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Posts Tagged ‘Anti-Dalit’

 

In South Asia’s caste system, a Dalit (Hindi: ????) — formerly known as untouchable or achuta — is a person outside of the four Varnas, and considered below of all and polluting. Dalits include people as leather-workers, scavengers, tanners, flayers, cobblers, agricultural labourers, municipal cleaners, gymnasts, drum beaters, folk musicians and street handicraft persons. Like upper castes, Dalit are also divided into various sub-castes or jatis.

NON-DALIT MEANING OF WORD DALIT

Word Dalit has been defined differently by different people. Normally non-Dalit writers and intellectuals have invented its root in Sanskrit and considered its meaning as broken, crack, split and as adjective they have given this word the meanings of burst, split, broken or torn asunder, downtrodden, scattered, crushed, destroyed etc.

DALIT MEANING OF THE WORD DALIT

But for Dalits meaning of this word is qualitatively different. The word was popularised by the Dalit Panther Movement, when they adopted this term as an act of confident assertion, rejecting Mahatama Gandhi’s nomenclature of Harijan, children of God.  Dalit Panthers defined this word in their 1972 manifesto as: “A member of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, neo-Buddhist, the working-people, the land-less and poor peasants, women, and all those who are being exploited politically, economically, and in the name of religion.” Noted Dalit Laureate Gangadhar Pantawane wrote: “Dalit is not a caste, Dalit is a symbol of change and revolution. The Dalit believes in humanism. He rejects existence of god, rebirth, soul, sacred books that teach discrimination, fate, and heaven because these make him a slave.” While the informed Dalit tend to agree that the ancient beliefs of Hinduism (Brahmanism) are the root cause of their sufferings, most accept a narrower view of membership than the above definitions suggest. Both Dalit and non-Dalit Indians see the term relating only to the Scheduled Castes (the untouchables of the past) and the Scheduled Tribes (the adivasis or the indigenous people of India).

SCHEDULED CASTES

According to the 2001 Census, the Scheduled Castes population in India is 166,635,700 persons, constituting 16.2 per cent of the country’s total population. Being rural people, four fifth (79.8 per cent) of them live in rural areas and rest one-fifth (20.2 per cent) live in urban areas. The sex ratio of 936 females per thousand males is slightly higher than national average of 933 sex ratios.

The highest percentage of Scheduled Castes population to the total Scheduled Castes population of the country live in Uttar Pradesh (21.1 per cent) followed by West Bengal (11.1 per cent) and Bihar (7.8 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (7.4 percent) and Tamil Nadu (7.1.percent). In fact, more than 57 per cent of total Scheduled Castes population inhabit in these five States. Proportionately, the largest proportion of population of the Scheduled Castes to total population of the State is in Punjab (28.9 per cent), followed by Himachal Pradesh (24.7 per cent) and West Bengal (23 percent). In Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Pondicherry proportion of SCs population is exactly equal to the National average of 16.2 per cent. The smallest concentration of the Scheduled Castes population is in the North-Eastern tribal States such as Mizoram (with negligible or only 272 persons) followed by Meghalaya (0.5 per cent) and Arunachal Pradesh (0.6 per cent).

As per the 2001 Census, there are 22 districts where the Scheduled Castes population is 30 per cent or more. In majority of the districts (i.e., 273 districts) the concentration of SCs population to the total population is between 10 to 20 per cent. In Nagaland, Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, no Scheduled Caste is notified.

SCHEDULED TRIBES

According to the 2001 Census, the total population of the Scheduled Tribes in India is 84,326,240 persons, constituting 8.2 per cent of the total population of the country. 91.7 per cent of them lives in rural areas, whereas, only 8.3 per cent inhabit in urban areas. The sex ratio of Scheduled Tribes population at 978 females per thousand males is higher than that of the total population of the country as well as that of Scheduled Castes.

Madhya Pradesh accounts for the highest percentage of Scheduled Tribes population to total STs population of the country (14.5 percent) followed by Maharashtra (10.2 per cent), Orissa (9.7 per cent), Gujarat (8.9 per cent), Rajasthan (8.4 per cent), Jharkhand (8.4 per cent) and Chhattisgarh (7.8 per cent). In fact, 68 per cent of the country’s Scheduled Tribes population lives in these seven States only. The proportion of the Scheduled Tribes to the total population of the States/Union territories is highest in Mizoram (94.5 %) and Lakshadweep (94.5 %) followed by Nagaland (89.1 %), Meghalaya (85.9 %). Within the major states Chhattisgarh (31.8%) has the highest percentage of Scheduled Tribes population followed by Jharkhand (26.3%) and Orissa(22.1%). These proportions are in the lowest in Uttar Pradesh (0.1 %), Bihar (0.9 %), Tamil Nadu (1.0 %) and Kerala (1.1%).

As per the 2001 Census, there are 75 districts where Scheduled Tribes population is 50 per cent or more as per the 2001 Census. In majority of the districts (i.e., 403 districts), the concentration of Scheduled Tribes population to its total population is less than 20 percent.

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Save India Front (SIF) declared war against communalism in today’s mammoth rally at Ramlila Ground, New Delhi. The Dalits and Muslims participated overwhelmingly in addition to people from all walks of life. The magnitude of participation has established beyond all doubt that now common people of the country have got new hope from the S.I.F. to save country from the clutches of Hindutva forces.

 

Maulana Asad Madani, President of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, said that the Sangh Pariwar is continuously spreading slander against Madarasas without evidence whereas the Institutions and schools run by them like Shishu Mandir are the bases of spreading slander against Dalits, Muslims and backwards. Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind was a political outfit before independence but subsequently it became a social-cultural organisation. It will still be non political but the way the things are moving, wehave to think of political power. State power has become extremely necessary to cater to the interest of Muslims in particular and to strengthen the cause of nation.

 

The convenor of the S.I.F. Udit Raj (Ram Raj) – Chairman of All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations said that Gujarat incidents apparently look like conflict between Hinduism and Islam but it is nothing more than a game of power. If today’s hatred, violence, and abhorrence against Muslims in Gujarat is due to religion then why Dalits and backwards have been subject of same or more discrimination for centuries despite being Hindus. After independence, Christian Missionary Schools and Institutions were well respected but when Sonia Gandhi took over the command of the dying Congress, the Sangh Pariwar started attacking Christians so that Sonia Gandhi, being President of the main opposition party, would react and the BJP get an opportunity to brand her as an Italian Christian. The Hindutva forces are against common people and that is why they are privatising and selling Govt. assets in the hands of multinational companies so that job opportunities for common people and reservation for Dalits are finished. They are against modernization, freedom, quest and dignity of individual. The present constitution is in danger. The behaviour of the higher judiciary is in tune with Hindutva forces and hence representation of Dalits, Muslims and backwards in this institution only can give justice to them. Mr. Udit Raj further appealed to Muslims and Christians not to enter into any dialogue with RSS as a representative of Hindu community because supporters of Laloo Yadav, Mulayam Singh and SC/ST Confederation and like forces had not delegated jurisdiction to them to articulate anything on their behalf. They are representing a microscopic number of people. The BSP is silent on all life and death issues concerning Dalits like reservation, constitution and privatisation. It has betrayed the cause of Dalits and now entered into an alliance with Hindutva forces which are against minorities and humanity.

 

Mr. Udit Raj said that we never thought of politics because other dalit leaders were there to take care of the interests of dalits. But betrayal by BSP and unreliability by Ram Vilas Paswan have compelled us to think and finally help in creating political platform which can protect the interest of dalits in particular and rest of the society.

 

The convenor of SIF Maulana Mahmood Madani- General Secretary of Jamiat-Ulama-E-Hind said that whatever happened and is happening in Gujarat and elsewhere are not only the concern of Muslims but of every civilized citizen of this country. Jamiat-Ulama-E-Hind had fought against divisive forces before independence and vows to fight in future also. For political gains, Sangh Pariwar and Narender Modi’s Govt. in Gujarat are murdering, raping, destroying property and terrorising Muslims. They are trying to send the message across that Muslims are outsiders but at least they were here before Aryans, and got converted into Islam just to escape from the tyranny of caste system. Even Political parties in opposition are not effective to fight communalism because they are afraid of losing Hindu votes.

 

The Rashtriya Pracharak of Lord Buddha Club Bhante Buddha Priya Rahul said that Dalits and Buddhists should realise that only Sangh Pariwar created hindrances when about a million Dalits were going to assemble at Ramlila Maidan on November 4, 2001 for conversion to Buddhism. Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan resigned after two months of barbaric onslaughts on Muslims in Gujarat. If he was sincere, he would have resigned at the outset itself. Since BSP has joined BJP, therefore, the likelihood of his ouster was the only consideration for resignation and not the interest of minorities and the country.

 

Mr. Sam Paul, leader of All India Christian Council, said that Hindutva forces are against choice and freedom of religion which is contrary to the constitution. Every body must have the right to choose his own faith. The NDA allies like T.D.P., J.D.(U), T.M.C. etc. are not different from BJP. On the one hand they are asking for resignation of Modi and on the other hand they are supporting Vajpayee Govt. in the house; they should stop befooling the people of the country. The following resolutions were moved and passed unanimously at the rally :

 

1. Stop killing, murder, rape, house burning, and destruction of property of Muslims and Dalits in Gujarat. The riot victims must be adequately compensated and resettled immediately. Mr. Narender Modi should be removed with immediate effect and be tried under criminal proceedings. National Human Right Commission, National Commission for Minorities, European Union and Intellectuals of this country have given clear findings that the Gujarat Government machinery under the leadership of Mr. Narender Modi is mainly responsible for ghastly, barbaric and inhuman acts.

 

2. The Indian Constitution created by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar shall not be changed and any sinister move by Sangh Pariwar to do so will be rebuffed and opposed. The rights of Dalits enshrined in the constitution like reservation, education and employment must be implemented in letter and spirit. The Anti Reservation orders issued by the Deptt. of Personnel and Training should be withdrawn and Reservation Act enacted and put in the 9th schedule of the Constitution so that judicial interference is stopped.

 

3. Indian Constitution guaranteed rights to minorities to maintain their own culture, language and religion but Sangh Parivar and BJP are maligning Madarasas that they are harbouring undesired elements without any clinching evidence, even the Home Minister has endorsed this view in the House. Indian state does not have enough educational infrastructure to educate the poor, Muslims and Dalits and if in such a situation, Madarasas are educating Muslims, what is the harm ? Yes, one harm is there as per Hindutva forces that they are imparting education, ethics, culture to the Muslims and without them it would not have been possible to educate them. Who does not know the contribution of Darul Ulema, Deoband which produced fleet of freedom fighters.

 

4. The Hindutva propaganda has created confusion that the Muslims are pampered at the cost of Hindus just to create hatred against them. At the time of independence, their participation in administration was about 35% which has now come down to less than 2%. According to Census, the Muslim population in the country is 12% but their participation in Parliament, Assemblies, Panchayats, education, Army, Police and other important fields is about 1%. Hence the rally demands the participation of Muslims in every field according to population ratio.

 

5. Dalits have been discriminated in this country for about 3000 years and if they have to be brought into the mainstream of the country, reservation in Private Sector, Higher Judiciary and Army is to be extended to them. The BJP Government is in a hurry to privatize Govt Deptts. & Public Sector Undertakings just to finish reservation and sell out the economy of the country.

 

6. The rally resolved that RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and other like forces should be immediately banned. It is RSS outfit only which killed Gandhiji, destroyed Babri Mosque and is hatching conspiracy against Dalits, Christians, Muslims, Educationalists, Journalists and all those who believe in reason and justice. Several commissions have indicted RSS for creating communal outbreak and hatred in almost all incidents. They are openly distributing spears, knives and other weapons. They are the source of terrorism and hence they should be banned.

 

7. The rally resolved that victims of riots should be immediately compensated and rehabilitated. The officers responsible for riots should be exclusively tried under criminal proceedings. The Save India Front appeals to the Congress particularly that wherever they are in power, special law may enacted to give a speedy relief to riot victims. In the given situation, the Army and Police have been communalised and therefore, recruitment of Dalits and Muslims in the forces has become extremely necessary to curb the riots. The POTA is like blind law which can be misused against Poor, Minorities and Dalits and therefore, it must be done away with. The experience of TADA is very horrifying and mostly poor were the victims.

 

The Save India Front vows that it will continue its struggle till divisive and communal forces are overthrown. It will plan rallies like today in all capitals of all the states and subsequently Districts and Town levels.

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