of non-representation of Indians in the governance of the country. According to the yardstick applied by him, we should have not revolted against the British because they were more meritorious and hence were fit for all posts. What is merit ? Is it fetching good marks in school, colleges or in a competitive examination or writing and speaking good English is merit ? And hard work , loyalty, sincerity, integrity and honesty are not taken into account while framing the bond of merit. In addition, on most of the occasions only Annual Confidential Reports are crucial for further promotions which are in the hands of biased superiors. The superiors are free to judge or reward at their own sweet will and it is mostly based on sycophancy and buttering and the whole administration is running on it.
According to him, the Parliament can not sit in appeal over the Supreme Court. The essential feature of democracy is to govern the society by the mandate of the people. If people want, they can change the Constitution also , what to talk about Supreme Court. The Parliament represents the will of the people and it has got every right to implement the will of the people and above amendments are nothing but a reflection of the will of the people. If Mr. Dhawan and alike people go on provoking the Supreme Court to meddle with the Power of Parliament then the days are not far off when higher judiciary will have to be controlled by the will of the people. Nowhere in the world such unchecked power has been vested in the judiciary as we have done.
The Constitution is the mother and the Judiciary, Executive, Legislature are its children but the judiciary has now defiled its mother by misinterpreting and diluting it in many ways. In 1981 in the 1st Judge case - S.P. Gupta V/s Union of India (1991), the Supreme Court held that the opinion of the Chief Justice of India does not hold primacy in appointment and transfer matters of judges and constitutional functionaries like the President, P.M., Governor, Ministry of Law as per article 217 of the Indian Constitution must be consulted. In the 2nd Judge case S.C. Advocates on Record Association V/s Union of India 1993 Supreme Court held that the Chief Justice of India holds primacy in transfer and posting of judges and the process of selection of judges of Supreme Court must be initiated by the CJI. This is complete departure from constitutional provisions. In the case of reference case ( 1998) it has again confirmed the primacy of CJI. Unfortunately, there is no clear and comprehensive law to govern judiciary in this country. In the appointment of judges no objective procedure can be followed in the present situation to judge the character, capacity and ability of a judge and sycophancy, nepotism and favoritism is the order of the day. Since plurality of hands like President, P.M., Governor, Ministry of Law are not allowed to play a role in a judge’s appointment, therefore such appointment is bound to be corrupt and biased. Who has given power to CJI to appoint judges ? Neither people nor the constitution of this country have given this power to him. How can they assume and snatch Parliament’s power ? Before this the executive held say in appointment of judges and that was more or less fair because the executive is answerable to the people of the country. What is the criteria of merit to select a judge ? There is no criteria. The Bar Associations are very powerful and very often they do not allow strict High Court judges to play fully and if they do so,they are not sent to the Supreme Court. What is the criteria to select an advocate for appointment in the High Court ?. There is no criteria. Those judges who flock around seniors are preferred in the Supreme Court and in fact the whole system of appointing judges is fallacious and subjective. Many brilliant advocates do not want to become judges; then in that case where is merit ? After independence things were purportedly done on the basis of so called merit but why have things gone from bad to worse ? Those who cry for merit want to reap the fruits of independence alone without sharing them with marginalised people.
Mr. Dhawan can very well appeal against 92nd Amendment at the cost of power sharing of dalits. In 1995 ,the 77th amendment was made in the Constitution by the Parliament to enable dalit officers to get promotions in higher echelons of services but the Department of Personnel & Training restricted it to the lowest rung of Class I. The appeal in this respect is lying before Supreme Court for disposal. Supreme Court has no business to interfere either in the case of 77th amendment or like cases. However, in the absence of proper representation of dalits, backwards and women in higher judiciary, Mr. Dhawan may succeed in instituting the appeal against 92nd Amendment but it will not be good for country on the whole. The Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes in its second report for 1999-2000 held, "Judges take oath that they uphold the Constitution and the laws. But the Supreme Court, and a few High Courts by claiming power above the Constitution, practise untouchability and are disobeying the Indian Constitution with regard to article 16(4) and 16(4A). It said that there were only 15 Scheduled Castes and 5 Scheduled Tribes judges among the 481 High Court Judges in India. The Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes wanted to know the strength of dalit staff in the establishments of High Courts and data furnished by a few High Courts like A.P. High Court 0.69%, Bombay 1.06%, Gauhati 8.00%, Gujarat 6.28%, H.P. 0.57%, J.K. 3.11%, Karnatak 1.60%, Madras 0.15%,Orissa 0.84%, Patna 4.25%, Rajasthan 0.54%, Calcutta 1.42%, M.P. 1.72 %and Sikkim 31.58% reflects a very pathetic condition. The Supreme Court did not furnish the information despite repeated reminders which shows it does not observe reservation. At present there are about 120 Secretaries in Government of India, perhaps none is from dalit community. After lots of hue and cry, the over all strength at Class-I level in Government of India is about 9% only against 22.5% of the quota. Why Mr.Dhawan has not filed petition against them? He may find smooth passage to get stay or judgement against dalits as the judiciary is favourably disposed in favour of the elite and some upper castes.
India suffered and is still suffering many setbacks because of caste system only. It had to see defeats at the hands of plunderers coming with their personal gaurds and paraphernalia. More than 95% people were alienated from the defense of the country because of division in society. Today also I see regress and failure in almost all walks of life. We are trying to survive upon foreign investment. There is no reservation in higher judiciary, then why there are more than two crore cases pending in different courts ? There is no reservation in sports, then so far why we did not win a single gold medal in Olympics and in other important international events? In professions, army, entrepreneurship, higher technology ,the things are grim. Who is responsible? When there was undeclared reservation in ancient and medieval times for the upper castes in governance, then why had the country to suffer? Mr. Dhawan should realize that it is a matter of opportunity and nothing else. No one is meritorious by birth. Children of film actors and actresses, politicians, judges, lawyers and businessmen become generally what their parents are.
In fact Mr. Rajeev Dhawan, a brilliant lawyer of this country, should go to the Supreme Court for elimination of caste and introduction of compulsory and equal education. If Parliament has done something to implement reservation at higher level, no where it has deprived general category people and has altered the basic structure of the Constitution . I know that reservation alone is not going to solve the problems of dalits and the country as well, and if country has to be reconstructed then it is through elimination of caste system and compulsory and equal education. I am ready to give up reservation in lieu of elimination of caste system and compulsory and equal education for building up the nation. n n n
This article was sent for publishing in The Hindu but was edited into letter form and published on 3rd January, 2002 and it created hot debates