Dalits Media Watch
Under Mayawati, Muslims fare worse than dalits in education- The Times Of India
Mayawati wants dalit quota in judiciary and private sector- The Times Of India
Vachathi case: 'It's sad we're being punished for doing our duty'- The Times Of India
Caste and capital can't coexist- The Times Of India
The Times Of India
Under Mayawati, Muslims fare worse than dalits in education
Abantika Ghosh, TNN | Oct 2, 2011, 01.11AM IST
NEW DELHI: Mayawati may have demanded reservation for the Muslims in proportion to their population, but the community has little to cheer about during her five years' rule in Uttar Pradesh.
An analysis of Muslims' share in employment and education shows how since 2007 the Muslims have fared worse than dalits in UP on the education front. Demolishing the tall claims of the minority concentration districts' programme to smithereens, the study shows that per capita consumption expenditure of the Muslims was the least (Rs 781 against Rs 948 for upper caste Hindus, Rs 846 for Hindu OBCs and Rs 808 for Hindu SCs), where the community's population is above 40%. Economist Abusaleh Shariiff, who conducted the study, has called for revoking the programme.
"We want money from the HRD ministry for the development of education opportunities for our children, not from the ministry of minority affairs. The minority concentration districts programme should be closed down," Shariff said. Shariff is the chief economist of the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), and was member secretary of the Sachar Committee that was formed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 to look into the social, economic and educational status of Indian Muslims. He presented his findings at the Institute of Objective Studies on Saturday.
The study showed that the Muslim participation in the UPA's flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is minimal (8.6%) in Uttar Pradesh, where the community's population is more than 18%. SC/STs' share in the scheme is 53.5%, followed by OBCs (33.9%).
Only 11.3% of workers in the formal sector in urban areas are Muslims, and 30.6% of them are employed in the private sector against just 5.3% in the public sector, turning the very principle behind demands for reservation in the private sector on its head. On the contrary, 17.5% workers in the sector are SC/STs and 19.7% are OBCs. On the education front, the study showed that literacy among the Muslims on the OBC and general categories has gone up by about 7% in both urban and rural areas of UP over the last five years. Only Hindu STs are worse off at 4%. General category Hindus have shown the highest leap of 17% in rural and 22% in urban areas.
The Muslims' plight worsens as level of education goes up. In matric education, Muslim OBCs showed just a 2% rise, while there was a dip of about 3% for those who belong to the general category. Correspondingly, Hindu STs showed a surge of close to 20% and SCs of about 3% in rural areas and 5% and 8% in urban areas, respectively.Muslims' share in higher education was the most dismal, with the OBCs registering a fall of 13% in urban and 12% in rural areas. General category Muslims showed a fall of 9% in urban areas and 14% in rural areas.
"Education data shows that the present trend of politics in UP has worked in favour of OBC Muslims and dalits whereas general category Muslims have lagged behind in many cases," Shariff added.
The Times Of India
Mayawati wants dalit quota in judiciary and private sector
Ashish Tripathi, TNN | Oct 1, 2011, 06.47PM IST
LUCKNOW: UP chief minister Mayawati shot off yet another letter, seventh in last 10 days, to prime minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday. This time she has demanded increase in the percentage of reservation provided to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) in view of increase in their population and introduce quota system in the judiciary, private sector and other places where it has not been implemented as yet.
Earlier, she had written to the prime minister for providing reservation to Jats under other backward class (OBC) category, upper caste poor on financial basis, quota within quota in OBC category to backward Muslims, inclusion of 25 most backward classes (MBC), dalit Muslims and dalit Christians in the SC/ST category, pathetic condition of national highways in UP and shortage of fertilisers. The letters are being seen as BSP chief's move to play caste card before 2012 assembly elections. Mayawati has sought to appease all sections of society -- backwards, dalits, upper castes and Muslims. She is also looking forward for an alliance of dalit-Brahmin-Muslim-MBC for 2012 elections. BSP had come to power with absolute majority in 2007 with the support of dalits and by successfully wooing a section of Brahims, Muslims and MBCs.
In her letter, Mayawati has stated that the population of dalits and tribals have increased considerably since Independence, hence it is important to increase the percentage of reservation to dalits and tribals in government jobs and educational institutions. She reiterated inclusion of MBCs in SC/ST list and providing them a fixed quota within quota. She had suggested that after including MBCs, dalit Christians and dalit Muslims in the SC/ST category, the percentage of quota should also be increased in accordance with the increase in number of communities. She had even recommended amendment in the constitution to increase quota and to include more castes and classes for reservation benefit. She had demanded that the reservation policy should be put in the ninth schedule of the constitution so that it cannot be challenged in any court of law.
Arguing that increase in quota will help marginalised sections to join national mainstream, Mayawati also patted her back for initiating number of schemes to benefit downtrodden in UP. The BSP government has introduced quota for dalits in allotment of government contracts upto Rs 25 lakh, reservation facility in promotions, filling of backlog reserved category vacancies, 10% quota in jobs in private sector units established with the help of state government and quota in jobs for dalits in the services outsourced to the private sector. Mayawati has also decided to introduce 23% quota to SC/ST and 27% for OBCs in the industrial units established under public-private-partnership. Besides, the government has also implemented several schemes - free housing for urban poor and dalits, scholarships for dalits, backwards and Muslims among other things.
Incidentally, Mayawati appointed 1977 batch IPS officer Brij Lal, a dalit, as the new director general of police (DGP) of UP on Saturday following superannuation of RK Tiwari, a Brahmin. Tiwari was made DGP last month after retirement of Karamveer Singh. Tiwari remained DGP for around a month. Political analysts say that Mayawati has tried to give a message to both Brahmins and Dalits with appointments of Tiwari and Lal. Significantly, Lal was already handling several important police departments. A judicial magistrate in Ghaziabad had recently directed police to lodge an FIR against Lal and some other senior IPS officers on the petition of a police constable Brijendra Singh Yadav who alleged that Rs 25 per month were illegally deducted from the salaries of 3.5 lakh constables in UP. Lal has challenged the order in the High Court.
The Times Of India
Vachathi case: 'It's sad we're being punished for doing our duty'
Binoy Valsan, TNN | Sep 30, 2011, 08.18AM IST
DHARMAPURI: For K Raju, life has never been the same since that unfortunate day in 1992 when he received information about an ongoing raid at Vachathi village near Harur.
He was not willing to admit the extent of atrocities that he witnessed in the village but claimed that his only fault was that he was the Village Administative Officer (VAO) at that time and had to visit the village after reports of clashes between forest officials and villagers reached him.
Raju was included as one of the 269 accused in the CBI chargesheet and sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment on Thursday."Lot of things happened on that day. I have been trying to forget it for the past 19 years. It has taken a toll on my life," said a visibly shaken Raju on Thursday just before the verdict. All 216 of the 269 accused-53 of them had died over the years-chargesheeted by the CBI arrived at the court complex along with their family members.
Some of the accused, especially those from the police department, like Neelamegham, a retired head constable who is accused no. 218, claimed that he was deployed in Vachathi village on bandobast duty and that the village was already deserted when he reached there."The raid was spearheaded by forest officials and I cannot confirm or deny the allegations levelled in the case. There are some exaggerations in the victims' accounts also," he added. Neelamegham had injured his leg recently and had arrived at the court on crutches.
Abdul Lathif, retired DFO and one of the officials who led a team into Vachathi village, claimed that there was always tension between the villagers and forest officials due to the former's alleged involvement in sandalwood smuggling. He claimed that the villagers used to dig pits in their agriculture field to hide sandalwood logs after chopping and chiseling them to size. Abdul Lathif is accused no. 30 in the case. "Four teams entered the village that day from all directions. A few of our officials had already entered the village and were trying to talk to the villagers. But the talks failed and soon reinforcements came and the operation began," he recollected. However, when asked if he had any regrets, he refused to comment. Retired principal chief conservator of forest and the first accused in the case, Harikrishnan, pointed out that the team seized as much as 60 tonnes of sandalwood from the village and handed it over to the government- a fact which was conveniently forgotten by everyone.
He added that everyone, including the government and CBI officials, also forgot how the forest and police personnel were threatened and attacked with stones and country-made guns by the villagers just before the joint operation began on that fateful day in June. "It is unfortunate that all of us are being treated in this manner for doing our duty," said Harikrishnan. As soon as the 17 forest personnel accused of rape were sentenced, the court ordered them to be taken into custody. Many were shocked and could be seen making phone calls to their relatives and removing their ornaments and wallets and handing it over to those who had come with them to the court.
The Times Of India
Caste and capital can't coexist
Shobhan Saxena, TNN | Oct 2, 2011, 05.50AM IST
Your mission statement says "Fight caste with capital". Why do you think dalit capitalism is the answer to caste discrimination in India?
Capitalism dismantles rural societies and feudalism. Capitalism dismantles traditions and traditional cultures. Capitalism produces urban societies, democracy and modernity. India's caste system thrived and survived on agrarianism and traditional culture. Caste is losing its grip over dalits because India is industrializing, urbanizing and modernizing. Dalit capitalism will accelerate that process and will accord a human face to Indian capitalism. Caste and capital can't coexist. One has to give way to the other. Do you believe economic reforms have given opportunities to dalit entrepreneurs that were not available earlier?
Absolutely. Globalization triggered economic reforms and the world turning into one mandi made big corporations more competitive. Competition revolved around cost-cutting and quality improvement. New and small business players got opportunities. Some opportunities landed in dalits' laps as well. Earlier, dalits could never dream of making cars or bikes. Today, some dalits are making ancillaries to Tata's Indigo and Nano, Bajaj and Hero bikes. Also, the reforms triggered by the market economy have caused 'market markers' to replace 'social markers'. If you are an upper caste without a cell phone, TV antenna on the rooftop or a bike, then you are a nobody. Your social marker - the sacred thread, for instance - becomes a burden. The chase of wealth has become a social phenomenon. Isn't it a revolution that an upper caste woman running a beauty parlour gives massage to dalits? Economic reforms unleashed Adam Smith to chase Manu away from this planet.
What difference have role models like you made to the dalit community?
Reserved government jobs have helped the community to create a small middle class. But those jobs are too few to have any transformative impact. Government jobs will always be limited, but enterprise is limitless. By demonstrating our entrepreneurship skills we want to tell the world that we, too, have the strength to compete in the open market. We want to tell dalits 'Yes, we can do!' This will shatter the stereotype that dalits are a class of people who are always dependent. Our slogan 'Be Job Givers, and not Job Seekers' was an instant hit in the community.
How difficult is it for dalits to start a business today?
All new business players face difficulties. Dalits, too, undergo that trajectory. However, they face more problems as they hardly have any friends or relatives in business. Since most dalits don't inherit wealth, they face difficulties in getting loans from banks as there is nothing to produce as guarantee.
What are your expectations from your three-day trade fair in December?
It is about brand building. The Mumbai Dalit Trade Fair will produce new role models for the community. Dalit youth will figure out that there is a world outside government jobs. The world would realize that dalits have massive potential to compete and succeed. Our entrepreneurs will gain more visibility and exposure- essential for success in businesses. We are planningy technical sessions, workshops and B2B meets. We expect a positive response from the nation that dalit capitalism can no longer be ignored.
The US has a number of black millionaires but the majority of blacks remain trapped in poverty ?Doyouthink the same can happen in India- a few dalit millionaires but poverty for the rest?
Are all white Americans billionaires and millionaires? Are all upper castes in India billionaires and millionaires? Likewise, not all dalits can be billionaires and millionaires. Why should all billionaires and millionaires in the US be only whites? Why should all billionaires and millionaires in India be from upper castes? A good number of dalits, too, should become billionaires and millionaires. Thousands of dalits should become employers of nondalits.
Is economic prosperity enough to give equality to dalits?
We at DICCI are unanimous on this - without economic independence, dalits can never gain social independence. Without economic equality, there can never be social equality. Without a strong capitalist class within dalits, dalit politicians can never become strong. Barack Obama's rise was preceded by the rise of Black Capitalism.
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
(An initiative of "Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC")
Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre- PMARC has been initiated with the support from group of senior journalists, social activists, academics and intellectuals from Dalit and civil society to advocate and facilitate Dalits issues in the mainstream media. To create proper & adequate space with the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media national/ International on Dalit issues is primary objective of the PMARC.