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Sunday 18 December 2011

Haryana tells SC it will give free ration to Mirchpur Dalits

Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 16.12.11
India Inc must help Dalit entrepreneurs as part of CSR: Godrej - IBN Live
Government to award Goans working for dalit upliftment - The Times Of India
Anand Patwardhan’s political musical cleared by censor board - DNA
Haryana tells SC it will give free ration to Mirchpur Dalits - Deccan Herald
Dalits for FDI in retail - The Hindu Business line
IBN Live
India Inc must help Dalit entrepreneurs as part of CSR: Godrej
PTI | 08:12 PM,Dec 16,2011
Mumbai, Dec 16 (PTI) Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej today appealed to corporate India to help Dalit entrepreneurs as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative. "Dalit entrepreneurs need to be encouraged. Companies need to come forward and help them. They should take it up as a CSR activity," he told reporters on the sidelines of the first-ever national trade fair organised by the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DICCI) here. The association is involved in creating business opportunities for its members and empowering them through information and knowledge exchange. "If these entrepreneurs get the right kind of support and encouragement, we will see a huge growth momentum in the next three-five years," Godrej said. Asked about reservation for the Dalits in jobs in private sector he said, "I am not for any kind of reservation. There should be affirmative action and not reservations. If we want to encourage Dalit entrepreneurs and provide jobs to the community people, then reservations will not help." Meanwhile, DICCI Chairman Milind Kamble said the Dalit community now needs business leaders. "The Dalits have so many leaders. But we need business leaders now. What entrepreneurs desperately need is an umbrella to push their corporate agenda. Our association has grown more assertive in claiming that the Dalits are not mere takers, but givers as well."
The Times Of India

Government to award Goans working for dalit upliftment

TNN | Dec 16, 2011, 01.53AM IST
PANAJI: The state government has instituted the new Dalit Mitra Puraskar, where the state government will award 25,000 to a dalit or non-dalit who has worked for the welfare of dalits for 25 years or more.
The scheme's objective is to encourage individuals creating social awareness and to encourage the society, in general, to work for the upliftment and welfare of dalits which will improve their socio-economic condition, education, standard of living, etc.
The awardee may be either a dalit or non-dalit and the award aims at encouraging the individual to work further for the cause of improving the living conditions of dalits.
To be eligible for the award, the individual will have to be a Goan who has rendered at least 25 years of remarkable service for the up-liftment of dalits in Goa to improve their socio-economic condition, education, standard of living, etc with supporting documents.
The age of the individual awardee should be 60 years and above.
On selection of the awardee for the Dalit Mitra Puraskar by a selection committee constituted by government of Goa, each awardee will be presented with a cash award of 25,000 along with a shawl, a shrifal and a certificate on the occasion of Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14 every year.
Under the scheme, there can be a maximum of five such awards, out of which at least one award may considered to be given to women.
The selection committee can select a lesser number of awardees, if adequate number of eligible persons are not available.
The state has constituted a committee of nine members to select the awardees under the scheme.
The committee will be chaired by the minister for social welfare and will have the secretary for social welfare as its member.
Director for social welfare will serve as member secretary on the committee.
Other members presently on the committee include Gangaram Morajkar, Shambu Bandekar, Chandrakant Jadhav, Kishor Parwar, N B Rao and Sakharam Korgaonkar.

Anand Patwardhan’s political musical cleared by censor board

Published: Friday, Dec 16, 2011, 18:30 IST
By Meenakshi Shedde | Place: Dubai | Agency: DNA
Anand Patwardhan’s controversial new documentary Jai Bhim Comrade, on the systematic repression of the Dalits (untouchables) by the state and the public, has been cleared by the censor board. “I am very happy that my film was cleared by the Censor Board, that too without a single cut,” said Patwardhan in Dubai. “Yes, the Censor Board is more open and liberal than it was earlier. Or perhaps they calculated that it would be more trouble if they did not clear it, and it was better to keep quiet,” he added.
Jai Bhim Comrade earned a special mention at the Dubai International Film Festival’s Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary Competition section, which included Sandeep Ray’s exquisite Kokkho Poth (The Sound of Old Rooms) based on a Kolkata poet, shot for over 20 years. Rohit Pandey’s Mehfuz (Safe), a strong short film produced by Anurag Kashyap, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, won the second prize in the Muhr AsiaAfrica Shorts competition in Dubai.
Veteran warhorse Patwardhan is known for his numerous powerful, provocative documentaries which he has been directing for over four decades. This includes War and Peace, Raam ke Naam and Hamara Shahar.
Jai Bhim Comrade is a controversial, compelling documentary on how upper caste politics, both of the Hindutva and the Left movement, have failed the Dalits, as have Dalits leaders themselves.
The ‘Bhim’ in the title refers to Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, architect of the Indian Constitution, who was a Dalit himself. Shot for over 14 years, it is a two-part documentary of three hours and 20 minutes, shot by Patwardhan and Simantini Dhuru.
Though it occasionally slacks, the film retains a zest because Patwardhan constructs it as a political musical by incorporating Dalit ballads and lullabies. “The Dalits see Ambedkar as rejecting communism because the Left has never taken caste seriously. I’ve had to do violence to people I knew (when interviewing them about this),” Patwardhan admitted.
The film shows the systematic state repression of Dalits, including how police officer Manohar Kadam, who ordered the Ramabai Nagar firing which killed 10 Dalits in 1997, roams free. The film also deals with the inspiring younger generation of Dalit activists like Sheetal Sathe.
“In a knee jerk response, the government has branded them Naxalites, so they’ve been driven underground and are in danger of being killed. I hope my film awakens the people so they can come over the ground again,” said Patwardhan. “I can get away saying the things I do because I have connections, but if the Dalits speak freely for themselves, they could be jailed or killed.”
Deccan Herald
Haryana tells SC it will give free ration to Mirchpur Dalits
New Delhi, Dec 16, (PTI) :
The Haryana government today assured the Supreme Court that it would supply foodgrains free of cost for the next four months to over 100 families affected by the April 2010 caste-driven violence in Mirchpur village of Hisar district.
Counsel for Haryana told a bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhhopadhaya that the government would also provide free blankets to each family to sustain themselves during winter at a special camp set up by the government as per an earlier direction of the apex court.

The apex court had yesterday sought a response from the Haryana government on giving a rehabilitation package to 125 Dalits who were forced to leave the village after killings of a 70-year-old Dalit man and his physically-challenged daughter in April 2010 in the casteist violence.

The court was hearing a PIL seeking monetary assistance for the Dalits who fled Mirchpur village after having been attacked by dominant Jat community there.
The Hindu Business line

Dalits for FDI in retail

Divya Trivedi
December 16, 2011:
The original inhabitants of the land — Scheduled Castes, erstwhile untouchables or Dalits — feel that foreign investment in the retail sector has tremendous socially-liberating potential. Dalit leader and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati, has opposed the approval of foreign direct investment in retail, as mooted by the UPA Government at the Centre. “Mayawati's stand is political, mine is social,” says Mr Chandrabhan Prasad, political commentator and columnist, who supports the introduction of FDI. Even as the move to allow FDI in retail has been stymied for now, intellectual leaders of the Dalit community feel that FDI can remove untouchability in buying and selling.
The Dalits, more than a fifth of India's population, have, for centuries, been relegated to jobs considered ‘impure' by upper castes. By establishing a purely economic relationship in business, and delinking it from political and other forms of domination, FDI will be a boon to the socially and economically-backward communities, says Dalit scholar Mr Chittibabu Padavala. “While the negative consequences of FDI in retail to the economy are real, it has socially-liberating potential,” he says. Local business interests control the lives of the local population through a hold on the social, economic, political, cultural as well as educational aspirations of the people.
Mr Padavala points out that while the income of small businesses may not be adversely affected with the entry of foreign players, their overwhelming hold on society will get blunted. “Foreign capital uses local capital as its subordinate or broker, and the big capitalists work in tandem with local forces,” he says. At such a time, when the entry of foreign investment has the potential to open up several spaces for progressive forces in society, if the Left continues to represent local capital instead of grabbing these opportunities, it will be disastrous, says Mr Padavala. Public intellectual Mr Chandrabhan Prasad welcomes the plaza culture and asserts that unless culture breaks, caste cannot break.


Notions of cleaning and sweeping, which were historically relegated to the domain of the lower castes, have undergone a transformation in plazas. A Brahmin boy works in the housekeeping department, Delhi University students work in restaurants doing odd jobs. While the taboos associated with cleaning have ended in plazas, they flourish on the streets of Delhi, he says. Political thinker, Professor Kancha Ilaiah, points out that if a Dalit sets up a shop in a village, nobody will buy from him, but if he is a manager in a plaza, then nobody will trouble him. Both Prof Ilaiah and Mr Prasad assert that FDI will be good for the economy and help break the monopoly of the bania community on the circulation of money.
Foreign businesses will purchase from small manufacturers, regardless of their castes. “To give an example, in villages, the kayasthas and banias are buyers and they don't purchase oil from the dalit producers as it is used in temples,” explains Prof Ilaiah. Dalits, who have historically been artisans, have great skill sets, but nobody invests in them. If foreign retailers buy and sell from them, it will boost their income, by however little.

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