<> Dalit Bahujan Adivasi | SabrangIndia Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang

Union Govt Withdraws Indian Forest Act Draft Amendment

On November 15, 2019, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that the government has withdrawn the draft amendment of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (IFA) in order to remove any misgivings about taking away the rights of the tribals and forest dwellers.

Sabrangindia 16 Nov 2019
Prakash javdekar
Image Courtesy: @PrakashJavdekar/Twitter 

On November 15, 2019, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that the government has withdrawn the draft amendment of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (IFA) in order to remove any misgivings about taking away the rights of the tribals and forest dwellers.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, he noted, "Our government in the last 5 years has always worked in the interest of tribals and forest dwellers. To do away with any misgiving, we have decided to withdraw the 'draft' prepared for amendments to the Indian Forest Act, 1927. There is no intention to change the Act."

The minister stated that the draft which was circulated all over the country was not prepared by the government officially. The draft was originally circulated by Inspector General of Forests (Forest Policy) Noyal Thomas, who had sent it to all states on March 7, 2019, with a letter seeking their comments on what it called “the first draft” of the comprehensive amendments to the IFA.Each state was asked to conduct consultations with all its stakeholders, such as non-profits and civil society organisations, and send the compiled feedback back to the Environment Ministry by June 7.

In the conference, Javadekar said that there was confusion among people about what the draft was meant for.“ Eleven states have created their own forest laws. A study was done to see if they can be improved. But people thought this study was the government’s draft to amend the Indian Forest Act. The government has no such intention,” he said.

He added the government was withdrawing the draft circulated among stakeholders, since the amendments had drawn a lot of criticism from tribal organisations as it gave forest officers the power to shoot people and notify any area as ‘production forests’ among other issues. 

The minister also said that the Modi government has always worked in the interest of tribals and forest dwellers.He stated, "We have supported them with more financial and welfare schemes. We also ensured minimum support price for forest produce and we have also allotted millions of hectares of land in these five years by giving them ownership title … (the) Modi government is known as the friend of tribals and they are important stakeholders in forest development."


Criticism of the Draft Amendment

The Ministry had previously received a lot of flak over this draft amendment from the media and concerned intelligentsia. Environment magazine DownToEarth had observed that the draft amendment delegitimises the forest and agrarian rights of the tribal peoplesthat have foundrecognition under the FRA and PESA, strengthens the forest department’s ability to remain unaccountable and gives unilateral power to the Central and state governments to take over whatever forests that have escaped state control and hand over large parts for commercial production. The draft was said to ultimately violate the rights of the gram sabha and limit the accessibility of forest dwelling communities to forests, which caused tribal rights activists to come together against what then seemed to be the proposed legislation.


Background

The proposed amendments had drawn a lot of criticism from tribal organisations as it gave forest officers the power to shoot people and notify any area as ‘production forests’ among other issues. Interestingly, while the government is withdrawing the draft, Telangana is ready with a Telangana state forest act amendment along the lines of the Central draft.

In 2015, the National Democratic Alliance government set up the TSR Subramanian Committee to suggest changes in India’s forest governance. One of its key recommendations was to amend the IFA, 1927. Earlier, the MB Shah Commission too suggested amendments in 2010.

From the onset, the process to amend the IFA has been shrouded in secrecy. On September 23, 2016, the MoEF&CC constituted a committee dominated by forest bureaucrats. It comprised the principal chief conservators of forests of four states — Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Manipur; the then Inspector General of Forest Rekha Pai; the then Deputy Inspector General of Forest (forest policy) Noyal Thomas, and Assistant Director General (Wildlife) MS Negi.

The three non-government members were Ravi Singh, secretary general, World Wide Fund for Nature, Shankar Shrivastava, MoEF & CC counsel in the Bhopal branch of the National Green Tribunal and Sanjay Upadhyay, a Supreme Court lawyer.

Business Standard had first reported that the Union government has proposed an overhaul of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 which the British rulers imposed to take over Indian forests, use them to produce timber, while curtailing and extinguishing rights of millions. But, in the draft law to replace the colonial-era act, the Union government has proposed to not only retain but enhance policing and quasi-judicial powers that the forest officials enjoyed under the original act and provide them yet more. This includes powers to use firearms with exceptional levels of immunity from prosecution.

The draft Indian Forest Act, 2019 prepared by the Union government providing these exceptional powers has been shared with the state governments for consultations which are to be completed by June 7. Business Standard reviewed a copy of the draft law and a comparison matrix that the Union government provided between the new draft and the original 1927 law.

The draft law also proposes to restore higher management powers and a degree of veto power with the forest bureaucracy over the Forest Rights Act, 2006 Forest officials would be able to deny or extinguish rights over traditional forests of tribals, even those already recognised under the FRA, reduce or restrict tribals and forest dwellers' access to forest produce (which they own under the FRA), and diminish the role of gram sabhas (village assemblies) by running a parallel system of "village forests” in which forest officials would have the last say.

In addition, the Union government has proposed that the Centre will be able to intervene in the states on matters of management of forestlands, overruling the states on several counts when it deems fit. Additionally, the law proposes to open any patch of forests it deems fit for commercial plantations through either the forest administration or through private agencies.

The Indian Forest Act, 1927 has been criticized for years for providing immense discretion and powers to the forest bureaucracy to govern areas declared as forestlands of different classes and summarily arrest and prosecute forest-dwellers. On several occasions states have had to cancel prosecution in hundreds of thousands of cases of alleged petty crimes imposed against tribals and other forestdwellers. Many experts and several Central government reports submitted under different political dispensations have blamed the draconian powers of the forest bureaucracy under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 – which the Centre proposed to now enhance – for alienating tribals and also fueling left-wing extremism in Central Indian region.

It was in recognition of this, and summary forcible evictions which forest departments undertook, that the Forest Rights Act 2006 was legislated with its preamble noting, “Forest rights on ancestral lands and their (tribal and other forestdwellers’) habitat were not adequately recognised in the consolidation of State forests during the colonial period as well as in independent India resulting in historical injustice to the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers.”
Forest officials, on the other hand, have often contended that they remain they remain the only face of administration over these vast difficult to access territories and have to deal with the difficult challenge of retaining the quality and extent of forest cover in the face of high population pressure and development activities.

In order to enhance its police powers and capacities over forestlands, the Union government has proposed that The “State Government / Union Territory Administration shall develop the infra-structure for standardized lock-up rooms for housing the accused, transportation of accused, provide necessary articles for restraining the accused(s), armouries, safe custody of arms, ammunitions, shields, batons, helmets, armours, wireless, etc. to the Forest-officers for implementing the provisions of this Act” in each forest division of the country within two years.

Certain offences that were bailable earlier have been proposed to be made non-bailable. The onus of proving innocence in several cases has been left on the accused who are to be presumed guilty till proven otherwise. The relevant proposed clause reads, “The burden of proving which shall lie on the accused, that such person is in lawful possession of forest land, forest produce, custody or control of such property and the person has not committed any offence against the Act.”

The draft law also proposes, “to provide indemnity to Forest-officer using arms etc, to prevent the forest offence. This indemnity shall be in addition to the immunity provided under section 197 of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 for certain categories of Public Servant.” The immunity provided under the draft forest law is higher than what other government officers are usually provided under various laws and similar to one provided under laws imposed in conflict zones, such as the Armed Forces (Special Powers Act).

The new proposed provision for immunity reads, “No Forest-officer shall be arrested for any offence alleged to have been committed or purported to have been committed in discharge of his official duties, without causing out an inquiry by an authority to be notified by the State Government for the purpose.

Even state governments would not be permitted to grant sanction for prosecution against forest officials for alleged wrong done or excess committed without first constituting an inquiry under an executive magistrate.

Another clause giving additional power to forest officials reads, “Whoever attempts to contravene, or abets the contravention of, any of the provisions of this Act or of any rule of order made thereunder shall be deemed to have contravened that provision or rule or order, as the case may be. That any person, forest officer, any officer of the State Government cannot withdraw forest offence cases registered under the Principal Act.”

This the Union government has said has been introduced to, “To dissuade political executives to incite masses against the provisions of the Act. Many State Governments have withdrawn cases registered under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 to draw political mileages. Such action has to curbed with heavy hand, because the results are disastrous. Porosity is the root cause of destruction of prime forest areas.”

The powers of the forest officials to investigate, search and seize property, hold inquiries by forcing attendance of witnesses and evidence have been retained and in parts enhanced. A colonial provision of collective punishment of communities for crimes committed by individuals under the forest law have been retained. The clause reads, “Whenever fire is caused wilfully or by gross negligence in a reserved forest, or theft of forest produce or grazing by cattle occur…the State Government may…direct that in such forest or any portion thereof, the exercise of all rights of pasture or to forest-produce shall be suspended for such a period as it may think fit.”

On the other hand, the government has proposed to create the opportunity a second and third level review of such decisions and actions of forest officials but these too in several cases would be undertaken by higher level forest officials.

Heralding in legal provisions for commercial forestry, the government proposes to create a new class of forests called ‘production forests’ as well as declare any forests as “conservation area for the purpose of enhanced carbon sequestration”. The conservation areas will also be opened to “active forest management for enhancing vegetational growth by reforestation and afforestation.” The government had earlier proposed as a policy to open forests to private commercial plantations. The law creates enabling provisions for it by allowing government to assign forests to non-state entities but not lease it or use it as collateral to raise funds.

 

Related:

Why the Opposition Should Take the Campaign for Implementation of FRA 2006 Seriously

Adivasi protests mount: Forest Rights Group plans Sansad Gherao on Nov 21

CJP in Action: Towards Strengthening Women Leadership at the Grassroots

Stop forced eviction of Adivasis & Forest dwellers: UN to India

 

Union Govt Withdraws Indian Forest Act Draft Amendment

On November 15, 2019, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that the government has withdrawn the draft amendment of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (IFA) in order to remove any misgivings about taking away the rights of the tribals and forest dwellers.

Prakash javdekar
Image Courtesy: @PrakashJavdekar/Twitter 

On November 15, 2019, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that the government has withdrawn the draft amendment of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (IFA) in order to remove any misgivings about taking away the rights of the tribals and forest dwellers.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, he noted, "Our government in the last 5 years has always worked in the interest of tribals and forest dwellers. To do away with any misgiving, we have decided to withdraw the 'draft' prepared for amendments to the Indian Forest Act, 1927. There is no intention to change the Act."

The minister stated that the draft which was circulated all over the country was not prepared by the government officially. The draft was originally circulated by Inspector General of Forests (Forest Policy) Noyal Thomas, who had sent it to all states on March 7, 2019, with a letter seeking their comments on what it called “the first draft” of the comprehensive amendments to the IFA.Each state was asked to conduct consultations with all its stakeholders, such as non-profits and civil society organisations, and send the compiled feedback back to the Environment Ministry by June 7.

In the conference, Javadekar said that there was confusion among people about what the draft was meant for.“ Eleven states have created their own forest laws. A study was done to see if they can be improved. But people thought this study was the government’s draft to amend the Indian Forest Act. The government has no such intention,” he said.

He added the government was withdrawing the draft circulated among stakeholders, since the amendments had drawn a lot of criticism from tribal organisations as it gave forest officers the power to shoot people and notify any area as ‘production forests’ among other issues. 

The minister also said that the Modi government has always worked in the interest of tribals and forest dwellers.He stated, "We have supported them with more financial and welfare schemes. We also ensured minimum support price for forest produce and we have also allotted millions of hectares of land in these five years by giving them ownership title … (the) Modi government is known as the friend of tribals and they are important stakeholders in forest development."


Criticism of the Draft Amendment

The Ministry had previously received a lot of flak over this draft amendment from the media and concerned intelligentsia. Environment magazine DownToEarth had observed that the draft amendment delegitimises the forest and agrarian rights of the tribal peoplesthat have foundrecognition under the FRA and PESA, strengthens the forest department’s ability to remain unaccountable and gives unilateral power to the Central and state governments to take over whatever forests that have escaped state control and hand over large parts for commercial production. The draft was said to ultimately violate the rights of the gram sabha and limit the accessibility of forest dwelling communities to forests, which caused tribal rights activists to come together against what then seemed to be the proposed legislation.


Background

The proposed amendments had drawn a lot of criticism from tribal organisations as it gave forest officers the power to shoot people and notify any area as ‘production forests’ among other issues. Interestingly, while the government is withdrawing the draft, Telangana is ready with a Telangana state forest act amendment along the lines of the Central draft.

In 2015, the National Democratic Alliance government set up the TSR Subramanian Committee to suggest changes in India’s forest governance. One of its key recommendations was to amend the IFA, 1927. Earlier, the MB Shah Commission too suggested amendments in 2010.

From the onset, the process to amend the IFA has been shrouded in secrecy. On September 23, 2016, the MoEF&CC constituted a committee dominated by forest bureaucrats. It comprised the principal chief conservators of forests of four states — Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Manipur; the then Inspector General of Forest Rekha Pai; the then Deputy Inspector General of Forest (forest policy) Noyal Thomas, and Assistant Director General (Wildlife) MS Negi.

The three non-government members were Ravi Singh, secretary general, World Wide Fund for Nature, Shankar Shrivastava, MoEF & CC counsel in the Bhopal branch of the National Green Tribunal and Sanjay Upadhyay, a Supreme Court lawyer.

Business Standard had first reported that the Union government has proposed an overhaul of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 which the British rulers imposed to take over Indian forests, use them to produce timber, while curtailing and extinguishing rights of millions. But, in the draft law to replace the colonial-era act, the Union government has proposed to not only retain but enhance policing and quasi-judicial powers that the forest officials enjoyed under the original act and provide them yet more. This includes powers to use firearms with exceptional levels of immunity from prosecution.

The draft Indian Forest Act, 2019 prepared by the Union government providing these exceptional powers has been shared with the state governments for consultations which are to be completed by June 7. Business Standard reviewed a copy of the draft law and a comparison matrix that the Union government provided between the new draft and the original 1927 law.

The draft law also proposes to restore higher management powers and a degree of veto power with the forest bureaucracy over the Forest Rights Act, 2006 Forest officials would be able to deny or extinguish rights over traditional forests of tribals, even those already recognised under the FRA, reduce or restrict tribals and forest dwellers' access to forest produce (which they own under the FRA), and diminish the role of gram sabhas (village assemblies) by running a parallel system of "village forests” in which forest officials would have the last say.

In addition, the Union government has proposed that the Centre will be able to intervene in the states on matters of management of forestlands, overruling the states on several counts when it deems fit. Additionally, the law proposes to open any patch of forests it deems fit for commercial plantations through either the forest administration or through private agencies.

The Indian Forest Act, 1927 has been criticized for years for providing immense discretion and powers to the forest bureaucracy to govern areas declared as forestlands of different classes and summarily arrest and prosecute forest-dwellers. On several occasions states have had to cancel prosecution in hundreds of thousands of cases of alleged petty crimes imposed against tribals and other forestdwellers. Many experts and several Central government reports submitted under different political dispensations have blamed the draconian powers of the forest bureaucracy under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 – which the Centre proposed to now enhance – for alienating tribals and also fueling left-wing extremism in Central Indian region.

It was in recognition of this, and summary forcible evictions which forest departments undertook, that the Forest Rights Act 2006 was legislated with its preamble noting, “Forest rights on ancestral lands and their (tribal and other forestdwellers’) habitat were not adequately recognised in the consolidation of State forests during the colonial period as well as in independent India resulting in historical injustice to the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers.”
Forest officials, on the other hand, have often contended that they remain they remain the only face of administration over these vast difficult to access territories and have to deal with the difficult challenge of retaining the quality and extent of forest cover in the face of high population pressure and development activities.

In order to enhance its police powers and capacities over forestlands, the Union government has proposed that The “State Government / Union Territory Administration shall develop the infra-structure for standardized lock-up rooms for housing the accused, transportation of accused, provide necessary articles for restraining the accused(s), armouries, safe custody of arms, ammunitions, shields, batons, helmets, armours, wireless, etc. to the Forest-officers for implementing the provisions of this Act” in each forest division of the country within two years.

Certain offences that were bailable earlier have been proposed to be made non-bailable. The onus of proving innocence in several cases has been left on the accused who are to be presumed guilty till proven otherwise. The relevant proposed clause reads, “The burden of proving which shall lie on the accused, that such person is in lawful possession of forest land, forest produce, custody or control of such property and the person has not committed any offence against the Act.”

The draft law also proposes, “to provide indemnity to Forest-officer using arms etc, to prevent the forest offence. This indemnity shall be in addition to the immunity provided under section 197 of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 for certain categories of Public Servant.” The immunity provided under the draft forest law is higher than what other government officers are usually provided under various laws and similar to one provided under laws imposed in conflict zones, such as the Armed Forces (Special Powers Act).

The new proposed provision for immunity reads, “No Forest-officer shall be arrested for any offence alleged to have been committed or purported to have been committed in discharge of his official duties, without causing out an inquiry by an authority to be notified by the State Government for the purpose.

Even state governments would not be permitted to grant sanction for prosecution against forest officials for alleged wrong done or excess committed without first constituting an inquiry under an executive magistrate.

Another clause giving additional power to forest officials reads, “Whoever attempts to contravene, or abets the contravention of, any of the provisions of this Act or of any rule of order made thereunder shall be deemed to have contravened that provision or rule or order, as the case may be. That any person, forest officer, any officer of the State Government cannot withdraw forest offence cases registered under the Principal Act.”

This the Union government has said has been introduced to, “To dissuade political executives to incite masses against the provisions of the Act. Many State Governments have withdrawn cases registered under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 to draw political mileages. Such action has to curbed with heavy hand, because the results are disastrous. Porosity is the root cause of destruction of prime forest areas.”

The powers of the forest officials to investigate, search and seize property, hold inquiries by forcing attendance of witnesses and evidence have been retained and in parts enhanced. A colonial provision of collective punishment of communities for crimes committed by individuals under the forest law have been retained. The clause reads, “Whenever fire is caused wilfully or by gross negligence in a reserved forest, or theft of forest produce or grazing by cattle occur…the State Government may…direct that in such forest or any portion thereof, the exercise of all rights of pasture or to forest-produce shall be suspended for such a period as it may think fit.”

On the other hand, the government has proposed to create the opportunity a second and third level review of such decisions and actions of forest officials but these too in several cases would be undertaken by higher level forest officials.

Heralding in legal provisions for commercial forestry, the government proposes to create a new class of forests called ‘production forests’ as well as declare any forests as “conservation area for the purpose of enhanced carbon sequestration”. The conservation areas will also be opened to “active forest management for enhancing vegetational growth by reforestation and afforestation.” The government had earlier proposed as a policy to open forests to private commercial plantations. The law creates enabling provisions for it by allowing government to assign forests to non-state entities but not lease it or use it as collateral to raise funds.

 

Related:

Why the Opposition Should Take the Campaign for Implementation of FRA 2006 Seriously

Adivasi protests mount: Forest Rights Group plans Sansad Gherao on Nov 21

CJP in Action: Towards Strengthening Women Leadership at the Grassroots

Stop forced eviction of Adivasis & Forest dwellers: UN to India

 

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Irony at its worst: Dalit boy thrashed for attending rally about ending caste discrimination

He was beaten by his own friends who belonged to the Rajput community

Sabrangindia 13 Nov 2019

Attack on dalits

Two Rajput men were arrested in Neemuch, Bhopal for allegedly thrashing a Dalit youth, Rahul Meghwal (23), for taking part in a rally calling for an end to caste discrimination on November 3, The Hindu reported.

District Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kumar Sagar said, “While one of the accused was arrested earlier, another is absconding. We have declared a reward of ₹5,000 for anyone informing the police about his whereabouts.”

Though the Dalit Swabhiman Rally took place on November 3, Rahul reported the matter to the cops only on November 7.

The details of the heinous injury and FIR are here.

Saying that his friends had turned into his foes, he said, “I was scared initially. They had threatened to kill me if I filed a complaint. I have never had to face even a slap. But that night, the four men, who were my friends, thrashed me on my back with lathis.”

Rahul, who belongs to the Ratadiya village in Neemuch, runs a news portal called Malwa 24 News and his rally and his coverage of the rally was well appreciated by members of his community.

One of the accused, Yogesh Singh called Rahul to a dhaba for a meeting, who on reaching helped stopped an ongoing scuffle between Yogesh and another youth Kapil Meghwal.

According to the FIR, Yogesh fled away with Rahul’s motorcycle and later called him to the Dussehra ground, where along with three others, he snatched Rahul’s two mobile phones and forcibly took him to an empty spot near the village.

Rahul said he was shouting for help all the way and another accused Arjun Singh, who also stands arrested, took out “something resembling a gun” and put it to his head, threatening to kill him in case he went to the police.

He said that while thrashing him, his friends hurled casteist slurs at him - “Weren’t you jumping a lot in the rally? You don’t have the status to be our equal. Don’t you know about our clout in this area?”

Rahul alleges that his father was also threatened against filing a police complaint. But as things came to a head on November 6 when they were threatened again, Mr. Rahul, district incharge of the Bhim Army, approached its State leadership.

“He was initially reluctant about complaining against upper caste men as they had threatened him. But we told him not to worry about consequences,” said Sunil Astay, State in-charge, Bhim Army. “His own friends turned enemies when it came to caste.”

Sunil Astay confirmed the incident on Twitter:

 

 

While Rahul refrained from filing an FIR for the fear of his life, the Bhim army alleges that the delay of the police in filing the Fir helped the accused abscond.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has for the first time published data for cases in which only the SC/ST Act was invoked without any sections of IPC. Unlike the 2016 data, there are separate figures for 2017 for intentional insult or humiliation of a Dalit, occupation of Dalit land, preventing the use of public space, and social boycott.

Of the 5,775 offences registered solely under the SC/ST Act in 2017 with Dalits as victims, 3,172 (55%) were related to “Intentionally Insult or Intimidate with Intent to Humiliate”. There were 47 cases of land grabbing related to Dalits; they faced social boycott in 63 cases; and they were prevented from using public spaces in 12 cases.

The highest rates of crimes against Dalits (number of incidents per 1,00,000 population) were in Madhya Pradesh (52), Bihar (41), and Rajasthan (35).

Though the high number of crimes reported show that more people are now coming forth to report them, it is definitely not a good indicator of the gruesome, murderous society we now live in.


Related:

Uttar Pradesh records highest crimes against Dalits: NCRB
A Look into the Kerala Double POCSO-Suicide Case
Two Dalit Kids Beaten to Death for Defecating in Open: MP
Not just open Defecation, Dalit Girl Child was molested too, says Father: MP Murder

 

Irony at its worst: Dalit boy thrashed for attending rally about ending caste discrimination

He was beaten by his own friends who belonged to the Rajput community

Attack on dalits

Two Rajput men were arrested in Neemuch, Bhopal for allegedly thrashing a Dalit youth, Rahul Meghwal (23), for taking part in a rally calling for an end to caste discrimination on November 3, The Hindu reported.

District Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kumar Sagar said, “While one of the accused was arrested earlier, another is absconding. We have declared a reward of ₹5,000 for anyone informing the police about his whereabouts.”

Though the Dalit Swabhiman Rally took place on November 3, Rahul reported the matter to the cops only on November 7.

The details of the heinous injury and FIR are here.

Saying that his friends had turned into his foes, he said, “I was scared initially. They had threatened to kill me if I filed a complaint. I have never had to face even a slap. But that night, the four men, who were my friends, thrashed me on my back with lathis.”

Rahul, who belongs to the Ratadiya village in Neemuch, runs a news portal called Malwa 24 News and his rally and his coverage of the rally was well appreciated by members of his community.

One of the accused, Yogesh Singh called Rahul to a dhaba for a meeting, who on reaching helped stopped an ongoing scuffle between Yogesh and another youth Kapil Meghwal.

According to the FIR, Yogesh fled away with Rahul’s motorcycle and later called him to the Dussehra ground, where along with three others, he snatched Rahul’s two mobile phones and forcibly took him to an empty spot near the village.

Rahul said he was shouting for help all the way and another accused Arjun Singh, who also stands arrested, took out “something resembling a gun” and put it to his head, threatening to kill him in case he went to the police.

He said that while thrashing him, his friends hurled casteist slurs at him - “Weren’t you jumping a lot in the rally? You don’t have the status to be our equal. Don’t you know about our clout in this area?”

Rahul alleges that his father was also threatened against filing a police complaint. But as things came to a head on November 6 when they were threatened again, Mr. Rahul, district incharge of the Bhim Army, approached its State leadership.

“He was initially reluctant about complaining against upper caste men as they had threatened him. But we told him not to worry about consequences,” said Sunil Astay, State in-charge, Bhim Army. “His own friends turned enemies when it came to caste.”

Sunil Astay confirmed the incident on Twitter:

 

 

While Rahul refrained from filing an FIR for the fear of his life, the Bhim army alleges that the delay of the police in filing the Fir helped the accused abscond.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has for the first time published data for cases in which only the SC/ST Act was invoked without any sections of IPC. Unlike the 2016 data, there are separate figures for 2017 for intentional insult or humiliation of a Dalit, occupation of Dalit land, preventing the use of public space, and social boycott.

Of the 5,775 offences registered solely under the SC/ST Act in 2017 with Dalits as victims, 3,172 (55%) were related to “Intentionally Insult or Intimidate with Intent to Humiliate”. There were 47 cases of land grabbing related to Dalits; they faced social boycott in 63 cases; and they were prevented from using public spaces in 12 cases.

The highest rates of crimes against Dalits (number of incidents per 1,00,000 population) were in Madhya Pradesh (52), Bihar (41), and Rajasthan (35).

Though the high number of crimes reported show that more people are now coming forth to report them, it is definitely not a good indicator of the gruesome, murderous society we now live in.


Related:

Uttar Pradesh records highest crimes against Dalits: NCRB
A Look into the Kerala Double POCSO-Suicide Case
Two Dalit Kids Beaten to Death for Defecating in Open: MP
Not just open Defecation, Dalit Girl Child was molested too, says Father: MP Murder

 

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

PS Krishnan, a man devoted to social justice: Obituary

Vidya Bhushan Rawat 11 Nov 2019
P S Krishnan
 
The death of Shri P S Krishnan is a big blow to the forces of social justice in India. He was a man of great conviction  who always stood with Dalits, Adivasis and OBC communities all through his life. A man who was responsible for developing the SC-ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, Krishnan was also part of the Ministry of Social Justice, during V P Singh's short tenure when the Mandal Commission Report was accepted and implemented.
 
P S Krishnan held many a high office. He was also but nurtured by those politicians who were considered to be honest and pro social justice. Under V P Singh, he was responsible for organising centenary Celebrations of Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. The late Arjun Singh as union minister for human resource development, sought his services for the implementation of reservationsat the higher level which was barred.
 
After his retirement, P S Krishnan continued with his support and advise to various organisations. He guided many a budding new officer and educating them on social justice issues, reservation issues and related issues. 
 
Down to earth and humble, he was that  rare breed among bureaucrats. P S Krishnan was of the generation and breed of another gentleman who I admire, S Shankaran and K Balagopal ( who was not a civil servant but people's hero) who dedicated their lives for people and had no caste prejudices. They remain true to their convictions and constitution of India. We need more and more bureaucrats and lawyers who are dedicated to the spirit of constitution of India and do not suffer from the caste mind prejudiced towards the marginalised sections of society. The issue of the Dalit Adivasis and OBCs  can not be seen from the prism of being a 'patron saint' but issue of their fair representation at every layer of our administration as well as our socio-political and cultural life.
 
P S Krishnan lived a full life but there was not a single day he was not busy or concerned with the issues of the marginalised. He was a guiding force for all those who believed in social justice and human rights of the marginalised. His presence will be missed at various forums and spaces where his guidance meant a lot for the benefit of the people historically denied justice.

PS Krishnan, a man devoted to social justice: Obituary

P S Krishnan
 
The death of Shri P S Krishnan is a big blow to the forces of social justice in India. He was a man of great conviction  who always stood with Dalits, Adivasis and OBC communities all through his life. A man who was responsible for developing the SC-ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, Krishnan was also part of the Ministry of Social Justice, during V P Singh's short tenure when the Mandal Commission Report was accepted and implemented.
 
P S Krishnan held many a high office. He was also but nurtured by those politicians who were considered to be honest and pro social justice. Under V P Singh, he was responsible for organising centenary Celebrations of Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. The late Arjun Singh as union minister for human resource development, sought his services for the implementation of reservationsat the higher level which was barred.
 
After his retirement, P S Krishnan continued with his support and advise to various organisations. He guided many a budding new officer and educating them on social justice issues, reservation issues and related issues. 
 
Down to earth and humble, he was that  rare breed among bureaucrats. P S Krishnan was of the generation and breed of another gentleman who I admire, S Shankaran and K Balagopal ( who was not a civil servant but people's hero) who dedicated their lives for people and had no caste prejudices. They remain true to their convictions and constitution of India. We need more and more bureaucrats and lawyers who are dedicated to the spirit of constitution of India and do not suffer from the caste mind prejudiced towards the marginalised sections of society. The issue of the Dalit Adivasis and OBCs  can not be seen from the prism of being a 'patron saint' but issue of their fair representation at every layer of our administration as well as our socio-political and cultural life.
 
P S Krishnan lived a full life but there was not a single day he was not busy or concerned with the issues of the marginalised. He was a guiding force for all those who believed in social justice and human rights of the marginalised. His presence will be missed at various forums and spaces where his guidance meant a lot for the benefit of the people historically denied justice.

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Adivasi protests mount: Forest Rights Group plans Sansad Gherao on Nov 21

Protests of Adivasis and Forest Dwellers mount as the next date of the SC hearing (Nov 26) draws near

Sabrangindia 11 Nov 2019

Bhumi Adhikar

Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, a forest rights collective, held a planning meeting at Indian Social Institute regarding the action planned on November 21, 2019 to have a Sansad Gherao at Sansad Marg, Delhi. The Gherao,along with state, district and village level actions, have been planned to protest violationsof people’s rights and dilution of Forest Rights Act.

The two-hour long meeting witnessed a detailed discussion over various key issues. Mobilization processes were reviewed with various representatives of mass organizations. The meeting highlighted the fact that it is important to take the discussion to the public about Forest Rights Act 2006, and the current situation happening in the Supreme Court of India.

In the meeting, All India Kisan Sabha’s Hannan Mollah stressed on the fact that the central government is showing a blind eye towards the Supreme Court’s proceedings regarding the hovering question about the constitutional legitimacy of the Forest Rights Act 2006. He noted, it is very important to inform each and every citizen of this country about the importance of FRA 2006 in protecting the rights of the adivasi populace and forest dwellers.

He noted that the central government has not sent their legal representation to the Supreme Court on the hearing dates to defend the legitimacy of FRA 2006. Under the pretext of forest conservation, he said,thegovernmentis indirectly pushing forward their corporate agenda to appropriate forest land from the indigenous populace.

He further noted that these marginalized indigenous people have been living in India’s forests maintaining the flora and fauna of Indian forests. Evicting them from their forestsis likely to leave a severe impact on the ecology of India’s forests. Therefore it is essential to expose the illegalities in the execution of central government to weaken the FRA 2006 to each and every citizen of India and globally.

Over 12,000 people all over India, at the minimum, will be joining the protest programme.

 

Related:
Mass protests & Sansad Gherao against continued Adivasi evictions on Nov 21

Is BJP afraid? Tribal activists detained on National Unity Day in Gujarat

“Jaan de denge lekin zamin nahi denge” (we will give our lives but not the land): Sonbhadra

Bhumi Adhikar Andolan National Convention: Twenty Point Programme

 

Adivasi protests mount: Forest Rights Group plans Sansad Gherao on Nov 21

Protests of Adivasis and Forest Dwellers mount as the next date of the SC hearing (Nov 26) draws near

Bhumi Adhikar

Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, a forest rights collective, held a planning meeting at Indian Social Institute regarding the action planned on November 21, 2019 to have a Sansad Gherao at Sansad Marg, Delhi. The Gherao,along with state, district and village level actions, have been planned to protest violationsof people’s rights and dilution of Forest Rights Act.

The two-hour long meeting witnessed a detailed discussion over various key issues. Mobilization processes were reviewed with various representatives of mass organizations. The meeting highlighted the fact that it is important to take the discussion to the public about Forest Rights Act 2006, and the current situation happening in the Supreme Court of India.

In the meeting, All India Kisan Sabha’s Hannan Mollah stressed on the fact that the central government is showing a blind eye towards the Supreme Court’s proceedings regarding the hovering question about the constitutional legitimacy of the Forest Rights Act 2006. He noted, it is very important to inform each and every citizen of this country about the importance of FRA 2006 in protecting the rights of the adivasi populace and forest dwellers.

He noted that the central government has not sent their legal representation to the Supreme Court on the hearing dates to defend the legitimacy of FRA 2006. Under the pretext of forest conservation, he said,thegovernmentis indirectly pushing forward their corporate agenda to appropriate forest land from the indigenous populace.

He further noted that these marginalized indigenous people have been living in India’s forests maintaining the flora and fauna of Indian forests. Evicting them from their forestsis likely to leave a severe impact on the ecology of India’s forests. Therefore it is essential to expose the illegalities in the execution of central government to weaken the FRA 2006 to each and every citizen of India and globally.

Over 12,000 people all over India, at the minimum, will be joining the protest programme.

 

Related:
Mass protests & Sansad Gherao against continued Adivasi evictions on Nov 21

Is BJP afraid? Tribal activists detained on National Unity Day in Gujarat

“Jaan de denge lekin zamin nahi denge” (we will give our lives but not the land): Sonbhadra

Bhumi Adhikar Andolan National Convention: Twenty Point Programme

 

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Interview

EXCLUSIVE: “Main copy-right mein nahi, copy-left mein maanta hoon”: Dilip Mandal

Professor Mandal who questioned ‘casteist’ Twitter, has now become the poster-boy for equal rights of the Bahujan community on social media

08 Nov 2019

Dilip Mandal

In the past week, Twitter has combusted with the sheer volume of tweets coming in from the Bahujan community asking the micro blogging site why it is not letting them exercise their democratic right of freedom of expression on social media.

What started as a trickle of questions, has now become a wave of dissent with leaders, intellectuals, scholars and the general public of the Bahujan community coming together to expose Twitter and its deliberate fostering of casteist hierarchy.

In an exclusive interview to Sabrang India, explaining what prompted him to start the good fight and why he will never give it up, he said, “Today, social media platforms, willingly or unwillingly have become a part of the country’s democratic process. Because conversations take place and opinions are formed on these platforms, we expect them to act according to constitutional morality and democratic norms.”

 

“Twitter functions as a hierarchical, undemocratic and arbitrary institution which impacts discourse and democracy”

Talking about his protest against the blue-tick or ‘neeli janeu’ awarded out to some accounts he mentioned, “It creates hierarchy in the conversation by allotting blue ticks and verifications to some of the handles and does not verify millions of other accounts. This is wrong because they are not stating any processes followed to verify or not verify some accounts. The end result is that a large part of the minorities – SC / ST / OBCs who form more than 11 crore of the Indian population, are getting left out of this process and not getting any blue ticks.”

Discussing about his immediate provocation to begin this digital andolan he said, “Twitter is suspending many accounts of the SC/ST community without citing any reason, especially if it is not verified – making it more vulnerable for suspension.”

“It all started with #RestoreDilipMandal”

“My account was suspended on charges of violation of privacy. I had posted a tweet citing the release of a book and had submitted the author’s details in case anyone needed to contact him. For this, Twitter arbitrarily decided to suspend my account even though the author himself wrote to Twitter explicitly stating that his privacy wasn’t violated and that privacy was a fundamental right. Nobody, other than oneself can determine the limits of the violation to one’s privacy. That’s when I started the hashtag #RestoreDilipMandal”, he said.

“End the hierarchy”

After the first hashtag that began with his name, he started a campaign against Twitter asking it to “end the hierarchy” as it was “distorting the conversation”. Citing its arbitrariness he said, “During this time, in the last seven days, they without any sort of application or details from my end, they verified my account. This is extremely discriminatory, especially when according to their guidelines, after 2017 the verification processes have been kept on hold.”

“The campaign has dented their credibility”

Answering to Sabrang India about whether his campaign would yield any result he said, “Though it is difficult to say what will happen next, this has definitely dented their credibility. For the first time in the history of Twitter, they posted eight verifications trying to clarify their position. This shows that they are rattled.”

Professor Mandal has now asked Twitter to verify all #बहुजनमीडिया and their staff or remove the blue-ticks of all media channels and their staffers. Will Twitter heed his call?

 

EXCLUSIVE: “Main copy-right mein nahi, copy-left mein maanta hoon”: Dilip Mandal

Professor Mandal who questioned ‘casteist’ Twitter, has now become the poster-boy for equal rights of the Bahujan community on social media

Dilip Mandal

In the past week, Twitter has combusted with the sheer volume of tweets coming in from the Bahujan community asking the micro blogging site why it is not letting them exercise their democratic right of freedom of expression on social media.

What started as a trickle of questions, has now become a wave of dissent with leaders, intellectuals, scholars and the general public of the Bahujan community coming together to expose Twitter and its deliberate fostering of casteist hierarchy.

In an exclusive interview to Sabrang India, explaining what prompted him to start the good fight and why he will never give it up, he said, “Today, social media platforms, willingly or unwillingly have become a part of the country’s democratic process. Because conversations take place and opinions are formed on these platforms, we expect them to act according to constitutional morality and democratic norms.”

 

“Twitter functions as a hierarchical, undemocratic and arbitrary institution which impacts discourse and democracy”

Talking about his protest against the blue-tick or ‘neeli janeu’ awarded out to some accounts he mentioned, “It creates hierarchy in the conversation by allotting blue ticks and verifications to some of the handles and does not verify millions of other accounts. This is wrong because they are not stating any processes followed to verify or not verify some accounts. The end result is that a large part of the minorities – SC / ST / OBCs who form more than 11 crore of the Indian population, are getting left out of this process and not getting any blue ticks.”

Discussing about his immediate provocation to begin this digital andolan he said, “Twitter is suspending many accounts of the SC/ST community without citing any reason, especially if it is not verified – making it more vulnerable for suspension.”

“It all started with #RestoreDilipMandal”

“My account was suspended on charges of violation of privacy. I had posted a tweet citing the release of a book and had submitted the author’s details in case anyone needed to contact him. For this, Twitter arbitrarily decided to suspend my account even though the author himself wrote to Twitter explicitly stating that his privacy wasn’t violated and that privacy was a fundamental right. Nobody, other than oneself can determine the limits of the violation to one’s privacy. That’s when I started the hashtag #RestoreDilipMandal”, he said.

“End the hierarchy”

After the first hashtag that began with his name, he started a campaign against Twitter asking it to “end the hierarchy” as it was “distorting the conversation”. Citing its arbitrariness he said, “During this time, in the last seven days, they without any sort of application or details from my end, they verified my account. This is extremely discriminatory, especially when according to their guidelines, after 2017 the verification processes have been kept on hold.”

“The campaign has dented their credibility”

Answering to Sabrang India about whether his campaign would yield any result he said, “Though it is difficult to say what will happen next, this has definitely dented their credibility. For the first time in the history of Twitter, they posted eight verifications trying to clarify their position. This shows that they are rattled.”

Professor Mandal has now asked Twitter to verify all #बहुजनमीडिया and their staff or remove the blue-ticks of all media channels and their staffers. Will Twitter heed his call?

 

Related Articles

News in Brief


News in Brief

In Focus

Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

TN will reject Hindutva project to eliminate Dravidian identity

Vidya Bhushan Rawat 08 Nov 2019

Iconic statue of EVR Periyar at the Periyar Thidal. His powerful presence in the Dravidian land ensured that the hate-mongering caste supremacists remained out of the power game in Tamil Nadu. But now, the Tamil land is being targeted by the Hindutva forces, and their agenda is to finish the Dravidian movement in the state. I asked this question to Dr K Veeramani, founder DK, whether the Dravidian politicians, who swore in the name of Thanthi Periyar, were not compromised by the Hindutva. I also felt that after the demise of two towering leaders of the movement, J. Jailalitha and Kaliangar Karnunandhi, there is a great risk of the powerful lobby of Hindutva sneaking its way in, through their money and muscle power.

 

Periyar

 

Why is Periyar's life not taught in the schools and colleges of Tamil Nadu and rest of the country?Are his achievements and sayings not important?That the symbolism of ‘Black’ is not merely beautiful but powerful too, is reflected in Periyar's actions more than anywhere else. Where do you find black shirt and white pant/ Sarong/Lungi combination? In cinema, as in popular culture, it is always white shirt and black pant, but Periyar's idea provided Black superiority over white and that is why his symbolism is much more powerful than anyone else’s. I donot know whether the African-Americans know about Periyar's work. I asked this question to Dr K Veeramani and he said that people are now reading Dr Ambedkar as his writings were in English. Periyar's work is in Tamil and need to be translated into English. However, DK is very careful about it, as a lot of ideas may be misinterpreted by the translators, but they are now in the process of doing the translations.

 

Periyar was a thinker, an intellectual and, perhaps, the most powerful public intellectual. Many people feel the term 'public intellectual' should be used only for serious 'academics', but I think it should not be their monopoly. Periyar was the most influential man in our public life, as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned. He had the courage to call a spade a spade. His writings on women are unmatched even today. He can also be termed as one of the greatest feminists of our time, whose work most of our elite feminists may not even know about.

 

Periyar spoke against all forms of social evils and attacked the root of it. At a time when people say that in India, nothing can move without religion and we should 'respect' people's 'sentiments', we must remember Periyar and his success story. Periyar thrashed brahmanism in Tamil Nadu, made the Dravidian people aware of the exploitative nature of brahmanism and provided his own cultural alternative, like self-respect marriages. Tamil Nadu still remain a fascinating state,although Dravidian parties compromised with Hindutva. This is why Periyar always maintained that we must not be part of the power politics. Social movements must remain devoted to the cause of the people and must not become political parties, as then, they will compromise the interest of the people. Dr Veeramani says that DK remains committed to Periyar's vision of a strong social movement and our cadres do not aspire to become MPs and MLAs, even when they work to spread the message of Periyar all over the state, which only benefits the Dravidian political parties.

 

Periyar must go international and his thoughts should spread worldwide to promote humanism, rational thinking and the powerful message of the ‘black’ identity. Periyar is more important because it is also essential to know that you can bend the power without being in power. Periyar's power came from his commitment to the cause of people. That is why they were ready to listen to him and follow him, despite his strong words against religious belief. He spoke powerfully against superstition. Periyar was not merely a rationalist and an atheist, but openly propagated his beliefs. Despite not being in politics, he defined the Dravidian political principles and ideology that Tamil Nadu saw. It is because of these Dravidian principles that, despite all the faults of the political leaders and their compromises, Tamil Nadu remains one of the best governed states, better in human development indices, where children get far better mid-day meals than in any other state. They were also the first ones to start it, without being compelled by a Supreme Court order to do so.own. Tamil Nadu still has 69% reservation and is far superior to any other state in governance.

 

The success of Periyar's model in Tamil Nadu suggests that if we are true to the public cause, we can speak against false religious beliefs and succeed. Today's politicians cannot do it as they use religious superstition to promote their devotees and bhakts. Periyar wanted enlightened cadres and not brainless bhakts and that is why he succeeded. There are attempt to finish Dravidian principles and Periyar's work but, as Dr Veeramani says, Hindutva forces will try everything but Tamil Nadu will reject them as it rejected them in the past.

 

The comprehensive and enlightening conversation with Thiru. Dr K Veeramani will be available in the coming days.

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

  1. Statue wars: Who was Periyar and why does he trigger sentiment in Tamil Nadu?
  2. Tall claims of India’s ‘great civilisation’ are humbug
  3. 60 Years Of Constitutional Rights Denied To 20 Millions Indian Dalit Christians
  4. Enforcing Discrimination one Colour at a time: TN
  5. The Cunning of Caste

 

TN will reject Hindutva project to eliminate Dravidian identity

Iconic statue of EVR Periyar at the Periyar Thidal. His powerful presence in the Dravidian land ensured that the hate-mongering caste supremacists remained out of the power game in Tamil Nadu. But now, the Tamil land is being targeted by the Hindutva forces, and their agenda is to finish the Dravidian movement in the state. I asked this question to Dr K Veeramani, founder DK, whether the Dravidian politicians, who swore in the name of Thanthi Periyar, were not compromised by the Hindutva. I also felt that after the demise of two towering leaders of the movement, J. Jailalitha and Kaliangar Karnunandhi, there is a great risk of the powerful lobby of Hindutva sneaking its way in, through their money and muscle power.

 

Periyar

 

Why is Periyar's life not taught in the schools and colleges of Tamil Nadu and rest of the country?Are his achievements and sayings not important?That the symbolism of ‘Black’ is not merely beautiful but powerful too, is reflected in Periyar's actions more than anywhere else. Where do you find black shirt and white pant/ Sarong/Lungi combination? In cinema, as in popular culture, it is always white shirt and black pant, but Periyar's idea provided Black superiority over white and that is why his symbolism is much more powerful than anyone else’s. I donot know whether the African-Americans know about Periyar's work. I asked this question to Dr K Veeramani and he said that people are now reading Dr Ambedkar as his writings were in English. Periyar's work is in Tamil and need to be translated into English. However, DK is very careful about it, as a lot of ideas may be misinterpreted by the translators, but they are now in the process of doing the translations.

 

Periyar was a thinker, an intellectual and, perhaps, the most powerful public intellectual. Many people feel the term 'public intellectual' should be used only for serious 'academics', but I think it should not be their monopoly. Periyar was the most influential man in our public life, as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned. He had the courage to call a spade a spade. His writings on women are unmatched even today. He can also be termed as one of the greatest feminists of our time, whose work most of our elite feminists may not even know about.

 

Periyar spoke against all forms of social evils and attacked the root of it. At a time when people say that in India, nothing can move without religion and we should 'respect' people's 'sentiments', we must remember Periyar and his success story. Periyar thrashed brahmanism in Tamil Nadu, made the Dravidian people aware of the exploitative nature of brahmanism and provided his own cultural alternative, like self-respect marriages. Tamil Nadu still remain a fascinating state,although Dravidian parties compromised with Hindutva. This is why Periyar always maintained that we must not be part of the power politics. Social movements must remain devoted to the cause of the people and must not become political parties, as then, they will compromise the interest of the people. Dr Veeramani says that DK remains committed to Periyar's vision of a strong social movement and our cadres do not aspire to become MPs and MLAs, even when they work to spread the message of Periyar all over the state, which only benefits the Dravidian political parties.

 

Periyar must go international and his thoughts should spread worldwide to promote humanism, rational thinking and the powerful message of the ‘black’ identity. Periyar is more important because it is also essential to know that you can bend the power without being in power. Periyar's power came from his commitment to the cause of people. That is why they were ready to listen to him and follow him, despite his strong words against religious belief. He spoke powerfully against superstition. Periyar was not merely a rationalist and an atheist, but openly propagated his beliefs. Despite not being in politics, he defined the Dravidian political principles and ideology that Tamil Nadu saw. It is because of these Dravidian principles that, despite all the faults of the political leaders and their compromises, Tamil Nadu remains one of the best governed states, better in human development indices, where children get far better mid-day meals than in any other state. They were also the first ones to start it, without being compelled by a Supreme Court order to do so.own. Tamil Nadu still has 69% reservation and is far superior to any other state in governance.

 

The success of Periyar's model in Tamil Nadu suggests that if we are true to the public cause, we can speak against false religious beliefs and succeed. Today's politicians cannot do it as they use religious superstition to promote their devotees and bhakts. Periyar wanted enlightened cadres and not brainless bhakts and that is why he succeeded. There are attempt to finish Dravidian principles and Periyar's work but, as Dr Veeramani says, Hindutva forces will try everything but Tamil Nadu will reject them as it rejected them in the past.

 

The comprehensive and enlightening conversation with Thiru. Dr K Veeramani will be available in the coming days.

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

  1. Statue wars: Who was Periyar and why does he trigger sentiment in Tamil Nadu?
  2. Tall claims of India’s ‘great civilisation’ are humbug
  3. 60 Years Of Constitutional Rights Denied To 20 Millions Indian Dalit Christians
  4. Enforcing Discrimination one Colour at a time: TN
  5. The Cunning of Caste

 

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Haryana Dalits Face Boycott Over Using Village Hand-Pump; Approach SC

Members of a Dalit community from Bhatla village in Hisar, Haryana have approached the Supreme Court to seek relief from a series of atrocities that they have been facing at the hands of a caste-dominant community, including the blocking of access to drinking water from a village hand-pump.

Sabrangindia 07 Nov 2019
Discrimination

 

A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and BR Gavai referred the matter as very serious in nature, and directed the police to take action on the issues raised in the petition in connection with the social boycott.

The court told the Haryana government’s counsel that it sought his presence so that he can receive proper instruction from the departments involved in the matter. The court also asked the counsel to rope in a senior police officer, have them file a status report on the matter and appear before the Bench on November 8.

The matter was brought on record on July 2, 2017.Reporting on the case made by the petitioner, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) stated that the dispute arose when a group of dalit boys were beaten up by the members of dominant community for drawing water from a hand-pump. Six persons were hospitalised in the assault, and later FIR was registered.

The petitioners claim the social boycott was imposed on the Dalit community after they refused to withdraw the case.The petitioner stated that 500 houses in the village have faced the consequences of the boycott. Though, the issue was raised before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, but it did not improve the situation.

The plea contended, “As a result of the social boycott imposed by respondent number three (organisation), the Dalit community have been blocked from free entry into residential areas and fields which they have exercised for decades. They have been blocked from accessing ration shops, dairy shops, hair cutting saloons and the water supply has been sporadically stopped forcing the Dalits to approach the administration.”

IANS further reported that the petition seeks direction from the court to hand over the probe to CBI, and let the investigating agency take action the accused persons allegedly involved in the incident, as the police have failed to make any arrest so far. The petition also seeks direction to the state government to immediate steps to terminate the social boycott imposed on the community member since July 2017. The petitioners have also sought compensation for the victims. The petition states, “The local police have aligned with the dominant community… Not a single person has been arrested.”

The order can be read here:



Related:
Dalit youths stripped, flogged after altercation with restaurant owner: Ahmedabad
In Gujarat, even Dalit Cops are not spared, driven out of temple, refused food
To Be or Not to Be: The Identity Crisis of the Non-Savarna Indian

Haryana Dalits Face Boycott Over Using Village Hand-Pump; Approach SC

Members of a Dalit community from Bhatla village in Hisar, Haryana have approached the Supreme Court to seek relief from a series of atrocities that they have been facing at the hands of a caste-dominant community, including the blocking of access to drinking water from a village hand-pump.

Discrimination

 

A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and BR Gavai referred the matter as very serious in nature, and directed the police to take action on the issues raised in the petition in connection with the social boycott.

The court told the Haryana government’s counsel that it sought his presence so that he can receive proper instruction from the departments involved in the matter. The court also asked the counsel to rope in a senior police officer, have them file a status report on the matter and appear before the Bench on November 8.

The matter was brought on record on July 2, 2017.Reporting on the case made by the petitioner, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) stated that the dispute arose when a group of dalit boys were beaten up by the members of dominant community for drawing water from a hand-pump. Six persons were hospitalised in the assault, and later FIR was registered.

The petitioners claim the social boycott was imposed on the Dalit community after they refused to withdraw the case.The petitioner stated that 500 houses in the village have faced the consequences of the boycott. Though, the issue was raised before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, but it did not improve the situation.

The plea contended, “As a result of the social boycott imposed by respondent number three (organisation), the Dalit community have been blocked from free entry into residential areas and fields which they have exercised for decades. They have been blocked from accessing ration shops, dairy shops, hair cutting saloons and the water supply has been sporadically stopped forcing the Dalits to approach the administration.”

IANS further reported that the petition seeks direction from the court to hand over the probe to CBI, and let the investigating agency take action the accused persons allegedly involved in the incident, as the police have failed to make any arrest so far. The petition also seeks direction to the state government to immediate steps to terminate the social boycott imposed on the community member since July 2017. The petitioners have also sought compensation for the victims. The petition states, “The local police have aligned with the dominant community… Not a single person has been arrested.”

The order can be read here:



Related:
Dalit youths stripped, flogged after altercation with restaurant owner: Ahmedabad
In Gujarat, even Dalit Cops are not spared, driven out of temple, refused food
To Be or Not to Be: The Identity Crisis of the Non-Savarna Indian

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Tougher Than Steel: Odisha Community Rally Against Transfer of Their Land, Again

Sabrangindia 07 Nov 2019

The POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) has recommenced their movement and begun resistance against the Government of Odisha’s plans to transfer their land near Paradipin Jagatsinghpur district to a steel company, JSW Utkal Steel Ltd.

Posco
Image Courtesy: The Hindu

On September 17, 2019, the Ministry of Environment and Forest accepted the State Government’s proposal to transfer the forest clearance given to the land which was previously acquired for Korean giant POSCO Steel to the Sajjan Jindal-led JSW. Around 447 families are likely to be displaced by the proposed steel project.

The Economic Times had reported that JSW requires 23 million tonnes of iron ore for its plants which have an 18-million tonne annual capacity. It reports that the company was already preparing to lay a 30-million tonne slurry pipeline to carry iron ore from mines in Odisha’s Joda and Barbil districts in the north to its pellet plant in Jajpur, Brahmani River Pellets which it acquired in December 2017 and has also invested in two berths at the Paradip Port.

The History
In 2005, PPSS emerged as a movement in resistance to the intended POSCO-India project. POSCO, the world’s fourth-largest steelmaker, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Odisha government to set up a 12-million-tonne-capacity steel project in Jagatsinghpur district.
At nearly Rs. 52,000 crores, the project was the largest source of foreign investment in Indiaat that time.It purported to transfer more than 12,000 acres of land to POSCO, displacing up to 20,000 people in the process. The villagers were additionally denied access to the surrounding forest which was the main source for their livelihoods. The deforestation and crop destruction caused to make space for the plant had severe environmental impacts.

Scroll.in reported that the resistance was largely because the project would destroy the betel-based economy which sustained 20,000-odd people from eight villages in Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadakujanga gram panchayats. About three quarters ofthe total 4,004 acres required for the plant was to come from forestland, which was dotted with around 5,000 betel vines that assured farmers an average income of at least Rs. 20,000 per month.

In 2013, ESCR-Net and the International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) at NYU School of Law released the report, The Price of Steel, which narrated attempts to forcibly evict the villagers from their land and highlighted the serious violations of international and Indian law.

Prafulla Samantarahad filed a PIL with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) challenging the illegal chopping of more than 2 lakh trees without any government clearances. Writing for Sabrang India, he reported on how district officialsand POSCO India managers had persuaded nearly 40 families to leave their villages with assurance of proper rehabilitation, and were kept in a transit camp for ten years without any civic amenities and human dignity while being portrayed as victims of the anti-POSCO struggle.

In 2017, after more than a decade of resistance in the face of severe state repression including unfounded criminal charges against thousands of activists, the POSCO-India project was finally abandoned. However, rather than returning the land to the communities, it was saved in a so-called ‘land bank’ and recently transferred to another steel company, JSW Utkal Steel Ltd. (JUSL).The PPSS President Abhay Sahu said that police have registered at least 32 cases against the villagers for re-occupying the land and setting up betel vines for which they have already received compensation from the government.

Therefore, the villagers are once again facing their land being transferred to a steel company, which in turn will have serious, negative impacts on their enjoyment of human rights.

Related:
Human Suffering, Environmental Degradation: That's What POSCO Produced In Odisha
Victory of Anti-Posco Struggle
Return Land to Villagers, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti Demands
FDI in Coal: Why Every Ounce of Our Mineral Resources Should Remain in Public Hands
Black clouds over Saranda: Centre set to open up 43000 ha of Jharkhand’s forests for mining

Tougher Than Steel: Odisha Community Rally Against Transfer of Their Land, Again

The POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) has recommenced their movement and begun resistance against the Government of Odisha’s plans to transfer their land near Paradipin Jagatsinghpur district to a steel company, JSW Utkal Steel Ltd.

Posco
Image Courtesy: The Hindu

On September 17, 2019, the Ministry of Environment and Forest accepted the State Government’s proposal to transfer the forest clearance given to the land which was previously acquired for Korean giant POSCO Steel to the Sajjan Jindal-led JSW. Around 447 families are likely to be displaced by the proposed steel project.

The Economic Times had reported that JSW requires 23 million tonnes of iron ore for its plants which have an 18-million tonne annual capacity. It reports that the company was already preparing to lay a 30-million tonne slurry pipeline to carry iron ore from mines in Odisha’s Joda and Barbil districts in the north to its pellet plant in Jajpur, Brahmani River Pellets which it acquired in December 2017 and has also invested in two berths at the Paradip Port.

The History
In 2005, PPSS emerged as a movement in resistance to the intended POSCO-India project. POSCO, the world’s fourth-largest steelmaker, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Odisha government to set up a 12-million-tonne-capacity steel project in Jagatsinghpur district.
At nearly Rs. 52,000 crores, the project was the largest source of foreign investment in Indiaat that time.It purported to transfer more than 12,000 acres of land to POSCO, displacing up to 20,000 people in the process. The villagers were additionally denied access to the surrounding forest which was the main source for their livelihoods. The deforestation and crop destruction caused to make space for the plant had severe environmental impacts.

Scroll.in reported that the resistance was largely because the project would destroy the betel-based economy which sustained 20,000-odd people from eight villages in Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadakujanga gram panchayats. About three quarters ofthe total 4,004 acres required for the plant was to come from forestland, which was dotted with around 5,000 betel vines that assured farmers an average income of at least Rs. 20,000 per month.

In 2013, ESCR-Net and the International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) at NYU School of Law released the report, The Price of Steel, which narrated attempts to forcibly evict the villagers from their land and highlighted the serious violations of international and Indian law.

Prafulla Samantarahad filed a PIL with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) challenging the illegal chopping of more than 2 lakh trees without any government clearances. Writing for Sabrang India, he reported on how district officialsand POSCO India managers had persuaded nearly 40 families to leave their villages with assurance of proper rehabilitation, and were kept in a transit camp for ten years without any civic amenities and human dignity while being portrayed as victims of the anti-POSCO struggle.

In 2017, after more than a decade of resistance in the face of severe state repression including unfounded criminal charges against thousands of activists, the POSCO-India project was finally abandoned. However, rather than returning the land to the communities, it was saved in a so-called ‘land bank’ and recently transferred to another steel company, JSW Utkal Steel Ltd. (JUSL).The PPSS President Abhay Sahu said that police have registered at least 32 cases against the villagers for re-occupying the land and setting up betel vines for which they have already received compensation from the government.

Therefore, the villagers are once again facing their land being transferred to a steel company, which in turn will have serious, negative impacts on their enjoyment of human rights.

Related:
Human Suffering, Environmental Degradation: That's What POSCO Produced In Odisha
Victory of Anti-Posco Struggle
Return Land to Villagers, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti Demands
FDI in Coal: Why Every Ounce of Our Mineral Resources Should Remain in Public Hands
Black clouds over Saranda: Centre set to open up 43000 ha of Jharkhand’s forests for mining

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

How the Babri Masjid was demolished

Sabrang

Bhim Army chief appeals to Mayawati to support the Bahujan movement

Chandra shekhar Aazad extends the olive branch again, he had earlier accused her of weakening the Dalit movement

Sabrangindia 06 Nov 2019

Image result for Bhim Army chief appeals to Mayawati to support the Bahujan movement"
Image Courtesy: News18.com

Recently out on bail after protests over the demolition of a Ravidas temple, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Aazad has once again extended an olive branch towards Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati asking her to come together to fight against the BJP for its irresponsibility in case of the atrocities towards the Bahujan community in its tenure.

In an open letter addressed to her on Twitter, he has asked her to join him in a discussion over how to strengthen the Bahujan movement so that a befitting reply can be given to the incumbent government for its alleged anti-Dalit policies, The Indian Express reported.



Stating that under the BJP rule, the assaults over the Dalit community has grown and that the constitutional provisions given to the backward communities have constantly been under attack, he said, “I believe the key to the problems of contemporary India is only with the Bahujan society. If there is a problem, we have to look within. It is my request that we must keep aside all our differences and sit together for deliberations. Because only discussions and deliberations can only open a new way …given that you are a member of the core team of Honourable Kanshiram, your experience is of importance to us. We hope that you will participate in this discussion.”

Acknowledging the slide of the community’s power, he reminded her in the letter that it was essential to join hands against the BJP because the ruling party had even returned to power in the bastion of Bahujan politics in Uttar Pradesh.

He called on her support to streamline Bahujan unity and politics, for being part of the core team of Dr.Kanshiram, her contribution would be of indispensable importance to the fostering of the community.

Azad and Mayawati have not had a very comfortable relationship. While he has often addressed her as ‘bua’ and even expressed his desire to see her as the Prime Minister, she has accused him of siding with the BJP in their ill-intention of dividing Dalit votes in Varanasi.

Azad too, had in the past accused her of weakening the Dalit movement when she decided to call of her party’s alliance with the Samajwadi Party and said that he would draw up a plan for the future of the Bahujans as they were in need of a strong alternative leadership.

The Bhim Army, led by Azad has been on a relentless drive to help Bahujans get an equal footing in all areas in the country. They have been vocal in their criticism against the increasing number of Dalit lynchings happening in India, and have now also taken the war for their rights, digital.

The letter from Azad to Mayawati come at a time when the Bahujan community has pulled up Twitter, the microblogging website for its ‘casteist’ attitude, accusing the website of verifying only those accounts they know belong to people of the upper caste.

In the onslaught that saw the Bhim Army lock the Twitter India office for suspending the voices of many dissenting scholars and intellectuals and purposely not verifying accounts of people who belonged to the lower castes, this letter from Azad shows that the Bahujan community is ready to strengthen its forces and claim their rightful space in the nation.

But will Mayawati accept his invitation?

Related:
SC, ST, OBC community continues to question Twitter over verification criteria
Accusing site of ‘casteism’, Bhim Army locks Twitter India office
https://hindi.sabrangindia.in/article/bhim-army-locked-twitter-s-mumbai-office
Kerala HC judge says Brahmins should be at the Helm of Affairs, asks them to agitate against Reservations
Is Twitter’s tokenism when it comes to human rights surprising?
Opinion: Will the caste mind rise and smash Brahmanical Patriarchy?

Bhim Army chief appeals to Mayawati to support the Bahujan movement

Chandra shekhar Aazad extends the olive branch again, he had earlier accused her of weakening the Dalit movement

Image result for Bhim Army chief appeals to Mayawati to support the Bahujan movement"
Image Courtesy: News18.com

Recently out on bail after protests over the demolition of a Ravidas temple, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Aazad has once again extended an olive branch towards Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati asking her to come together to fight against the BJP for its irresponsibility in case of the atrocities towards the Bahujan community in its tenure.

In an open letter addressed to her on Twitter, he has asked her to join him in a discussion over how to strengthen the Bahujan movement so that a befitting reply can be given to the incumbent government for its alleged anti-Dalit policies, The Indian Express reported.



Stating that under the BJP rule, the assaults over the Dalit community has grown and that the constitutional provisions given to the backward communities have constantly been under attack, he said, “I believe the key to the problems of contemporary India is only with the Bahujan society. If there is a problem, we have to look within. It is my request that we must keep aside all our differences and sit together for deliberations. Because only discussions and deliberations can only open a new way …given that you are a member of the core team of Honourable Kanshiram, your experience is of importance to us. We hope that you will participate in this discussion.”

Acknowledging the slide of the community’s power, he reminded her in the letter that it was essential to join hands against the BJP because the ruling party had even returned to power in the bastion of Bahujan politics in Uttar Pradesh.

He called on her support to streamline Bahujan unity and politics, for being part of the core team of Dr.Kanshiram, her contribution would be of indispensable importance to the fostering of the community.

Azad and Mayawati have not had a very comfortable relationship. While he has often addressed her as ‘bua’ and even expressed his desire to see her as the Prime Minister, she has accused him of siding with the BJP in their ill-intention of dividing Dalit votes in Varanasi.

Azad too, had in the past accused her of weakening the Dalit movement when she decided to call of her party’s alliance with the Samajwadi Party and said that he would draw up a plan for the future of the Bahujans as they were in need of a strong alternative leadership.

The Bhim Army, led by Azad has been on a relentless drive to help Bahujans get an equal footing in all areas in the country. They have been vocal in their criticism against the increasing number of Dalit lynchings happening in India, and have now also taken the war for their rights, digital.

The letter from Azad to Mayawati come at a time when the Bahujan community has pulled up Twitter, the microblogging website for its ‘casteist’ attitude, accusing the website of verifying only those accounts they know belong to people of the upper caste.

In the onslaught that saw the Bhim Army lock the Twitter India office for suspending the voices of many dissenting scholars and intellectuals and purposely not verifying accounts of people who belonged to the lower castes, this letter from Azad shows that the Bahujan community is ready to strengthen its forces and claim their rightful space in the nation.

But will Mayawati accept his invitation?

Related:
SC, ST, OBC community continues to question Twitter over verification criteria
Accusing site of ‘casteism’, Bhim Army locks Twitter India office
https://hindi.sabrangindia.in/article/bhim-army-locked-twitter-s-mumbai-office
Kerala HC judge says Brahmins should be at the Helm of Affairs, asks them to agitate against Reservations
Is Twitter’s tokenism when it comes to human rights surprising?
Opinion: Will the caste mind rise and smash Brahmanical Patriarchy?

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Subscribe to Dalit Bahujan Adivasi