[WSMDiscuss] Dalits Fight for Shield of Law

Umakant uk4in at yahoo.co.in
Wed May 2 13:12:29 CEST 2018

Dear Friends

Greetings! Pleaseread the news story pasted below about the national resistance day organized onthe International Labour Day by Dalits and Adivasis in 70 cities across India.On the other links also mentioned below you could read about the harrowingexperiences of caste atrocities, which are being reported on an everyday basisfrom different parts of India.  


Dalitsfight for shield of law 

SpecialCorrespondent, The Telegraph, May 02, 2018 



New Delhi: Dalit and tribal groups observed"national resistance day" on Tuesday to demand restoration of keyprovisions of a protective law that has allegedly been diluted by a SupremeCourt judgment.


Over a dozenorganisations representing Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes held theprotest in 70 cities across the country to demand a reversal of the judgmentthat stopped immediate arrest of offenders under the SC-ST (Prevention ofAtrocities) Act, a law meant for their protection.


On April 2, thesocially deprived sections had observed Bharat Bandh against the apex court'sdecision.


Ramesh Nathan,convener of the National Coalition for Strengthening SC-ST PoA Act, saidseveral review petitions had been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a reversalof the March 20 judgment.


The judgment hadintroduced conditions such as a preliminary inquiry to ascertain the merit ofthe case before registration of FIR and the requirement of permission fromcompetent authorities before arrest of the accused.


"We demand areversal of the judgment. The government should bring an ordinance and includethe SC-ST PoA Act under the 9th Schedule of the Constitution," Nathansaid. The provisions of the 9th Schedule are not subject to legal scrutiny.


Paul Divakar,chairperson of the Asia Dalit Rights Forum, said people of the community weregetting disillusioned since the law had not been restored even six weeks afterthe judgment.


"Today we areobserving national resistance day. We hope the government takes immediatesteps," he said.


Organisations such asthe National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights, Vidhthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi(Liberation Cheetahs' Party, previously known as the Dalit Panthers of India),Dalit Rights Federation, CPM and the CPI took part in a protest in New Delhi.


CPM leader BrindaKarat, the CPI's D. Raja and retired IAS officer P.S. Krishnan, a champion ofissues of the deprived sections, spoke at the event.


Raja accused theNarendra Modi government of not allowing Parliament to function so that theSupreme Court's decision could not be discussed. The CPI leader said socialdiscrimination remained a reality although the Constitution and laws hadabolished untouchability.


"We wanted totake up the issue of the Supreme Court judgment. But Modi was not ready fordiscussion. The government did not allow Parliament to function," Rajasaid.


VidhthalaiChiruthaigal Katchi leader Ravi Kumar told this paper that his outfit and theLeft parties had organised the protest at district headquarters in Tamil Naduand Puducherry.


Dalit activistGurinder Azad said symbolic protests were organised across India. Dalitorganisations were still hoping for some remedial action by the government,Azad added.


The protests wereheld on a day it emerged that a Dalit had been forced to drink urine andassaulted for refusing to work for free in the field of an upper caste familyin Uttar Pradesh. 


On Monday, pictureshad emerged of police recruits in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh with theabbreviations "SC" or "ST" scrawled on their chests withfelt-tip pens during a medical examination in a government hospital onSaturday.




Afterbeing marked by caste, now female police recruits examined by male doctors inMadhya Pradesh


Dalitwoman denied temple entry, incident goes viral on social media 


SixHeld for Stopping Dalit Wedding Procession in Rajasthan 


Urinetorment on Dalit 




WithRegards and In Solidarity 

Umakant,Ph. D 

New Delhi


My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is battle for freedom. It is the battle of reclamation of human personality. 
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