Skip to main content

SC/ST Act: Dalits view Apex Court verdict as ‘extension of govt policy'

SC/ST Act: Dalits view Apex Court verdict as ‘extension of govt policy' 
The nation has ensured elected representation of Dalits and Tribals at every level of democracy, yet the communities continue to face denigration and oppression following atrocities heaped on them for centuries by a social system. Dalits and Tribals are absent in the higher judiciary, which enjoys the authority to override and even protect legislative actions.
Monday’s protest was due to the perception that the March 20 judgement of the Supreme Court emasculated the protection given in the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. In recent memory, this was the largest violent and massive outcry of the oppressed against a court verdict. But the massive agitation contained more than just anger and frustration. 
The protests were primarily from Ambedkarite organisations in the Hindi belt. The response in north Indian is easier to analyse. Jatavs dominate the Dalit social landscape and the BJP has targeted this caste group politically by trying to pull in smaller Dalit castes and pitting them against Jatavs. The community perceives that if the BJP gets an opportunity it would deny tickets to Jatavs the way it isolated Muslims by denying them tickets in the UP assembly elections. 
Also the rampaging gaurakshaks in northern India were a threat not only to Muslims engaged in animal trade economy but to Jatavs too. Punjab which has up to 44% Dalit population in regions such as Doaba saw a total bandh on Monday. The ‘dilution’ of the Atrocities Act and slow government response spread through social media, with protests in several towns and villages. The Act affects every Dalit caste and they all joined in solidarity. 
The protests in southern states, which have Scheduled Caste sub-plan and Tribal sub-plan legislation that guarantee 22.5% of budgetary funds for the communities was non-violent in contrast. The governments of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka (all non-BJP) have been implementing the budget law in earnest. The BJP at the Centre is yet to bring in such a law. The cruelty with which upper castes treat Dalits is higher in the north than in the south.
In Tamil Nadu, more cases are reported now due to elopement of non-Dalit women with Dalit men. Unlike these states, Gujarat, which has seen the longest BJP rule, had the Una incident, which created a huge movement as Jignesh Mewani and Martin Macwan marched across Gujarat with youth and children holding blue flags. The last flashpoint in Gujarat has been the murder of a Dalit youth for owning and riding a horse. 
It is common knowledge that it is very difficult for a Dalit or a tribal victim to seek police action immediately. After running around, the victim is forced by social oppressors to go for a compromise after a case is registered. While the police makes out a weak case and dilutes the trial, the victim is continuously attacked, battered or pressured to turn hostile 
Every Dalit and tribal knows the judicial pronouncement will create a system that perfectly allies with the delay and oppression of victims. In the perception of Dalits, the verdict is extension of policies of the current BJP government. 
The Economic Times, New Delhi, 12th April 2018

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Shrinking footprints of foreign banks in India

Shrinking footprints of foreign banks in India Foreign banks are increasingly shrinking their presence in India and are also becoming more conservative than private and public sector counterparts. While many of them have sold some of their businesses in India as part of their global strategy, some are trying to keep their core expertise intact. Others are branching out to newer areas to continue business momentum.For example, HSBC and Barclays Bank in India have got out of the retail business, whereas corporate-focused Standard Chartered Bank is now trying to increase its focus on retail “Building a retail franchise is a huge exercise and takes a long time. You cannot afford to lose it,” said Shashank Joshi, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s India head.According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, foreign banks’ combined loan book shrunk nearly 10 per cent from Rs 3.78 trillion in fiscal 2015-16 to Rs 3.42 trillion last financial year. The banking industry, which includes foreign banks…

RBI rushes in to prop up falling rupee

RBI rushes in to prop up falling rupee India’s central bank reportedly intervened in the currency markets on Monday to prevent a further slide in the local unit, which breached the 67 mark to a dollar for the first time in 15 months amid a widening trade gap and runaway import bills fuelled by high crude-oil prices. Some state-owned banks were seen selling dollars aggressively, interventions that market dealers attributed to the central bank’s strategy to stem the decline of the Indian rupee against the US currency. The rupee is the worst performing among a dozen Asian monetary units in the past three months. It lost 4.25 per cent to the dollar during the period, show data from Bloomberg. On Monday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is said to have sold about Rs 800 million collectively on the spot and exchange traded futures markets, dealers said. An email sent to RBI remained unanswered until the publication of this report. The currency market has seen such a strong central bank interven…

GST Refund of Rs 20,000 Cr Pending: Exporters’ Body

GST Refund of Rs  20,000 Cr Pending: Exporters’ Body Refund of over Rs 20,000 crore on account of Goods and Services Tax (GST) is pending with the government with more than half the amount stuck as input tax credit, Federation of Indian Export Organisations said on Tuesday. While claims over Rs7,000 crore were cleared in March, the amount was Rs 1,000 crore in April.However, after exporters’ request, the GST council and tax department are organizing a second phase of Special Refund Fortnight starting May 31, which will enable exporters to draw their refunds at a speedy pace. Many exporters have been unable to file the refund of input tax credit due to technical glitches, exports and claim happened in different months. The major challenge lies on ITC refund especially because the process is partly electronic and partly manual which is cumbersome and add to the transaction cost, the exporters’ body said. On IGST, refunds are getting delayed due to airline and shipping companies not submitt…