Dalit community land of North Gujarat village encroached upon in 2007, but no action despite orders by DGP, home department

Cops "inspecting" land taken away from Dalits, but refuse to file FIR

Cops “inspecting” land taken away from Dalits, but refuse to file FIR

By Sanjay Parmar*

In a classic example official indifference, 23 families of the most backward scheduled caste (SC) community, Nadia, have been waiting to get back the land taken away from them fraudulently about seven years ago. Handed over to them as collective ownership way back in 1952 for cultivation, they were suddenly deprived of their only means of livelihood in June 2007. The land was first encroached upon by two brothers belonging to the non-Dalit castes of Ahmedpura village of Talod taluka, Sabarkantha district. The land was recently “resold” to a Kutchi Patel contractor living about 15 kilomtres away, in Vadagam village.

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Rural Gujarat Dalits represent to Gujarat chief minister, complain of discrimination in access to drinking water, basic facilities

Dharisana Dalits in the chief minister's office to hand over the representation

Dharisana Dalits in the chief minister’s office to hand over the representation

By Kirit Rathod*

Stigmatization of Dalits in access to water remains an important issue in Gujarat’s rural areas, as in the rest of India. One of the latest examples if this came to light on July 24, 2014, when the Dalit Hak Rakshak Samiti (DHRS) of Dharisana village, situated just about 30 kilometres from Gujarat’s capital, Gandhinagar, was forced to submit a memorandum regarding this to Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel on how their access to safe drinking water was being hampered by members of the dominant castes. Situated in Dahegam taluka, Dharisana village has a population of 4,000 people. The Dalits, consisting of Rohits, Garobrahmins, Vankars, and Valmikis, are in minority – they form just about 300 people, or 42 households. In its representation signed by Dalit households, the DHRS said, “Despite 62 years of India’s Independence, the Dalits of Dharisana, situated very close to two major cities of Gujarat, Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, are being deprived of basic facilities, including water.”

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Recognize safai karmacharis of Valmiki community as manual scavengers, give them permanent jobs, housing plots

SCAVENGERS--621x414By Kirit Rathod*

Gujarat State claims to be No 1 in India for achieving its developmental goals. This claim is being made despite the fact that members of the Valmiki community of the scheduled castes (SCs) for years have been employed in Gujarat State’s gram panchayats, municipalities, municipal corporations and private companies in such odd jobs like disposal of human excreta and dead animals. A special civil application No 13911/08 was filed in the Gujarat High Court on this state of affairs, following a news item published in the Times of India (“These Hands Deal with Filth”, November 17, 2008).   The petition to the  Gujarat High Court quoted data provided by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, which had estimates that, as on January 9, 2007, there were 64,195 safai karmacharis in Gujarat. There is reason to believe that the number of safai karmacharis would have gone up drastically thereafter.

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Dalit Jan Akrosh Yatra in Haryana: Part of Dr Ambedkar’s idea of democratic assertion — educate, agitate, organize

Bakrosh3y Lakshita*

Kasturi Devi is a female chief from the Dalit community. She is resident of village Bhattookala, District Fatehabad. She told those who came as part of the Dalit Jan Adrosh Yatra in her village on the July 14, 2014 that it is very difficult for her to fight for the rights of the Dalits when the dominant caste and community are strongly rooted. But she is working hard and struggling for the rights of her community. She is very happy to see the initiative taken by the Yatra. She appreciates, and also decides to financially support the Yatra. She asks the Yatra to visit her village again and to stay connected with her struggle in the future also.

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Gujarat government flouts provision that allocation for Dalits under SC sub-plan should be in proportion to state’s population

gujarat sc budget1By Vasudev Charupa*

Section 26 of the Constitution of India makes it obligatory on all state governments to take special care of the welfare of scheduled castes (SCs), especially their economically and socially interests, even as safeguarding them from all types of exploitation. Despite this, the Gujarat government has so far failed to satisfy the needs of the SCs by making necessary allocations in the recent modified budget for the financial year 2014-15, presented recently in the Gujarat state assembly. The Dalit Arthikar Adhikar Andolan, Gujarat, has been analyzing the state’s budgetary allocations to SCs for several years now, and it has come to a few important conclusions in this regard.

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Hira Singh’s ‘Recasting Caste’: Annihilation of caste is intrinsically related with the abolition of class rule in India

marxist viewBy Asit Das*

Review of Hira Singh’s book “Recasting Caste: From the Sacred to the Profane”, Sage, New Delhi, 2014, Rs 795.

“Sociologists of the caste have invoked religion, cognition, cosmology, heaven and hell to find the secret of the genesis, growth, and survival of the caste and caste system. In the process, they have missed the real secret of the caste and caste system, which lies in political economy” – Hira Singh 

Joan Robinson, the legendary Cambridge economist, was visiting India after a tour of revolutionary China in the 1950s. In India, she met EMS Namboodiripad, a senior leader of the then united CPI. She asked EMS, despite many similarities between the two countries why there was a revolution in China, and why it did not happen in India, what was the problem? “Caste” was the answer given by Namboodiripad. Today, the India political left is divided, so one need not toe the political line of EMS Namboodiripad or his later party CPI-M. This, however, is not to deny the existence of caste or caste atrocities in India. Every day one gets the gory news of medieval barbarism inflicted on the Dalits of the country. Therefore, understanding the caste system is a serious task for anyone who is interested in the revolutionary transformation of Indian society. For communists, it is an urgent task, because the annihilation of caste is intrinsically related with the abolition of class rule in India.

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Situation of Dalit women and girls in South Asia: Need for greater attention by international community, documentation

dalit womenBy Manjula Pradeep*

When the entire world’s focus is on extreme forms of violence and atrocities happening against Dalit girls and women in India, it is has become crucial to lay down in front of the international community that all this is not just happening in India but also in other caste-affected countries of South Asia – though most of the time things simply go unreported by the media. The caste issue has been debated in the UN for over a decade, and it has received a lot of support and solidarity from UN mechanisms and member states, despite the stand taken by the Government of India that it is an internal problem and it should not to be discussed in the international forum.

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