- Clarion Of Dalit - Weekly Newspaper On Web
Working For The Rights & Survival Of The Oppressed
Editor: NAGARAJA.M.R… VOL.7 issue.27…… .03/07/2013
Editorial : MORE IMRAANAS & SHA
BANOOS - URGENT NEED FOR UNIFORM CIVIL CODE
cases of Maryada Murders or Honour killings , rape cases of women .
Decades old case of rape victim, SMT. Imraana has proved that how inhuman , illogical
the fatwa & shariat laws of muslim community are. It remindsus of medieval
times. The so-called ardent followers of shariat laws, only force it on their
women folk. The shariat laws with respect to men folk like prohibition on
drinking, smoking, adultery,etc & the punishments like public stoning to
death are not enforced. The muslim men are authorised by shariat to marry more
women but they must look after all their needs as per shariat. They can divorce
their wives by triple talaq if they are not satisfied with them. This part of
shariat is carried out by menfolk however the other part of shariat which stipulates
paying back of dukthari, woman's belongings,her properties all to her after
talaq are not at all followed.
chauvinists in muslim community are the worst violators of shariat. They are
suitably manipulating shariat to supress muslim women. The central government
is also dancing to the tunes to safeguard it's vote bank. Take the case of shaa
banoo during P.M. Rajiv gandhi's regime. Inspite of supreme court ruling to pay
living expenses to her by her ex-husband, the govt passed a bill annulling the
gives subsidy to haj pilgrims, does it give the same amount of subsidy to kashi
pilgrims, bodhgaya pilgrims, bethleham & Jerusalem pilgrims ? The women
folk of different religions don't enjoy same property rights in their parent's
property. The govt has enacted
various laws which are itself unequal, illogical & violative of fundamental
rights of citizens, all to appease a votebank.
religions are based on humanity & equitable justice, are good, great &
lead to the same supreme power. It is the subsequent interpretations which are
inhuman. According to times, the medieval rituals which may be right at that
time, at that place but now inhuman, illogical at this time & at this
place-india, should be dropped. The religion must be within the confines of
home. Before law, everybody is equal & must be treated as equals, both
women & men.
urges the honourable supreme court of india to order the govt of india to enact
uniform civil code within a time frame. JAI HIND. VANDE MATARAM.
UNTOUCHABILITY BY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN
- VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS OF DALITS
In india , rich people belonging to forward castes form
educational trusts , proclaiming that they want to serve the society by
providing education to all irrespective of caste or creed. By this declaration
they get Civic Amenity sites from government authorities at concessional rates.
Further they get tax , duty
exemptions on materials , machines they import for the educational institution.
However , while admitting students they are purely commercial minded , the highest bidder gets
IF AT ALL THE SOLE AIM
OF THESE INSTITUTIONS IS COMMERCIAL – LET THEM BE REGISTERED AS COMMERCIAL
BODIES , ASK THEM TO GET SITES AT COMMERCIAL MARKET RATES , ASK THEM TO PAY
MATERIALS , MACHINES & THEIR YEARLY INCOME. ENFORCE MINIMUM WAGES ACT ,
GRATUITIES ACT , P.F & ESI ACT TO THESE INSTITUTIONS WHO ARE PAYING A
PITTANCE TO THEIR STAFF.
Some institutions like industrial training institutes ( I.T.I) , polytechnics ,
engineering colleges & medical
colleges run by trusts floated by forward castes lack basic infrastructure , to
teach students properly , they only appoint staff belonging to thier castes.
Dalits , minorities , weaker section people are not at all selected. They don't
publicly advertise for vacancies. They fill all posts with thier own caste
people & finally even get government grant in aid. How ? These institutions
are getting affiliations , yearly approvals form the government , how ?
actually they should have been shut. These
trusts want government backing for tax exemptions , lands at concessional rates
,monetary benefits , etc , however the same trusts are not willing to implement
the social welfare objectives of the government , by providing seats to weaker sections
, by providing appointments to dalits few
posts in all category of positions ( not just group D - dalits are also
brilliant & capable of performing all jobs, they have proved it ).
Hereby , we urge honourable prime minister of india , government of india & honourable
chief minister of karnataka , government
of karnataka to :
1. before giving lands at concessional rate , tax exemptions , to any educational
trusts the government must ensure that the trust must adhere to the social
welfare norms of the government from day one.
2. Before giving affiliations to educational institutions the govt must ensure
, are the institutions are providing sufficient infrastructure to students ?
3. Before giving grant in aid to any institution , the government must ensure
have the management provided jobs to dalits , minorities , etc as per norms
from the day one . if not grant in aid should be
rejected. Here there is no meaning in giving reservation of jobs in future
appointments in those institutions , as all the posts are presently filled with
forward castes , there is no expansion projects.
So , dalits have to wait for another 30-40 years to get the vacancies in those
institutions after the retirement of forward caste employees , which is not at
all practical or realistic .
4. In karnataka state , numerous Industrial Training Institutes ( ITI) have
mushroomed , some don't even have basic infrastructure. Still they are running
the show , how ? these ITIs run by forward caste people have appointed only
their caste people to all posts , not even a single dalit is there. Still they
have got government grant in aid , how ? we urge honourable chief minister of
karnataka , to look into this & in future to provide grant in aid in aid to
only those I.T.Is which have proper infrastructure & dalits , weaker
section employees on their pay-rolls.
5. To order all educational institutions to make public announcement of
vacancies in their institutions even though not covered under grant in aid , as
they have already taken sufficient monetary
benefits from the government.
6. To order all educational institutions , to admit students as per government
rates of fees. Some institutions are fleecing higher fees from the students ,
but are giving receipts for lesser amount only.
7. If any educational institutions don't agree with the government norms , those institutions must be asked to
be registered as commercial bodies , no tax exemptions , lands at concessional
allotment of CA sites should be given to them by the government.
By these measures alone poor & weaker section people will get justice . you
are aware of merited but poor students
committing suicides year after year , CET fiasco - due to their financial
inability to join medical or engineering colleges. Numerous similar cases are
there with regard to admission to ITIs .
polytechnics. The greed & casteism of these educational institutions is
reigning high. In the positive hope that you will be kind enough to put an end to this menace.
ELIMINATE MANUAL SCAVENGING BUT
- an appeal to
honourable supreme court of India
In India, since independence certain affirmative actions
by the government like job reservations , reservations in educational
institutions , loan facilities , etc are extended to the backward class ,
oppressed people. However , the persons who have economically, socially become
stronger on the basis of these government affirmative actions are not letting
their own brethren – scavenging community to utilize the same. The
politicians are just making noises about sub caste reservation for
scheduled castes & tribes , but doing nothing. As a result , today we find
some sub-castes & tribes of SC / ST better off than their previous
generation, some other sub-castes & tribes of SC / ST are reeling under
utter poverty , social ostracism , etc.
A human being can be in a civilized form , healthy - if we have
scavengers to clean our toilets , drainages , if we have barbers to cut our
hairs. The very same people who keep us healthy & civilized are not treated
in a civilized manner by the society , why ? most of the town municiapalities ,
city corporations are employing scavengers on daily wages without any
statuotary benefits & are paid less than the statuotary minimum wages.
every towns & cities in India are bursting with
population growth , however the number of scavengers has not been increased in
proportion to the growth of population , In most of the cases the existing
scavengers are overburdened with the work load. , Most of them are
suffering from occupational health hazards , are dying at young ages leaving
their families in the lurch.
Hereby, we appeal to honourable supreme court of India
to treat this as a PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION & to order government of India
, all state governments , statuotary bodies
regularize the jobs of all scavengers , to provide all statuotary benefits like
take all necessary steps to eradicate manual scavenging – carrying human
excreta on heads.
take all necessary steps to protect their health & occupational safety.
Bottomline : all the citizens , the
society must learn to respect their brethren who keeps them healthy , tidy
& civilized. JAI HIND.VANDE MATARAM.
Udit Raj's Fast For Reservation In Private Sector
By Vidya Bhushan Rawat
16 December, 2009
Raj on fast unto death against non implementation of reservation in private
Mantar in Delhi is witnessing numerous hunger strikes and fast unto deaths
these days. The Telengana verdict has suddenly focused on the power of self
sacrifice for people's cause. Though essentially a Gandhian tool, fast unto
death is becoming a new instrument to highlight the issue and compel the
`insensitive' authorities to activate it.
the post globalised India, when the government job sector is shrinking, it is
important the challenges are tackled in the new way. The reservation debate can
not remain the same as it used to be. Now, private sector constitutes a big
chunk and the government has itself disinvested many of its public sector
companies. Though Dr Udit Raj and the organization that he is president off,
namely All India Confederation of SC/ST Employees Associations have always
opposed privatization and globalization, yet they feel that despite their
political opposition, it is time that government accepts their demand for
reservation in private sector.
of SC-ST employees under the banner of Confederation as well as Indian Justice
Party, are sitting on Dharana since November 19th in Delhi for speedy
implementation of the quota, particularly completing the backlogs which are not
being promoted. So, far no government official has visited them. Not a single
member of parliament thought of this issue and political parties have not felt
it an issue to be responded. ` it is rather unfortunate and painful, feel Dr
Udit Raj, who decided to sit on fast unto death for this cause, which he feel
is much bigger than being a prime minister or chief minister of a state. It
empowers the entire community, it is not for some time and it does not just
empower an individual, he emphasized.
Raj has been in the forefront of campaign to save reservation. The
Confederation has been organizing rallies and protest marches, meeting
ministers, planning commission members, Member of Parliaments and Group of
Ministers. The UPA government formulated a bill in the fag end of its previous
term which was produced in Parliament in February 2009. It was passed by Rajya
Sabha but the Lok Sabha did not pass it. There were many objectionable points
in the bill which again re-emphasized the issue of `merit', for the `creamy'
positions. So, according to the bill, many of the `expert' positions would not
have reservation in the name of `compromising' with merit. The Confederation
opposed it but now the government in the new term is not interested at all to
bring the bill. Udit Raj feel that the bill for ensuring reservation must come
in parliament but not in its original form. They have given their suggestions
to the government.
2004, when the UPA government came to power, it had a lot of intention to
listen to us. It started a dialogue on this with industries which were not
supportive of quota but promised the following :
Supporting 500 professionals from SC-ST in better institutions
supporting 10,000 students for coaching.
prime minister's office had been monitoring this for long but now, feels Udit
Raj, one does not know what the status of these promises made by the
industries. What have industries done so far voluntarily which they emphasised
so much? That is why, he says, we oppose to these voluntary efforts which end
up voluntarily without any accountability.
Congress party does not want to speak on the issue. The Dalit parties are
unable to go beyond their castes and Muslim reservations. No question is raised
in parliament. The issue is completely suppressed. CII and ASOCHAM, FICCI became
proactive against quota and emphasized on voluntarism again.'
Raj feel that government should bring reservation act in this session only
after correcting anomalies in it particularly no reservation in class I post in
the name of compromise with merit. Reservation is not a compromise with merit,
he says. The government must implement reservation as per law and there should
be no dilution in it. Now, we have information that it has dropped filling
backlog posts which is in lakhs. Its various departments and bureaucrats are
playing dirty games to stop implementation of reservation.
Raj plunged into politics after much struggle for SC-ST employees and their
rights. But the political games are different. At the grassroots, lot of
issues, contradictions comes up and he too had to face these dark realities of
caste and sub caste. Today he feel disgusted with all this though he continues
to fight. He says ` Fighting for reservation in private sector is most
important than fighting for becoming PM and CM, as it gives strength to entire
community and not one individual. Secondly, it is permanent solution to our
issues and all other positions are time bound and you may not be there the next
time. He gives example of Sahara company which employ nearly 10 lakh persons.
How many of them are Dalits ? If there is no fixed quota and no constitutional
guarantee, there will not be many SC-STs. They may recruit one or two
voluntarily but then who will stop the discrimination? Most of the HR people in
private sector are dominated by high caste Hindus who have their own prejudices
has he not been able to get political success', I ask. `Sub- castism and
blackmoney are the factors that are influencing activists and leaders today. He
complaint against Mayawati government in Uttar-Pradesh is that it is promoting
predominantly belong to one community and now helping the upper castes.
Secondly, due to consumerism, radicalism is lacking among people. He challenges
those who claim to be Ambedkarites and still promoting their own caste
interests and talks of caste identities. He says that Ambedkar stood for total
`annihilation' of castes and caste identities do not help the Dalits at all. It
may help them at first one to consolidate but at the end it helps the upper
castes only. Dalits should come together under one identity of Dalits and not
consolidate their own castes, as it would defeat Ambedkar's broader perspective
of a common struggle against brahmanical system.
says that those who talk of identity politics among Dalits must understand the
social struggles and movements and should not speak from ivory towers. `Do not
divide dalits on caste and sub-caste identities as it will kill the movement?
He feels those who are talking of sub caste identities are actually making
irresponsible statements. They do not face ground reality. They should see it
and then talk. Caste identity helps individual leaders but at the end of the
day it harms. Dalit community is emotional and any appeal on caste identity is
based on that emotion and the political leader is not responsible for any other
of the major point of our discussion in the Jantar Mantar was about
globalization. What do you think of globalization as many of our friends
perceive it helping the Dalits, I ask. Udit Raj is very clear on these issues,
actually much more then those who claim to have understood Ambedkarism. He
says, not only as an individual but the Confederation and Indian Justice party
is oppose to globalization and economic liberalization. Initially, some of us
felt that globalization would help change in mindset of the people. People are
adopting new technologies but not really changing their mindset. Secondly, the
fact is that it is the Dalits and tribal who are losing their livelihood, their
lands, their work, their forest, water and their jobs. So, how can we be
insensitive to not think of this massive onslaught on our right by them?
International corporate works in close cooperation with their Indian
counterparts, so where is Dalits in this entire agenda. He admits that it is
the similar mistake that we made in understanding communism. We thought caste
and class was same but it did not happen. We felt that the same would happen
with globalization that it would lead to change in mindset and liberate them
but mind never got globlised and upper caste hatred and prejudices remained
same against the Dalits.
Raj also feels that the talks of smaller states are fraught with danger. How
can any body who claim to understand the issue of Dalits think of dividing
Uttar-Pradesh in to so many regions and disempowered them. Today, Dalits in
Uttar-Pradesh are organized and can stand despite all our differences but if a
Harit Pradesh come into being, will the Dalits remain the same. A Harit Pradesh
is nothing but a dominant idea of a kingdom of high caste farmers who have
always exploited Dalits and been ruthless in their violence against Dalits.
Similarly it will happen in Bundelkhand where the Dalits remain predominantly
landless. Both, western UP and Bundelkhand has high oppression of Dalits by the
powerful farming communities. If these regions are made states, Udit Raj, says,
the Dalits will go back to their early stages. Situation in Telengana is
different then these areas. In Telengana, there is substantive Dalit presence
and they have been part of the movement for long, fought different battles
hence a demand for a separate state in Telenagna can not be equated to that of
Western Uttar-Pradesh, Eastern Uttar-Pradesh and Bundelkhand. Dalits will have
nothing in their hand politically, if these states come into being.
Udit Raj decided enough is enough. The government does not listen to the
genuine demands of Dalits and their empowerment. One must not ignore the cause
of Dalit representation. Like land, reservation is a potential weapon to
empower the Dalits. It gives them leverage to power structure. So, far only
upper caste used to sit on fast unto death for their cause, what is wrong with
Dalits doing the same for their cause. It is important Dr Udit Raj as cause of
reservation in these times, when the government is diluting and political
leaders remain conspicuously silent to get upper caste votes, some body has to
do the needful. Time has come for the government of India to make the private
sector accountable for the cause of Dalits. We must have reservation in private
sector. Udit Raj needs your support for the cause.
Visit my blog at
India in Transition Reservations and
the Dalits at the Crossroads
India's Dalits (the former "untouchables") have
risen considerably since Independence. The country has had Dalit chief
ministers (such as Mayawati), Dalit ministers in the central government
(beginning with Ambedkar as early as 1947), Dalit party presidents (like
Bangaru Laxman of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Jagjivan Ram of the Congress),
and one Dalit President of the Republic (K.R. Narayanan). Last year for the first time a Dalit (K.G. Balakrishnan) became Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court. This is all the more remarkable as the judiciary is one of the few
Indian institutions without an affirmative action policy. Recently, Dalits have
also acquired new positions of power in the university system, with S.K. Thorat
at the helm of the University Grant Commission, and Narendra Jhadav as the vice
chancellor of the University of Pune. This is a remarkable achievement that
requires an explanation.
emergence of some elite groups among the Dalits of India is primarily due to
positive discrimination programs that have reserved a percentage of government
jobs for Dalits (as well as Scheduled Tribes) since Independence. This is
obvious in the case of the administrative and intellectual elites, but to some
extent it is also true of the political elites. For instance, Kanchi Ram (the
late founder and ideologue of the pro-Dalit Bahujan Samaj Party) was a beneficiary
of the reservation system as a civil servant before turning to politics, and
former President K.R. Narayanan was a member of the Indian Foreign Service
before joining the Congress. The creation of such elite groups is precisely the
first avocation of positive discrimination programs. Such programs are not
aimed at developing a mass effect but to help the tiny "creamy
layer," consisting of the wealthiest and best educated members of the
target group. Quotas, which reserve fifteen percent of central government jobs
for Dalits, remained unfulfilled for decades in the upper classes of the
administration, allegedly due to an insufficient number of qualified
candidates. Since the 1980s, however, quotas are gradually being filled in the
top three categories of the administration, as evident in Table 1.
1: The Representation of Dalits in the Central Bureaucracy 1991 1991
1991 2001 2001 2001 Class Total Dalits % Dalits Total Dalits % Dalits A 62,560
5,689 9.09 104,642 11,950 11.42 B 102,532 12,115 11.82 158,154 20,274 12.82 C
2,402,089 376,015 15.65 2,468,060 400,978 16.25
system of reservations has been extended over the course of time, such as the
extension of reservations for promotions. Most recently, the Constitution of
India has been amended three times in this respect.
the reservations are to continue to sustain the rise of the Dalits, however,
they will have to address three issues. Since quotas have only been observed in
the public sector, Dalits have tended to become state-oriented and have turned
their back on the private sector, where they could have instead shown some of
their entrepreneurial skills (in the leather industry, for instance, which is
the traditional occupation of the Chamar caste). This is all the more
problematic as the number of employees in the private sector has expanded since
the process of liberalization was initiated in 1991, whereas the public sector
has shrunk. In 2002, the latter employed 18.2 million persons, against 19.5
million in 1995. During the same period, the private sector has slightly
increased from 8.1 million people in 1995 to 8.4 million in 2002. This is only
the beginning of a new trend that foreign direct investment will reinforce in
both industry and the services.
policy of positive discrimination, therefore, must target the corporate sector
if it is to retain some meaning. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said so more
strategies may be adopted in this domain. The first one is the introduction of
quotas in the different categories of personnel, transposing the pattern at
work in the public sector to the private sector. The second strategy would be
the state's purchase of a certain percentage of products and services from
firms owned by Dalits. That was one of the items of the Dalit Agenda that
Digvijay Singh, the then chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, started to implement
in 2000. Such a policy, aiming to stimulate the sense of entrepreneurship among
Dalits, directly draws its inspiration from similar American initiatives. But
will the Indian capitalists, who are so fond of the United States these days,
look at this component of their model as "relevant for India"?
second problem posed by the reservation policies can be captured by one word:
co-option. As mentioned above, these policies aim at generating elite groups;
as a result, they are very vulnerable to the strategies of dominant groups,
which can deprive the Dalits of their leaders by offering lucrative and
prestigious posts in the establishment. This mechanism has been observed for
decades in the political domain where the ruling party, the Congress, minimised
the competition coming from Dalit parties by attracting the leaders of the
latter in its rank. In the early 1970s, Indira Gandhi seduced B.P. Maurya, the
most important leader of the pro-Dalit Republican
Party of India, this way by promising him a ministerial portfolio. In one
go, the Republican Party lost its momentum in Uttar Pradesh, the state where it
had made its maximum gains in the 1960s. When the elite are tiny, such things
can happen. And generating a tiny elite is in the nature of the positive
third issue concerns the ambivalent relationship that the beneficiaries of the
reservations entertain with their caste fellow. The reservation programs enable
Indians of lower castes to join the privileged classes at university and in the
administration. Their lifestyle changes- not only in terms of material gains,
but also in terms of values. They tend to be cut off from their original
milieu; moreover, successful Dalit men tend to marry upper-caste women. Today,
some Dalits who behave this way are no longer ashamed of their attitude.
Instead, they argue that by their personal ways and means, they prove that a
Dalit can be like any upper-caste individual. While that may be a great
achievement, severing links with their caste may deprive them of any
last issue pertains to the notion of the "creamy layer." Today,
quotas are cornered by those Dalits whose father and/or mother have already
benefited from positive discrimination policies. These Dalits often come from
one special jati, or subcaste, in a given region. In Uttar Pradesh, the Jatavs
are in the forefront; in Maharashtra, the Mahars play a similar role. Such a
situation tends to defeat an important part of the whole purpose of quotas,
since it prevents other Dalit jatis from gaining substantial access to the
reservations. Bhangis and Khatiks in Uttar Pradesh, Mangs and Chambhars in
Maharashtra remain massively under-represented in the state apparatus. In
February, the Supreme Court suggested excluding the "creamy layer" of
Dalits from the quotas. The whole political class objected to this move.
However, to be fair to the non-elite Dalit groups, special provisions will
eventually have to evolve.
Jaffrelot is director of CERI (Paris) and author of India's Silent Revolution - The Rise of the Lower Castes in
North India (Delhi, Permanent Black, 2003) and Dr Ambedkar and
Untouchability: Analysing and Fighting Caste (Delhi, Permanent Black, 2005).
Sector – Its obligations to Dalits
By Rajindar Sachar
A lively but in my view, ill-informed, discussion is taking place in public on
the question of job quota in the private
sector. The controversy has become
sharper by the weight of legal opinion of the Attorney General that it was not
possible to provide reservation for SCs
and STs in the private sector without amending the Constitution. I have
my reservation on the correctness of
this view. I realize that emphasis is made on job quota possibility because of
our feudal and hierarchical social system which puts a job in an office whether
in private or public sector as the highest achievement. However, I
feel that though emphasis on job may be kept up, the real battle dalits need to fight is to have a share in the
expanding business opportunities and that too in proprietary capacity. It is in
this context that I put forward an alternative which is immediately available
and which can give more affluence, recognition and opportunities to dalits not only for jobs in private sector
but for expanding the opportunities to share in the growth of Indian economy,
and that too without amending the Constitution.
It is well known that Central and State Governments award thousands of crores
worth of public works and contracts to the private
sector. All these activities flow from
the Government playing a very crucial and significant role either to make a
particular avenue open to the private sector like the privatization and modernization
of airports, express highways Public Works Department, Delhi Development
Authority (DDA), Delhi and similar ones in number of other States for roads or
even construction of Govt. properties which are to be executed by the private contractors. I am of the view that if
proper steps available even under the present legal set up are taken, a very
large segment of dalits population can
be absorbed and can take benefit of the rising economy.
It is in this context that a reference to USA legislation called the
"Public Works Employment Act of 1997" would be apt. That Act had a
minority business enterprise clause which provided that 10% (minority population
of USA) of the federal funds granted for local public works projects must be
used by state and local grantees to procure services or supplies from business
owned and controlled by "minority group members", the latter being
defined in the Act as United States citizens who are "Negroes,
This provision was challenged as denying an equal protection clause provided
under the 14th amendment of the US Constitution (from which Article 14 of our
Constitution has been adopted). The Court upheld the validity of the
legislation as it contained provisions designed to uplift those
socially-economically disadvantaged persons to a level where they may
effectively participate in the business mainstream of USA economy.
The arguments raised as to why the private
contractors should be compelled and limit their choice in this particular
manner as to from where the supplies will be received and whom they will
sub-contract was rejected, by holding that "legislation When effectuating
a limited and properly tailored remedy to cure the effects of prior
discrimination, such "a sharing of the burden by innocent parties is not
Question of constitutional objection is totally off the mark. After 44th
amendment Right to Property is no longer a fundamental right. Only
Parliamentary legislation is necessary to deprive a person of it without
compensation. It is also well settled that Article 19 confers no right on an
individual to carry on business with the Govt. – if it wishes it has to be on
terms settled by Govt. As such, no objection can be taken by the private sector
to the provision making it incumbent on it to share proportionately with Dalits the funds given to it by the Govt. or
local body agencies.
Similarly, governments could prescribe conditions as a part of scheme of
disinvestment of public sector. It
would then be permissible for the Central and State Governments to provide that
out of these amounts the private
contractor will have to ensure that a certain percentage which, to start with,
could be fixed at 10% (though it is low as compared to the dalits population of 15-16%) to be made
available to them either in the matter of sub-contracting or executing some
works or in the matter of employment. Such a course would require not only no
constitutional amendment but not even an Act of Parliament. The reason being
that the Government, being the spending authority, it is permissible for it by
executive orders to direct that a certain portion of this money available will
be utilized either for providing employment or for sub-contracts to the dalits. This is what was done in USA and which
while upholding the said legislation very eloquently observed – "if we are
ever to become a fully integrated society, one in which the colour of a
person's skin will not determine the opportunities available to him or her, we
must be willing to take steps to open those doors." The same principle
aptly applies to the position of dalits
in our country.
Our Supreme Court has held that "economic empowerment of the poor, in
particular the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, as is enjoined under
Article 46, is a constitutional objective as basic human and fundamental right
to enable the labourer, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to raise their
I see no reason why our Supreme Court which is far more progressive and
poor-oriented than the USA's Supreme Court, will not reject similar challenge.
But of course the overriding question still remains – is there a political will
and determination in the Central and State Governments to take on the combined
forces of Big Business.
I am convinced that it is not only jobs but business opportunities that need to
be opened to Dalits, to make a real
change in their social and economic set up.
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