Dalits In News 04.07.07
NATIONAL CAMPAIGN ON DALIT HUMAN RIGHTS is an Advocacy Platform committed for Dalit Human Rights at the Grass root, National and International levels. Dalits In News aims at sensitizing Civil societies, HR Mechanisms and providing updates of HR violations on Dalits for their Intervention.
NATIONAL CAMPAIGN ON DALIT HUMAN RIGHTS
Dalits In News
July 04, 2007
PIL challenging nexus between politicians, Ranvir Sena disposed of- Zee News
Probe ordered into Dalits Police clash- Chennai On Line
SC/ST panel notice to Collector, SP- The Hindu http://www.indiapress.org/gen/news.php/The_Hindu/400x60/0
A Delhi publisher is challenging the way people accept a racist caste system- Asia Media http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=73007
Social engineering Maya style: Sena, NCP reach out to Dalits
Tuesday July 3, 02:37 AM
Taking a cue from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, whose social engineering brought success in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party, and the state unit of Mayawati's own Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are reaching out to Dalits and other backward groups. Their eye is on the next Assembly elections.
The Shiv Sena on June 7 took over a pro-Dalit newspaper, acquired through its supporters. The Vishwa Samrat, published from Mumbai, is one of the four major Dalit Marathi newspapers. It was launched seven months ago and has a circulation of about 12,000. It carries stories of interest to Dalits, government notices on jobs, government announcements, and matrimonial columns for Dalits.
After the takeover, it has also started giving prominence to Sena leaders like Ramdas Kadam and Uddhav Thackeray. The Sena, which has a few Dalit leaders, like Namdeo Dhasal and Tansen Nanavare, wants to expand its base among the Dalits and hopes to wrest power from the Congress-NCP combine without support from its saffron partner BJP.
"We found that Dalits don't read our mouthpiece Samna, so there was a need to reach out to them," a senior Sena functionary said. "Through Vishva Samrat we are planning to reach the Buddhists, most of whom read the blue papers - blue in the sense that the flag of the RPI is blue. We are confident that through this newspaper we would be able to sink the differences and clear misunderstandings about the Sena. The paper will help us in realising our dream of forming a Shivshakti-Bhimshakti force in Maharashtra."
The NCP has launched a new social outfit - the Dalit, Muslim, OBC Manch - and its first meeting was held on June 24. "The Manch will be an open forum for these communities and we'll involve non-political people in it," said Munaf Hakim, general-secretary of NCP's state unit. "The Manch has two objectives - to ensure that more people turn out to cast their votes and to prepare people mentally to either retain their MLA or change him."
Meanwhile, the state unit of BSP is focussing its Vijay Raths, that are doing the rounds of Dalit localities and trying to woo those fed up with the factionalism in the RPI.
PIL challenging nexus between politicians,
Ranvir Sena disposed of
Patna, July 02: The Patna High Court on Monday ordered the Bihar government to take an appropriate decision as to whether the Justice Amir Das commission should be revived or a fresh commission constituted.
The commission was set up to probe the alleged nexus between politicians and a private militia of landlords, Ranvir Sena, which was responsible for the 1996 Lakshmanpur Bathe killing of 61 Dalits in Jehanabad district.
A division bench comprising Justice J N Bhatt and Justice S K Sinha disposed off a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the NDA government's decision rescinding the commission.
The bench directed the High Court's registry to make available to the state government all the documents of the commission submitted to it with respect to the probe carried out by the commission headed by retired Justice Amir Das.
The court had on October 12, 2006 ordered the commission to submit the documents pertaining to the probe to its registry which was complied with by the judicial panel.
Earlier, appearing on behalf of the state government, Advocate General P K Sahi argued that it would be better if the documents submitted by the commission to the court was made available to the state for taking a view on the matter.
Several social activists, including Ramji Prasad, Ravibhushan Prasad Verma and Vinayak Vakeel had in 2006 described the NDA government decision to scrap the commission as "arbitrary and politically-motivated".
They had urged the court to either revive the commission or constitute a fresh panel to probe alleged nexus between politicians and Ranvir Sena which had killed 61 Dalits in Lakshmanpur Bathe in Jehanabad in December 1996.
The petitioners had alleged that the state government's decision was "a well-hatched conspiracy to save the skin of some of the leaders in the ruling JD(U)-BJP coalition charged with patronising the Ranvir Sena men".
Soon after the Lakshmanpur Bathe carnage, the erstwhile Lalu Prasad government had constituted the commission to probe alleged nexus between politicians and the Ranvir Sena.
The commission had failed to submit its report to the state government although its term was extended several times in a row and the then Governor Buta Singh had decided to wind up the panel when the state was under President's rule in 2005.
In adherence to the decision taken during President's rule, the NDA government scrapped the commission in 2006 when it came to power.
Chennai On Line
Probe ordered into Dalits Police clash http://www.chennaionline.com/colnews/newsitem.asp?NEWSID=%7B1848D9BB-F464-4880-819B-47C8A525805A%7D&CATEGORYNAME=TAMNA
Nagapattinam, July 3: An inquiry was ordered into the June 28 clash between Police and Dalits in Apparasapuram Village in Tarangambadi taluk by District Collector Tenkasi S Jawahar today.
In an official release, the Collector said he had also ordered the transfer of Tarangambadi Tahsildar Balakrishnan.
The clash errupted when police attempted to evict Dalits who had allegedly encroached a temple land.
The inquiry had been ordered under the Police Standing Order of 151.
SC/ST panel notice to Collector, SP http://www.indiapress.org/gen/news.php/The_Hindu/400x60/0
TIRUPATI: The Andhra Pradesh State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has asked Chittoor district Collector and the Superintendent of Police to look into the alleged high-handedness of the police on Dalits and women who were participating in the Bhoo Poratam, currently underway in the State under the leadership of the Left parties. The panel's notice to them comes in the wake of a complaint lodged in this regard with it by district secretary of the CPI(M) K. Murali. Special Correspondent
Bringing India's castes to book
A Delhi publisher is challenging the way people accept a racist caste system
Saturday, June 30, 2007
By Amrit Dhillon
As a child growing up in south India, S. Anand knew only the rigidly orthodox world of Tamil Brahmins (known as "Tam Bams"). His grandmother imposed strict caste rules: non-Brahmins were not allowed in the kitchen or at the dining table and they could not to use the same dishes as the family.
"I was like a frog in a well. I knew nothing outside my community. I did not mix with other castes. My grandmother wanted me to take my own plate to the dining hall at university because non-Brahmin meat eatersm might have eaten off the same plate!" he says, in his office in Saket, a Delhi suburb.
Later, as a journalist, Mr Anand, 33, was struck by media indifference towards the massacres of low caste Indians -- known as "dalits", formerly called "untouchables".
His fellow journalists, on hearing about dalit women being paraded naked through villages before being raped and burnt -- would merely shrug as though to say "what's new?" If reported at all, the killings usually ended up as news in brief.
Now, Mr Anand is India's only publisher devoted exclusively to books on caste. His company, Navayana, won the British Council's international young publisher of the year award in April for his pioneering work.
Mr Anand works with his friend and co-publisher Ravi Kumar on filling the gap they detected in the the market. One in six Indians is dalit but books by dalits or on dalit issues are few.
"Mainstream publishers either published nothing on caste or stuck to only one genre -- autobiographies by dalits of their terrible experiences," says Mr Anand. "We wanted to change the way people think about caste and create a certain atmosphere of debate where caste issues are given due importance."
Navayana publishes provocative titles such as Dalit Diary: Reflections on Apartheid in India by the country's only dalit columnist, Chandra Bhan Prasad. Other publications are India Stinking, about dalits who remove excrement from people's homes, and Brahmins and Cricket (by Mr Anand himself) on why Brahmins dominate Indian cricket.
A forthcoming title is an illustrated book for schoolchildren, aimed at catching them young, before their prejudices crystallise.
The book, Turning the Pot, Tilling the Land, conveys the dignity of manual labour in a country where it is despised due to the caste system's division between physical and mental labour. Hindus have traditionally looked down on manual workers such as barbers, weavers, cobblers, carpenters, gardeners and potters -- all dalits.
The upper castes do not get their hands dirty. They perform mental work as priests, scholars or traders.
The book tries to show children that weaving cotton or tanning leather are important skills and should not be disrespected. Mr Anand is pleased that some schools have shown an interest in buying the book.
Dalit groups are trying to persuade the UN to recognise the caste system as a form of racism or apartheid. "It would shame India on the world stage," Mr Anand says. "The Government insists that caste is an internal matter. But if the global community recognised it as racism, India could be asked to account for its treatment of dalits."
The dalit argument equating caste with racism rests on the segregation
that is a feature of village life. Dalits are forced to live in separate areas, banned from drawing water from the well, and forbidden to enter temples.
"If that isn't segregation, what is?" Mr Anand asks.
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