[ZESTCaste] Alter process of quota admission, HC tells JNU

2010-09-09 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Alter-process-of-quota-admission--HC-tells-JNU/678857

Alter process of quota admission, HC tells JNU

Express News Service Posted online: Wed Sep 08 2010, 03:57 hrs
New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the administration
of the Jawaharlal Nehru University to change the way it admits
students under quota, ordering that two petitioners before it be
admitted after calculating the eligibility criteria differently.
Two students from the OBC category, Apurva and Usham Rojio Singh, had
approached the High Court after they failed to secure admission this
academic year. Both argued they could not get admission because of the
way JNU had designed its admission procedure.

The court has asked the university to scrap the cut-off marks as it is
being defined at present. JNU will have to prepare a separate OBC list
and fill the 27 per cent reserved seats with students who pass the
entrance test.

While the HC order will affect only the petitioners, students are
planning to use it to renew their agitation against the university’s
model of admitting OBC students. The All India Students’ Association
will hold a march on campus on Wednesday, asking the administration
for a re-look at the way OBC students were admitted this year.

“A lot more students have been kept out by the way JNU has admitted
students this year. We want the university to remedy that,” said
Sucheta De, JNU secretary of the AISA.

Newsline had reported Monday that JNU had succeeded in filling only
15.9 per cent of its 27 per cent OBC reservation quota this year.

Like last year, when the university succeeded in filling only 14.2 per
cent of the total 18 per cent OBC reservation, the shortfall was
caused not because eligible candidates were not available.

JNU to negotiate with SG on student polls
A general body meeting at the Jawaharlal Nehru University late on
Monday resolved to negotiate with the Solicitor General (SG) of India
to allow the university to conduct the students’ union elections. The
resolution, supported by most student organisations, talks of
obtaining maximum relaxations till the case in the Supreme Court is
settled. The task of negotiating with the SG rests with the Joint
Struggle Committee of the University, which is fighting the case on
behalf of the students. “We have not got an appointment with the SG
yet. The points we will be debating on have not been decided yet.
Whatever we do, we will do it without changing the fundamental nature
of the JNUSU constitution,” said Sandeep Singh, former JNUSU
president. A resolution was also passed on holding elections to the
Academic Council, Boards of Studies and the Gender Sensitisation
Committee Against Sexual Harassment.





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[ZESTCaste] Why Tamil Nadu suspended this IAS officer

2010-09-09 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://news.rediff.com/interview/2010/sep/08/interview-why-tamil-nadu-suspended-this-ias-officer.htm

Why Tamil Nadu suspended this IAS officer
September 08, 2010 11:57 IST

C Umashankar, a 1990 batch Indian Administrative Service officer from
Tamil Nadu, has been acclaimed for his honesty.
This did not always endear the 46-year-old bureaucrat to the powers
that be. Fifteen years ago, he made the news when he pointed out the
cremation shed scandal in Madurai [ Images ].

In 2008 he was the managing director of the Electronics Corporation of
Tamil Nadu when its subsidiary, ETL Infrastructure, worth Rs 700 crore
(Rs 7 billion) went missing! For raising questions over this shocking
episode, he was transferred before he could get to the bottom of that
one.

A year later he was the MD of the government-owned Arasu Cable
Corporation, which was in direct competition with the Sumangali
CableVision, owned by the politically powerful Maran family, when he
alleged that Arasu's cables were being cut by the latter.

He proposed the nationalisation of Sumangali, after which he was
transferred out from his post.

But this time, more action was to follow. On July 21, 2010, he was
suspended by the Tamil Nadu government -- for having submitted a false
community certificate when he joined the IAS 20 years ago.

 The civil servant, who was reinstated by the Tamil Nadu government in
the first week of September, spoke at length to Rediff.com's A Ganesh
Nadar in Chennai while still under suspension.

While some people support you as an honest officer being victimised,
others support you because a Dalit officer is being victimised. How do
you see yourself?

Both. The elite and the intellectuals including the Makkal Sakthi
Katchi are supporting me as an honest officer. The poor Dalit people
are supporting me because I am a Dalit. They are agitating
spontaneously on my behalf.

What is the controversy over your caste certificate?

They say I am a Christian and that I have taken a caste certificate as
a Dalit Hindu.

My father Chellakani Sadayandi was a Dalit Hindu and my mother
Suganthi Santhabai Victoria was a Christian.

We are 12 children of whom 11 children are shown as Hindus. My mother
admitted me to the Sarah Tucker School for primary education where the
school authorities made the entry as Christian, judging from my
mother's faith.

When my father became aware of this in 1984, before I graduated, he
took me to a Hindu mutt and got me converted. He got it notified this
through the government gazette. This is the laid down procedure in
law. Then he got my community certificate.

We had two native villages, Mettupatti and Sathirakondan. Originally
both came under Sankarankoil taluka but subsequently new talukas were
created and that also brought about a change.

The government attempts to distort it by saying that I have taken a
false nativity certificate. My father and I had three options before
us for obtaining the community certificate: Palayamkottai where I
studied; Sankarankoil (native 1); or Mettupatti (native 2).

My nativity cannot change my caste status. The question they have
raised is on my caste and religion. Dalit Sadayandi Chellakani's son
cannot be a forward caste. There are 10 million Dalit people in Tamil
Nadu who belong to my subcaste (Devandra Vellalar). They are up
against the government due to my suspension.

The message is very clear -- my community considers me a jewel in their crown.

What happened in the Arasu Cable-Sumangali matter that got you in so
much trouble?

They were cutting the optic fibre cables of the Arasu Cable
Corporation. My officials lodged complaints and FIRs (First
Information Reports) with the police but they did not take any action.

Then I sent a series of reports to the government seeking high level
intervention to protect government property, yet no action was taken.

On January 5, 2009, I went to Coimbatore to safeguard the government
company's cables. We went on a night patrol along with the press
people and our cable operators to highlight the problem.

Till then the police had not filed a single FIR. All the complaints
which gave rise to cognisable offences were entered and kept in the
community service register of the respective police stations. After I
went there the Coimbatore commissioner of police registered five FIRs
but not under the Destruction of Public Property Act.

No follow-up action was taken. The culprits were not arrested, nor did
the cable cutting stop. Rather, it worsened, a week after my visit.

Arasu Cable people caught two criminals cutting the optic fibre cables
red-handed and handed them over to the police. They let them go. The
commissioner was helpless.

On January 7, 2009, I sent a proposal to the state government to
nationalise Sumangali Cable Vision, terming it a rowdy company.

What happened as a result of your action?

On January 22, 2009, I informed the cable operators during a meeting
at Vellore at which the press was also present that 

[ZESTCaste] 13-year-old Dalit mom forsaken by 'spouse' family

2010-09-09 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_detailsnews_id=23084

13-year-old Dalit mom forsaken by 'spouse' family

  TEK NARAYAN BHATTARAI

PALPA, Sept 8: Thirteen-year-old Nirmala Nepali of Gulmi, who gave
birth to a daughter, now lies abandoned at the district hospital at
Tamghas. The young mother was left high and dry after the family of
the boy who made her pregnant fled from the hospital upon learning
that they would have to accept her as their daughter-in-law.

Although Nepali was discharged on Monday, she has been staying at the
hospital as she has nowhere to go.

Nepali, a sixth grader at Panchayan Higher Secondary School, said she
had consensual sex with a ninth-grader Brahmin boy at the same school,
with the understanding that they would marry in future.

The new mother said she was in love with Ramchandra Pandey, 18, son of
Tamlal Pandey of Dhurkot Bastu-3, and entered into a physical
relationship. However, the Pandey family has locked their house and
fled since Friday.

Although Nepali had decided to go to her parental home, she´s been
waiting at the hospital as police hoped to find the boy and his
family.

Nepali has been living on donations from some district organizations.
Chief District Officer Parshu Ram Aryal himself provided Rs 2,000 and
asked the Red Cross for clothing for the young mother.

“We´re searching for the boy´s family and supporting Nepali because of
her weak economic situation,” Aryal said.



Aryal, who has been surrounded by organizations pressing to bring the
boy in, is seeking help from the Dalit Rights Activists Association
over legal issues. “Organizations come and surround me. How am I to
bring the boy immediately,” Aryal said.

In case the boy´s family doesn´t accept the newborn, Aryal said they
would have to go to court to establish the relationship between the
two, and if needed, a DNA test should be done.

“If the boy´s family accepts the child, that´s fine. Otherwise, we´ll
have to take the case to court. However, various associations are
saying that the boy should be brought in by force,” Aryal said.

Dr Bhesh Raj Pokharel of the district hospital said that although
Nepali was discharged on Monday, they´ve allowed her to stay on in the
hospital for some time. “The hospital has given her Rs 1,000, and Rs
1,000 more as maternity allowance,” Pokharel said. He said that both
mother and child were in good health. At birth, the child weighed two
kg.

The district administrative office has directed Pandey´s neighbor Pom
Lal Bhandari to bring Pandey and his family to the office within five
days. Bhandari said that he did not know where the family had fled.
“I´ve heard that Ramchandra is in India. However, I don´t know where
the parents are,” Bhandari said.

Human right activists and an NGO working for the welfare of the
suppressed have said that if the Pandey family is not found within
five days, they would make provisions for Nepali to stay at her new
home itself.





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[ZESTCaste] Seven arrested for assaulting Dalit family in Gujarat

2010-09-09 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_seven-arrested-for-assaulting-dalit-family-in-gujarat_1435150

Seven arrested for assaulting Dalit family in Gujarat

Published: Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010, 12:26 IST
By Satish Jha | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

The Sanand police have arrested seven people in connection with an
atrocity case. The seven accused were held on Monday and produced
before a magistrate on Tuesday. The magistrate sent them to judicial
custody.

Eighty year-old Danabhai Parmar of Bhavapura in Sanand, had filed a
complaint a week back, alleging that Raman Thakore, Amrut Thakore,
Kana Thakore, Raju Thakore, Kanti Thakore, Mahesh Thakore and Kama
Thakore stormed into his house and assaulted him and his family
members.

According to the case details, Kanti Thakore had hired Parmar's
nephew, Gautam, 30, as a driver some time back. Over time, Gautam had
become intimate with Thakore's family members and had allegedly
developed illicit relations with his wife, Maya (name changed).

A source in the police said that the reason why Parmar's family was
assaulted was that Gautam's alleged intimacy with Maya. When Maya's
husband came to know of this, he, along with six other people, had
assaulted the driver and his family, the source said.


[ZESTCaste] Iconoclast Periyar's heir now temple patron

2010-09-09 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/6521768.cms

9 Sep, 2010, 01.42

AM IST, Sangeetha Kandavel  V Balasubramanian,ET Bureau

Iconoclast Periyar's heir now temple patron

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu’s Dravidian movement, built on the foundation of
atheism and rationalism, is beginning to shake at its roots with
founding member and chief minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi lavishing
funds on temple renovation in a way not seen in at least a century.

The movement — reformist for the untouchables and ruinous for the
Brahmins — has come a full circle from the days of breaking idols of
Hindu deities, especially the ubiquitous Ganpathy, to spending
hundreds of crores renovating temples and encouraging its members to
participate in them.

Karunanidhi, 87, is the last of the atheist politicians left of the
Dravidian crop who have ruled the state for 33 of the last 43 years.
His predecessors, the late friend-turned-rival MG Ramachandran, and J
Jayalalithaa, discarded the ‘rationalist’ plank decades ago.

This Friday will mark the Kumbabishekam, or the consecration, of the
centuries-old Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple in Sholinghur, about
100 kilometres north west of Chennai. Mr Karunanidhi has deputed
colleagues to supervise the work.

“Till date we have spent Rs 420 crore on temple renovation and this is
a clear evidence to show the amount of interest that Kalaignar has
shown in promoting temples in the state,” says KR Periakaruppan,
minister for Hindu religious and charitable endowments.

Spending on temple renovation, praying or even cozying up to religious
leaders is hardly surprising for anyone in a country where prime
ministers and presidents often disturb the silent prayers of the
common man with their presence at prominent temples. But when Mr
Karunanidhi, a self-proclaimed atheist who has been living next door
to a Krishna temple for decades, attends to temple renovation, it is
an irony.

This change of heart can be attributed to several factors. A strategy
to get votes as people throng temples and religious gurus to seek
solace in a fast-paced material life. Or, a genuine desire on the part
of someone in the evening of his life and worried about his legacy to
connect with God.

“Spending money on temple renovation would not help the DMK government
fetch any votes,” says Cho Ramaswamy, political commentator and editor
of Tamil magazine Thuglaq.

Part of the change can be attributed to the state’s political
landscape, which has transformed beyond recognition. The Congress is
no longer the dominant party, many of the Dravida movement’s cherished
goals, such as higher reservation for backward castes, have been met,
and the beneficiaries have not only become prosperous, but have also
started courting God and religion in a big way.

Also, to be fair, the Dravida movement never tried to project itself
as a comprehensive atheist party. While the anti-Brahmin rhetoric was
strong, it took care to ensure that it did not hurt the religious
beliefs and traditions of many of the state’s people, including their
myriad gods and goddesses. So, while Karunanidhi would take time out
and attack the Ramayana, he never spoke ill of Murugan, who was
recognised and promoted as a ‘Tamil god’.

Since Karunanidhi’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam returned to power in May
2006, it has spent around Rs 420 crore on temple renovations. This is
a near threefold jump over Rs 147 crore spent in the five-year rule of
rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, or AIADMK, led by
believer J Jayalalithaa. There are 38,481 temples, mutts and trusts
under state control.

Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa and Ramachandran have their roots in the
Dravidian Movement. The seeds of the movement were sown in 1925 when
EV Ramasamy Naicker, known as Periyar, or the elder, walked out of the
Indian National Congress convention after the then Brahmin-dominated
party refused to consider a resolution seeking proportional
representation.

Periyar’s reasons for seeking change were strong. In 1914, of the of
the 650 graduates in then Madras Province, 452 were from the Brahmin
community. Of the 15 elected for the All India Congress Committee, 14
were Brahmins.

Periyar led the Self-Respect and the Anti-Hindi movements of the
aristocrats-led Justice Party formed to further the non-Brahmin
interests in the four southern states. The party was renamed Dravidar
Kazhagam in 1944 with rationalism and atheism as its main planks and
Karunanidhi and his mentor CN Annadurai among the top leadership.

“The assets of a temple — land, buildings, jewelry, utensils, cash —
should be used for the welfare of the people,” said its first
manifesto, quoted in the book A History of the Dravidian Movement by
another founding member, VR Neduncheziyan.

Karunanidhi is not only devoting his energies to temples, but also to
refurbishing their dilapidated cars, which are used during festivals
and vital for the rural economy.

“The main purpose of this is to promote temple tourism and portray

[ZESTCaste] Hurt, L Subramaniam may take legal route against Dalit outfit

2010-09-09 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report_hurt-l-subramaniam-may-take-legal-route-against-dalit-outfit_1435100

Hurt, L Subramaniam may take legal route against Dalit outfit

Published: Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010, 10:39 IST
By MK Madhusoodan | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Violin maestro L Subramaniam, on Tuesday, said he was contemplating
legal action against those who were spreading
“false allegations” against him and his family.

A Dalit organisation had petitioned the police that the musician had
sexually harassed his former maid, Bhagya, 31.

The Yelahanka-based outfit approached the police after Subramaniam and
his wife, singer Kavita Krishnamurthy, lodged a police complaint of
theft from their house.They had named Bhagya as a suspect in the
complaint.

City police commissioner Shankar M Bidari said that the police
received a representation from the Dalit organisation, saying the
musician had sexually harassed the maid.

“The alleged victim did not register any complaint against the
musician personally,” the commissioner said.

The police considered the representation as a petition and were
probing the case.

Meanwhile, Subramaniam said he was planning to take action against all
parties responsible for spreading false allegations against him and
his family. He added that the allegations were levelled against him to
divert the investigators’ attention from the theft case.

Euros, Indian currencies and other valuables, all worth Rs6 lakh were
found missing from Subramaniam’s house in RMV 2nd Stage between
December 28, 2009 and September 2 this year.

“Bhagya was engaged through Avon Facility Management Services Ltd. She
had stolen cash and valuables valued about Rs6 lakh and the police are
currently investigating the case,” the violinist said.

According to the FIR registered by the Sanjaynagar police, 5000 euros,
Rs55,000 and a gold chain were stolen from the house.
In a statement made to the police, Subramaniam had stated that
Bhagya’s lifestyle had changed over time, which made him suspect her
in the case.

The Dalit organisation made the representation against the renowned
violinist after the theft case was filed.





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[ZESTCaste] 'Remove casteist principal'

2010-09-09 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.mid-day.com/news/2010/sep/080910-casteist-principal-Dalit-leaders-DU-lecturer.htm

'Remove casteist principal'
By: Vatsala Shrangi   Date:  2010-09-08   Place: Delhi

Dalit leaders, students and teachers up in arms against insult of DU lecturer

There has been a public outrage against the principal of a Delhi
University college who allegedly humiliated and insulted one of the
teachers at the institution.

MiD DAY had reported on Tuesday how Dr Vijay Sharma, principal, Ram
Lal Anand College, allegedly passed casteist remarks against Dr
Surendra Kumar, an ad-hoc lecturer in the Hindi department of the
institution.
Expressing shock at the incident, Udit Raj - Dalit leader and
president of Indian Justice Party - said he would take up the matter
with the Union HRD ministry.

Caste system is inhuman and dangerous to the growth of the country.
The principal should be suspended to set an example for others. I
condemn the incident. I would take up the matter with the
Vice-Chancellor and the education department, he said.

Dr Sharma has already been facing an inquiry into charges of sexual
misconduct against him. The staff association has been up in arms
against the administrator, demanding his ouster. Dr Kumar had alleged
that
the principal targeted him for joining the protest against him.

Newly-elected Delhi University Student's Union president Jitendra
Chaudhary urged the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) to
take appropriate action against the guilty principal.

I think it's an insult to the entire Dalit community. Students from
across the country come here to study and such incidents send a wrong
message about the institution. A man holding as prestigious a position
as that of a principal is not expected to behave in such an offensive
manner. We would request DUTA officials to take necessary action in
this matter, said Chaudhary.

The SC/ST teachers association of Delhi University has planned a
demonstration on the issue before the principal's office Wednesday.

We have a right to live in a democracy respectfully. Caste cannot be
a ground to target us. We cannot allow it to go on, said Amar Singh,
general secretary the association.
Refusing to comment on the issue, Gurmeet Singh, proctor Delhi
University, says: It would only be fair on my part to give a reaction
after verifying the facts from both sides.

THE STORY SO FAR
Dr Vijay Sharma, principal, Ram Lal Anand College of Delhi University,
has been charged with verbally abusing a Dalit teacher of his
institution.
On August 31, I was standing along with some teachers who were
protesting against the principal on some issues. I reached the spot
after taking my class and was standing with two of my colleagues when
a peon told me that the principal has asked for me, Dr Surendra
Kumar, ad-hoc lecturer, Hindi, said in a written complaint to the
staff association, a copy of which is with MiD DAY.
Rubbishing the allegations, Dr Sharma said: This is all trade union
tactics to frame me. I just wanted to improve work ethics here, but
the staff is opposing my reformist agenda.


[ZESTCaste] Dalit boy cremated on the road in absence of common cremation grounds

2010-09-08 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://sikhsangat.org/2010/09/dalit-boy-cremated-on-the-road-in-absence-of-common-cremation-grounds/

Dalit boy cremated on the road in absence of common cremation grounds

Posted on September 6, 2010 under caste problems

Mehma Bhagwana (Bathinda), September 6: Residents of this
cancer-affected dusty village of Bathinda district today lit the pyre
of a four-year-old Dalit boy in the middle of a road ruing that in the
absence of a common cremation ground, they had no other option.

The boy, Vijay Pal, was reportedly suffering from cancer for the past
few months and passed away last evening. Since then, his kin were not
only grieving over his death but also worrying about finding a place
to cremate him.

The bereaved kin asked the sarpanch to make some arrangements for his
cremation. Unable to do so, the sarpanch offered that they light the
pyre in the middle of the road outside his house.

Before the bereaved kin could light the pyre, policemen from the
Nehianwala police station reached the spot and the SHO, Gurpreet
Singh, brought the matter to the notice of the Bathinda SDM, who
assured to send an executive magistrate soon. Meanwhile, the police
installed barricades on both sides of the road and diverted the
traffic to an alternate route.

To prevent villagers from cremating the body, the SHO kept them
engaged in negotiations. However, when even after over two hours the
executive magistrate did not reach, the villagers lit the pyre on the
road at 10.30 am.

The deceased’s grandfather, Bhola Singh, said: “It is our ill fate
that we could not bid him a decent farewell. We are poor daily wagers
who possess no land. The village too has no common cremation ground,
which forced us to cremate him on the road.”

Gurcharan Singh, a villager, said: “Earlier, the village had its own
cremation ground but about three years ago, the former panchayat
passed a resolution to transfer the land for the cremation ground to
construct waterworks with a hope that the village would get potable
water to save us from the deadly disease of cancer.”

Sarpanch Gamdoor Singh said: “It was also decided that the village
would get an alternate land for the cremation ground. Though the
administration earmarked a piece of land for the purpose, it was
within the boundary wall of the village gurdwara, which we are not
ready to use for this purpose.”

He added that according to the revenue record, the village had one
more chunk of land measuring three kanals and two marlas, which was
the best suited for the cremation ground. “But despite our repeated
representations, the administration is not allowing us to go ahead as
the land is located near the houses of some landlords, who are close
to leaders of the ruling parties,” the sarpanch said. Villagers said
since the authorities had started the construction of the waterworks,
which was being taken up under a World Bank scheme, nearly six deaths
had taken place. In some cases, landlords offered their fields to
perform the last rites but in most of the cases, villagers cremated
their kin even inside their courtyards.

Executive magistrate Avtar Singh said” “The land earmarked for the
cremation ground is best suited for the purpose, but the villagers are
not willing to use it. They are saying that it should be located on
the land near the houses of landlords, but they have objections over
it. Despite this, we are trying to find an amicable solution as more
sites are being considered for the purpose.”

Source: Tribune india





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[ZESTCaste] Caste in motion (D Shyam Babu, Lant Pritchett, Chandra Bhan Prasad, Devesh Kapur)

2010-09-08 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.financialexpress.com/news/Caste-in-motion/677985/

Caste in motion

D Shyam Babu, Lant Pritchett, Chandra Bhan Prasad, Devesh Kapur
Posted online: 2010-09-07 20:36:55+05:30

Popular media and academic descriptions of India’s rapid economic
transformation in the era of market reforms often come with a ‘but’:
“But development has also disrupted existing ways of living. It has
strained the social and cultural fabric of the villages.”

If any post-Foucauldian social scientist has any insight to offer,
surely it is that the nostalgia of elites is an unreliable guide to
the actual experiences of marginalised social groups. As Ambedkar
recognised more than 6 decades ago: “The love of the intellectual
Indians for the village community is of course infinite if not
pathetic… What is the village but a sink of localism, a den of
ignorance, narrow mindedness and communalism?” Precisely those people
and groups the ‘cultural fabric of the villages’ pressured into social
inferiority generally lack access both to media outlets and to the
technical tools of academia for structuring discourse, both of words
and numbers. Do Dalits’ own assessments of the era of market reform
come with a ‘but’ or with an ‘and’?

We add to the existing literature on the evolution of wellbeing during
the era of market reforms using a survey constructed by Dalits,
implemented by Dalits, administered to all Dalit households in 2
blocks of Uttar Pradesh. The blocks chosen are Bilaria Ganj in
Azamgarh District in eastern UP and Khurja in Bulandshahar District in
western UP (hereafter eastern block and western block respectively).
The instrument, uniquely among existing large-scale surveys, asks
specifically about changes since 1990 in a variety of caste practices
at the household and social level. With this data, we can document 3
massive changes in the areas surveyed.

First, there have been major changes in the grooming, eating and
ceremonial consumption patterns of Dalits, signalling their higher
social status by adopting higher status consumption patterns. Dalits
shifted out of low status (but highly calorie intensive) foods like
sugar cane juice and roti chatni into diets containing (unbroken)
rice, fresh vegetables and spices and increased use of high status
foods in social occasions like weddings.

Second, respondents report changes in the accepted behaviours between
castes, with rapid erosion in discriminatory processes that
stigmatised Dalits. By and large in these blocks Dalits are less
likely to be seated separately at weddings, they no longer are
expected to handle the dead animals of other castes, there is a
noticeable increase in births in Dalit households that are attended by
non-Dalit midwives and non-Dalits increasingly accept hospitality in
Dalit homes. None of these practices were common in 1990.

Third, there have been large shifts in the pattern of economic life
both away from and within the villages. There has been a considerable
increase in (mostly) circular migration to distant cities to work,
with nearly half of Dalit households in the eastern block having a
member in the cities.

In the villages, Dalits have shifted into professions (e.g. tailors,
masons and drivers) and businesses (e.g. grocers, paan shop owners).
Agricultural relations have changed such that almost no Dalits
participate in bonded economic ties (halwaha) and many fewer Dalits
even perform agricultural labour on upper caste lands as Dalits now
are much more likely to contract in factors from high caste groups
(e.g. tractors, land) than sell their labour to them.

Inequality in what? For whom?

India’s socially marginalised populations suffer from 2 key forms of
disadvantage—social indignity and material poverty— which emerge from
intertwined socially and economically perpetuated inequalities.
Empirical assessments in India tend to conflate the two into measures
of material wellbeing (e.g. poverty or inequality) or ‘neutral’ social
indicators like education, health or nutrition outcomes. Even if the
distinction between indignity and economic status arises, it is
treated as axiomatic that the first is completely dependent on the
second. Even when attention is turned to ‘caste’, often the data
compare outcomes on standard indicators (consumption expenditures,
education) across castes, but with almost no attention to how caste
markers, behaviours and practices themselves may have changed.

Many have expressed concern that growth of the market economy in India
unleashes “inequality-increasing” forces. S Mahendra Dev and C Ravi
reach a “clear conclusion” that inequality “increased significantly in
the post-reform period”, a conclusion shared by other researchers. But
the exclusive use of consumption expenditures or differences across
castes in a few outcomes as measures of inequality cannot be adequate
in the many parts of rural India where social inequalities—servility,
humiliation, lack of self-respect—are important. Comparing consumption

[ZESTCaste] Introspect why Dalits left party, Shevale tells RPI workers

2010-09-08 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/introspect-why-dalits-left-party-shevale-te/673451/

Introspect why Dalits left party, Shevale tells RPI workers

Express News Service Posted online: Thu Aug 26 2010, 23:25 hrs
Pune : Republican Party of India (RPI)leader MD Shevale today urged
party workers to introspect why the Dalit or minority class, which is
considered the base of the party, has moved away from the party in
recent years. He was speaking at a workshop arranged for party
workers.
“ It is necessary to do the introspection if RPI wants to make inroads
in the next PMC elections,” he said. Parshuram Wadekar, who presided
over the function, said the RPI will focus on issues of slum dwellers,
unemployed, workers, rickshaw and taxi drivers. “The party will soon
start a campaign such as ‘RPI worker at your doorsteps’. The party
will form booth committees in the wake of PMC elections upcoming in
2012,” he said.

State president of Matang Front of RPI Hanumant Sathe, Navnath Kamble,
Siddharth Dhende, M B Waghmare were also present on the occasion.





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[ZESTCaste] Ghatampur suicide, rape case: No action yet against ‘guilty’ cops

2010-09-08 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Ghatampur-suicide--rape-case--No-action-yet-against--guilty--cops/678290/


Ghatampur suicide, rape case: No action yet against ‘guilty’ cops

Express News Service Posted online: Tue Sep 07 2010, 06:46 hrs

Kanpur : Four days after the suicide by a 17-year-old Dalit girl in
Ghatampur following her alleged rape, the authorities are yet to take
any action against police personnel who had not only refused to lodge
an FIR in the case but also allowed the accused to get away.
The authorities said no action could be initiated as the team formed
to probe into the role played by Station Officer Kalu Ram Dohrey and
Constable Virendra Singh is yet to submit the report.

Kanpur DIG Prem Prakash said: “Both Singh and Dohrey have been
attached to lines. If found guilty, they would be suspended and a case
will be registered against them.”

The investigation is headed by Circle Officer of Ghatampur PP Singh.

“Until I get the investigation report, it will not be possible to
comment further,” he said. Moreover, the DIG said the girl’s family
has not made any official complaint against the SO or the constable.

Prakash said three teams have been formed to arrest the accused. “The
neighbours, relatives and locals are being contacted by our teams to
trace the absconding persons,” he said.

The victim, a resident of Parauli village of Ghatampur block,
immolated herself on the terrace of her house on September 3. She was
a class XI student of Pandit Deen Beni Singh Bharat Inter College of
Bheetargaon Block. According to the postmortem report, the girl died
of burn injuries and a head injury.

The girl’s father, Ashok Kumar, had alleged that a villager, Sunil
Singh Bhadoria, had raped his daughter on September 2. According to
him, the Station Officer of Ghatampur police station refused to
register a case when he approached him. After a protest in the village
on Friday, a case on the charges of kidnapping, rape, provocation for
suicide and SC/ST Act was registered against Sunil and his parents.

He said he could not lodge a formal complaint against the policemen
because he had been running around since the death of his daughter.

According to him, his daughter would not have committed suicide if the
SO had registered a case on Thursday and arrested the accused

“The SO and the constable are equally responsible for my daughter’s
death,” he said.

A group of BJP leaders, including former legislator Bal Chandra
Mishra, visited Parauli village on Monday to meet the victim’s family.
Mishra blamed the police for the Dalit girl’s suicide. Senior state
BJP leaders are expected to visit the village on September 10.





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[ZESTCaste] Maid trouble for L Subramaniam and Kavita Krishnamurthy

2010-09-08 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report_maid-trouble-for-l-subramaniam-and-kavita-krishnamurthy_1434541

Maid trouble for L Subramaniam and Kavita Krishnamurthy

Published: Tuesday, Sep 7, 2010, 9:45 IST
By MK Madhusoodan | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Violin maestro L Subramaniam and his wife, playback singer Kavita
Krishnamurthy are facing a different kind of music.

Their maid, with support from a few Dalit organisations, accused the
couple of harassing her. She complained to the police of harassment
after the celebrity couple named her as a suspect in a theft case.

Police confirmed receiving the complaint from the maid, Bhagya, 22. No
case has been registered. The couple had earlier lodged a complaint
after Rs55,000 in cash and a gold chain worth Rs75,000 had gone
missing from their home at the High Income Group Housing Colony in
Rajmahal Vilas 2nd Stage.

“The couple suspected Bhagya in the theft. This turned out to be
trouble for them with some Dalit organisations lending support to the
maid, who accused the couple of harassment,” assistant commissioner of
police (JC Nagar) C Munirathnam Naidu said.

The outfits wanted the couple to withdraw the case against the woman.

Kavita, meanwhile, denied the allegation of harassment.





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[ZESTCaste] Bilaso - owner of six goats and future dreams

2010-09-08 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/fromthefield/danchaid/cb016744357d0b5b4269b43065d966d7.htm

Bilaso - owner of six goats and future dreams

06 Sep 2010 14:14:51 GMT
Source: DanChurchAid - Denmark
Reuters and AlertNet are not responsible for the content of this
article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are
the author's alone.

37 year old Bilaso Naik, single mother of two children used to work 25
km from home doing back breaking road construction the entire day.


Bilaso Naik stands with her son near her mud home
 Now with the help from DanChurch Aid’s partner Nari Surakha Samiti
(NSS) in Orissa she has recently started a new life rearing goats. The
animals was bought with money from financial aid received from the
government.

A big hurdleEntitlements and access to rights for Dalits, Adivasis
(tribal), women and other vulnerable communities have been a long
drawn struggle in India with many legislations and orders passed by
the Government since Independence. Yet, accessing these rights and
entitlements in a timely manner seems to stand forth as the biggest
hurdles for vulnerable and marginalized masses. 37 years old Bilaso
Naik is one who overcame this odd.

Abused by husbandA resident of the Dalit hamlet in the village of
Bimal Beda in the Angul district of Orissa, Bilaso was a single mother
at twenty two with two children after her partner abandoned her. Her
relationship was not a legal marriage, but a commitment to a man who
made a false promise of marrying her. He beat her, abused her after
consuming alcohol and had multiple relationships.

Returned to her mother Fed up, she left it all to return to her
widowed mother. Today her family consists of her ailing mother and two
young sons. “I have accepted this as my destiny. For so long I have
heard people’s scorn, the taunts on my character. But what can I do?
I have a larger and bigger struggle- to earn a living, to feed my
family,† says Bilaso.

Patriarchal valuesIn India, patriarchal norms define the woman’s
“place† in society, her identity always attached to a male- a
father or a brother or a husband. Even with the most progressive
legislation on the subject, India’s hinterlands continue to be
dominated with overarching patriarchal values. The situation is made
complex by the multiple layers of vulnerabilities - a single Dalit
poor woman abandoned by her husband faces multiple levels of
discrimination and abuse.

First Single Women Survey in Orissa, IndiaIt is this group of
marginalized and exploited women that was identified by NSS in the
first ever single woman survey conducted in the district. The outcome
of the survey was the identification of more than 150 unwed mothers,
mostly Dalits who were victims of the false promise marriages. A list
was drawn of all the women and sent to the District Collector.

25 km to work “I was working as a wage labourer under the government
programme, NREGA, constructing roads. There was no work in my area†,
tells Bilaso. Last year one of the big multinational companies was
taking up work widening a road, so Bilaso had to travel 25 km to work
at that site. “An entire day of back breaking work and I used to
earn 90 INR (Indian rupees) a day. Last year I got work only for 4
months,† says Bilaso.

Accessing Government Schemes with Advocacy Sustained advocacy at all
levels of governance by NSS has ensured that a number of women in this
area get access to housing and a means to earn their livelihood.
Bilaso has recently received the first installment of money from the
Government scheme with which she has bought 6 goats. She is the only
earning member of her family and dreams of having a bigger business
rearing goats in the future.

By Priyanka Mukherjee Mittal
Regional Information and Documentation Officer, DanChurch Aid, India





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[ZESTCaste] OBC leaders from T have good chance

2010-09-08 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/hyderabad/obc-leaders-t-have-good-chance-837

OBC leaders from T have good chance

September 8th, 2010

DC Correspondent

Hyderabad/New Delhi, Sept. 7: Since the ministers of state, Ms
Purandeswari, Ms Panabaka Lakshmi, Mr A. Sai Pratap and Mr M.M. Pallam
Raju belong to the Seema-Andhra region, the chances of MPs belonging
to the Telangana region, that too from OBC communities, to be made
ministers of state have increased.

There has been no representation for these sections in the Union
Cabinet both in UPA-I and UPA-II regimes.

But there are some delicacies involved.

For instance, Congress sources wondered if it would be fair to offer a
minister of state post to a veteran like Mr V. Hanumantha Rao,
three-time MP and former PCC chief. Similarly, Dr K. Kesava Rao,
though a first time MP, was also a PCC chief.

Youngsters such as the Secunderabad MP, Mr Anjan Kumar Yadav, and the
Nizamabad MP, Mr Madhu Yashki Goud, are also eyeing Cabinet berths. Mr
Nandi Yellaiah, who belongs to the Madiga subset of scheduled caste
community, is also dreaming big.

However, chances are not bright for Mr Kavuri Sambasiva Rao (Eluru)
and Mr Rayapati Sambasiva Rao (Guntur) who belong to the Coastal
Andhra area, since Ms Purandeswari from the same social grouping is
already in the Cabinet.

The Prime Minister’s comment that he would reduce the average age of
the Cabinet has enthused young MPs but has given sleepless nights to
the senior ministers.

If Dr Singh goes strictly by the performance of young MPs in the Lok
Sabha, then Mr Manish Tewari (Punjab), Dr Jyoti Mirdha (Rajasthan), Ms
Meenakshi Natrajan (Madhya Pradesh) and Mr Raj Babbar (Uttar Pradesh)
may get a chance.

Mr Rajeev Shukla is another name doing the rounds and there are also
chances of Mr Shashi Tharoor’s return as a minister.





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[ZESTCaste] Towards caste majoritarianism? (S Anand)

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.himalmag.com/Towards-caste-majoritarianism_nw4672.html

Towards caste majoritarianism?

September 2010
By: S Anand


With the Census of India set to count caste for the first time since
the colonial era, the focus shifts to the ramifications of doing so.



I was recently forced to overhear a conversation between strangers,
two Indian women, who met on the Bhopal-Delhi Shatabdi Express. They
quickly zeroed in on each other’s caste. One was a Kayastha (a
privileged non-Brahmin) and the other, the younger woman, a Brahmin.
Both were happy to discover that they had a Kayastha connection – the
Brahmin woman revealed that she had married a Kayastha man. Then they
dwelt briefly on the many subcastes and hierarchies within the
Kayasthas – Mathur, Sinha, Saxena, Nigam and Shrivastav. The Brahmin
woman, employed in the information-technology department of an
insurance company, stated with distinct pride that, when all is said
and done, Brahmins had ‘sharper minds’ and were born more
‘intelligent’. To substantiate, she talked of how her Brahmin brother
always outwitted her non-Brahmin husband in decision-making.

The Brahmin brother, it seems, could always convince his Kayastha
brother-in-law of his point of view, whether on a financial matter or
where to go on holiday. The quieter Kayastha woman did not protest any
of this. Even when the diminutive Brahmin woman later concluded – with
her own theory of caste eugenics – that her children had developed a
‘better physique’ owing to the Kayastha father, she underscored that
she did not compromise on a vegetarian diet. Now, what would be the
caste of the children of this Brahmin-Kayastha marriage, with its own
power dynamics? Surely, given an option, it is unlikely they would
register as ‘no caste’ in the forthcoming Census of India – the first
to include a section on caste in nearly seven decades. Even in such
mixed-caste offspring, the importance of caste in their minds would
not be discounted.

That caste inflects almost every aspect of life in India, and large
parts of Southasia, is a fact, as highlighted in Himal’s April 2010
issue on its pervasiveness. In a society where caste is an
overwhelming reality, it would seem that counting castes would have
begun long ago. Surely it is not as though India will now become a
caste society when caste is, finally, counted; but when every caste
does get counted, there would be official recognition of what
post-Independence India has been trying to ignore for decades, seeking
to present a homogenised identity to the rest of the world. So far,
since only the Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes have been getting
counted, debates around caste have tended to focus on issues of
reservation and atrocities against Dalits. For long, questions of
ameliorating the disabilities forced upon people owing to the practice
of caste or its utopian annihilation (which someone like B R Ambedkar
dreamed of) have been jettisoned. Among the Brahminical castes, the
question of caste has been reduced to a skewed debate around quotas –
wherein the incursion of the Dalits and Backward Classes into
hitherto-reserved public spaces is equated with the loss of ‘merit’
and therefore lamented. While maintaining the ideological bulwark, a
majority of urban Brahmins also deny the very existence of caste, and
behave as if they have ‘exited’ caste.

While conceding the need to count castes, what might be the political
fallout of such an exercise – especially in terms  of how it might
affect the polarisation between Dalits and the ‘Backward’ and ‘Other
Backward’ Classes (BCs and OBCs, as a bulk of the Shudra castes are
designated by the Indian Constitution)? For the moment, let us set
aside what could be characterised as the Brahminical objections to
counting castes – represented by a medley of both liberal and neo-con
voices that includes Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Barkha Dutt, Dipankar Gupta,
Nandini Sundar and Gopalkrishna Gandhi, among others. That ‘empirical’
need for this ostensibly comes from the fact that in 2007 the Supreme
Court of India stayed the order against the admission of OBCs to
educational institutions citing lack of ‘reliable data’. The demand
for this, however, predates the reservations-related recommendations
of the Mandal Commission, of 1980, or more recent debates around the
issue.

Calculus of backwardness
It is often believed that Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian
Constitution, was opposed to reservation for the Backward Classes, and
he limited himself to being concerned with Dalits and Adivasis (the
Scheduled Castes and Tribes, in official parlance). However, while
resigning from Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet in October 1951 (primarily
over the failure of the Hindu Code Bill), he referred to ‘another
matter’ that had left him ‘dissatisfied’ with the government of the
day. ‘It relates to the treatment accorded to the Backward Classes and
the Scheduled Castes,’ Ambedkar said. ‘I was very sorry that the
Constitution did not embody 

[ZESTCaste] Caste discrimination — U.K. Dalits win the argumen t, nearly

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article611931.ece

Opinion » Op-Ed
Published: September 4, 2010 00:48 IST | Updated: September 4, 2010
00:48 IST September 4, 2010

Caste discrimination — U.K. Dalits win the argument, nearly

Hasan Suroor

There's a palpable mood of optimism among Britain's 2,00,000-strong
Dalit community as it waits for the Government to take a decision on
its long-standing campaign for caste discrimination to be recognised
as racism. The buzz is that, barring a last-minute hiccup, Britain
could soon become the first European, indeed Western, country to
declare caste prejudice unlawful under its race laws — a move which
will not please New Delhi which has consistently opposed caste being
clubbed with race.

Britain's new Equality Act already empowers the Government to declare
“caste to be an aspect of race” without seeking fresh parliamentary
approval.

Clause 9 of the Act says: “The fact that a racial group comprises two
or more distinct racial groups does not prevent it from constituting a
particular racial group. A Minister of the Crown may by order — (a)
amend this section so as to provide for caste to be an aspect of race
…”

Much will depend on the findings of a study it has commissioned to
determine the extent of caste discrimination. The report of the
National Institute of Economic and Social Research, a leading
independent research body which is conducting the research, is
expected in the autumn and campaigners are confident that it will back
their own claims about how “widespread” caste prejudice in Britain,
really, is.

CasteWatchUK, Britain's oldest Dalit campaign group, says it is no
longer a question of “if” but “when” an official announcement is made.

“We have provided enough evidence to researchers and have no doubt in
our minds that their report will be positive. Besides, we have full
faith in the fairness of the British state. The fact that they have
included it in the equality act is half the battle won. It is not a
question of ‘if' but ‘when' it happens,” claims its general secretary
Davinder Prasad.

There has been widespread cross-party support for the campaign, the
“only reluctant voices being those of Asian MPs,” according to Lekh
Pall, general secretary of the Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance
(ACDA), an umbrella group.

Leads to division
The issue has divided Britain's Indian diaspora and right-wing groups
such as the Hindu Forum of Britain have launched a counter-campaign
arguing that the Government has no right to intervene in what they
claim is the community's internal affair.

Ramesh Kallidai, secretary-general of the Forum, says it is “not right
for the U.K. Government to take a position on the rites, beliefs or
practices of a particular religion”.

“Social interactions and personal choices are an expression of
people's freedom, and any barriers should be removed through education
and awareness, not through legislation,” he argues.

In a report, “Caste in the U.K.”, the Forum denied claims of caste
discrimination saying its own research had found that it was “not
endemic in British society”.

However, a study — “Hidden Apartheid, Voice of the Community, Caste
and Caste Discrimination in the U.K.” — by ACDA in collaboration with
academics from the universities of Hertfordshire and Manchester and
the Manchester Metropolitan University, concluded that there was
“clear evidence” of widespread caste-based discrimination.

“There is clear evidence from the survey and the focus groups that the
caste system has been imported into the U.K. with the Asian diaspora
and that the associated caste discrimination affects citizens in ways
beyond personal choices and social interaction. There is a danger that
if the U.K. government does not effectively accept and deal with the
issue of caste discrimination the problem will grow unchecked,” it
said.

The report claimed that “tens of thousands of people in the workplace,
the classroom and even the doctor's surgery” suffered discrimination
because of their caste. Forty-five per cent of the respondents alleged
they had either been treated negatively by co-workers or had comments
made about their caste. Nine per cent felt they were been denied
promotion, and 10 per cent that they were paid less because of their
caste. Some also claimed that they faced “threats”.

One woman, who worked for an Indian-run radio station, complained that
she was demoted after her manager discovered her caste background,
while an elderly woman alleged that her care worker discriminated
against her on caste grounds. One transport company reorganised its
duty roster so that a “higher caste” inspector would not have to work
with a “lower caste” bus driver. Caste-related name-calling was one of
the most commonly-reported complaints.

More often than not, incidents of discrimination go unreported as
people are reluctant to talk about them, activists claim with one
activist saying that “there is a silent majority out there that we
never hear about”.


[ZESTCaste] Development, not caste, will be Nitish’s card

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Development-not-caste-will-be-Nitishs-card/articleshow/6509368.cms

7 Sep, 2010, 02.10AM IST, Ashok K Mishra,ET Bureau

Development, not caste, will be Nitish’s card
PATNA: In a state where politics is mainly driven by caste
considerations, chief minister Nitish Kumar is flaunting the
development card which, he firmly believes, will place NDA in an
advantageous position in the coming electoral battle.

“The ruling NDA has done enough by way of development and this should
make sense with the electorate. I am sure they will shun caste loyalty
and vote for development this time. Those believing in the credo of
caste-based politics will get a rude shock in the elections ” the
chief minister told ET.

The installation of the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government on November
24, 2005, led to significant changes which are visible across the
spectrum. The road sector started buzzing as never before, resulting
in tremendous improvement in the road network.

New life was breathed into the moribund health care and education
sectors. The ‘kidnapping industry,’ the only flourishing industry
during the Rabri-Lalu era, saw its demise. Bihar was scripting a
turnaround story, the message was clear for the experts to acknowledge
the development story of Bihar. No wonder, Mr Kumar is not hesitating
to play out the development story before the electorate this time,
something which no politician had done in the recent past.

At the same time, a wily Mr Kumar has also played the role of a hard
core politician who would get his social engineering acts right by
carving new constituencies, which, in his case, saw the creation of
extremely backward caste (EBCs) and Maha-Dalit vote banks.

First, he announced reservation for EBCs in the panchayati raj and
local bodies, a decision which led to the grouping rooting for the
ruling NDA in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. The creation of
Maha-Dalits, accounting for the poorest of the poor among the larger
Dalit community, will also come in handy for Mr Nitish Kumar, who,
apart from doling out largesse, has also made provision for allotting
land to them.

Both EBCs and Maha-Dalits account for nearly 40% of the electorate and
they will constitute the core vote bank of Nitish Kumar.

As for Muslims, who would have felt more comfortable with Mr Kumar,
were he to sever his ties with BJP, a section of them will still be
inclined to support at least JD(U) candidates on the basis of ‘good
work’ done by the Nitish government for minorities.

The reopening of the 1989 Bhagalpur communal riot cases leading to
conviction of some accused, payment of life-long pension to the kin of
those killed in the riots, fencing of graveyards, his aggressive take
on Mr Narendra Modi and the fact that not a single communal riot
happened during his tenure are highpoints which are likely to
influence the voting-pattern of the minority community.

The upper castes, who had backed Mr Kumar to the hilt in 2005, and
later in the Lok Sabha elections, however, may be open to the idea of
supporting Congress now that it has completely distanced itself from
RJD.

All this may, however, opens up the possibility of Mr Lalu Prasad
being pitchforked back to centre stage, a prospect which is expected
to convince a majority of the upper castes to back the JD(U)-BJP
combine eventually. What is more, there will be voters from among the
upper castes who’d be ready to support the development plank of Nitish
Kumar.

All in all, Mr Nitish Kumar will serve before the electorate a
political menu which is going to be a heady mix of politics and
development. The chief minister, however, will vouch that the
development plank alone will help win a second term for the ruling
NDA.

“Last time, people voted for us because they wanted to get rid of RJD.
But this time people will vote for us because of our performance. It
will be positive vote for us,“ remarked Mr Nitish Kumar.

His clean and honest image is a bonus. The soft-spoken leader, to
many, stands in sharp contrast to the controversial RJD supremo, who
has been tarred with the corruption and nepotism taint.





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[ZESTCaste] Dalits to gherao CM house

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.centralchronicle.com/viewnews.asp?articleID=46655

Dalits to gherao CM house

Category »  Bhopal Posted On Monday, September 06, 2010

By Our Staff Reporter

Bhopal, Sept 6:
For demand to simplify the process of issuing caste certificates and
eliminating mandatory requirement of revenue records of 1950, the
Bahujan Hitaya Samajik Jan Chetna Samiti, Bhopal is going to Gherao
the Chief Minister on September 27.
The decision was taken after organisation conducted a meeting. TR
Ahirwar, Secretary said that massive demonstration would be organised
in front of CM house. He further said that they would continue their
protest until the demands are fulfilled.

Anti encroachment drive by BMC
Bhopal, Sept 6:
Under ongoing anti encroachment drive, the Bhopal Municipal
Corporation (BMC) demolished more than 30 illegal constructions
including various marriage halls at Bairagarh main road, which were
hurdles in the path of BTR road construction.
The drive was conducted under direction of Dy Commissioner APS
Gaharwar and City Engineer Sunita Singh.


[ZESTCaste] Untouchability still practised in Gandhi's land

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Untouchability-still-pratised-in-Gandhis-land/articleshow/6502937.cms

Untouchability still practised in Gandhi's land
Radha Sharma, TNN, Sep 6, 2010, 05.50am IST

AHMEDABAD: Rajniben, a village panchayat member from Ahmedabad
district, does not have a chair to sit in the panchayat office. Unlike
the other members, who all have a chair, there is a gunny sack
reserved for Rajniben which she uses to sit on the floor when the
panchayat meets. This is because Rajniben is a dalit and is not
allowed to sit on par with panchayat members belonging to upper
castes.

The untouchability factor remains high in Gujarat, the land of Gandhi.
A survey on discrimination in offices has revealed that nearly 65 per
cent dalit sarpanchs report they have separate cups to drink tea or
water in their own office. About 40 per cent are not allowed to sit on
chairs.

The survey, Dalit Women's Right to Political Participation in Rural
Panchayati Raj', has been conducted on 200 dalit women sarpanches and
panchayat members in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. Carried out by an NGO,
Navsarjan Trust, in Gujarat 100 dalit women of these, 86 were
sarpanchs, while the rest were nominated for the office but could not
contest the elections following political or social pressure were
studied.

The survey was released at the women's tribunal, organised by Waada Na
Todo Abhiyan along with other members here where nearly 200 women from
marginalised sections like tribals, dalits and Muslims have
participated.

The survey revealed that assuming office did not mean an end to
discriminatory practices for dalit women. A good 64.5 per cent dalit
women reported that they were not able to drink tea from the same cups
used by other representatives and 38 per cent said that they could not
eat food or snacks in the same plate or utensils used by others.

A dalit woman may become the sarpanch, holding the highest office in
the village, but is still forced to drink from a separate cup because
of her caste, said Manjula Pradeep, director of Navsarjan Trust.


[ZESTCaste] Proud to be a Dalit

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://ww.telegraphindia.com/1100905/jsp/7days/story_12898243.jsp

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Proud to be a Dalit
A quiet revolution is underway in the Dalit world — assertiveness is
replacing defensiveness. Many Dalits, buoyed by prosperity, are
flaunting their caste on their sleeves and celebrating it in rap and
pop albums. Seetha and V. Kumara Swamy look at how Dalits are changing
the way the world looks at them

STANDING TALL: Cars with a defiant chamar or chamar da munda scrawled
on windshields are common in Jalandhar; (below) P. Nagrare started an
engineering college along with other Dalits; (bottom) H. Bhaskar, who
set up Kota Tutorials, says he is proud to be a Jatav


Sons of chamars are six feet tall
Riding bikes at the speed of bullets
And making headlines everywhere

Upcoming Punjabi singer Lovely Bhatia’s Chadadh Chamaran Di (Rising
Chamars) is a big hit in parts of Punjab. That’s not surprising, for
the song is the anthem of the young Dalit.

You can be imprisoned, under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe
(Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, for using the word chamar — a
term for a scheduled caste community that traditionally worked with
leather — as an abuse.

In parts of Punjab, though, rap and pop albums celebrating the chamar
identity are the new rage. Cars and scooters sporting a defiant chamar
or Chamaran da Munda (son of a chamar) stickers are a common sight in
Jalandhar.

“When I was young, I feared saying that I was a chamar, thinking that
my colleagues would look down upon me. But now I say that I am proud
to be a chamar,” says Sriram Prakash who, after retirement from the
Punjab police, has been working with a Dalit religious group, the
Ravidasias.

It isn’t just in Punjab. Agra’s Harsh Bhaskar, 32, who set up the
multi-city Kota Tutorials and the Edify Institute of Management and
Technology, outside Agra, declares he is “proud” to be a Jatav. J.S.
Phulia, who runs a Delhi-based shipping and logisitics firm, says: “We
don’t want to be servile.”

Alongside atrocities by upper castes in villages and discrimination in
the work place, another chapter is being written in the Dalit story —
assertion is replacing defensiveness. In Punjab, the assertion is in
your face; in other parts of the country, it is quieter, but palpable.

“Dalits are sick of taunts about their poverty, their so-called
unclean habits and their dependence on reservations for education and
jobs,” says Dalit writer and activist Chandrabhan Prasad. “They want
to change these impressions.”

What is more, Dalit entrepreneurs are expanding, and even have their
own apex body — the Pune-based Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (Dicci), which has over 400 members.

Dalits are also setting up schools and colleges — often as an avenue
for helping the community. Pradeep Nagrare, secretary of the
Nagpur-based Nagarjuna Institute of Engineering Technology and
Management , says the idea for the institute, where 60 per cent of
students are Dalits, came from the Babasaheb Ambedkar National
Association of Engineers, a group of scheduled caste engineers. “If we
have to take Babasaheb Ambedkar’s mission forward, it can only be
through education,” he says.

Dalit movements seeking to change lives have taken various forms, says
S.S. Jodhka, professor of sociology at the Jawaharlal Nehru
University, Delhi. Political mobilisation saw the rise of the Bahujan
Samaj Party, human right struggles focused on atrocities and
discrimination while socio-economic development dealt with education
and business. Religious movements have ranged from Dalits embracing
Buddhism to the recent Ravidasia assertion in Punjab, spearheaded by
followers of Ravidas, a 15th century saint who belonged to the chamar
community.

The hub of the Ravidasia movement is Dera Sachkhand, near Jalandhar. A
huge Ravidas temple is being built in Jalandhar, young men sport
T-shirts and headbands with the Hari symbol of the Ravidasia
community. Dalits in Punjab — Sikhs and non-Sikhs — are being
encouraged to list Ravidasia as their religion in the 2011 census.

The movement grew as a reaction to years of discrimination. Dalits,
who tilled the fields of Jat Sikhs, were not allowed inside the
latter’s gurdwaras. So small gurdwaras mainly for Dalits cropped up.
“The Jats of Punjab have been asserting their identity for long; it’s
our turn now,” says Manohar Lal Mehey, an industrialist who proudly
displays the Ravidasia symbol on his Mitsubishi Lancer. The movement
got a fillip after the killing of a sect leader by upper caste Sikhs
in Vienna, Austria, last year led to widespread violence.

The trigger wasn’t so specific in the case of Dalit entrepreneurship,
which is mainly a post-1990s phenomenon. The shrinking government
sector, after liberalisation was launched, reduced regular job
opportunities. Simultaneously, as companies began outsourcing
activities to become more competitive, avenues opened up for
non-business communities.

Phulia, for instance, started as a 

[ZESTCaste] Two huts of Dalits set ablaze

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://hindu.com/2010/09/05/stories/2010090555090400.htm

Karnataka - Mysore

Two huts of Dalits set ablaze

Muralidhara Khajane

These families were boycotted for refusing to beat drums during a festival


The police were forced to register complaint against 13 people

Dalits reportedly decided not to beat drums some 20 years ago


MYSORE: An uneasy calm prevails at Ankahalli village of Gundlupet
taluk in Chamarajanagar district, where “upper castes” allegedly
torched two huts of Dalits early Friday for having complained to the
police about the social boycott imposed on them. Foodgrains and other
belongings in the huts of Rachaiah and Chikkasiddaiah were reduced to
ashes in the incident.

According to Superintendent of Police, Chamarajanagar district, B.S.
Prakash, the situation was under control with two platoons of the
District Armed Reserve (DAR) and senior police officers guarding the
village.

“Cases have been registered against 13 people in connection with the
incident, but no arrests have been made so far. The accused will be
arrested soon,” he told The Hindu.

Chikkasiddaiah (46) said that “caste” Hindus imposed a social boycott
on Dalit families for refusing to beat drums during the Mahadeshwara
Swamy festival 15 days ago. Dalit leaders of the village had resolved
not to beat drums during the festival some 20 years ago after a clash
with “caste” Hindus. Nobody forced them to reconsider their decision
till recently.

However, when the new village head asked them to change their
decision, the Dalits refused to do so. Irked by this, “caste” Hindus
conducted a panchayat and fined the Dalits for disobeying the
decision, and imposed a social boycott on them. The “caste” Hindus
even warned people in the neighbouring villages of dire consequences
if they helped the Dalits. The Dalits had been prevented from praying
to the village deity even from outside the shrine, he said.

When the Dalits complained to the police, they refused to register the
complaint. The police were forced to register a complaint against 13
“caste” Hindus, who were instrumental in imposing the social boycott,
after the intervention of the Dalit Mahasabha on August 20, said
mahasabha president Venkataramana.

Accusing “caste” Hindus of torching the houses of Chikkasiddaiah and
Rachaiah, another Dalit leader of Chamarajanagar Arakalavadi Nagendra
alleged that the houses were locked from outside before being torched.
“But timely intervention of other Dalits, who doused the fire, saved
the lives of two families,” he said.

Had the police arrested the accused, the incident would not have
occurred. “Interestingly, although the police were deployed in the
village in view of the tension, they were not present when the huts
were torched”, he alleged.

Chamarajanagar MP R. Dhruvanarayan and Gundlupet MLA H.S. Mahadeva
Prasad visited Anakahalli on Saturday and consoled the victims.

Mr. Mahadeva Prasad attributed failure of the police to the torching incident.

“Although a complaint was registered against the 13 accused on August
20, the police failed to arrest the culprits. The police are directly
responsible for the incident,” he said.

Angered by the apathy of the district administration in protecting the
interest of Dalits in the district, Mr. Nagendra cautioned against
launching district-wide agitation in case of not arresting the accused
by Monday.





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[ZESTCaste] Absence of vettiyans pose problem to residents

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://expressbuzz.com/cities/chennai/absence-of-vettiyans-pose-problem-to-residents/204265.html

Absence of vettiyans pose problem to residents

U Tejonmayam

First Published : 06 Sep 2010 03:04:59 AM IST

Last Updated : 06 Sep 2010 09:14:13 AM IST

CHENNAI: It is not an easy end, both for the dead and their relatives
who arrive at the graveyard located at Ambedkar Nagar in Tambaram as
there is no employee or vettiyan to do the final rites there for many
years.


The graveyard, located in the 20th ward at Tambaram, is more than five
decades old and is under the control of the Tambaram municipality
catering to the needs of both Hindus and Christians.

Absence of a vettiyan had raised many problems among the residents as
the relatives have to make the pyre or bury the body themselves that
sometimes leads to improper cremation or burial.

Residents claim that the bodies were cremated in odd hours especially
between 4pm and 1 am, as there is no one to maintain the yard or
question the people.

The five-acre site is used for cremation by over 10,000 families of
Ambedkar Nagar, Bharathi Nagar, Avvai Nagar, MGR Nagar, Indra Nagar
and Rajaji Nagar.

According to the residents, at least two to three bodies were cremated
a week there.

“There has been no vettiyan or a watchman to maintain the graveyard
for more than 20 years. We should bury the bodies ourselves and cannot
obtain a burial certificate.

The worst is, at times, stray dogs drag parts of bodies even as it is
in the pyre,” said 40-year-old Prakash, a resident.

“Sometimes, we won’t even know if the person being cremated had a
natural death or committed suicide,” the resident quickly added.

Many local youth offer to cremate the bodies and take Rs 2,000 to Rs
3,000 but they don’t stay there till it burns completely, complain
people.

Repeated requests to the municipality to come up with halls to perform
final rites and meditation have not been yielded any result.

“We have invited applications for both watchman and vettiyan job, but
none approached us. But another ground with all facilities for funeral
rites is under construction at West Tambaram.

That will solve the issue once it’s ready,” said Lion E Mani,
President, Tambaram Municipality.





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[ZESTCaste] UP to regularise services of daily wage work charge workers

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/up-to-regularise-services-of-daily-wage--work-charge-workers/293150.html

UP to regularise services of daily wage  work charge workers

PTI | 04:09 PM,Sep 04,2010
Lucknow, Sep 4 (PTI) The Uttar Pradesh government today decided to
regularise services of daily wage and casual workers appointed by it
before 1991.The decision to rergularise those appointed in various
departments, local bodies, housing board and development authorities
will put an additional burden of Rs 80 crore on the state
exchequer.In a meeting held this morning, the cabinet chaired by
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati approved a proposal to
regularise services of daily wage and work charge appointed before
1991, Principal Secretary Information Vijay Shanker Pandey told
reporters here.The decision will benefit 26,800 part time employees
and will create an additional financial burden of Rs 80 crore on the
state exchequer, he said.Pandey said that additional posts will be
created to accommodate work charge and daily wage employees.At
present there are 10,000 work charge and 9,800 daily wage employees in
different departments, who were engaged before 1991, the principal
secretary said, adding that their regularisation will create an
additional financial burden of Rs 20 crore on the
government.Similarly, there are 3,000 daily wage employees in the
local bodies and 4,000 daily wagers and work charge employees in
housing board and development authorities.The decision will create an
additional financial burden of Rs 60 crore on the local bodies,
housing board and development authorities, which will be borne by
these institutions, he said.He said that employees of local bodies,
housing board and development authorities were already getting salary
equivalent to class four as per the court order.The decision will
solve a big problem as thousands of cases related to regularisation of
service were pending in the courts. While the employees were spending
money on these cases, the government had to make extra efforts,
Pandey said.He said that the government had already banned appointment
of daily wage and work charge employees from June 29, 1991.


[ZESTCaste] Seer to campaign against untouchability

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysore/Seer-to-campaign-against-untouchability/articleshow/6502171.cms

Seer to campaign against untouchability

TNN, Sep 5, 2010, 11.02pm IST

 MYSORE: Vishweshwarateertha Swamiji of Pejawar mutt on Sunday said he
will continue his crusade against untouchability and is planning to
convert his visits dalit colonies in the state into a movement. At a
press meet here, he said he will involve even the seers of others
mutts in the state who are inclined to join him. I will start staying
in villages and this will begin from coastal districts, he added.

The swamiji said he will build a free hostel at Mysore for poor
students of all communities and castes and preference will be given to
dalit and OBC students during admissions.

The seer said he will visit Naxal-affected areas of Orissa and
Chhattisgarh next month and meet both victims of Naxal attacks and the
Naxalites. I will try to assuage the feelings of the victims'
families and appeal to the Naxals to join the mainstream, he said.

When asked about keeping the dalits and OBCs from mass-feedings done
at Brahmin mutts in the state, the seer said: Not only Brahmins even
the other vegetarians will not like to eat meals with non-vegetarians.
We cannot compel the people to sit together and have a meal, he
added. But this does not mean that there are no mass feedings
involving all castes and communities at Brahmin mutts, he added.


[ZESTCaste] Dalit outfits accuse police of inaction

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.hindu.com/2010/09/06/stories/2010090659740300.htm

Karnataka - Mangalore

Dalit outfits accuse police of inaction



Staff Correspondent

Accused in a case of atrocity over daily wage worker still to be
booked: leaders


A daily wage earner was assaulted by four persons in 2009

Dalit leaders seek compensation, job for

the victim


MANGALORE: Dalit organisations have alleged that members of Bajrang
Dal, accused of stripping and assaulting Sridhar (27), a Dalit daily
wage-worker from Peraje village of Kodagu district, in Bantwal taluk
on July 5, 2009, were still to be arrested. The police registered a
case against four persons after The Hindu brought the atrocity case to
light. But all of them are now out on bail.

Speaking at the monthly grievance meeting for SCs/STs organised by the
district police here on Sunday, leaders of various Dalit organisations
said that the police had failed to book cases against six more
persons, who allegedly played a crucial role in the atrocity against
the same victim. Expressing fears about the safety of Mr. Sridhar,
they said that unless the police moved the court and got the bail
order cancelled, the accused would try to harm or bring pressure on
the victim again. The leaders demanded that Mr. Sridhar be paid
compensation, provided medical care for the permanent deformities he
sustained during the attack, and a Government job .


[ZESTCaste] Dalit woman's plea alleging rape dismissed

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.hindu.com/2010/09/05/stories/2010090553460300.htm

Tamil Nadu - Madurai

Dalit woman's plea alleging rape dismissed

Staff Reporter

Court says she filed case with mala fide intention



She had signed agreement that she would not interfere with life of rape accused

Police had conducted probe following complaint by petitioner and
matter was settled: judge


MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here has dismissed a petition
filed by a Dalit woman post-graduate from Madurai seeking a direction
to register a rape case against an employee of the Police Department.

Justice R. Mala refused to entertain the case on the ground that the
petitioner had approached the court, with a “mala fide” intention, a
month after signing an agreement that she would not interfere with the
life of the rape accused.

The judge pointed out that the police had conducted an enquiry
following a complaint lodged by the petitioner and the matter was
settled by signing the agreement in the presence of a Dalit leader, a
notary public and an advocate.

“Even though the petitioner belongs to a depressed class, she is well
educated and an M.A. graduate and knows the consequences of the
agreement. The occurrence is alleged to have taken place in 2007, but
she has come forward with this complaint only after a lapse of three
years. Hence, I do not find any merits in the petition and the same
deserves to be dismissed,” the judge said.

According to the woman, the accused, a caste Hindu, came into contact
with her when she was undergoing her second-year in the post-graduate
course. He had a physical relationship with her on the promise of
marrying her by convincing his parents. However, he did not keep up
his promise and married another girl.

A complaint was lodged with the Superintendent of Police to register a
case against the accused under Sections 376 (rape), 313 (causing
miscarriage without woman's consent), 506 part II (criminal
intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, besides a few other provisions
of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The complaint was referred to T. Kallupatti police station but no case
was registered and hence the present petition.

Filing a status report before the Bench, the police claimed that both
the victim as well as the accused had entered into an agreement in the
presence of C.M. Periyasamy, the State president of Ambedkar Jana
Sakthi, on June 3 stating that they would not interfere in each
other's life.





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[ZESTCaste] Will India Become a Caste Society if Caste is Counted? (K. Satyanarayana)

2010-09-07 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://casi.ssc.upenn.edu/iit/satyanarayana

India in Transition
Will India Become a Caste Society if Caste is Counted?
K. Satyanarayana
08/02/2010
Why is there so much opposition and anxiety among some sections of the
Indian elite – particularly among its upper-caste intellectual class –
on the question of enumeration of caste in the Census of India 2011?
My answer is simple: India would legally become a caste society. The
formal recognition of caste as a national category implies that the
Indian state is going beyond the constitutional recognition of caste
as a category to measure disability (i.e., untouchability, atrocity,
and social backwardness). The Indian constitution views caste as a
source of disability or discrimination, and laid down a set of clauses
to root out these practices of inequality. It assumes that caste is an
exception to Indian social life and will fade away. In other words,
the constitution conceives the Indian citizen to be a casteless
individual and it bars acknowledgment of ascripitive ties. Though the
constitution is categorical about eliminating disabilities caused by
caste, it is vague about the status of the caste groups in Indian
social life. However, the decision to enumerate caste would mean a
legal acceptance of caste groups – especially lower caste groups such
as Other Backward Classes (OBC) – as legitimate political actors. This
implies that India would legally become a caste society; the Indian
elite are shocked by this implication and the larger social
transformations that might follow this legal acknowledgment of caste.

The view that Indian society is a caste society is not a new
perception. The Dalit and other anti-caste social movements asserted
the centrality of caste in Indian society. It was Phule and Ambedkar,
the two prominent voices in the colonial period, who argued that caste
determines status, wealth, knowledge, and power in Indian society. It
was again in the post-emergency period, that a new generation of dalit
writers, critics, scholars, and activists not only reiterated that
India is a caste society but also articulated a new notion of caste.
They critiqued and rejected the elite view of caste as a singular
entity that causes divisions in society and advanced a new concept of
caste as a source of everyday experience of violence as well as an
identity for mobilization. In fact, the tremendous pressure to
recognize caste as a national category begins with the rise of the
contemporary Dalit movement in the context of mass killings of Dalits
in the 1970s and 1980s. In the context of atrocities on Dalits, the
Congress Government enacted the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled
Tribes (ST) (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. This Act signaled an
important change in the legal view of caste. While the Untouchability
(Offences) Act, 1955 recognized “untouchability” – not caste – as a
cause of disability, the SC/ST Act, 1989 identified “caste” as a cause
of atrocity, and caste related atrocities as national crimes. The
Supreme Court also came under public pressure during the Mandal
agitation during the period of 1991 to 1993, and accorded legal
sanction to the category of caste as a national entity (Indra Sawhney
vs. Union of India, 1992). Therefore, the demand for enumerating caste
in the Census 2011 is a demand of the Dalits and the OBCs who are
consolidated as social groups and operate as a force in contemporary
society.

The Indian elite are defending the idea of India as a homogeneous
entity and neutral space beyond ascriptive identities. They represent
themselves as a special group of Indian citizens (“meri Jaati
Hindustani”). This group is a small minority of English-educated urban
elite – mostly upper caste intellectuals and some politicians – who
view caste as divisive and evil. This group includes yet another small
section of liberal and left-oriented intellectuals who advance the
view that enumeration of caste in the Census will prevent a meaningful
and complete transformation of India as a democratic society. They
view the debate on caste only as an issue relating to reservations or
other policy issues related to SC/ST/OBCs. Both of these sections of
the elite represent themselves as casteless people (i.e., true
Indians) and stigmatize Dalits and OBCs as caste people. They never
concede that the recognition of different castes and therefore, the
existence of different social groups in the country is an important
decision in and of itself.

One must take note of the Dalit critique of the dominant conceptions
of caste. The literary and activist writings and academic scholarship
of Dalits underscore the view that caste is a source of everyday
discrimination, brutal forms of violence, dehumanization, and
inequality. This scholarship, drawing on experience, simultaneously
brings to light the role of caste as a marker of privilege, caste
arrogance, social worth, and power, and dismantles the view that
secular/modern Indian citizens are casteless. It 

[ZESTCaste] Fwd: A Report on Dalit Adivasi Students and Foreign Universities (Insight Study Circle Meeting held on 22nd August)

2010-09-06 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
-- Forwarded message --
From: anoop kumar anoopkh...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 11:00 AM
Subject: A Report on Dalit  Adivasi Students and Foreign Universities
(Insight Study Circle Meeting held on 22nd August)
To:


Opportunities for Dalit and Adivasi Students for Higher Education in
World’s Premier Educational Institutions: A Report

Insight Study Circle Meeting  held on 22 August 2010 (Sunday) at
Indian Social Institute, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

Speakers

1. David Vumlallian Zou (from Manipur) teaches at History Department,
Delhi University and did his doctorate from Queen’s University,
Belfast with full scholarship from Academic Planning Grant (Northern
Ireland).

2. Abhay Xaxa (from Chhattisgarh) is currently working with Indian
Institute of Dalit Studies, New Delhi and did his Masters in Social
Anthropology from University of Sussex, UK  (2008) as one of the
recipient of International Ford Fellowship Programme.

3. Bhawani Buswala (from Rajasthan) is currently in the country for
his field research. He is pursuing his PhD in Anthropology from Brown
University, Rhodes Island, USA on full university scholarship.

4. Rama Devi Hansraj (from Andhra Pradesh) completed her Post
Graduation in Human Rights from University of London (2004) as one of
the International Ford Fellow. She is currently based in Kolkata and
is working with Catholic Relief Service.

Given below are the excerpts from the speeches from our panel of
speakers followed by a brief interaction session with our audiences.

Rama Devi Hansraj

I did my MA from University of Hyderabad, Department of Mass
Communication. I am the first generation educated person in my family.
After completing my studies in Hyderabad, I worked with some small
Human Rights groups in Andhra Pradesh.

Through that network I came to know about International Ford
Foundation Fellowship programme that was meant exclusively for
students from marginalised background.  I applied and was selected
after going through its rigorous selection process. With that
fellowship, I did my Masters in University of London in Human Rights.

As I was part of Dalit students’ movement in Hyderabad University, I
was very conscious of caste discrimination that we all go through both
subtle and direct. Perhaps that made me to opt for my study in the
area of Human Rights.

Also I felt that articulation on the issues is a major problem. I have
heard many Dalit women who were able to articulate and share their
personal experiences in their vernacular language so well but doing so
in English was a big challenge. They are being represented by people
who are only good at articulating in English and so people coming from
the grass root realities could never talk for themselves at a bigger
platform like UN. These reasons led me to opt for a course in human
rights.

What I liked about Ford Foundation was their entire interview process.
The whole process was very comforting and gave us enough breathing
space and to remain confident as applicants. They appointed one panel
member to each applicant to interact at personal level. The one who
was interviewing me, later, in the interview actually spoke on behalf
of me which was very encouraging. This gave me lot of confidence and
helped me face whatever question they asked.

--
Rosa sat so Martin could walk; Martin walked so Obama could run,
Obama ran so your children can fly





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[ZESTCaste] Fwd: Caste Discrimination roves in Chhattisgarh [1 Attachment]

2010-09-06 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
*[Attachment(s) from Siddhartha Kumar included below]

-- Forwarded message --
From: Goldy George goldymgeorg...@gmail.com
Date: 2 September 2010 18:46
Subject: [INDELHI:484] Caste Discrimination roves in Chhattisgarh
To: dalit-movement-association-
dalit-movement-associati...@googlegroups.com,
indiancurre...@gmail.com, editor edi...@countercurrents.org,
gudduda...@gmail.com, bharat-chintan
bharat-chin...@googlegroups.com, Sudha Bharadwaj
advocatesudhabharad...@gmail.com, inde...@googlegroups.com,
justpeaceina...@yahoogroups.com, adv sudha advsudha...@yahoo.co.in,
chhattisgarh-...@yahoogroups.com, hu_governa...@googlegroups.com,
human-rig...@uchicago.edu, ihro i...@yahoogroups.com, PUCL CG
pucl...@gmail.com, puc...@gmail.com, pucl...@yahoo.com, kavita
nirmalawaman adv.kavit...@gmail.com, Rajendra Sail
rajendras...@gmail.com, rajendras...@rediffmail.com, vijendra Aznabi
vij...@gmail.com, Gerard Oonk g.o...@indianet.nl


Dear all,
On 17th August 2010 there was an incident of mob violence in Balaudi
village near Palari tehsil of Raipur district. On 18th the newspapers
reported it as an issue between two groups in the village.  Followed
by this Dalit Mukti Morcha and People’s Union for Civil Liberties,
Chhattisgarh jointly constituted a Fact Finding Investigation team to
investigate the entire issue.
I am herewith attaching the report of the fact finding team. The team
has come up with vital observations and recommendations. Please
forward it to groups and individuals concerned.
Looking forwards to your support and solidarity
Goldy
--
-
Goldy M. George
PhD candidate
TISS, Mumbai

Founder
Dalit Mukti Morcha
Chhattisgarh

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*Attachment(s) from Siddhartha Kumar:


* 1 of 1 File(s) 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ZESTCaste/attachments/folder/2089169668/item/list 
  * Caste Untouchability and Discrimination led to the Balaudi Incident.doc




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[ZESTCaste] Dalit women reaping the benefits of community pond

2010-09-06 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/article607622.ece

News » States » Tamil Nadu
PUDUKOTTAI, September 1, 2010

Dalit women reaping the benefits of community pond
Special Correspondent

A group of women members of Thalinji have started reaping the benefits
of a community pond developed jointly by the Agricultural Engineering
Department, Thalinji village panchayat besides the M.S. Swaminathan
Research Foundation (MSSRF).

The pond was set up to check the wastage of rainwater in the village
every monsoon with a focus on generating livelihood assistance to the
women members, all belonging to the Dalit community.

Prior to the setting up of the pond, it was causing havoc to the
residents of Thalinji colony.

The Agricultural Engineering Department dug out the earth for setting
up the community pond which is 160 metres in length and three metres
in depth. Its water spread area is 1,600 square metres.

The pond has been ensuring assured livelihood assistance to the women
members. They have raised the buffalo grass in the periphery of the
pond and raised vegetables on the bunds. Poly fish culture activity
has also been taken up at the site.

“The villagers have been harvesting fish and vegetables periodically,”
says M. Nageswaran, Project Co-ordinator, MSSRF. The villagers have
been adopting eco-friendly techniques for realisation of run off
water.

The residents have been using the pond for supplying drinking water to
the cattle. The villagers have christened the pond after the MSSRF.





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[ZESTCaste] UP renames awards after dalit icons

2010-09-06 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/UP-renames-awards-after-dalit-icons/articleshow/6493664.cms

UP renames awards after dalit icons

TNN, Sep 5, 2010, 12.24am IST

LUCKNOW: It is now turn for renaming awards for small industrialist,
craftsman and export promotion after dalit icons in Mayawati-ruled
Uttar Pradesh. Till now, this practice was confined to parks and
monuments, still under construction and refurbishment at a whopping
cost, which is estimated to have already crossed Rs 10,000 crore.

A decision to this effect was taken by chief minister Mayawati at a
cabinet meeting held here on Saturday.

As per the cabinet decision, the small industrialist state award
scheme will be renamed as Baba Saheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Small
Industrialist State Award Scheme.

Similarly, the state award given to special craftsman will be renamed
as Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Special Craftsman State Award Scheme.

Export award has been named after BSP founder Kanshiram.

These personalities had made an important contribution towards the
uplift of the country and the society. The decision taken by the
cabinet will not only enhance the prestige of the awards but also the
persons getting them will feel proud, said a government spokesman.

The cabinet also approved setting up of UP Forest Development Tribunal
under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. The body will implement
and monitor the scheme launched with the help of the Centre for
increasing forest area and starting an affroestration drive with the
support of villagers under a national programme.


[ZESTCaste] Let’s fight together: Kashmiri Gujjars to Jats

2010-09-06 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/india-news/lets-fight-together-kashmiri-gujjars-to-jats_100423531.html

Let’s fight together: Kashmiri Gujjars to Jats

Sunday, September 05, 2010 1:56:14 PM by ANI ( Leave a comment )
By Tahir Nadeem Khan

Jammu Sep.5 (ANI): The Scheduled Tribe Gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir
today offered their full support to Jat community in their current
struggle for grant of Other Backward Class (OBC) status.

In a letter addressed to different Jat organizations and community
leaders sent through Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, the
Gujjars of the state asked Jat community to come forward in response
to their offer for a United Gujjar-Jat struggle front.

Giving details Dr. Javaid Rahi, Secretary Tribal Foundation, said we
are ready to join OBC struggle of Jat if they moblize their community
in Gujjar struggle for tribal status going in different state
including in Rajasthan.

He said we have written to both Gujjars and Jat leaders and
organizationstoins working for social upliftment to unite on one stand
to take up all ongoing struggles jointly till theirs logical end.

Dr. Javaid also asked both community of the state to revive pre-1947
relations and renew Gujjar-Jat Conference which were the leading
organization and United Platform of Gujjars and Jats in state before
partition.The letter reads: In Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Gujjars (ST )
constitutes over 20 per cent of total population of the state which
can play a key role in Jats struggle for grant of OBC status.

The letter reads that the Gujjars of Rajasthan are struggling hard for
grant Scheduled Tribe (ST ) status and around one 71 people of Gujjar
tribe were killed in this historic struggle, the Jats should come
forward and support Gujjars in their struggle.The letter further reads
historically, culturally and socially Gujjars and Jats share many
similarities and now its need of the hour that we should join hands
together for a united struggle for rights of both communities .

The Gujjars and Jats together can do wanders in changing social
scenario of India, the letter said. (ANI)





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[ZESTCaste] Two cops face action for dereliction of duty

2010-09-06 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Two-cops-face-action-for-dereliction-of-duty/677459

Two cops face action for dereliction of duty

Express News Service Posted online: Sun Sep 05 2010, 05:07 hrs
Kanpur : On the charges of dereliction of duty in the alleged rape and
suicide case of a 17-year-old Dalit girl in Parauli village, Station
Officer Ghatampur Kallu Ram Dohrey and Constable Virendra Singh have
been relieved of their duties.
The family members of the deceased minor had alleged the SO and
Constable of favouring the alleged persons and not arresting them.
Taking a serious note of the complaint, DIG Kanpur, Prem Prakash
relieved Dohrey and Singh off their duties and attached them to police
line on late Friday night. The DIG has also formed a team to probe
into the role of Ghatampur police in the matter. District Magistrate
Mukesh Kumar Meshram has instructed Joint Magistrate Muttu Swami to
prepare a report on the role of Station Officer and Constable in the
case. However, even a day after the suicide, no arrest has yet been
made by Ghatampur police.

A Class XI student of Pandit Deen Beni Singh Bharat Inter College of
Bheetargaon block was allegedly kidnapped and raped by village youth
identified as Sunil Singh Bhadoria on Thursday morning. Her father
Ashok Kumar claimed that he made several efforts to convince SO Kallu
Ram Dohrey to register his case, but the police official denied
lodging the complaint. Meanwhile, on Friday morning, the minor girl
set herself on fire at her Parauli village residence. Before the
family members could rush to her rescue, the minor died on the spot.
The villagers in a large number held a protest in the village and
demanded the arrest of the accused persons. Keeping in mind the
large-scale protest, the case was registered on Friday afternoon.

DIG Prem Prakash said: “Strict departmental action would be initiated
against the Station Officer and the Constable if they are found guilty
of having favoured the accused persons.” The DIG has instructed ASP
Kanpur Rural area Lal Bahadur to set up an inquiry in the role of
Dohrey and Singh in the matter. “Meanwhile, police teams have been
formed to arrest the accused persons at the earliest,” he added. The
senior police official pointed out that on the complaint made by Ashok
Kumar, a case under the charges of kidnapping, rape, provocation for
suicide and SC/ST Act has been registered against Sunil Singh
Bhadoria, his father Shivveer and his mother.

Meanwhile, the girl’s father said his daughter would not have died if
Ghatampur police had supported them. Ashok Kumar said: “Both Sunil and
his father Shivveer repeatedly threatened us on Thursday night and
Friday morning and the entire family was scared.” He was disappointed
that a day after the suicide, police team has failed to make any
arrest. Kumar said: “On Thursday morning, Sunil kidnapped my daughter
from village outskirts and raped her in the farming fields.” Kumar
also accused Sunil’s family members of supporting him in the crime.

DM Mukesh Kumar Meshram said the family members have leveled serious
allegations against the SO and the Constable. “I have asked district
officials to present their report on the issue at the earliest,” he
added.

Meanwhile, the first postmortem report could not confirm the rape
charges, following which a slide of genital organs of the minor has
been prepared. IG, Kanpur Range, G L Meena, said the slide of genital
organs of the minor has been prepared and will soon be sent for the
lab test.





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[ZESTCaste] After parks, statues, awards named after Ambedkar, Kanshiram

2010-09-06 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/111465/India/after-parks,-statues,-awards-named-after-ambedkar,-kanshiram.html

After parks, statues, awards named after Ambedkar, Kanshiram

PTI
Lucknow, September 4, 2010
Updated 19:50 IST

Mayawati to put up more of her statues Editor-in-chief on Mayawati
Mayawati talks of a secret successor Now, Mayawati is a Goddess
Mayawati's Noida park hits hurdle SC raps Mayawati govt again Caste
politics: Cong slams Mayawati Maya's Rs 1,000-garland upsets LS
Mayawati rally: 2 held for bee attack
After christening parks in the name of Dalit icons and installing
their statues, Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday decided to name
state awards for small industrialist, craftsman and export after
Bhimrao Ambedkar and BSP founder Kanshiram.

A proposal to name these awards given by the government was passed
during a meeting of the state cabinet which was chaired by Chief
Minister Mayawati.

The small industrialist state award scheme will be renamed as Baba
Saheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Small Industrialist State Award scheme.

Similarly, state award given to special craftsman will be remaned as
Baba Saheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Special Craftsman state award scheme.

Export award has been named after BSP founder Kanshiram.

These prominent personalities had made an important contribution to
upliftment of the country and the society. The decision taken by the
cabinet will not only enhance the prestige of the awards but also the
persons getting them will feel proud, a government spokesman said.


[ZESTCaste] 'BSP most corrupt govt UP has had'

2010-09-06 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/BSP-most-corrupt-govt-UP-has-had/articleshow/6493666.cms

'BSP most corrupt govt UP has had'

TNN, Sep 5, 2010, 12.25am IST

LUCKNOW: State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Surya Pratap
Shahi came down heavily on the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government
during the first meeting of the state BJP's working committee on
Saturday.

The Mayawati government is the most corrupt government UP has ever
had, he said in his address.

Right from the 'thana' and tehsil levels to the state level, the only
thing which puts the official machinery into motion here is bribe, he
alleged.

He further said, The only qualification for government jobs today is
the capacity to pay. The sate is in the grip of education mafia, copy
mafia and mineral mafia. The sugar mills worth thousand of crores have
been sold off to a favoured company for a pittance.

The public in UP wants to know the reason why all the big projects in
the state are being handled by JP and Chhadha groups alone, he said.

The Yamuma Expressway and Ganga Expressway have also been designed to
benefit the favourites. The forcible land acquisition is, therefore,
an exercise to usurp the prime land to make the rich richer, he
charged.

The BJP president slammed the BSP regime for having spent a whopping
Rs 20,000 crore on setting up memorials, parks and statues.

The money could have been better utilised on welfare schemes for the
poor, he said.

Flaying the poor law and order situation in the state, Shahi drew
attention to the murder of the wife of senior party leader Hukum
Singh.

Attack on minister Nandi also testifies to the grim fact that law
enforcement agencies have become totally ineffective in UP, he added.

Shahi said, The BJP is emerging as a viable option in UP. The BSP has
failed to deliver on its promises, and the common man is highly
disappointed with the 'Mayaraj'. He would neither like to have a
repeat of the 'jungle raj' as witnessed during the reign of Mulayam
Singh Yadav, nor would support the Congress which has cheated the
public with its anti-poor policies.

He added, The party needs to work hard to fulfil the people's expectations.


[ZESTCaste] Congress wants Maya to give more power to panchayats

2010-09-06 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Congress-wants-Maya-to-give-more-power-to-panchayats/articleshow/6494209.cms

Congress wants Maya to give more power to panchayats

Subodh Ghildiyal, TNN, Sep 5, 2010, 04.26am IST

 NEW DELHI: Congress will launch a campaign aimed at pressing UP's
Mayawati government to empower panchayats as envisaged by Panchayati
Raj, in a political gambit pitting the BSP chief against the Rajiv
Gandhi legacy to woo the rural electorate.

The party campaign for devolution of powers to panchayats will
coincide with culmination of three-tier panchayat elections due to
start later this month in UP even though the party has decided to skip
local body elections this year.

While panchayat polls are not held on a party-basis, political outfits
have been issuing support to individuals through letters,
advertisements and party flags. Aware that it was still some distance
from regaining organisational muscle to emerge a key player in the
state, Congress is trying to turn its handicap into a weapon.

While a defeat of party candidates in panchayats would have spoilt the
perception about a rising Congress, selection of nominees from among
many aspirants at local levels risked stoking infighting.

Instead, Congress has hit upon a plan to apply pressure on the state
government for power to panchayats. The idea is to ask Mayawati to
work on panchayati raj as envisaged by Rajiv Gandhi.

It will not be an easy demand for Mayawati to fulfill as transferring
powers to panchayats will significantly prune the state's authority.

Rajiv Gandhi's name, it is hoped, will refresh people's memory about
the leader's dream about devolution of power to villages, besides
drawing a connect between them and Rahul Gandhi who is leading the
party campaign.

But larger objective is to polarise panchayats against BSP by telling
them the Constitution envisages a bigger role in governance for them.
It is hoped the campaign will mobilise panchayats in favour of
Congress. The sarpanches are crucial to poll campaigns owing to their
clout in village-level decision making.


[ZESTCaste] To instil consciousness on Dalit human rights, legal rights

2010-09-06 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/article589666.ece

To instil consciousness on Dalit human rights, legal rights
Staff Reporter Share


“History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict,
victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been
known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was
sufficient force to compel them.” - B.R.Ambedkar

It is a well known fact that the consciousness about Constitutional
provisions and law enforcement agencies among the Dalits is indeed low
and that is one of the reasons which remains as a stumbling block to
their emancipation.

Moreover, startling evidence reveal that the empowerment of Dalits has
always resulted in a concurrent increase in their opposition as well.

Atrocity cases happen when Dalits try to avail themselves of legal
resources; assert their right over common property resources, their
occupation, right to participate in cultural life, their right to vote
etc.

This being the reality, Dalit Foundation, India and Peoples Watch
(NGOs which work among Dalits) have been for so many years organising
a National Training Programme on Dalit Human Rights Monitoring.

It is one such effort to instil and inculcate the legal as well as
human rights aspects among grassroots activists and campaigners of
Dalit cause.

The ten-day training programme is under way at PILLAR centre in
Nagamalai Pudukottai here in Madurai where 56 members from Madhya
Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka
Orissa Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are participating.

All the members are basically Dalit activists who are working at a
grassroot level in theor respective states and this training programme
provides them a chance to become “informed Dalit activists,” said
Pandian, Coordinator, Dalit Foundation, India.

The members had interactive sessions on Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled
Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989. However the salient
feature of the training programme is going on a fact finding mission
to get experienced in a professional way to handle atrocity cases.

Sisir, from Orissa, went to Namakkal district to investigate an
alleged case of forceful displacement of Dalits where the local
panchayat council had decided to socially ostracise a Dalit family
which questioned their rights over land. Sisir says, “Cases have been
filed under SC/ST POA, 1989 but there has been no progress.”

Swaranjali, of Maharashtra, went to Goundanallur village in Erode
district to investigate a case of a murder of dalit youth. She found
how the victim's mother fearing backlash has restrained herself from
even filing a complaint.

Indira of Tuticorin district went to Nedungulam in Virudhunagar to
investigate an alleged case of caste clash between Dalits and caste
Hindus. Using her gained experiences as a trainee she was able to
gather information from the police and question them on the sections
under which cases have been filed.

Murugesan, Jessintha, Esakkimuthu, Jegadeesan (from Tamil Nadu),
Prakash (Maharashtra) and Manjula (Karnataka) also shared their
experiences of being part of this training programme and how
significant is it for the Dalits and Dalit activists to be conscious
about the legal aspects. Many activists shared that “Even if they
lodge a complaint under the S.C. /S.T. Act, the police ask the caste
Hindus to lodge a counter complaint so that a criminal case is filed
against the Dalits, too.

Henri Tiphagne, Executive Director, Peoples Watch, who imparts
training to the members, said that the essential aspect of this
training is to make ‘human rights defenders out of Dalit activists.'
Dalit activists are members who have experienced some sort of
discrimination and the protest element is there within them but the
effort is to make them think beyond their own experience and to form a
pattern where they could think about discrimination from a wider
perspective.

This includes documenting the discrimination and human rights
violation, handling cases in a professional way, fact finding
experiences and recording the statements of victims and perpetrators,
which would provide a broader understanding.





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[ZESTCaste] Mayawati Vs Rahul: Amethi likely to get a new name

2010-09-06 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Mayawati-Vs-Rahul-Amethi-likely-to-get-a-new-name/articleshow/6477764.cms

2 Sep, 2010, 04.38AM IST,ET Bureau
Mayawati Vs Rahul: Amethi likely to get a new name

NEW DELHI: The Mayawati government’s efforts to ‘erase’ the
Nehru-Gandhi family’s ‘imprint’ on Amethi got a big boost when the
Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the go ahead for the creation of a
district carved out of Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency.

UP CM Mayawati wants to rename the district after Dalit icon
Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj.

SC decided the issue in favour of the Mayawati government on the
ground that a similar petition was dismissed by the HC on August 11. A
Bench comprising Justices R V Raveendran and H L Gokhale said the HC
Bench, which passed the interim order on August 18, should have
considered the order of August 11 of its own bench. “Judicial
propriety demanded that the high court should have considered the
final judgement of August 11. It could not have taken a different
stand,” the Supreme Court Bench said.

UP had moved the apex court, challenging the August 18 interim order
of the Lucknow Bench of the HC which stayed restoration of the new
district till March 31 next year or till further orders.

The new district is being carved out of three tehsils of Sultanpur
district, Amethi, Gauriganj, Musafir Khana, and two tehsils of Rae
Bareli, Salon and Tiloi. The Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency,
which is represented by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, along with
Amethi and Sultanpur constituencies form the famous Gandhi bastion.

In December 2002, when BSP controlled the state, Ms Mayawati had made
the first attempt to rename the district. Addressing a rally in
Amethi, she announced her government’s decision to rename the
constituency, then represented by Sonia Gandhi. The district came into
existence with Gauriganj as its headquarters six days after Ms
Mayawati made the announcement. However, her successor Mulayam Singh
Yadav scrapped the decision in his very first cabinet meeting.

A writ petition challenging Mr Yadav government’s move was filed in
the Lucknow bench of the HC by Uma Shankar Pandey. The court in March
2010 directed the petitioner to submit his case before the state
government, which was asked to take a final view on the issue within
three months. This paved way for the Mayawati government’s latest
action.





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[ZESTCaste] 'There is need for Brahmins to change too'

2010-09-06 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/interview_there-is-need-for-brahmins-to-change-too_1434050

'There is need for Brahmins to change too'

Published: Monday, Sep 6, 2010, 10:33 IST
By M Raghuram | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

He has been known as a crusader for the unification of the Hindu
sects. He is renowned for breaking old customs, and opening the doors
of temples to dalit devotees who were earlier barred entry.

As the senior swamiji of Udupi Pejavar Math, Vishwesha Thirtha,
celebrates the Chaturmasya at Mysore, DNA had a word with him.

Is conversion of Hindus to other faiths a matter of worry for you? You
have been campaigning for the unification of the Hindu sects since
1952; and you have courted the wrath of hardliners by opening temple
doors to dalit worshippers.
A major portion of Hindu society has been alienated from mainline
Hindu culture. Dalits have been marginalised for centuries.

This discrimination has led many dalit worshippers to other religions,
where they have been promised greater dignity. My endeavour is to
empower the dalits, so that they do not, anymore, need to seek
recourse to any other religious group.

I am a sanyasi, and I have no means of politically or economically
empowering anyone. I hope that the people who hold the reins of power
will understand the need for granting the dalits greater dignity.

How will you integrate the dalits into mainstream Hindu society, when
political parties have been using dalit issues just to garner votes?
I have no illusions about being able to usher in changes in the
political culture.

But I do have a clear vision of what is possible for me to do. I will
take up padayatras in every dalit colony in the country. We will go
and appeal to them to come to the temples. I will appeal to them to
actively take part in every temple festival, and so ease dalits into
the mainstream. The upper castes too should be part of this process.

How would you respond to the issue of whether dalits need to be forced
to accede to a Brahmin viewpoint?
The dalits should retain their own identity. They have a religious
identity that is integral to the larger Hindu social structure.

Brahminism is one aspect of Hinduism, which is itself part of a larger
entity. There is need for the dalits to feel better integrated into
the Hindu religious and social fabric, and for upper caste Hindus to
look at dalits with a changed heart.

What are your views on cow slaughter?
The framers of our constitution, headed by Dr BR Ambedkar, who
championed the cause of dalits, enshrined the need for banning the
slaughter of milch animals for meat. Those who advocate the slaughter
of milch animals should understand the religious sentiment of the
majority community. If there is a livelihood issue here, I would
appeal that other animals be slaughtered for meat instead.


[ZESTCaste] ‘Dalits denied their forest pie’

2010-09-05 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.ekantipur.com/the-kathmandu-post/2010/09/03/nation/dalits-denied-their-forest-pie/212348/

Nation»

‘Dalits denied their forest pie’

KATHMANDU, SEP 03 -
Participation of the underprivileged Dalit community has been largely
ignored in forest management and sharing of benefits of natural
resources, experts said.

Speaking at a two-day workshop on Climate Change and Reducing
Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) that
concluded on Friday, Sunil Pariyar, Chairperson of Dalit Alliance for
Natural Resources (DANAR) Nepal, said inclusiveness of Dalits in
community forestry was minimal.

According to a study report published on Thursday, representation of
Dalits in community forestry programme is only 17 percent in the
country. Presenting the findings, Pariyar said, “Though the REDD
programme provisions empowering indigenous communities to ensure them
benefits over natural resources, it will not benefit the Dalit unless
they have ownership over water, forests and land.” REDD is
carbon-funding mechanism that seeks to provide incentives for
developing countries from the developed nations for reducing emissions
from forests.

Posted on: 2010-09-04 08:12





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[ZESTCaste] Social Justice Empowerment Ministry invites Proposals from Institutions for Providing free Coaching to SC OBC Students

2010-09-05 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=65532

Friday, September 03, 2010
 Ministry of Social Justice  Empowerment


 Social Justice  Empowerment Ministry invites Proposals from
Institutions for Providing free Coaching to SC OBC Students


 17:4 IST
The Union Ministry of Social Justice  Empowerment has invited
proposals from reputed coaching institutions/centres for providing
free coaching to students belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and
Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the ratio of 70:30. The programme
would cover coaching for:

i) Group A and B examinations conducted by the Union Public Service
Commission (UPSC), the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) and the
various Railway Recruitment Boards (RRB);

ii) Group A and B examinations conducted by the State Public Service
Commissions;

iii) Officers’ Grade examinations conducted by Banks, Insurance
Companies and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and;

iv) Finishing courses/job-oriented courses for employment in the
private sector like IT, Bio-technology etc. in need of soft skill as
well;

The details of the Scheme (including the eligibility conditions) and
application format may be downloaded from the website
www.socialjustice.nic.in/index.html of Ministry of Social Justice and
Empowerment.

The coaching institutions/centrers may send their complete proposals
in the prescribed format addressed to the Joint Secretary (SCD),
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, Room
No. 610, A Wing, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi-110 115 latest by
20.9.2010, along with all prescribed documents mentioned in the
application format. Applications received after 20.9.2010 will be
rejected.

VBA/RS





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[ZESTCaste] Bhabha Hospital doctor blamed for Dalit mum’s deat h in Mumbai

2010-09-05 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_bhabha-hospital-doctor-blamed-for-dalit-mum-s-death-in-mumbai_1433297

Bhabha Hospital doctor blamed for Dalit mum’s death in Mumbai

Published: Saturday, Sep 4, 2010, 0:59 IST
By Linah Baliga | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

In yet another case of a deceased person’s kin blaming a hospital for
the death, relatives of a 25-year-old Dalit woman have alleged
negligence on part of a gynaecologist lecturer at Bhabha Hospital as
the reason for her death. Snehal Mohite, who died on Friday morning at
the KEM hospital after developing renal complications post delivery,
was admitted to Bhabha Hospital in Bandra (West) on August 23.

Mohite underwent a forcep delivery on August 26 at the Bhabha Hospital
and was immediately admitted operated on and moved to the intensive
care unit (ICU) as she was profusely bleeding.

However, as the hospital did not have a dialysis facility,
Mohite was moved to KEM as she had developed renal complications.

On Friday as Mohite died, her relatives held the gynaecologist
lecturer at Bhabha Hospital, who conducted the forcep delivery,
responsible for her death. The relatives also alleged that authorities
at KEM were willing to discharge Mohite’s body only on the condition
that they agree to not raise objections over her
sudden death.

“We were not even told about the seriousness of her condition and that
she would be operated on. The forcep was wrongly used and half an hour
after her delivery she was operated on for five hours. She also
suffered a kidney failure. Bhabha Hospital’s gynaecologist lecturer
was negligent, which is the cause of her death,” said Mahendra Jadhav,
Snehal’s uncle.

“Also, KEM hospital was not ready to hand over the dead body to us. We
fear they will create a problem in the post-mortem report.”
However, Dr Sulbha Chirmule, medical superintendent, Bhabha Hospital,
said, “Since it’s a maternal death, we’ll inquire in to the matter.
Only a post-mortem report can ascertain the real cause of her death,”
said Chirmule.

While Dr Sanjay Oak, director (medical education and major hospitals)
and dean, KEM hospital, said, “She was brought in a critical state and
was already operated upon.We are waiting for the post-mortem report.”





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[ZESTCaste] Caste discrimination — U.K. Dalits win the argumen t, nearly

2010-09-05 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.hindu.com/2010/09/04/stories/2010090454531300.htm

Opinion - News Analysis

Caste discrimination — U.K. Dalits win the argument, nearly



Hasan Suroor

There's a palpable mood of optimism among Britain's 2,00,000-strong
Dalit community as it waits for the Government to take a decision on
its long-standing campaign for caste discrimination to be recognised
as racism. The buzz is that, barring a last-minute hiccup, Britain
could soon become the first European, indeed Western, country to
declare caste prejudice unlawful under its race laws — a move which
will not please New Delhi which has consistently opposed caste being
clubbed with race.

Britain's new Equality Act already empowers the Government to declare
“caste to be an aspect of race” without seeking fresh parliamentary
approval.

Clause 9 of the Act says: “The fact that a racial group comprises two
or more distinct racial groups does not prevent it from constituting a
particular racial group. A Minister of the Crown may by order — (a)
amend this section so as to provide for caste to be an aspect of race
…”

Much will depend on the findings of a study it has commissioned to
determine the extent of caste discrimination. The report of the
National Institute of Economic and Social Research, a leading
independent research body which is conducting the research, is
expected in the autumn and campaigners are confident that it will back
their own claims about how “widespread” caste prejudice in Britain,
really, is.

CasteWatchUK, Britain's oldest Dalit campaign group, says it is no
longer a question of “if” but “when” an official announcement is made.

“We have provided enough evidence to researchers and have no doubt in
our minds that their report will be positive. Besides, we have full
faith in the fairness of the British state. The fact that they have
included it in the equality act is half the battle won. It is not a
question of ‘if' but ‘when' it happens,” claims its general secretary
Davinder Prasad.

There has been widespread cross-party support for the campaign, the
“only reluctant voices being those of Asian MPs,” according to Lekh
Pall, general secretary of the Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance
(ACDA), an umbrella group.

Leads to division

The issue has divided Britain's Indian diaspora and right-wing groups
such as the Hindu Forum of Britain have launched a counter-campaign
arguing that the Government has no right to intervene in what they
claim is the community's internal affair.

Ramesh Kallidai, secretary-general of the Forum, says it is “not right
for the U.K. Government to take a position on the rites, beliefs or
practices of a particular religion”.

“Social interactions and personal choices are an expression of
people's freedom, and any barriers should be removed through education
and awareness, not through legislation,” he argues.

In a report, “Caste in the U.K.”, the Forum denied claims of caste
discrimination saying its own research had found that it was “not
endemic in British society”.

However, a study — “Hidden Apartheid, Voice of the Community, Caste
and Caste Discrimination in the U.K.” — by ACDA in collaboration with
academics from the universities of Hertfordshire and Manchester and
the Manchester Metropolitan University, concluded that there was
“clear evidence” of widespread caste-based discrimination.

“There is clear evidence from the survey and the focus groups that the
caste system has been imported into the U.K. with the Asian diaspora
and that the associated caste discrimination affects citizens in ways
beyond personal choices and social interaction. There is a danger that
if the U.K. government does not effectively accept and deal with the
issue of caste discrimination the problem will grow unchecked,” it
said.

The report claimed that “tens of thousands of people in the workplace,
the classroom and even the doctor's surgery” suffered discrimination
because of their caste. Forty-five per cent of the respondents alleged
they had either been treated negatively by co-workers or had comments
made about their caste. Nine per cent felt they were been denied
promotion, and 10 per cent that they were paid less because of their
caste. Some also claimed that they faced “threats”.

One woman, who worked for an Indian-run radio station, complained that
she was demoted after her manager discovered her caste background,
while an elderly woman alleged that her care worker discriminated
against her on caste grounds. One transport company reorganised its
duty roster so that a “higher caste” inspector would not have to work
with a “lower caste” bus driver. Caste-related name-calling was one of
the most commonly-reported complaints.

More often than not, incidents of discrimination go unreported as
people are reluctant to talk about them, activists claim with one
activist saying that “there is a silent majority out there that we
never hear about”.

According to Dr. Gurnam Singh of the department of social and
community studies 

[ZESTCaste] Lawyers protest against PSI

2010-09-05 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysore/Lawyers-protest-against-PSI/articleshow/6488206.cms

Lawyers protest against PSI
TNN, Sep 3, 2010, 11.06pm IST

HASSAN: For the second consecutive day, district lawyers boycotted
court work demanding Holenarsipur police sub-inspector Chikanna be
arrested and suspended immediately.

The decision to boycott court work was taken after a meeting in the
Advocates Association office here on Friday. The lawyers said PSI
Chikanna insulted Ashok, a dalit lawyer, when he went to register a
complaint in Holenarsipur police station.

Officials have not arrested or suspended Chikanna yet. From Saturday,
we will fight the issue in court till Ashok gets justice,'' they said.


[ZESTCaste] Schemes bring ray of hope for SC, ST farmers

2010-09-05 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.hindu.com/2010/08/25/stories/2010082557410300.htm

Karnataka - Bijapur

Schemes bring ray of hope for SC, ST farmers

Pradeepkumar Kadkol

1,119 farmers utilised benefits in Bijapur, Bagalkot last year



43 projects were taken up in Bagalkot, 24 in Bijapur under Special
Component Plan for SCs

Beneficiaries provided irrigation facility by constructing ponds,
drilling borewells



Facility:A well constructed under the Special Component Plan in
Kengalgutti village of Bijapur district.

Bijapur: Over 75 per cent of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
families in Bijapur district depend on agricultural activities for a
livelihood.

These families with small land holdings have remained below the
poverty line owing to lack of proper facilities for agricultural
activities, including irrigation facilities.

Though the Union and State governments have launched several schemes
for the uplift of their socio-economic condition, their benefits have
not reached all owing to lack of awareness.

However, irrigation facilities being provided by the Minor Irrigation
Department under the Special Component Plan (SCP) for Scheduled Castes
and Tribal Sub-plan (TSP) for Scheduled Tribes from the last financial
year have given a ray of hope for such families in both Bijapur and
Bagalkot districts.

Identification


Executive Engineer of the department R.B. Patil told The Hindu said
that officials were instructed to identify beneficiaries in the twin
districts of Bijapur and Bagalkot and ensure that benefits of the
schemes reached actual beneficiaries.

During 2009-10, the officials took up 43 projects in Bagalkot district
and 24 in Bijapur district under the Special Component Plan,
benefiting 494 farmers and 17 projects in Bagalkot and four in Bijapur
under the Tribal Sub-plan, benefiting 625 farmers.

The beneficiaries were provided irrigation facility by constructing
ponds, drilling borewells and drawing pipelines from nearby wells. The
total area that was irrigated under the SCP is 595 acres — 480 acres
in Bijapur and 115 acres in Bagalkot district. The total area that was
irrigated under the TSP is 741 acres — 148 acres in Bijapur and 593
acres in Bagalkot district, he said.

On learning about the benefits being drawn by these farmers, over
1,000 people have submitted applications to the department so far
during the current financial year, seeking benefits under the schemes.

The work on providing irrigation facilities to their fields would
begin after the applications were approved, Mr. Patil added.

Mahadevappa Madar and Yamunappa Shinge, small landholders at
Kengalgutti village in Bijapur tauk, said that owing to financial
constraints to take up agricultural activities in their fields, they
used to migrate to nearby districts and the neighbouring Maharashtra
to earn a livelihood. Last year, officials of the Minor Irrigation
Department approached them and asked them to avail of the facilities
under the schemes.

After the works were approved in three months, three borewells were
drilled and an open well was dug up in the village for irrigating 28
acres of land belonging to 17 beneficiaries. With adequate water
available for agricultural activities, the Madar and Shinge families
decided not to migrate to other places in search of work, they said.





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[ZESTCaste] ST commission to recommed for reservations for SC,ST in private sector

2010-09-05 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://indiaeducationdiary.in/Shownews.asp?newsid=3992

ST commission to recommed for reservations for SC,ST in private sector

Friday, September 03, 2010


Hyderabad: National ST commission would recommend to centre for
provision of reservations for SCs and STs in private sector also ,said
K Kamala Kumari ,member, national ST commission She reviewed the
development works and implementation of rule of reservations to STs in
various government departments at sub collectors office Rajahmundry in
east godavari district on Friday .

After review ,while speaking to the media she said that STs need
reservations in private sectors also on par with public sector and
necessary efforts would be made for such reservations .She further
said that ST commission would work for implementation of welfare and
developmental works for the tribes in the nation and commission
possesses rights to summon the agencies who failed to implement the
recommendations properly .she further said that there were some
petitions relating to atrocities on tribes and also on injustice
caused in promotions and the commission had initiated action on these
complaints .

speaking on the raising alarm on fevers in agency areas she said that
necessary directions were issued to attend for the medical needs of
the tribal and to provide more mobile vehicles if required She said
that rule of reservations for the tribals were satisfactory and
directed the officials to provide local and and other resources to the
tribals only and to control the non tribal to enjoy in the name of
tribals. District incharge collecotr K Sashidar Rampachodavaram MLA T
Kasi viswanath ,In charge PO ITDA rampachodavaram M Jyothi ,ASP Duggal
were also participated.


[ZESTCaste] SC/ST, OBC get 3 chances for IPS

2010-09-05 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/national/scst-obc-get-3-chances-ips-255

SC/ST, OBC get 3 chances for IPS

September 3rd, 2010
Age Corespondent Share Buzz up!The Centre has decided to give one more
chance to SCs, STs and OBCs to crack the special examination proposed
by the Union home ministry to fill the shortfall of IPS officers in
the country. The move has come after the Prime Minister’s Office
raised concern over the shortfall of SC/ST officers in the IPS.
Government sources said that there is a shortfall of at least 30
officers in the reserved category in the elite police services every
year.
The ministry had proposed “limited recruitment’’ to the IPS by holding
special examinations, by the UPSC, for officers belonging to the state
police forces, central police organisations (CPOs) and central
paramilitary forces (CPFs). Following a review, fresh changes have
been incorporated by the MHA to give three chances to officers
belonging to the SC/ST and OBC category against the two attempts given
to officers belonging to the general category.
Apart from this, the home ministry has also decided to incorporate the
standard quota provisions giving reservation to SCs, STs and OBCs in
the proposed lateral induction into the elite services.
After the UPSC turned down the proposal, the MHA approached the PMO to
overrule the UPSC decision which directed it to consult the law
ministry on the issue.
As per the MHA proposal, the competitive examinations would be open to
assistant commandants or deputy superintendent of police with at least
five years experience in the five major CPOs and CPFs like the CRPF,
BSF, ITBP, SSB and CISF and state police who are less than 35 years of
age.
The ministry has sent the reworked proposal to state governments for
their comments. However, facing resistance from the IPS officers who
fear a dilution of the elite services, most states have not responded
yet. The MHA has given an extention of 30 days to the states to reply.





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[ZESTCaste] Raped Dalit teen immolates herself over police inaction

2010-09-05 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.indiatalkies.com/2010/09/raped-dalit-teen-immolates-police-inaction.html

Raped Dalit teen immolates herself over police inaction

Lucknow, Sep 3 – A teenaged Dalit girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur
district Friday immolated herself after police refused to register her
complaint of rape against a youth of her village, officials said.

The 15-year-old set herself ablaze in her house in Parauli village in
Kanpur, some 80 km from Lucknow.


The girl’s family alleged that she was forced to take the extreme step
by some of the policemen who had connived with the youth and were
mounting pressure on her not to register the complaint against him.


‘An enquiry has been initiated against a Station House Officer (SHO)
Kalu Ram and a police constable Virendra Kumar in connection with the
case. The two have been transferred to the police line till the
enquiry is completed,” Deputy Superintendent of Police P.P. Singh told
reporters in Kanpur.


According to police, the girl was allegedly raped Thursday night by a
youth of her village.


‘As of now no arrest has been made. But, we have received information
about the accused and he would soon be arrested soon,” said Singh.

IANS





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[ZESTCaste] Panel favours quota for SC/STs in private sector

2010-09-05 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://hindu.com/2010/09/04/stories/2010090460620300.htm

Andhra Pradesh - Rajahmundry

Panel favours quota for SC/STs in private sector

RAJAHMUNDRY: The National ST Commission will recommend the Centre to
extend reservation for SCs and STs in the private sector also, says
its member K. Kamala Kumari. She reviewed the development works and
implementation of the rule of reservation for Schedule Tribes in
various government departments in East Godavari district at the
Sub-Collectors Office here on Friday. Later, speaking to the media she
said that STs needed reservations in the private sector also and
efforts would be made in that direction. The commission would work for
implementation of welfare and developmental works for the STs in the
nation, she said.


[ZESTCaste] Discrimination against Dalits in Rajasthan

2010-09-05 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/discrimination-against-dalits-in-rajasthan/54510

Discrimination against Dalits in Rajasthan

Published On: February 10, 2009 | Duration: 1 min, 17 sec


[ZESTCaste] Houses of dalits set on fire

2010-09-04 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/93840/houses-dalits-set-fire.html

Tension prevails in Ankahalli; dalit families declared ‘outcast’

Houses of dalits set on fire

Chamarajanagar, September 3, DHNS:

Tension gripped Ankahalli village in Gundlupet taluk near here when
two huts belonging to dalit families were set on fire on Thursday
evening.


Miscreants burnt down the houses of Chikkasiddaiah and Rachaiah
following clashes between dalits and people belonging to other castes
a few days ago.

According to reports, tension was brewing between two groups for the
past few days following an argument over dalits beating ‘tamate’
(drums) on the occasion of Mahadeshwara festival. The dalits had
stopped playing the instrument over two decades ago when fight ensued
between two communities over the ‘tamate’ issue during Ganesha
festival. The villagers placed a ban on dalit families using the
instrument on any occasion.

However, a few days ago people belonging to another community asked
dalit families to beat tamate during  the festival. But, the dalits
refused to do so and this led to the trouble.

The police who have registered a case against 13 persons  believe that
the refusal angered the upper caste group who  burnt down the houses
in revenge.

District Social Welfare Officer Prathibha, Inspector Ashok Kumar
visited the village and took the account from the aggrieved.

The victims said they were declared outcaste in a meeting three days
ago.  “Our family members were prevented from going to jobs outside
the village. A group of more than 12 people arrived near the huts and
put the houses on fire,” they alleged.





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[ZESTCaste] IAS officer denies fudging certificate

2010-09-04 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/chennai/ias-officer-denies-fudging-certificate-571

IAS officer denies fudging certificate

September 4th, 2010
DC Correspondent

Chennai, Sept. 3: Dalit IAS officer C. Umashankar, whose suspension
has been revoked by the DMK government, appeared before the media on
Friday and stoutly denied that he had produced a false SC certificate.

“My father is a Hindu Pallar. I was a dalit when I joined the IAS
about 20 years ago. I have not fudged anything,” he explained.

Mr Umashankar said he was constrained to explain his position as
serious charges had been made against him.

He also said the UPSC and the Union government had the power to
enquire the genuineness of the community certificate. He also
vehemently denied the allegation that he had amassed wealth
disproportionate to his known sources of income.

He said he would prove his integrity through the process of law.

The government’s climbdown revoking Mr Umashankar’s suspension is seen
as an attempt to placate the agitating dalit community ahead of
elections for the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

The government’s action has come despite the fact that the aggrieved
officer did not seek legal remedy challenging the suspension. Chief
minister M. Karunanidhi tried to justify the suspension only a
fortnight ago saying Mr Umashankar had deprived the chance of a dalit
aspirant getting into IAS.

But his explanation that the dalit officer had allegedly produced a
false community certificate did not find takers in the community.

“There was no truth in the government’s claim. The suspension has been
revoked mainly because they could not prove the charge since they
found no evidence against him.”

“The wave of protests in support of Mr Umashankar, across the state,
not only by dalits but also by all who have faith in probity, must
have compelled the government,” remarked Mr Punithapandiayan, editor
of dalit magazine, Dalit Murasu.

Mr C.K. Tamilarasan, Republican Party of India president, said the
suspension was in haste and baseless. “The outcome of the final
enquiry has not come yet. But they chose to revoke it. The government
understands the anger of dalits over the way it had treated a senior
dalit officer,” he said.





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[ZESTCaste] Arrest SI for abusing Dalit woman: KVPS

2010-09-04 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.hindu.com/2010/08/27/stories/2010082752700600.htm

Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad

Arrest SI for abusing Dalit woman: KVPS

Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: The ‘Kulavivaksha Vyathireka Porata Samithi' (KVPS) has
demanded suspension and arrest of a Sub-Inspector of Police in
Mahabubnagar district alleging that he had attempted to rape a dalit
women after confining her in illegal custody in Nagarkurnool recently.

KVPS state secretary John Wesley and Nagarkunool division secretary K.
Bharath told mediapersons here on Thursday that a 30-year-old dalit
woman, a widow, was picked up by SI Habeebullah Khan on August 14 from
Telakapalli village in Mahabubnagar district on the suspicion that she
was involved in a theft that took place in a house opposite to her
tea-vending shed. She was beaten up badly to own the responsibility
for theft, but was let off later. Narrating her ordeal, the victim, a
mother of two children, explained that the SI had picked her up again
on August 15 and took her to Nagarkunool police station. She alleged
that the police officer had beaten her up, used filthy language in the
name of caste, disrobed her and attempted to outrage her modesty.





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[ZESTCaste] Reforms helped UP Dalits, says study

2010-09-04 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.livemint.com/2010/09/03191143/Reforms-helped-UP-Dalits-says.html?atype=tp

Posted: Sat, Sep 4 2010. 1:00 AM IST Published on page 3
Home

Reforms helped UP Dalits, says study

Pallavi Singh, pallav...@livemint.com

Economic liberalization since the 1990s has helped Dalits in Uttar
Pradesh (UP) overcome caste inequalities, according to a research
paper that argues against the view that reforms have exacerbated such
disparities.

The study by Devesh Kapur, Chandra Bhan Prasad, Lant Pritchett and
Shyam Babu titled “Rethinking Inequality: Dalits in Uttar Pradesh in
the Market Reform Era”, and excerpted last week in the Economic and
Political Weekly, finds significant changes in patterns of
consumption, agriculture and occupation among Dalits since the 1990s,
reflective of a higher social status for the community.

The study, conducted in two blocks of UP—Bilaria Ganj in Azamgarh
district in eastern UP and Khurja in Bulandshahar district in western
UP—reflects two significant changes in economic activity: More and
more Dalits are working as sharecroppers on farm land rather than as
labourers, and fewer among them are handling animal corpses,
traditionally an occupation limited to the community.

“Dalits are now becoming sharecroppers because upper-caste landlords
won’t find labourers in the village. Earlier, all they would get to
till the land was a small share of the cereals,” said Prasad, a Dalit
writer and one of the co-authors of the report.

In three-quarters of the villages in the western block in 1990, only
Dalits disposed of dead animals belonging to non-Dalits. By 2007, the
study says, this was only true of 5% of villages. Around four-fifths
of the Dalit households in the two blocks surveyed had at least one
family member, and sometimes more, who was a migrant worker by 2007.
They would be working as tailors, masons and drivers or be running a
grocery or paan shop.

“Migration is key to this change. Economic growth has led to
opportunities in the urban informal sector, driving enhanced
migration, which has meant more money flow into rural Dalit
households,” said Prasad.

The percentage of houses with at least one sharecropper stood at 31%
in Bilaria Ganj and 11.4% in Khurja in 2007.

Among other things, important shifts in consumption and social
behaviour have also been noticed. Almost none of the respondents in
the study recalls using shampoos, toothpastes and oils in 1990, while
today, over half the people in both blocks surveyed report someone in
the household using each of the two.

“There was a time when Dalits only ate cereals and couldn’t afford
rice and pulses. They were seated separately in weddings and even
upper-caste men wouldn’t accept food in their homes. Caste for Dalits
has traditionally limited their choices in food, social and
occupational activities,” said Prasad.

The study also documents changes in ownership of basic goods such as
cellphones and television sets among Dalits as a means to assert their
social aspirations. “The market provides a space to Dalits to assert
themselves. For them, this rise in social status is more important
than the money they might be making,” said Prasad.

However, not everything has changed, said Surinder Jodhka, professor
of sociology at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems at
Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. “This is something that has
happened but where do they go from here? Is everything open for them?
I would say: yes and no.”

In his paper titled “Dalits in Business: Self-employed Schedule Castes
in Northwest India”, Jodhka found that most Dalit entrepreneurs
ventured into basic businesses such as small shop-keeping, contracts
and dealerships, and skilled services, but hardly 1-2% entered more
capital-intensive enterprises such as hotels, factories and
educational institutions due to discrimination.





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[ZESTCaste] Honour Killing: Newly-weds seek police protection

2010-09-04 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://news.oneindia.in/2010/09/03/honour-killing-newly-weds-seek-police-protection.html

Honour Killing: Newly-weds seek police protection

Friday, September 3, 2010, 14:17 [IST]

Ghaziabad, Sep 3: Fearing that they would also be killed in the name
of honour, a newly-wed couple here on Thursday, Sep 3 sought police
protection.


Buzz up!The couple are learnt to have married outside their caste.
While the boy is a Brahmin by caste, the girl is a Rajput.


The two fell in love when they were studying in a local professional college.

The couple have cited threat from girl's family for seeking police
protection, SSP Raghubir Lal informed, adding that Kavi Nagar police
has been asked to lodge their complaint.

OneIndia News


[ZESTCaste] Flooding hits ten million people in India's most populous and poorest state

2010-09-04 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/fromthefield/218275/128352885295.htm

Flooding hits ten million people in India's most populous and poorest state

03 Sep 2010 15:45:00 GMT

Source: Christian Aid - UK
Jo rogers
Website: http://www.christianaid.org.uk

Reuters and AlertNet are not responsible for the content of this
article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are
the author's alone.

Christian Aid is launching an immediate appeal for the people hit by
the devastating India floods. More than 800,000 people have had their
villages submerged by severe flooding in Uttar Pradesh, Northern
India.

More than 30,000 people have taken shelter in government-run relief
camps while thousands have fled to local schools and community centers
for safety. 150 villages are marooned, cut off from all relief
efforts.

The flooding is the result of heavy rainfall over the last three weeks
in Nepal, which caused the river Ghaghra to burst its banks, a steep
rise in water levels in rivers throughout Uttar Pradesh and has
affected up to 10 million people.

Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, Christian Aid's Regional Emergency Manager for
South Asia, said: 'The disaster in Uttah Pradesh has not gained the
attention needed to scale up the necessary emergency response from the
government and international community.

'We are very concerned for those affected by the floods, many of whom
are from the Dalit communities, India's oppressed class, who have
nothing to depend upon during an emergency situation other than relief
assistance from the government and humanitarian agencies.'

Christian Aid and its partners are already responding by delivering
food and other relief supplies to the worst affected communities. The
local partners, CASA and PGVS, have long experience of acting quickly
in humanitarian emergencies.' Said Sajjad Mohammad Sajid.

Uttar Pradesh is India's most populous state and nearly 40 % of its
140 million people live below the poverty line. Many are from the
Dalit communities, formerly known as untouchables. Exclusion based on
caste and religion is rampant in these areas. Most are landless
labourers and small-scale farmers who work on land belonging to people
from upper castes, which leads exploitation by the landowners. The
destruction of crops in the field means they will not have any work
for months to come. This means they are particularly vulnerable in
this kind of disaster.

ends

To donate to Christian Aids India floods appeal, please visit India floods

If you would like further information or to speak to a spokesperson
based in India please contact Jo Rogers on 020 7523 2460 and Jo Rogers
or the 24 hour press duty phone - 07850 242950

Notes to Editors

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in
nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of
religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we
believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over,
explains what we believe needs to be done - and can be done - to end
poverty. Details at Poverty Over report

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition
of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together
inhumanitarian assistance and development. Further details at Act
Alliance

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit Christian Aid

[ Any views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not
of Reuters. ]


[ZESTCaste] Zardari orders probe into discrimination against Hindus in relief camps

2010-09-03 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/south-asia/zardari-orders-probe-into-discrimination-against-hindus-in-relief-camps_100422131.html

Zardari orders probe into discrimination against Hindus in relief camps

Thursday, September 02, 2010 5:08:06 PM by ANI ( Leave a comment )
Sukkur, Sept 2 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered
a probe into the reports of discrimination in the flood relief camps.
Media reports said flood victims were being treated on basis of
ethnicity. Hindus and dalits were denied flood relief assistance and
some of them were even thrown out of the relief camps.

The Daily Times quoted the president as saying,”Discrimination on
ethnic grounds will not be tolerated.” The President has also called
for an immediate action against the guilty officials, if any.

The president’s spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that the president
called for an inquiry following the media reports that a protest rally
was held in Hyderabad on Monday to bring such discrimination against
the minority community to notice. (ANI)





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[ZESTCaste] Madigas’ bid to obstruct PM’s convoy foiled

2010-09-03 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://expressbuzz.com/states/andhrapradesh/madigas%E2%80%99-bid-to-obstruct-pm%E2%80%99s-convoy-foiled/203282.html

Madigas’ bid to obstruct PM’s convoy foiled

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 02 Sep 2010 04:12:31 AM ISTLast Updated :

TIRUPATI: Police resorted to a lathicharge to disperse a group of
Madiga Students Federation (MSF) activists to prevent them from
disrupting the Prime Minister’s convoy to Tirumala today.


The students led by Chittaranjan, mingled with the public standing at
the Town Club circle to have a glimpse of the Prime Minister. They
suddenly hurled pamphlets at the motorcade and raised slogans in
support of SC categorisation taking the police by surprise. The police
resorted to lathicharge to disperse them.

Some of the pamphlets landed on the vehicles in the convoy, which
proceeded to Tirumala without any obstacle.

Chittaranjan was taken into custody while others managed to gave the
slip to the police.

According to sources, the activists, including Chittaranjan, were
mostly from Anantapur district and some from other places in Chittoor
district. The Prime Minister entourage was on its way to Tirumala
after he landed at the helipad on the Veterinary University grounds
around 12:50 p.m.

MRPS leader Giridhar Madiga urged the police to release the detained
MSF activist and not file any cases against them.

Police officials are tightlipped as to whether cases were registered or not.





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[ZESTCaste] Quick action on relief cases under SC.ST Atyachar Nivaran Adhiniyam

2010-09-03 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.centralchronicle.com/viewnews.asp?articleID=46332

Quick action on relief cases under SC.ST Atyachar Nivaran Adhiniyam

Category »  Bhopal Posted On Thursday, September 02, 2010
By Our Staff Reporter
Bhopal, Sept 2:
Tribal Welfare Minister Kunwar Vijay Shah said that there should be no
delay in giving relief to the victims of cases under Scheduled Caste,
Scheduled Tribe Atrocities Eradication Act.
He said that the district officer should ensure that meeting of the
committee constituted in the districts should be held regularly.
Kunwar Shah issued these instructions at a review meeting of district
officers of Bhopal and Narmadapuram divisions held at Satpura Bhavan
here on Wednesday.
It was informed at the meeting that in Bhopal Division during this
year as on end of July Rs 94 lakh 76 thousand were given as relief to
victims of 356 cases. Under the provisions of the Act, if head of the
family is dead, appointment on compassionate ground is also being
done. The Minister instructed the officers to fill up the vacant posts
of backlog latest by September 15 without fail.
Kunwar Shah told the officers to prepare a calendar of tour and visit
the Ashrams and Hostels with night halt. For the sake of personality
improvement of hostel inmates, lectures of subject specialists should
be arranged regularly. The meeting also discussed about installation
of motor pumps at the wells dug under 'Kapildhara' Scheme in the
districts of the division. Minister of State for Tribal Welfare Shri
Harishankar Khatik stressed the need to make available quality motor
pumps to the farmers. Under the scheme 181 diesel pumps were made
available to beneficiaries in Bhopal division and 47 diesel pumps to
beneficiaries in Narmadapuram division during last year.
Information about physical progress of projects being carried out in
Bhopal and Narmadapuram divisions under section 275 (1) of the
Constitution was given at the meeting. The officers were asked to
complete the incomplete works of the years 2008-09 and 2009-10 without
further delay. Kunwar Shah expressed displeasure over the fact that
the district officers are not taking active part in selection of place
of construction works. He said that the construction works are being
done at such places where the people of reserved category are not
fully benefited. The meeting also discussed in detail about the
construction works undertaken by the Public Works Department, Housing
Board, R I S, and Laghu Udyog Nigam. Principal Secretary (Tribal
Welfare) Shri Devraj Birdi has issued strict instructions to the
district officers to complete the construction works within the
stipulated time. He asked them to inform the directorate the names of
the construction agencies which are causing delay to the works.
The meeting also discussed about the process of preparing caste
certificate, distribution of scholarship and long pending problems of
the employees.

* Take quick action on relief cases
* Inform to the directorate names of agencies delaying construction
* Fill up vacant posts of backlog by September 15
* Officers should visit Ashrams, Hostels regularly


[ZESTCaste] Indian Temple Brands Dalits Untouchables, Bars Entry

2010-09-03 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/indian-temple-brands-dalits-untouchables-bars-entry

Indian Temple Brands Dalits  Untouchables, Bars Entry

by stellasglobe | September 3, 2010 at 01:00 am

In what is one of the ugliest practices in  Indian society, temples in
a village in India's Haryana state bars people of Dalit communities
from entering and worship.

A local community reporter Amit Kumar, a Dalit himself reports this in
a video showing how his community is forbidden to enter a temple.

In Barot village of Ludwa, Haryana, Dalits  are not allowed to enter
the village temples. The temples allow only the villagers who belong
to upper castes to worship. Amit talks to several other youths like
himself in his community who share the pain and indignity that they
face every day.

The Constituion of India ensures equal rights to all citizens.  These
include the right to ‘opt, embrace and practice any religion”.

However, in Barot village of Ludwa the Dalits have always been denied
this right.  They have been treated as ‘dirty’ and asked by both the
upper caste and the temple priest to keep away from the temple.

Amit says that though the older generation has accepted this denial of
rights as a fate, youths in his community are angry and bitter to be
treated as untouchables and being barred from having simple joys such
as worshipping in a temple.

Though such discrimination violates the basic human rights and causes
a lot of indignity to Dalits, no effort has been made to end this till
now. In fact the govt only acts when the prejudice sparks violence and
a Dalit family is physically attacked by the upper caste.


Amit who has been reporting on this discrimination since he joined
IndiaUnheard - a news service dedicated to community news, did this
video to share with the viewers the humiliation that he experiences
every day as a Dalit youth. He wants them to condemn this, so that
people like him can live with dignity.





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[ZESTCaste] Law for SCs, STs could be strengthened: PC

2010-09-02 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Law-for-SCs--STs-could-be-strengthened--PC/674682

Law for SCs, STs could be strengthened: PC

Express news service Posted online: Tue Aug 31 2010, 01:32 hrs
New Delhi : Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday called for
institutionalising of oversight mechanisms at the grassroots level to
prevent atrocities against Dalits and tribals even as he asserted that
laws dealing with the issue could be strengthened. Responding to a
debate on increasing atrocities against SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha,
he said regular monthly meetings on the specific issue between the SP,
DM, Public Prosecutor and judges of lower judiciary would go a long
way in curbing such crimes.
Admitting that the number of cases against SCs and STs had increased
in the last three years — from 26,665 cases in 2006 to 29,875 in 2007
and 33,365 cases in 2009 — Chidambaram added that the number of
convictions, on the other hand, was only around 30 per cent.

The disturbing low percentage of convictions, he said, was largely
because of the high number of acquittals that was, in turn, caused by
delay in justice. “The delay has resulted in disappearance of
evidence, which forces witnesses to turn hostile,” he said, adding
that speedy justice was hence required. He added that pendency of
cases was also very high.

Asserting that there had been historical injustice against SCs and STs
because of divisions in society, he said the country should not only
address the atrocities but also the divisions. Without naming the
Mirchpur incident in Haryana where Dalits were allegedly driven out of
the village, he said the recent incident in a “neighbouring state” was
an example of the manner in which the wealthy and powerful inflict
atrocities on these communities and how deeply entrenched the problem
was.





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[ZESTCaste] Mayawati wins case, robs Gandhis of brand Amethi

2010-09-02 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_mayawati-wins-case-robs-gandhis-of-brand-amethi_1432347

Mayawati wins case, robs Gandhis of brand Amethi
Published: Thursday, Sep 2, 2010, 2:38 IST
By Deepak Gidwani | Place: Lucknow | Agency: DNA

Rahul Gandhi’s constituency Amethi is once again caught in political
crossfire between the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

On Wednesday, while the Congress leader on a three-day tour of Amethi
assured two sisters, allegedly hounded by BSP-supported land-grabbers,
of all support, the Mayawati government won a legal battle over
Amethi.

It got an all-clear from the apex court to its decision to rename the
Nehru-Gandhi family’s VIP borough after BSP icon Chhatrapati Shahuji
Maharaj. Shahuji was a 19th century ruler of Kolhapur known as a
pioneer in granting reservations to the deprived in employment.

Onlookers at Sarwan village in Amethi were stunned as the two sisters
from Lucknow, Shivani and Sonia Chauhan, browbeat the special
protection group (SPG) security ring to bring Rahul’s motorcade to a
halt. The women, wailing in grief, narrated their story to a patient
Rahul who played the good samaritan, assuring them justice.

The sisters’ tale of woes took on political connotations as Shivani
Chauhan alleged that BSP-backed goons were helping her family members,
including her brother, to grab her parental property. “I have been
framed in false cases and sent to jail twice,” she screamed before TV
cameras after Rahul’s cavalcade left.

“If they want to kill me, let them do it once and for all instead of
harassing us with false criminal cases, threats and attacks,” she
howled.

Shivani and her sister told reporters that they had also met Priyanka
and Sonia Gandhi on separate occasions last year, after which the case
had been handed over to CB-CID and they finally got a clean chit. “But
even now the police are siding with the land-grabbers… on August 15, I
was beaten up… I suffered head injuries but the police did nothing,”
Shivani said. “I even met Behnji (Mayawati) but she spurned me saying
‘you are from the opposite party’,” she added.

Even as the sisters hurled the allegations, Mayawati virtually squared
the score with Rahul as the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the state
government’s decision to rename and reorganise Amethi as part of a new
district called Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar. The Lucknow bench
of the Allahabad high court had recently struck down the Mayawati
government’s decision to that effect, saying the reorganisation could
not be done as the census was in progress.

Sources say the SC decision was conveyed to Mayawati while she was
addressing a meeting of top BSP leaders in Lucknow. The BSP leader,
the sources shared, could barely suppress her joy and told party
leaders that justice had finally been done. She reportedly touted it
as a major moral victory in BSP’s political battle against the
Congress.





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[ZESTCaste] Delegation of SC/ST MPs meet Manmohan Singh

2010-09-01 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article605572.ece

Delegation of SC/ST MPs meet Manmohan Singh

PTI

 A delegation of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe MPs, including
some union ministers, on Tuesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to
demand that an order providing reservation in government jobs be
replaced by an act to bring greater benefits to them.

“Members of the SC/ST Parliamentary Forum met the Prime Minister today
to demand that an Act is necessary to provide reservations to SC/ST
which is done through a government order,” LJP Chief Ram Vilas Paswan
said.

The MPs also demanded that the Bill in this regard, which was passed
in Rajya Sabha in the last session of Parliament, be amended as it
excluded some government establishments in providing reservation to
the two categories.

“We demanded that there should be no exception. Section 4 of the Bill,
passed by Rajya Sabha, should be deleted. The Bill should be prepared
immediately and passed in the next session of Parliament,” Paswan
said.

The delegation included union ministers Sushil Kumar Shinde, Kumari
Selja, Namo Narayan Meena and Vincent Pala, and MPs from other
political parties.

“The Prime Minister gave us a patient hearing and said he will hold
consultations on this issue,” Paswan said.

Meena, who is minister of state for Finance, also brought up the issue
of job reservation for Scheduled Tribes by the Delhi government.

“7.5 per cent reservation in jobs to STs in the Delhi government is
being provided under a Home Ministry notification of 1955. But a
recent Supreme Court order said a Presidential notification is
required for this reservation in jobs and education. The Prime
Minister assured us that he would take up the matter,” Meena said.





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[ZESTCaste] Law to prevent SC, ST atrocities to be made more stringent

2010-09-01 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article604163.ece

Law to prevent SC, ST atrocities to be made more stringent

PTI

Assuring the Lok Sabha that the government would make law more
stringent to prevent atrocities against SC and ST, Home Minister P
Chidambaram today said the principal responsibility was with the
states to implement these laws.

“We will make the law more stringent and if needed, bring amendments
in the Act (SCST Prevention of Atrocities Act),” he said replying to
a discussion on situation arising out of increasing atrocities against
SC and ST.

He said, “In my view, the principal responsibility is with the state
governments to implement these laws. The state government must post SC
and ST officials where the people are vulnerable.”

About reservation in jobs for SC and ST, the minister said, “Since
1950...government is totally committed to reservation of SC, ST and
OBC in jobs. In UPA—I, we have cleared a backlog of 54,000 vacancies.
We would come up with another drive to fill the vacancies reserved for
SC and ST.”

He said, “This is the most vulnerable country (as far civil rights of
SC and ST are concerned)...we can’t call ourselves civilised...how we
treat our SC, ST and women.”

About fund allocations for the welfare of SC and ST, he said, “The
ministries give details of funds allocated for SC and ST and the
schemes under which they partially benefited.”

“Some ministries are not doing so. The Planning Commission has
constituted a committee for the purpose. Once the committee submits
its reports, all ministries would follow the same pattern of giving
details of funds allocated for SC and ST.”

The minister pointed out that one of the reasons for atrocities
against SC and ST is that they are getting prosperous day by day.
“This has also created problems,” he said.

He also said the delay in justice results in disappearance of evidence
and forces witnesses to turn hostile. Thus speedy justice is required
to ensure civil rights of vulnerable classes of society, he said.





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[ZESTCaste] MPs unite to protest atrocities against dalits

2010-09-01 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/MPs-unite-to-protest-atrocities-against-dalits/articleshow/6462965.cms

MPs unite to protest atrocities against dalits

TNN, Aug 31, 2010, 03.52am IST

NEW DELHI: In a debate that saw MPs from almost all parties
registering their strong protests over rising incidents of atrocities
against Scheduled Castes and Tribes, home minister P Chidambaram said
district judges needed to ensure proper and speedy disposal of such
cases in their jurisdiction.

Chidambaram pointed to a high pendency of more than 70% for cases
relating to dalits and tribals and said these were adversely affected
by delays, witnesses vanishing or turning hostile or indifference of
police investigators. The role of the district judge in holding
monthly meetings to assess progress of cases and pushing DMs and SPs
to ensure quick disposal was necessary, the minister said.

Replying to a debate in Lok Sabha on Monday, Chidambaram pointed out
that cases of atrocities against SCs/STs had risen over 2006-08 and
while this could be because of higher registration as these sections
assert themselves, 33,000 cases in 2008 was a matter of deep shame.
Some of this crime is aimed at crippling SCs economically, the
minister said.

Though he refrained from naming states, he alluded to a recent
incident in a neighbouring state, clearly Haryana, where dalits had to
flee from the village they inhabited. He pointed to a circular issued
by the home ministry on April 1, 2010 outlining guidelines on how such
cases were to be dealt with, pointing out that the will and intent
of state governments was crucial.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi was present through the discussions on
Monday as the home minister responded to MPs who said district
administrations often lacked the will to pursue accused, often
powerful local upper castes. It is not a matter of pride that so many
cases are registered, it is deeply disturbing, Chidambaram said.

The minister also said there were some lacunae in the public order act
as courts did not take cognizance of a case until a magistrate
committed it to trial. He said some states had set up special courts
but these also looked at several other cases apart from those relating
to dalits and STs. Often there is nothing special about these cases.
Some states had been better than others, like Andhra Pradesh has set
up 22 mobile courts, Tamil Nadu has focused on districts where caste
violence is severe while West Bengal has asked district judges to
double up as special judges.


[ZESTCaste] Decision taken on including caste in census: Pranab

2010-09-01 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article605592.ece?css=print

Published: August 31, 2010 14:29 IST | Updated: August 31, 2010 14:33
IST New Delhi, August 31, 2010

Decision taken on including caste in census: Pranab
PTI

What is in a name? Caste census: GoM to write to parties Caste in
census: Cabinet to decide on modalities GoM approval for caste-based
census Congress, BJP still divided over caste census Siddaramaiah for
caste enumeration
TOPICS
demographics population and census
politics national politics

The Finance MInister said the decision will now have to be endorsed by
the Cabinet, which he hoped would be done at the next meeting. It is
now a matter of formality, he said

Bowing to demands by several political parties, government today said
it has decided to include caste in census and the formality of
endorsing it is expected at the next Cabinet meeting.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha that all
political parties had supported the idea of including caste in census
and there was no need for any “apprehensions” over the issue.

His statement came after leaders of BJP, JD(U), BSP and Samajwadi
Party wanted to know as to what happened to the government’s promise
on caste census, particularly since today was the last day of the
Monsoon Session of Parliament.

The Group of Ministers, which examined the issue, has decided that
caste census should be carried out during house enumeration exercise,
the Leader of the House said.

It will be limited to collection of information with regard to caste
and biometric exercise will go on simultaneously, he said about the
issue which had earlier divided the Cabinet and even the GoM headed by
Mr. Mukherjee.

“The government has more or less decided (to include caste in
census),” Mr. Mukherjee said.

Noting that the 11-member GoM was not an empowered body, he said its
decision will now have to be endorsed by the Cabinet, which he hoped
would be done at the next meeting. “It is now a matter of formality,”
he said.

Mr. Mukherjee recalled that after suggestions for inclusion of caste
in census were received, he had written to political parties and most
of them have responded “positively”.

Earlier, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav raised the issue, saying the
government had sought views of political parties which had responded
in writing.

However, nothing was heard after that, despite assurances by Mr.
Mukherjee who held three meetings with leaders of various political
parties on the issue, Mr. Yadav said.

“There is unease in the country,” he said, demanding early response
from the government.

He was supported by SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, BJP Deputy Leader
Gopinath Munde and Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP).

Mulayam Singh Yadav said there was consensus in the House over
inclusion of caste in census and there was “no party which did not
support it.”

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mr. Mukherjee had promised
to implement it at the earliest but despite that it had not happened.

“What is the reason for this? What should we do? Where should we go?
We want the House to function but there should be a response from the
government,” he said.

Mr. Munde also asked the government to spell out its intentions.





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[ZESTCaste] Centre admits Sheila diverted SC/ST fund for Games

2010-09-01 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Centre-admits-Sheila-diverted-SC/ST-fund-for-Games/articleshow/6471707.cms

1 Sep, 2010, 04.37AM IST,ET Bureau

Centre admits Sheila diverted SC/ST fund for Games

NEW DELHI: The Centre has admitted that the Sheila Dikshit government
violated guidelines to divert funds meant for Schedules Castes and
Tribes to finance its pets projects for the Commonwealth Games.

“In view of the guidelines of 2006, these appear to be wrong,” home
minister P Chidambaram said in the Rajya Sabha during a discussion on
the diversion of nearly Rs 678 crore from the funds for Scheduled
Castes and Tribes for the Commonwealth Games. The admission comes at a
time when the Delhi government is under attack from the rivals for its
reluctance to conduct governance in an ethical manner.

The Rajya Sabha witnessed disruptions by BSP MPs over the issue, which
came to light through a Right to Information application.

According to the information given by Delhi government to an RTI
petitioner, nearly Rs 678 crore from Delhi’s special component plan,
which was meant for improving the standard of living of the poor
sections of the community through various government schemes and
programmes, was diverted for Games projects.

In his reply, Mr Chidambaram said that Delhi government had got around
Rs 8,000 crore for five years from 2006-7 to 2009-10, under the
special component plan. “As is common practice with various other
state governments, Delhi had divided this fund into two categories —
divisible and indivisible.” The divisible category was for schemes
which affected the Scheduled Castes and Tribes directly. “While Rs 983
crore was in the divisible category, the rest — Rs 7,100 crore — was
in the indivisible category. Out of that (indivisible category), Rs
678 crore was contributed to CWG projects,” the home minister said.

“This seems to be prima-facie wrong,” Mr Chidambaram admitted, but
added: “This happens not just in NCT, but in all states.” He said that
Delhi government had told him that the amount diverted will be added
to the Plan funds for the next financial year. The minister said that
the Planning Commission was seized of the matter and had set up a
committee to look into the diversion of funds in all states.





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[ZESTCaste] Dalit ends life after questioning by police

2010-09-01 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=localnewsid=194976

Mangalore: Dalit ends life after questioning by police

MANGALORE AUG 31: A 30-year-old Dalit from Kerala, who was staying at
a relative's house at Kulai 20 km from here, committed suicide by
hanging. The body of the victim, who has been identified as Bijulal,
was discovered at around 6 a.m. on Monday and his relatives alleged
that he was pushed to take the extreme step because of harassment by
the police.

On Friday a joint investigation team comprising officers from
Bangalore's Peenya Police station and Surathkal police station had
picked up and allegedly assaulted members of a Dalit family. The
police team was in search of a youth named Subhash from Mangalore who
was charged with kidnapping a Hindu girl from Bangalore. The family
maintains that the couple is in love and eloped fearing retribution.

Nevertheless, the police team allegedly forced its way into Subhash's
relative's the house and dragged Bijulal (30), Somu (16) and Shaina
(19) to the Surathkal police station.

While Shaina and Somu alleged that they were assaulted by the police,
Bijulal did not make any such claims.

“But the police tortured him mentally and threatened him with dire
consequences during interrogation,” said an inconsolable Shaina who
spoke to The Hindu on Monday following Bijulal's death.

Sajani, another relative of the deceased, said: “Biju was a very timid
man and was prone to depression. His psychological State was not very
stable after his father's death last year. We told this to the police
when they were dragging him away but they would not listen.” She
blamed the police for his death.

According to her, Bijulal began sulking and was in a petrified state
after coming back from the police station. “He kept saying that the
police would kill him and that they would find him wherever he went,”
said Ms. Shaina. On Sunday evening he left home saying that he would
return to Kerala as he would feel safe there.

“The next morning our neighbours found his body hanging from a tree,” she said.

Incidentally, the man's death comes a day after the monthly SC/ST
grievance meeting at the city police headquarters, where Assistant
Commissioner of Police S. Girish insisted that his subordinates had
not acted outside the purview of the law in the incident.

However, despite the death, Police Commissioner Seemanth Kumar Singh
told The Hindu that Bijulal was called to the police station only for
questioning. “He was mentally disturbed for the last 10 days. His
uncle told us that that he was mentally disturbed even before he was
picked up for questioning,” he said.

But he denied allegations that the police action had acted as the
final trigger. However, he assured a fair and impartial probe.

The Dalit family is now worried about the future of the missing
couple. “If something happens to them the police will be responsible,”
said Ms. Sajani.

Hindu





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[ZESTCaste] Incest: Haryana's shameful social heritage

2010-09-01 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Incest-Haryanas-shameful-social-heritage/articleshow/6451268.cms


Incest: Haryana's shameful social heritage

Sukhbir Siwach, TNN, Aug 28, 2010, 02.05pm IST

 It was a national debate on a news channel. Tempers were running
high, so were the decibels. The subject was explosive - Haryana's
khaps and their diktats. In the midst of this charged atmosphere, a
voice rose above the rest, silencing them all. Seema, a law graduate
and resident of Karora village, made an allegation that changed the
course of the debate. Her brother had been executed for marrying a
woman from the same gotra, but that was not what Seema wanted to talk
about on the primetime show. It was another shameful reality of
Haryana villages she wanted to expose - incest.

Khaps should look into their homes before passing fatwas on lovers
and crying hoarse about honour. Incest is rampant in the state and
virtually every home is affected. Where is the honour anyway ? she
screamed.

Early this week, the state was shocked when a pregnant girl was
strangled by her parents and her body dumped on the outskirts of
Bahadurgarh in Jhajjar district. Her crime: she was reportedly having
an affair with her brother-in-law and her vengeful elder sister had
complained to their parents.

In another embarrassing case earlier this year, a farmer in his early
50s developed a sexual relation with his 30-year-old daughter-in-law
in a village in Kaithal district. Their liaison continued for almost a
year. The matter even reached the village panchayat, which ordered
separation of the two unlikely partners so that the woman could go
back to her husband.
And only last month, Sonepat was jolted by the gruesome murder of two
minor girls, just 12 and 14. They were killed and their bodies flung
in a canal by their uncles and grandmother after their affair with a
cousin was exposed. The police said the kin of the victims were
enraged when they allegedly caught the minors getting intimate with
their cousin. In Yamunanagar, a girl complained to the police that her
father-in-law had raped her just a few months after her marriage.

These are not isolated incidents: incest is reportedly a real part of
life in rural Haryana. It's a menace nobody wants to talk about. Even
the elders are setting a bad example,  says D R Chaudhary, member of
the Haryana Administrative Reforms Commission. The elders,
predictably, blame this perversion on the growing sway of the west
over the state's youth.

When Kurukshetra-based Ramesh Kumar's daughter married a close
relative, he blamed it on urban influence. Now he is fighting a legal
battle to have the marriage declared null and void, terming it a
contravention of the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The
mothers of the newly-wed couple were apparently related, being
granddaughters of the same person.

The incidence of incest may be higher in rural areas. Social mores in
villages are different. People here are very conservative and there is
no scope for interaction between men and women and boys and girls
outside their homes. So, they often end up having relationships with
members of their accessible, extended family,  says Balbir Singh, a
social activist in Fatehabad district.
Experts believe that such relationships have survived behind closed
doors for many years. But given the modern means of communication and
the proliferation of the media, the skeletons are now tumbling out of
family cupboards.

The youth, interestingly, believe that incest is a traditional
practice and not a new reality. Yeh to hame virasat mein mili hai
(incest is a part of our tradition),  says Naresh Kumar, a villager
in Rohera in Kaithal district. Sociologists, in turn, say that the
ethnic history of the region is full of such instances.

In the pre-Independence era, in some parts of north India, the
father-in-law almost had the right to physical relations with a
daughter-in-law, and in most cases the female was not in a position to
resist much. The very young husband also had no say in the matter.
Widows would routinely be married to a brother of the dead husband.
Sharing of the wife by brothers was also not uncommon,  says Ravinder
Kaur, a professor at IIT-Delhi.

What adds to this problem in Haryana is its skewed sex ratio caused by
rampant female foeticide. Its effects are now being felt on intimate
relationships within and without the family. The shortage of
marriageable women can have many unintended consequences, especially
when only one out of four men find a bride (as in the case of Haryana)
in their own community,  adds Kaur.

Kumar's 35-year-old nephew, Roshan, is yet to get any offers for
marriage. We are at a loss, wondering what to do,  says Kumar. A
growing army of bachelors has become a problem in the state, leading
to more illicit relations.

Yet, there seems little the government and social organisations can do
about this. Haryana has not seen any strong social movement in recent
years and there are 

[ZESTCaste] House panel slams Haryana police

2010-09-01 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.hindustantimes.com/House-panel-slams-Haryana-police/Article1-594007.aspx

House panel slams Haryana police

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, August 31, 2010First Published: 00:39 IST(31/8/2010)
Last Updated: 00:41 IST(31/8/2010)

A parliamentary panel on Monday slammed the Haryana police for its
negligent attitude and inaction on the issue of atrocities against
Dalits in Mirchpur village of Hisar district in April. A 60-year-old
Dalit and his handicapped daughter were burnt alive and 18 houses were
set on fire allegedly by Jats on April 21 following a scuffle between
the two communities.

The parliamentary panel rap for the police comes four days after the
Supreme Court had slammed the state government, for its failure to
arrest all the accused.

The negligence and lackadaisical attitude of the state police in
apprehending and taking proper action against all the accused justify
the fear psychosis that has engulfed the affected people, said the
Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, in its
report presented to both Houses of Parliament.

The panel, which visited Mirchpur, concluded that the dominant Jat
community continues to threaten the Dalits.

During interaction with affected people, the committee was informed
that they were being asked by the dominant Jat community to withdraw
the FIRs filed against the culprits, the report said.

The Congress brass had taken the issue seriously and party general
secretary, Rahul Gandhi, had visited Mirchpur on April 30.

A rattled state government had swung into action. It announced a
compensation of R20 lakh to the family of the deceased and Rone lakh
damages to those whose houses were burnt. It also informed the SC on
Thursday that 52 accused had been arrested and 71 others were yet to
be arrested.


[ZESTCaste] Dalit woman gangraped in Greater Noida

2010-09-01 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/dalit-woman-gangraped-in-greater-noida_100421245.html

Dalit woman gangraped in Greater Noida

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 11:10:59 PM by IANS

Greater Noida, Aug 31 (IANS) A 20-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly
gangraped at gunpoint in the Jewar area of Greater Noida, police said
Tuesday.
The incident came to light Tuesday when the woman complained to the police.

“Shalini (name changed) was sleeping on the terrace of her parents’s
house in Karoli locality of Jewar area Monday night when two
neighbourers, identified as Bunty and Bhura, raped her at gunpoint.
She was sleeping alone as her parents were away and her siblings were
sleeping inside the house,” said Superintendent of Police Atul Saxena.

She narrated the ordeal to her parents when they returned home.

The woman, married about two years ago in Haryana’s Palwal district,
had come to her parents’ home for the Rakshabandhan festival.

“The victim approached us this (Tuesday) evening. We have registered a
case of rape and have sent her for medical examination,” said Station
House Officer Har Pal Singh.





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[ZESTCaste] BJP must lure dalits into party: SC Morcha

2010-08-30 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysore/BJP-must-lure-dalits-into-party-SC-Morcha/articleshow/6458103.cms

BJP must lure dalits into party: SC Morcha
TNN, Aug 29, 2010, 11.06pm IST

MYSORE: BJP SC Morcha chief and chairman of B R Ambedkar Development
Corporation A R Krishnamurthy on Sunday asked the government to give
prominence to dalits while appointmenting chiefs to various boards and
corporations.

This will empower the dalit communities and help the party, he stated.
The SC Morcha has also sent a resolution it adopted to nominate dalit
leaders from each of the 224 assembly constituencies to the government
bodies.

Speaking to reporters, the former MLA from Santhemarahalli in
Chamarajnagar said the SC Morcha state executive meeting will be held
in the city from Monday. The two-day meeting will discuss the
strategies to attract dalits to the party, he said.

BJP national SC front chief Dushyant Kumar Gautam will inaugurate the
meet. Tuesday's SC Parishat meeting will be attended by BJP state
president K S Eshwarappa and social welfare minister Govind Karjol.


[ZESTCaste] Dalit woman branded a witch, thrashed in Rajasthan

2010-08-29 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/dalit-woman-branded-a-witch-thrashed-in-rajasthan-47993

Dalit woman branded a witch, thrashed in Rajasthan
Indo Asian News Service, Updated: August 29, 2010 13:50 IST

Tonk, Rajasthan:  A Dalit woman was labelled a witch and beaten up
badly in Rajasthan's Tonk district, police said Sunday.

Kamla Bairwa of Jhalra village in Tonk district, over 100 km from
Jaipur, stated in her First Information Report (FIR) filed with the
police Saturday that some villagers tagged her as a witch, insulted
her and then beat her up.

The villagers, especially the women, call me a witch. They insult me,
torture me and beat me up. They wanted me to leave the village,
Kamla, a labourer, told IANS.

She added: A couple of days back they tied me around a tree and I was
beaten badly. I am scared. How can I live in such a place where people
are after my life.

A policeman of Uniara police station in Tonk district said: Kamla
Bairwa has filed an FIR against five people, including two women.

Police have started investigations.

We will record the statements of both the parties. We may conduct a
medical examination of the complainant and, if need be, arrest the
culprits, the police official said.

Rajasthan is one of the states in the country where women, who exhibit
abnormal behaviour, are often called witches and ill-treated by the
society, causing them to commit suicide.

In a bid to curb this, the women's commission in Rajasthan has
prepared a draft bill that has been sent to the state government.

According to the draft bill, called Rajasthan Prevention of Witch
(Dain) Practices Bill, a crime would be considered to have been
committed when any person or community intentionally or inadvertently
abets, conspires, aids and instigates the identification of a woman as
a witch, leading to her mental and physical torture and humiliation.

The bill advocates severe punishment for the guilty.

However, the draft bill sent to the state government over three years
back, is still to see light of the day.


[ZESTCaste] Nepal: Dalit in Federalism Discourse

2010-08-29 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.telegraphnepal.com/news_det.php?news_id=8190

Nepal: Dalit in Federalism Discourse

M. Bishwakarma
A district level Dalit woman in Ilam expressed her grievances over
recent discourse on Federalism stating Dalits are always Dalits, any
form of system will not address their issues. I do not think
Federalism will be supportive for us.

In her quote, there is clear meaning that Dalits are not assured that
they have not found any justifiable reason of future federal mechanism
which will be supportive for them. Federalism is one of the main
issues of discourse in the Nepalese political arena which has not only
created confusion but also given rays of hope for certain community.
There seems division among the Nepalese people in understanding the
federalism though the Interim constitution has clearly provisioned
that Nepal will be a federal country henceforth. A section of the
people are in favor of federalism especially Madhesi and ethnic
communities. However, except the ethnic and Madhesi people, other
people are seen reserved especially on the formation of ethnicity
based provinces in Nepal. In this context, large number of people are
in a dilemma whether the country will be disintegrated if there is
implementation of a federal republic.

Mostly self explanatory fears and suspicion is playing role among
larger section of people that Federalism is unfavorable in the context
of Nepali economical and social situation. Moreover, the recent
proposal of CA’s State Restructuring Committee on the identity based 9
provinces and prime rights to the ethnic groups have added more
troubles to the acceptance of establishing federalism. And, this has
fueled other caste groups to deny the ethnicity based federalism.

In this discourse, some community like Chhetri is demanding that they
are also indigenous marginalized groups and they need equality while
deciding over the rights of indigenous group in Nepal. Dalit is also
one of the communities who are mostly in the state of confusion in
this federalism discourse. Mainly, Dalits are not assured by two
reasons. One, Dalit community is not considered as the separate
identity that deserves separate Dalit province or sub autonomous
province and second, whether their rights is guaranteed or not?

Referring this, Dalit community observes reluctance over extending
blind support to the recent proposal and efforts for the federalism
process in Nepal. As professor Krishna Khanal refers that “the federal
model of Nepal as proposed by CA won’t directly address the concerns
of Dalit and women in Nepal despite these groups are in bigger size in
population.” This is a glimpse for the future of Dalit and women in
federal structure despite there is still a way of negotiating with
political parties. Dalit community in proposed some province can
bargain for their political representation considering their second
larger population.

Nepalese politics is only for those who have power, link and are from
higher class of society, in this reality, Dalits can’t fight for the
rights in provincial level unless the constitution ensures all the
rights clearly.

Dalit Demands?

Dalit are demanding non-territorial province in case CA denies in
providing separate Dalit identity based province. Reason behind
demanding non territorial federal unit is to establish an institution
which can exercise democratic power and can play vital role for the
policy making for Dalit. In the context of world, among 28 federal
countries, there are only two countries like Belgium and Ethiopia
where non-territorial federal practice exist. Some political party
proposed informally non-territorial federal unit; however, later it
could not reflect into the CA preliminary draft papers. Besides, Dalit
leaders of political parties and civil society organization attempted
to establish their agenda of demanding three sub-autonomous units
considering the density of Dalit population like Sahalesh
sub-autonomous province in eastern Tarai, Bhagat Sarbajit
sub-autonomous province in western hills and Bhul sub-autonomous
province in Mid-Far western hills. In these places, Dalit come in a
second position demographically speaking. If there is provision to
establish the sub autonomous provinces; Dalit could easily get some
sub-autonomous provinces. The demographic composition in far western
region shows that they have strength for the political bargain.
However, Dalits are divided by political ideologies and caste
hierarchy that can hinder them for taking united efforts to establish
their rights. That is why Dalits are demanding that they should be
clearly written provision of special rights for certain period of time
unless they are equal to other caste groups. Unfortunately CA state
re-structuring committee did not come with the idea of sub-autonomous
provincial structure. Leaders and representatives of Dalit community
are raising their strong voice in favor of either non-territorial unit
or sub-autonomous province. CA progress to 

[ZESTCaste] U.K. set to recognize caste discrimination as racism

2010-08-29 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article602136.ece

Published: August 29, 2010 16:59 IST | Updated: August 29, 2010 16:59
IST LONDON, August 29, 2010

U.K. set to recognize caste discrimination as racism
Hassan Suroor

Britain is set to become the first European country to recognise caste
discrimination as a form of racism and declare it unlawful under the
race laws following a long campaign by the country’s estimated 200,000
Dalits and a report last year alleging widespread caste-based
prejudice.

A provision has already been made in the new Equality Act adopted
recently empowering the Government to declare “caste to be an aspect
of race’’ without having to resort to fresh legislation.

Clause 9 of the Act says: “The fact that a racial group comprises two
or more distinct racial groups does not prevent it from constituting a
particular racial group. A Minister of the Crown may by order—(a)
amend this section so as to provide for caste to be an aspect of
race…”

The Government will be guided by the report of a study it has
commissioned to determine the extent of alleged caste discrimination.
The report by the National Institute of Social and Economic Research,
a leading independent research body, is expected in the autumn.

CasteWatchUK, Britain’s oldest Dalit campaign group, claims that it is
no longer a question of “if” but “when’’ an official announcement is
made.

“We have provided enough evidence to researchers and have no doubt in
our minds that their report will be positive. Besides, we have full
faith in the fairness of the British state. The fact that they have
included it in the equality act is half the battle won. It is not a
question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ it happens,’’ Davinder Prasad, general
secretary of CasteWatch, told The Hindu.

Campaigners claim cross-party support pointing out that MPs from all
parties backed the move during the debate in Parliament.

“The only reluctant voices were of Asian MPs,” said Lekh Pall, general
secretary of the Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance (ACDA), an
umbrella group.

India’s official position is that casteism cannot be equated with
racism and it has opposed such moves at international forums. Any
British move could set a precedent for other countries to follow suit.

The issue has divided Britain’s Indian community and right-wing groups
such as the Hindu Forum of Britain have launched a counter-campaign
questioning the right of the Government to intervene in what it claims
is their internal affair.

There has been some criticism against the caste system with regards
to the treatment of Dalits in the Britain. However, it is not right
for the UK Government to take a position on the rites, beliefs or
practices of a particular religion. Social interactions and personal
choices are an expression of people's freedom, and any barriers should
be removed through education and awareness, not through legislation,
said the Forum’s Secretary-general Ramesh Kallidai.

In a report, “Caste in the UK’’, the Forum denied claims of caste
discrimination saying its own research had found that it was “not
endemic in British society’’.

However, a study—“Hidden Apartheid, Voice of the Community, Caste and
Caste Discrimination in the UK’’-- by ACDA in collaboration with
academics from the universities of Hertfordshire and Manchester and
Manchester Metropolitan University, concluded that there was “clear
evidence’’ of widespread caste-based discrimination.

“There is clear evidence from the survey and the focus groups that the
caste system has been imported into the UK with the Asian diaspora and
that the associated caste discrimination affects citizens in ways
beyond personal choices and social interaction. There is a danger that
if the UK government does not effectively accept and deal with the
issue of caste discrimination the problem will grow unchecked,” it
said.

The report claimed that “tens of thousands of people in the workplace,
the classroom and even the doctor’s surgery’’ suffered discrimination
because of their caste. Forty-five per cent of the respondents alleged
they had either been treated negatively by co-workers or had comments
made about their caste. Nine per cent felt they had been denied
promotion, and ten per cent said they had been paid less because of
their caste. Some also claimed that they faced ``threats’’.

Campaigners have threatened to take their case to the European Court
of Human Rights if the British Government fails to act.





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[ZESTCaste] Mayawati favouring only her community, claim Dalit leaders

2010-08-29 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://sify.com/news/mayawati-favouring-only-her-community-claim-dalit-leaders-news-national-ki3nugfddaa.html

Mayawati favouring only her community, claim Dalit leaders

2010-08-29 13:20:00


Dalit leaders have accused Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati of
favouring only a particular backward community to which she belongs.

We have gathered Dalits here and are creating awareness among them to
fight for their rights.

For example the issue of reservation in private sector, or the Dalits
who are being exploited in Uttar Pradesh, or about the issue of jobs
that are disappearing, or the issue of land acquisition, we are
discussing all such issues here, said Udit Raj, an activist of the
Justice Party.

The leaders, who held a meeting in Allahabad on Saturday, said the
benefit of reservation is only available for Mayawati's community.

The benefit of reservation is being availed by Mayawati's community.
Those who do not belong to her community are exploited with cruelty.
The crime is on full flow. In every 18th minute a boycotted Dalit
woman is raped, they are being killed in the whole state, said Nihare
Rakesh, a former state deputy.

I demand that the Central Government should immediately take action
against Mayawati's rule, he added.

Numbering 160 million, Dalits represent 16 percent of India's
population of more than one billion.

Officially, caste discrimination is banned in India and special quotas
exist for Dalits in Parliament, state legislatures, village councils,
government jobs and educational institutions. (ANI)


[ZESTCaste] Police assault Dalits in Kulai

2010-08-28 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.hindu.com/2010/08/28/stories/2010082854560500.htm

Karnataka - Mangalore

Police assault Dalits in Kulai

Staff Correspondent

A relative of the victims eloped with a ‘caste' Hindu girl from Bangalore

MANGALORE: A joint investigation team comprising officers from
Bangalore's Peenya police station and Mangalore City Commissionerate's
Surathkal police station allegedly assaulted two teenaged Dalits at
Kulai village, 20 km from here, on Friday.

The police team was in search of a youth named Subhash from Mangalore
who is charged with kidnapping a “caste” Hindu girl from Bangalore.
However, the boy's relatives maintain that the couple was in love and
eloped fearing retribution.

Nevertheless, the team arrived at Subhash's relatives' house in Kulai
and demanded to know his whereabouts. “They were abusive from the
moment they entered the house,” said Subhash's elder sister Sajani.

Ms. Sajani told The Hindu that the police particularly targeted
Subhash's 16-year-old nephew Soma. “He pleaded with them that he did
not know Subhash's whereabouts. But they would not listen and beat him
with lathis,” she alleged. The young boy, whose most visible injury
was a bleeding nose, was later treated at a private hospital.

The policemen also allegedly assaulted Subhash's sister, Shaina (19),
who tried to come to Soma's rescue. However, she did not sustain any
serious injuries.

“They then dragged her to the Surathkal police station,” Ms. Sajani
said. The police finally let her go when sections of the media reached
the police station.

Alleging that the entire incident had casteist overtones, Ms. Sajani
said, “Even as they were beating the young boy, they kept telling him
that he should advise Subhash to stick to women of his caste.”

Responding to the allegations, Assistant Commissioner of Police S.
Girish said that the Surathkal police had nothing to do with the
assault.

“They were only helping the team from Bangalore with directions to the
house,” he said. He also said that Ms. Shaina was not dragged to the
police station as alleged. “We only took the boy along for
questioning. She insisted on tagging along,” he said even as he
assured a through investigation into the case. The victims have
registered a complaint against the alleged police atrocity at the
Surathkal station.





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[ZESTCaste] Dalit Cong worker assaulted

2010-08-28 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://news.in.msn.com/national/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4315875

28/08/2010

Dalit Cong worker assaulted

Kapurthala, Aug 27 (PTI) A Dalit Congress worker was severely beaten
up allegedly by Akali activists in the presence of police in
Ibrahimwal village in the district.
Protesting the incident, members of the Dalit community led by
Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira today demonstrated in front of the
SSP office.
The protesters alleged that the police had slapped a case of theft
against Congress worker Shaukina, who had been admitted to the civil
hospital at Begowal.
According to family sources, Shaukina was being harassed by the police
at the behest of an Akali leader, who had allegedly given the former a
loan of Rs five lakh.
Shaukina was severally beaten by the Akali workers yesterday in the
presence of a police team and later a case of theft slapped against
him, they alleged.
Dalits brought the incident to the notice of SP (Security) S K
Agnihotri who assured to inquire into the matter.


[ZESTCaste] Swami to stop Dalit religious conversion

2010-08-28 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysore/Swami-to-stop-Dalit-religious-conversion/articleshow/6447694.cms

Swami to stop Dalit religious conversion
TNN, Aug 27, 2010, 09.55pm IST

MYSORE: Seeking to curb religious conversion and encourage Dalit
communities to join the mainstream, Pejawar mutt seer Vishwesha
Teertha Swami on Friday visited a Dalit colony and promised to
champion their cause.

The seer told them he will observe a fast and offered them deeksha as
a weapon to stop conversion. The seer asked them to quit alcoholism,
but remained silent on their food habits stating non-vegetarianism is
part of their culture. Buoyed by the seer's promise, the Dalit
families said they would follow the seer's words. This is the first
time a religious leader has visited their houses. The seer's visit
aimed at ensuring social harmony and protecting Hindu Dharma.

When the seer, who will be in the city for over a fortnight performing
Chaturmasya vratha, arrived there was celebration at the Devaraj Urs
colony, predominated by pourakarmikas. The colony was swept clean and
decorated. The residents lined up to receive the seer and offered
floral tributes as he came. The seer visited a couple of houses, lit
lamps and offered prayers before he went to Pattadalamma temple where
he addressed them calling Hindus to be united.

According to him, religious conversions normally target Dalits as they
rae alienated from Hindus. Hindus should be united, he said decrying
untouchability. He offered to give them deeksha even as he advised
them to quit alcohol. He asked them to contact him in case they have
any message or demand to be heard by the state government. I will
approach the elected representatives, he told them.


[ZESTCaste] Whose agitation?

2010-08-28 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/whose-agitation/673470/

Whose agitation?
The Indian Express Posted online: Sat Aug 28 2010, 23:51 hrs

Rahul Gandhi kept a two-year-old date with the inhabitants of Orissa’s
Niyamgiri hills on Thursday. In what became a highly charged visit to
Lanjigarh, site of Vedanta’s controversial refinery, he set out the
timeline at a Congress-organised rally for tribal rights: “This is
your victory. You saved your own land. Two years ago you had come to
me saying the Niyamgiri hill is your god. I told you I would be your
sipahi (soldier) in Delhi. I am happy that I have helped you in
whatever way I could.” He did not get into details of Vedanta’s now
cancelled bauxite mining project. The message was delivered in a
disarming manner now associated with Rahul Gandhi — sentences scrubbed
down to remove the stock, and therefore false-sounding, words from the
rallyist’s phrasebook; a spontaneous connect with those gathered
without fawning intermediaries. But the Niyamgiri visit does mark a
change in his way of political mobilisation.
Rahul Gandhi is perhaps the most powerful general secretary in the
Congress’s history. He is powerful in part for being seen to be his
party’s future. As he has criss-crossed the country, connecting with
the “aam aadmi”, it has been seen to be an effort at including various
constituencies in a forward-looking way. So he has flummoxed his
political opponents by casually taking a local train in Mumbai, having
a meal in a Dalit household, chatting with university students — how
do they counter the charisma of a man unhurriedly telling folks
there’s a future to be built? Now, at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district
he has taken responsibility for winging a government action a certain
way — if not for the actual decision by the Union environment ministry
against the bauxite project, at least for advocating a certain point
of view. The decision came two days before Rahul Gandhi visited
Orissa, when preparations for the visit had already been made.

The government is the right authority to take a call on the legitimacy
of the bauxite project. But the message that the Congress’s
mobilisation in opposition-ruled states is backed by the Centre’s
actions has unsettling implications. Also, at Lanjigarh, the Congress
appears to be unbundling the “aam aadmi” on a case-by-case basis. This
carries the danger of it then having to balance different
constituencies with competing agendas.





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[ZESTCaste] Brahmins on margins remain outside widening welfare net

2010-08-28 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Brahmins-on-margins-remain-outside-widening-welfare-net-/articleshow/6448640.cms

Brahmins on margins remain outside widening welfare net

B Sivakumar, TNN, Aug 28, 2010, 01.14am IST

CHENNAI: A group of men, both young and old, some even close to 80,
huddle in a corner of a street leading to the ancient Kapaleeswarar
temple in Mylapore on a rainy evening. They are waiting for a senior
priest (purohit) to hand out assignments for the next day.

These may vary from assisting in a marriage ritual to chanting funeral
prayers. Most of them eventually will come away with a couple of token
payments of Rs 200-300 made by householders for such poojas or
ceremonies. Given the irregular nature of their income, not many earn
more than Rs 2,000 to 3,000 per month.

Traditionally associated with learning and education, the Brahmins of
Tamil Nadu, who constitute roughly 4-5% of the six-crore population,
are perceived to be a socially and economically advanced elite, but
not many realise that today a large section of the community lives
precariously close to the poverty line.

According to the Tamil Nadu Brahmin Association (Tambras), about 30%
of Brahmins in the state can be described as economically backward and
they number close to 10 lakh. However, they are denied aid by the
government as they are seen to belong to a traditionally affluent
community.

Efforts by legislators such as S Ve Shekher to have them included in
welfare schemes for housing and education have not succeeded so far.
Their only source of income is what senior priests part with from
their share of offerings made by householders and devotees during
Hindu rituals.

Ravi Sastrigal, a purohit in Mylapore, says, The chief priest gets Rs
2,000-3,000 for a marriage. His juniors get Rs 500-600, plus free
food, for reciting mantras. And then there are those who accompany
them as mere helpers they get about Rs 150-200.


[ZESTCaste] SC flays Haryana govt for not protecting Dailts

2010-08-28 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/sc-flays-haryana-govt-for-not-protecting-dailts/129650-3.html?from=tn

SC flays Haryana govt for not protecting Dailts
CNN-IBN
Posted on Aug 26, 2010 at 17:12


New Delhi: The Supreme Court came down heavily on the Haryana
government on Thursday for not doing enough to protect Dalits. The
court made the stinging observation while hearing the case related to
the attack on Dalits in Mirchpur village of Haryana on April.


The court said that the state government had been protecting those
involved in attacking the Dalits instead of arresting them and warned
that if the police did not take any action in 48 hours, the
paramilitary would step in.


The court also slammed the state Director General of Police, saying he
had no right to continue in his post if he cannot protect the Dalits.






If police do not arrest the accused in next 48 hours we will to ask
paramilitary force to arrest them. What is the DGP doing if the police
cannot execute non-bailable warrant what right does he have to
continue as the DGP. Should we ask neighboring states to accommodate
them because you are not able to protect them, the court observed.


An 18-year-old physically challenged Dalit girl and her
70-year-old-father were burnt to death when some men reportedly
belonging to the Jat community set their home on fire on April 21,
2010. At least 15 Dalit homes were also set on fire in the riot
exposing the deep rooted caste tension in Haryana.


[ZESTCaste] Comrade, whither goest thou? (Kancha Ilaiah)

2010-08-27 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.asianage.com/columnists/comrade-whither-goest-thou-027

Comrade, whither goest thou?

Aug 27th, 2010 - Kancha Ilaiah

The extended central committee meeting of the Communist Party of India
(Marxist) in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, has not thrown up any radical
formula to revitalise the party. This is disappointing since the
battered and bruised Communists of India are in the worst shape
possible in their entire history.

The Communists occupy a political space that is totally opposite to
the one occupied by the Right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party and its
mother organisations, such as the Hindu Mahasabha and the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh. The CPI(M) apparently works on the scientific
theory of Marxism. In accordance with this, it should have played a
sterling role in modernising the country. But in the last 80 years of
its existence, it has not done anything of the sort. In fact, the
Communist leadership now looks as if they are a feudal lot. The
fragmentation within its ranks, and the irrational and unnecessary
breaking up of the movement into three streams — CPI(M), Communist
Party of India, and the Maoists — could be because of its leadership’s
feudal and casteist mindset.
Caste as an institution is basically divisive and the Communists too
seem to be victims of such a divisive mindset. That they neither
programmatically nor practically recognise caste does not mean that
they have not become victims of the caste system itself.
Right-wing forces in India are united while the Left-wing is divided.
The Right-wing forces at least respond to criticism, while the
Left-wing does not even bother to respond. For instance, Left leaders
are not able to explain properly the “big differences” between the
CPI(M), the CPI and the Forward Bloc that prevents them from merging.
They got divided in the context of Soviet power and the Indo-China
war. These issues are now passé but they still do not bother to review
their decision.
In fact, one CPI(M) leader of Kerala said two years ago that a merger
with the CPI was impossible since there was no agreement on the
attitude towards other parties after the revolution! Speak about
people living in ivory towers.
The cultural conditioning of the Left leaders is such that they do not
want to criticise their own understanding and actions.
Ideally, the Left should have worked as one party in a parliamentary
democracy to demonstrate their strength and influence politics. But
the Left leaders do not want to do so for no valid reason that the
people of India can understand. The lack of corruption in their
leadership does not make the Left democratic or responsive to the day
to day sufferings of masses that need solutions.
The Communist leaders have proved that they can be Marxist, feudal and
casteist simultaneously. They also impose a discourse that the social
masses of India do not understand. Their Oxford-educated leaders such
as the late Jyoti Basu came back to live in the “dhoti culture” with
one agenda of agrarian reform. But this agenda has reached its
saturation in West Bengal and to some extent in Kerala also.
For the last 80 years, Communist leaders have been saying that India
is a class society. But there are now enough studies to prove that in
India caste is more important than class. Neither the Communist
leaders nor the intellectuals around them want to face this question
squarely.
Recently, there was a fierce debate in Kerala on whether the CPI(M)
should accept caste/religious identities as legitimate. Though some
fellow travellers felt that the party should do so, the leadership did
not agree. According to them, though such identities do have their
place, they are divisive in the long run and the need is to transcend
them and evolve a humanist ethic.
But the Left has consistently refused to explain why they have no
existence in big states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya
Pradesh where there are toiling masses. The Communists should have
repositioned their agenda and mobilised the masses around caste and
other cultural questions in these places. So far they have no clue how
to do that.
Likewise, industrialisation did not take root in West Bengal, Kerala
and Tripura which the Left has been ruling for years. Their
single-point programme of land reform did not take the West Bengal
society out of semi-feudal living modes. While Left leaders lived
wearing dhoti and kurta, they kept the peasants semi-naked.
While the world has surged to a post-capitalist globalisation phase,
Left leaders have remained stuck in their feudalism-capitalism
discourses. And to add to their troubles, their present JNU-educated
leadership has no idea of the rural masses and their changing
aspirations. They messed up their programmatic agenda during their
UPA-I days and now the masses seem to think that they are incapable of
creative renewal.
The truth is that nowadays classical socialism does not inspire even
the working class masses who are enchained in their own caste-cultural

[ZESTCaste] Rape, torture by landlords forces Karnataka villagers to flee

2010-08-27 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Rape-torture-by-landlords-forces-Karnataka-villagers-to-flee-/articleshow/6436053.cms

Rape, torture by landlords forces Karnataka villagers to flee

Senthalir S, TNN, Aug 26, 2010, 03.42am IST

BUDIHALLI (KARNATAKA): It's the untold tale of a village in the grip
of the feudal system, and a quiet revolt brewing. Budihalli village of
Karnataka's Chitradurga district is a glaring example of caste
discrimination and bondage, with a yawning gap between communities.

Here, landlords hold sway. They allegedly rape and torture women of
lower castes while the men work as bonded labourers, paying off debts
accumulated over generations.

Breaking the stranglehold, 25 families of Madiga (scheduled caste)
community left the village to look for self-respect and a new life.
They reached Venkateshwaranagar in Chellakere taluk, 30 km from
Budihalli, and set up tent.

The exodus took place a fortnight ago. Women, men, children and the
elderly took their possessions and began walking until they reached a
settlement abandoned by nomads. For now, they are living in thatched
huts.

For them, this migration is symbolic: a breaking away from sexual
harassment, rape and torture by the Gollas and Nayaks. The penniless
families had no money to even buy bus tickets to their destination.

Sitting cramped in the huts — two families in each — they recounted
the horrors of their life in Budihalli. We didn't know where to go.
We left our village without taking our belongings. We don't have jobs
or money to send our children to school. We are struggling for two
meals a day. The government has not helped us in any way. We have lost
hope, and have no place to go, cries Kollamma T, a Madiga woman.

Savithramma (name changed), fighting back her tears, said, Every day,
drunk landlords would barge into our houses. They harassed and raped
us. All these years, we were scared to talk because of social stigma.

They abused us. Our men went to work in the fields of the landlords
as bonded labourers to repay the loans taken by our grandparents. We
were unable to bear the harassment, and wanted to work independently.
So we began to sell firewood and cultivate government land, she said.
When the Madigas began earning independently, the Golla and Nayak
landlords socially boycotted them.

H N Shivamurthy, state organizing convener of the Human Rights Forum
for Dalit Liberation in Karnataka, said, The families of the dalit
community had protested several times. One woman, Palakka Durgappa,
lost her life while protesting. She sat in the rain for three days,
protesting. But it hasn't helped them.





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[ZESTCaste] New investment promotion scheme announced

2010-08-27 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/New-investment-promotion-scheme-announced-/articleshow/6435639.cms

New investment promotion scheme announced

TNN, Aug 26, 2010, 01.21am IST

JAIPUR: The state government has announced a new Rajasthan Investment
Promotion scheme (RIPS) 2010 in the form of a package of financial
incentives and subsidies. For the first time investment and employment
generation subsidy has been introduced in the new scheme.

The new RIPS 2010 provides better benefits to investors compared to
the existing one. The new scheme gives concession for setting up of
new enterprise, enterprise going for expansion, modernisation and
diversification, and projects set up for social good.

According to finance department officials, the new scheme gives more
emphasis on employment generation, uplift of women, SC/ST and people
with disability.

The government has offered a subsidy of Rs 10,000 per annum for each
employee, while this subsidy would be Rs 12,000 for employees
belonging to women, SC/ST and people with disability.

Similarly, for women, SC/ST and entrepreneurs with disability an
additional 10% subsidy will be given on taxes as against 50% to the
general category. Again 50% excemption from land tax has been given
for the first time in the state. Subsidy and excemption for micro,
small and medium enterprise in the notified area has been extended to
10 years compared to seven years for other categories under the new
scheme.

The policy states all kinds of investment are eligible for subsidy,
including self-finance, to motivate investors. The cheme also
simplifies the procedure for grant and disbursement of subsidy and
provides transparency in the system by introducing on-line
disbursement of subsidy.


[ZESTCaste] Haryana told to arrest all Dalit attack accused by Monday

2010-08-27 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://sify.com/news/haryana-told-to-arrest-all-dalit-attack-accused-by-monday-news-national-ki0ukojiecg.html

Haryana told to arrest all Dalit attack accused by Monday

2010-08-26 20:10:00


The Supreme Court Thursday slammed the Haryana government for its
failure to arrest all those who looted and burnt Dalit houses in
Mirchpur village in Hisar district April 21 and told it to arrest by
Monday all accused who are on the run.

If those responsible for committing atrocities could not be arrested
then what right does the director general of police have to continue
in office, asked an apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and
Justice A.K. Ganguly.


If Haryana police is incapable of arresting those wanted in the
Mirchpur case, 'then we will ask some paramilitary force to arrest
them', the court said.


The court also wanted to know what the chief secretary of the state
was doing. The court said that all those wanted in Mirchpur attack on
Dalits should be arrested by Monday.


The court said that all those who have committed the crime should be
brought before the law and be made to account for their sins.


It may be recalled that April 21 this year people from the dominant
caste attacked and burnt the houses of Valmiki community in Mirchpur
in which 70-year-old Tara Chand and his disabled daughter Suman were
burnt alive.


This led to an exodus of Dalits from the village.


Taking note of the failure of the government to rehabilitate the Dalit
victims, Justice Singhvi told the Advocate General of Haryana H.S.
Hooda: 'You do not allow them to live then should we direct the
neighbouring state to accommodate them.'


The court also took note of the fact that things have come to such a
pass that Dalit children of Mirchpur were not going to school.


Senior counsel Colin Gonsalves told the court that a 14-year-old Dalit
girl died of shock after she was scolded and humiliated in the school.


Directing the government to provide two quintal wheat to each of the
Dalit family in the village within seven days, the court asked the
state to furnish all the records in support of its claim that it had
given 65 people hundred days' employment under a central government
scheme.


Justice Singhvi told Haryana's advocate general that 'apart from legal
issues we are concerned with the humanitarian aspect of the plight of
the victims'.


Justice Singhvi further said that 'all the people who are uprooted
should be settled and protected. They should not live under threat'.


The court was told that 52 people involved in the Mirchpur incident
have been arrested and remaining would be arrested soon.


This prompted Justice Singhvi to ask if the remaining accused have
gone to Dubai or fled to other states in the country.


The court was also given a report by the advocates from the office of
the advocate general on Mirchpur incident. The court said that the
copies of the same should be given to all the parties in the case.


[ZESTCaste] SC slams Haryana for not arresting Hissar culprits

2010-08-27 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sc-slams-haryana-for-not-arresting-hissar-culprits/672567/

SC slams Haryana for not arresting Hissar culprits

Agencies Posted online: Thu Aug 26 2010, 19:09 hrs
New Delhi : The Supreme Court today directed the Haryana government to
make all possible efforts to arrest by September 10 those involved in
the murder of two Dalits and the destruction of 150 houses in Mirchpur
village, Hissar on April 21.
The violence was allegedly orchestrated by people belonging to the
upper castes.

The Court also slammed the Haryana government for its failure to
provide relief and rehabilitation measures to the affected families
and directed authorities to provide two quintal of wheat to each
affected family.

Some people are not being arrested. They should be arrested before
the next date of hearing, a Bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and
A K Ganguly said while posting the next date of hearing for September
10.

The apex court perused the over 100-page report submitted by the state
government in a sealed cover along with the fact-finding report
prepared by a team of lawyers representing the victims.

We have seen the report (of state government) which is contrary to
the report of the other side, the Bench said while expressing
dissatisfaction over the steps taken by the state government and
directed it to file a fresh affidavit.

The fact-finding report submitted by senior advocte Colin Gonsalves,
who is representing the victims, said the state government failed to
keep its promise of providing adequate relief and rehabilitation.

He said in the report it is clearly mentioned that the authorities
have not properly implemented the MNREGA.

Further, the dwelling houses for Dalits in the village are made of mud
and not cement, the report said adding even the district collector did
not visit the village, and instead, only met the victims at the
Valmiki Temple in the capital where they were given shelter.

The apex court had on June 2 warned that it would take a very serious
view if such incidents recurred.

Such incidents of killings are taking place for the last five years,
the Bench said during the hearing while expressing anguish that the
administration was not doing enough.

During the previous hearing, the court had pulled up the state for its
failure to prevent the incident -- reportedly a fallout of a dog of
the (Valmiki) Dalit community barking at upper caste Jat boys. A
paraplegic girl was burnt to death, trapped inside her burning home.
Her father, who tired to save her, later succumbed to injuries.

The apex court had recorded an undertaking from the Haryana government
that it would rebuild some of the houses damaged in the arson and
provide employment to at least one member of each affected family
under the MNREGA or other government-sponsored schemes by the next
hearing.


[ZESTCaste] Dalits take out procession, stage dharna in Bijapur

2010-08-27 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.hindu.com/2010/08/14/stories/2010081452250300.htm

Karnataka - Bijapur

Dalits take out procession, stage dharna in Bijapur

Staff Correspondent

IN PROTEST:Members of Karnataka Rajya Dalit Sangharsh Samiti staging a
dharna in Bijapur on Friday.

Bijapur: Members of the Bijapur district unit of the Karnataka Rajya
Dalit Sangharsh Samiti staged a dharna in front of the Deputy
Commissioner's office here on Friday urging the authorities to fulfil
their various demands, including a hostel for all eligible Dalit
students in the district.

The agitators took out a procession from Gandhi Chowk through the main
streets of the city to the Deputy Commissioner's office. They raised
slogans against the State Government and Chief Minister B.S.
Yeddyurappa for not fulfilling their demands even after their repeated
pleas.

The agitators demanded that the authorities concerned should take
steps to construct new hostel buildings in the district depending on
the increasing strength of Dalit students and provide them with
necessary facilities. The loans taken by Dalits from the Dr. B.R.
Ambedkar Development Corporation should be waived and all backlog
posts be filled in the State, they said.

The other demands of the agitators include providing permanent below
poverty line cards to all Dalits in the district, construction of Dr.
B.R. Ambedkar Bhavans in all Assembly constituencies, municipality
limits, city municipal council areas, town panchayats and gram
panchayats and handing over the illegal mining issue to the Central
Bureau of Investigation.

The agitators submitted a memorandum to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj through
Deputy Commissioner S.S. Pattanshetty. The agitation was led by
district convener Suresh Mannur, Harish Natikar, Ravut Talakeri and
Kamesh Bhajantri.


[ZESTCaste] It's mostly Dalits

2010-08-27 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.hindu.com/2010/08/22/stories/2010082253240400.htm

Karnataka - Bangalore

It's mostly Dalits

Special Correspondent

Bangalore: Karnataka State Human Rights Commission chairperson S.R.
Nayak was shocked by how strongly the factor of caste is linked to
destitution on Friday.

He asked the warden of a section at Beggars' Relief Centre, which had
108 people, what the caste composition was. he was told 94 of them
belonged to Scheduled Castes while 14 to Scheduled Tribes. He had
sought a report on caste-wise break up of the number of inmates at the
centre.


[ZESTCaste] Fwd: film on Narayan Surve on youtube

2010-08-27 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
-- Forwarded message --
From: Shiva Shankar sshan...@cmi.ac.in
Date: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 7:31 PM
Subject: film on Narayan Surve on youtube
To:



rediff NEWS

Well-known Marathi poet Narayan Surve, who passed away on Monday at
the age of 83, was a social activist who put the voice of Mumbai's
working class in Marathi literature.

Aisa Ga Mee Brahma (1962), is his first collection of poems followed
by Majhe Vidyapeeth, another collection that hit stands in 1966. His
poems described the world of urban population that lived in a metro
like Mumbai, who did whatsoever work they could lay their hands on to
eke out a living. He brought before the world the bitter truth of
those whose life was a mess in search of a mere morsel and also the
lives of toiling workers whose life was filled with the struggle to
make a living.

In his words, Bhakricha chandra shodhnyaatach jindagi barbaad (Wasted
a lifetime in search of the moon of a Bhaakri (flat bread). He is
mostly known for his poetry collection Majhe Vidyapeeth (My
University).

Born on October 15, 1926, Surve grew up in the streets of Mumbai and
raised by a mill worker. He had slept on the pavement and earned a
meagre livelihood by doing odd jobs. He taught himself to read and
write. Surve actively took part in the workers' union movement in
Mumbai and supported himself as a schoolteacher.

In 1998, Surve was honoured with Padma Shri for excellence in
Literature and Education. He received the prestigious Golden Lotus
Award for his poetry and Kabir Samman in 1999 from Madhya Pradesh
government. He was Convener of the Marathi Advisory Board of Sahitya
Akademi and had presided over Marathi Sahitya Sammelan at Parbhani in
1995.

Apart from Majhe Vidyapeeth, compilations of Surve's poems and essays
include Jahirnama, Aisa Ga Mi Brahma, Sanad, Manush Kalawant and Ani
Samaj.

Surve would describe his struggle in his early years as Kalu laagle
tevhaa paasun dabba gheun saachyaavar gelo, ghadavto lohaar
haatodyaalaa, tasaach ghadavlaa gelo (I went to the mill with my lunch
box since my childhood, just as a hammer is moulded by an ironsmith,
my life was shaped there among the mill workers).

Influenced by Marxism and comrades Dange and Mirajkar, Surve
proclaimed social revolution through his poems. He narrated the life
of a worker through his poems, using the colloquial language of
workers. His poems brought Marathi poetry out of the circle of the
middle class. He experimented with reading out his poems before an
audience in Maharashtra as well in the entire country. His poems
reached the pinnacle of popularity with all classes of the society.

He describes his own emotional world as, Kaamgaar Mee Aahe, Mee
Talpati Talwar (I am the worker, the flashing sword) Maazhe hi ek
swapna hote re, je malaa pure kartaa ale naahi, Rojchyaa damgirine
tevdhi usantach dili nahi, pan pudhche jag tuzhe aahe (I too had a
dream, my dear, which I could not fulfil, the everyday routine did not
leave me any leisure, but the world ahead is yours)

Without being backed by great wealth, high education or family
heritage, his intellect and high level of thinking as revealed through
his poems, is a miracle of his genius. Surve was awarded the Janasthan
Award by Kusumagraj Foundation in 2004. His Jahirnama, Sanad and
Navyaa Maansaache Aagman (The coming of the new man) were some of his
more popular works.
                       -

For those who did not know Narayan Surve, there is not much that one
can find on the web. I think the best publicly available documentation
of the poet's life is Narayan Gangaram Surve, a Marathi film by Arun
Khopkar. It had noted theatre/film actor Kishore Kadam playing the
poet, and had touching visualizations of his poetry. Apparently, this
was also the first Marathi film to win the national award for the best
film in Short film category.

Narayan Gangaram Surve : Part 1 (25 min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92Y6-xmNm3s

Narayan Gangaram Surve : Part 2 (20 min).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKkqURDOAD4

Surve grew up in the streets of Mumbai and was raised by a mill
worker. He did not have the privilege of going to school. Yet he
learnt to read and write, and wrote poetry on the life around him. He
passed away this Monday. Just like the mills and mill workers, just
like Bombay, the poet of Bombay has also faded away into the world
of memories.

K.S.Sudeep.


[ZESTCaste] Vedanta issue: A few disturbing questions

2010-08-27 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://business.rediff.com/slide-show/2010/aug/25/slide-show-1-a-few-disturbing-questions-in-the-vedanta-issue.htm

Vedanta issue: A few disturbing questions
Last updated on: August 25, 2010 20:24 IST

Nilmadhab Mohanty


The decision of Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam
Ramesh not to grant Stage II forest clearance to the proposal of the
Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) for bauxite mining in Niyamgiri in
Orissa has been welcomed in many circles, in particular by the
environmental activists, for the protection it will provide to an
ecologically sensitive area of the country and to the Kondh tribes
(and Dalits) living in the area.

There are, however a few disturbing questions that need to be answered
by the ministry in order to buttress the minister's claim that the
decision was an objective one with no prejudice or politics
influencing it.

First, the manner and time-line followed in the decision-making. The
Orissa state government seems to have applied for final clearance in
August 2009.

The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has been deliberating the proposal
at least since November 2009. In addition to the information submitted
by the State and the central government's own agencies, it had the
benefit of the recommendations made by a three-member expert group
which submitted its report in February 2010.

FAC then asks for yet another committee under the Ministry of Tribal
Affairs, which is the nodal agency in the central government for
tribal rights. The environment minister, however, appoints his own
committee (the Saxena Committee) in the last week of June 2010.

Then the pace quickens: The environment minister writes to the law
ministry on July 19 to obtain the Attorney General's opinion if the
ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) apply its mind and decide
in the light of the Supreme Court's earlier decision giving forest
clearance.


[ZESTCaste] Alleged casteist remarks by minister spark row in Orissa

2010-08-27 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/alleged-casteist-remarks-by-minister-spark-row-in-orissa/261172.html

Alleged casteist remarks by minister spark row in Orissa

PTI | 09:08 PM,Aug 25,2010
Bhubaneswar, Aug 25 (PTI) Alleged objectionable and casteist remark
made by Orissa Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout triggered a row today
with Congress as well as Scheduled Caste and Dalit leaders demanding
his immediate resignation.Chairman of State Congress Scheduled Caste
(SC) cell, Ripunath Seth told reporters here that Rout should resign
forthwith for making derogatory remarks about Jagatsinghpur MP Bibhu
Prasad Tarai, local MLA Bishnu Das and Additional District Magistrate
Upendranath Mallick.Rout, a senior leader of the ruling BJD, was
accused of making objectionable remarks at a public meeting in Kujang
in Jagatsinghpur district last week about these three and referring to
them as Harijans. If Rout fails to step down, he should be
dismissed as he has used derogatory remarks about leaders and a
government official by making casteist remarks despite holding a
constitutional post as Minister, Seth said.When contacted, Rout said
he has already expressed regrets for his remarks. What else can I do
now. I am sorry for the remarks made by me inadvertently, he said.A
case has also been registered against the minister in Kujang police
station under provisions of SC and ST (Prevention of atrocities) Act
and investigation launched into the matter, Deputy Superintendent of
Police (DSP) G D Pradhani said adding three separate complaints had
been lodged against Rout in this regard.Orissa State Scheduled Caste
and Scheduled Tribe Youth and Students' Council has also demanded
dismissal of Rout for his remarks, while Dalits staged a dharna in
Jagatsinghpur seeking his resignation.


[ZESTCaste] Grant for 200 more schools having 50% SC students

2010-08-26 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Grant-for-200-more-schools-having-50--SC-students/664105

Grant for 200 more schools having 50% SC students

In pursuance of its Dalit agenda, the Uttar Pradesh government has
undertaken an exercise to select 200 private management-run primary
schools with an enrollment of 50 per cent SC students for giving each
of them annual financial assistance of Rs 6 lakh.


The financial assistance will be considered for those schools that are
recognised and exist for over a decade, said officials.


Sources in the government said 578 schools in the state fulfilling the
condition of 50 per cent enrollment of SC students are already given
grants by the Social Welfare Department depending.


“The state government spends about Rs 40 crore annually on schools
which are required to enrol 50 per cent SC students,” an official
said.


Earlier, in 2006, Mulayam government had decided not to give such
grants to any more schools.


To select schools for this new scheme, the state government has asked
district magistrates to complete the formalities at the earliest. A
three-member committee, headed by the district magistrate, and
including the district basic education officer and the social welfare
officer, will advertise the scheme in every district and invite
proposals within a month.


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“Besides having permanent recognition for past 10 years, the selected
school must possess own land and building. It must have at least five
teachers and 200 students. The teachers must have been be appointed as
per the existing reservation system. The society running the school
must be registered,” said an official.


The government has also undertaken an exercise to verify the status of
578 non-government schools already receiving government grant. Sources
said the feedback the government has received about these schools is
not very good.


“In a recent inspection of 12 such schools in Lucknow district, it was
found that none of them fulfilled the preconditions stipulated by the
state government for getting grants. It is possible there are many
such schools in other parts of the state,” said an official.


Principal Secretary (Social Welfare) Balwinder Kumar said these 578
schools are under watch. “I have asked the Director of Social Welfare
to get these schools inspected,” he said.





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[ZESTCaste] Nepal: First Dalit Sagarmatha expedition campaign ends

2010-08-26 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=First+Dalit+Sagarmatha+expedition+campaign+ends+NewsID=255000

First Dalit Sagarmatha expedition campaign ends

Added At:  2010-08-24 10:41 AM
   Last Updated At: 2010-08-24 10:41 AM
The Himalayan Times - Saved Articles(s)



KATHMANDU: Preparations for the first Dalit Sagarmatha Expedition
campaign have been completed.

The expedition is led by Climbers Club Nepal and is being organised to
mark the Visit Nepal Year 2011.

The Club President Dagombu Sherpa had successful organised the
inclusive women Sagarmatha expedition in 2008.

Youths from the Dalit community with sports background and physically
and mentally strong have been targeted and training on mountaineering
shall be organised for them, the Club has said.

The entire campaign is expected to cost around Rs. 30 million.

Speaking at a program organised to shed light on the campaign here on
Monday, Chairperson of National Dalit Commission, Bijul Kumar
Biswakarma, CA member Santoshi Biswakarma and Vice-Chair of the
National Committee for the upliftment of the Depressed, the Oppressed
and the Dalit Community, DB Pariyar were of the view that the
expedition campaign to the world's highest mountain would give a very
positive message to draw the attention of the world towards the plight
of the Dalits in Nepal, and called for cooperation of all sides
concerning in making the campaign a success.


[ZESTCaste] Justice, at last

2010-08-26 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.frontline.in/stories/20100910271803400.htm

THE STATES/HARYANA

Justice, at last

T.K. RAJALAKSHMI

Seven persons have been awarded life imprisonment in the Dulina Dalit
lynching case, but the battle for justice may not be over.

MANOJ DHAKA

Some of those convicted, outside the court.

THE long wait for justice by the families of the five Dalit youth who
were lynched on October 15, 2002, at the police post in Dulina village
in Jhajjar district of Haryana is finally over. On August 9, a
district court awarded life imprisonment to seven convicts in the
case.

The Dalits were taken to the police post by a group of people who
accused them of slaughtering a cow on Dasara day. The crowd soon
swelled into a murderous mob and it beat them up in the presence of
senior police officers and officials of the district administration.
The police personnel did not fire a single shot to disperse the
assailants ( Frontline, January 18, 2003).

The case should have been long settled as the crime happened in front
of law-enforcers. But because of the caste identities of the victims
and the perpetrators of the crime, it was clear that the road to
justice was going to be a long one. The State government set up a
commission headed by R.R. Banswal, the then Commissioner of Rohtak
range, to inquire into the circumstances that led to the incident. The
commission report, submitted in December 2002, summed up the sequence
of events and castigated the police. It concluded that the five Dalits
were murdered at the police post. The exhaustive, 383-page report
recommended action against the police officials concerned for
dereliction of duty.

According to Jhajjar District Special Judge A.K. Jain, the crime was
“well planned and premeditated”. A total of 30 persons were accused
initially in the lynching case. On August 7, the court found seven of
them guilty under Sections 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapons),
449 (house trespass in order to commit offence), 332 (voluntarily
causing hurt), 353 (assault or criminal force), 302 (punishment for
murder) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence
committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code.
On August 9, the court awarded life imprisonment to them and imposed
on them a fine of Rs.20,000 under Section 302. The accused were also
awarded rigorous imprisonment (RI) for two years under Section 148;
seven years' RI and a fine of Rs.5,000 under Section 449; two years'
RI under Section 332; and two years' RI under Section 353. All
sentences will run concurrently. However, they were acquitted under
relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The court acquitted the rest of the
accused.

On the basis of the evidence on record, the judge noted in his order
that the seven accused (six Jats and one Dalit) – Ranbir, Om Parkash,
Satbir, Ramesh, Shishupal, Jagbir and Sube – dragged the five people
out after breaking open the door of the police lockup, killed them on
the spot and threw the bodies of two into a fire. The order, however,
noted that there was no cogent evidence to prove that the accused set
on fire any building or hut or that the crime in question was
motivated by the caste of the victims. The order said: “On the
contrary, it is apparent that the accused were not even aware of the
caste of the victims…. In this background, no offence is made out
under the S.C. and S.T. (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against the
accused.”

On the day the judgment was pronounced, a huge crowd gathered outside
the Jhajjar court in support of the accused, reminiscent of the huge
mobilisation on October 16, 2002, to put pressure on the
administration against their arrest. Not a word was uttered in support
of the massacre victims either then or now. Slogans were raised in
support of the cow. According to the report of the then Deputy
Commissioner, Jhajjar, various social and religious organisations
conducted meetings and took out processions through the bazaars of
Jhajjar town and submitted memoranda to the authorities demanding that
no action be taken against the people who had killed the “cow
slaughterers”.

The mood on August 7 was no less different. All shops in Jhajjar town
downed their shutters protesting against the sentence. At a meeting
held in support of those found guilty, the Jhajjar Gurukul Pradhan
Vijaypal and Haryana Gaushala Sangh president, Acharya Baldev, gave a
call to protect the cow. On August 10, the Jhajjar Gaushala organised
a panchayat to decide a future course of action. It was decided to
hold a bigger meeting in which representatives of khaps, gurukuls and
gaushalas were expected to participate.

At least two of the seven convicts had connections with the Shiv Sena
or the Bharatiya Janta Party. One of them is a former municipal
councillor and president of the district unit of the Shiv Sena. The
other, the pradhan of the Jhajjar Gaushala and a former member of the
BJP, is now associated 

[ZESTCaste] Fwd: Online Exhibition on Kandamal by Dalit Artists

2010-08-26 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
-- Forwarded message --
From: Anivar Aravind ani...@movingrepublic.org
Date: 16 August 2010 12:57
Subject: [Reader-list] Online Exhibition on Kandamal by Dalit Artists
To: Reader List reader-l...@sarai.net, foil foi...@insaf.net,
in-kera...@googlegroups.com, Invites invi...@yahoogroups.com


Dear friends,

Perhaps you are aware that even after two years, the Christian adivasi and
dalit survivors of the Kandhamal
http://orissaconcerns.net/kandhamalviolence are still struggling for
justice.

Thousands of people cannot go back to their own lands and many are still
living in tents in Kandhamal. Education of  children is disrupted and their
trauma is still continuing. The culprits of communal violence are getting
acquitted without any punishment from the courts.

In this context, the National Solidarity
Forumhttp://www.nationalsolidarityforum.org/,
a coalition of over 50 organisations from different parts of the country
have given a call for protests, public meetings or any other civil society
action on August 25, 2010  as `Kandhamal
Dayhttp://orissaconcerns.net/2010/08/kandhamal-day/'.
Since the attacks on Christians have taken place in over 10 states in India,
the local issues may also be taken up along with the event.

As part of the  call for
protesthttp://orissaconcerns.net/2010/08/kandhamal-day/on August
25th two dalit artists, Shashi Memuri and Venkatesh  have
completed a series of paintings and sketches for an exhibition on the
situation in Kandhamal after visiting more than 50 villages in the area
recently. These can be downloaded from the http://orissaconcerns.net and
print outs can be taken in A/3 size.

We request all secular groups and organizations to make use of this
exhibition before, during or after Kandhamal
Dayhttp://orissaconcerns.net/2010/08/kandhamal-day/,
in colleges, schools, institutions and public places. If the exhibition is
organized in your area before  Kandhamal Day it may also be contribute to
the public action on August 25th.

We plan to cover your solidarity actions/protest reports and news in
OrissaConcerns.net. Please send reports and photographs of your actions to
ani...@movingrepublic.org and nptkandha...@gmail.com so that other groups
will also be informed and inspired by your action.

Download Posters From Here
http://orissaconcerns.net/2010/08/kandhamal-exhibition/

Tune http://orissaconcerns.net/kandhamal for Updates from Kandhamal  from
Peoples Tribunal happening in Delhi
Details about National People’s Tribunal on Kandhamal, 22-24 August 2010
http://orissaconcerns.net/2010/08/national-people%E2%80%99s-tribunal-on-kandhamal-22-24-august-2010/

In Solidarity

Dhirendra Panda
Coordinator
National Solidarity Forum

Anivar Aravind (Editor , OrissaConcerns.net)
Moving Republic

--
[It is not] possible to distinguish between 'numerical' and 'nonnumerical'
algorithms, as if numbers were somehow different from other kinds of precise
information. - Donald Knuth



--
[It is not] possible to distinguish between 'numerical' and 'nonnumerical'
algorithms, as if numbers were somehow different from other kinds of precise
information. - Donald Knuth
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To subscribe: send an email to reader-list-requ...@sarai.net with
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[ZESTCaste] Dalit woman beaten to death in Aurangabad district

2010-08-26 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/dalit-woman-beaten-to-death-in-aurangabad-district/257582.html

Dalit woman beaten to death in Aurangabad district
PTI
Aurangabad(Bihar), Aug 24 (PTI) A 40-year-old dalit woman was today
beaten to death by some people, suspecting her to be a witch at Belai
village in Aurangabad district, police sources said. The deceased,
identified as Binda Devi was beaten with lathis till she breathed her
last, the sources said. An FIR has been registered at the local police
station against several people, four of them by their name, in
connection with the brutal killing of the dalit woman, they said. Her
body has been sent for post-mortem, they added.PTI CORR KDK RG


[ZESTCaste] FIRs against minister for anti-dalit remarks

2010-08-26 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/FIRs-against-minister-for-anti-dalit-remarks/articleshow/6429476.cms

FIRs against minister for anti-dalit remarks

TNN, Aug 25, 2010, 03.29am IST

KENDRAPARA: Agriculture minister Damodar Rout will be interrogated for
the anti-dalit remarks he allegedly made last week.

We will soon interrogate the minister after two dalit leaders filed
FIRs against him with Kujang (Jagatsinghpur) police. After examining
the contents of the FIRs, police filed case against the minister on
Monday under Section-3 of SC and ST (Atrocity Prevention) Act, 1989.
Police are also examining the videotape of the statement made by the
minister at a public meeting, sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of
Paradip Santun Das said.

Last Wednesday, Rout had allegedly levelled Jagatsinghpur MP and CPI
leader Bibhu Prasad Tarei, Jagatsinghpur MLA and former minister
Bishnu Das and additional district magistrate Upendra Mallick as
Harijans, who hatched a conspiracy against him.


[ZESTCaste] The caste factor

2010-08-26 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.frontline.in/stories/20100910271810500.htm

CENSUS 2011

The caste factor

VIKHAR AHMED SAYEED
in Bangalore

A conference on caste-based enumeration comes up with valid arguments
in support of the exercise.

RAJEEV BHATT

DIGVIJAY SINGH, AICC general secretary, and D. Raja, CPI national
secretary, at the release of Caste Census: Towards an Inclusive
India, in New Delhi on August 5.

THE inclusion of caste in Census 2011 has been a vexed question for
the polity. The uncertainty over the issue has now come to an end with
the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Caste Census giving its consent for
the exercise. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who led the GoM,
announced in the Lok Sabha on August 12 that only the modalities
remained to be sorted out.

In the past few months, caste-based enumeration has been the subject
of opinion columns of newspapers, talk shows on television and
discussions on the Internet. A conference on “Caste Census: Towards an
Inclusive India”, held on July 23 at the Centre for the Study of
Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP) of the National Law
School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, provided another forum
to discuss the issue at length. The participants consisted of a
multidisciplinary academic group involved in research on caste and
public policy.

Justice M.N. Rao, Chairperson of the National Commission for Backward
Classes; Dr M. Vijayanunni, former Registrar General and Census
Commissioner of India; Prof. Sukhdeo Thorat, Chairperson of the
University Grants Commission; and Prof. S. Japhet, Director, CSSEIP,
NLSIU, were among the distinguished personalities who participated in
the conference. The group generally was of the opinion that
caste-based enumeration was unavoidable in the Indian context.

However, in a letter to the GoM (published in the Opinion Column of
The Hindu dated August 14), the participants of the conference
objected to its recommendation to conduct caste enumeration at the
biometric data capture stage. Saying that outside agencies are likely
to be involved at this stage, they argued strongly that The Census of
India (or the Office of the Registrar General of India) “is the only
competent agency in the country with the necessary expertise and
experience to undertake this gigantic task”.

History of caste census

The last time an Indian census included caste data was in 1931.
According to Vijayanunni, caste data were collected in 1941 as well,
but their tabulation was dropped as a money-saving measure during the
Second World War. Several historians have argued that the inclusion of
caste in the Indian census by the British was an anthropological
exercise to learn about the colonised. In his well-known book Imagined
Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism,
Benedict Anderson has said that the ‘census', the ‘map' and the
‘museum' were ways in which the colonialists learnt about the
colonised. Some historians say that the manner in which caste and
religious data were collected rigidified the otherwise nebulous caste
and religious identities in South Asia.

The 1871 census (the first census exercise in British India) shows how
the colonial census operations categorised certain castes as superior,
intermediate, trading, pastoral, and so on (Memorandum on the Census
of British India 1871-72, page 21, available on the website of La
Trobe University). This clearly legitimised certain caste notions of
superiority and inferiority by the state itself.

Census 1901 reveals an interesting feature: a fall in the number of
‘lower castes' compared with past censuses. This was because of a
severe famine in the 1890s. The census report states: “The diminution
in the lower groups is doubtless due to the excessive mortality of
1897 when the administration had to face, and admittedly failed to
solve, the difficult problem of forcing relief upon people who were
reluctant to accept it until they had been reduced to a state of
debility which could end only in death.” This is an example of how
caste enumeration can be useful; the 1901 census helped identify which
castes were affected most severely by the famine.

Idea of a casteless society

When India became a republic and adopted its Constitution in 1950, it
was recognised that the nation needed to move towards a casteless
society. But the very fact of ‘untouchability' being accepted as a
reality in the Constitution implied that caste was pervasive in
society. The issue came up for a vociferous debate in the Constituent
Assembly. Several members argued that untouchability could be
abolished only if the caste system was done away with.

Promatha Ranjan Thakur, a member of the Constituent Assembly from
Bengal, said on April 29, 1947: “I do not understand how you can
abolish untouchability without abolishing the very caste system.
Untouchability is nothing but the symptom of the disease, namely, the
caste system. It exists as a matter of caste system. I do not
understand how this, in its 

[ZESTCaste] Take measures to avoid Khairlanji-like incidents in future: Ashok Chavan

2010-08-25 Thread Siddhartha Kumar
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_take-measures-to-avoid-khairlanji-like-incidents-in-future-ashok-chavan_1427744

Take measures to avoid Khairlanji-like incidents in future: Ashok Chavan

Published: Monday, Aug 23, 2010, 21:21 IST
Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI

Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan today said that an independent
institution like Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) should be
asked to study the root cause of social tensions and suggest remedies
to avoid incidents like dalit killings in Khairlanji in future.

Chavan had convened a meeting to discuss the Khairlanji issue and
incidents of injustice meted out to scheduled caste citizens.

He said that the CBI which investigated the case of the murders of
four members of a Dalit family in Khairlanji, has decided to appeal
against the high court judgment of converting the death sentence of
the six accused to 25 years imprisonment, in the Supreme Court.

The chief minister also stressed the need to examine how the state
government can successfully put forth its stand in the apex court.

He felt the need of the hour was to understand the reasons behind
atrocities on dalits and find lasting solutions.


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