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Wednesday 7 December 2011

‘Wall of untouchability' pulled down

Separate meal for Brahmins questioned
MANGALORE: The ‘Made-Made Snana’ ritual should be banned as it defames Dalits and people from lower classes. The police department should initiate suo moto action to safeguard the interests of Dalits, said Dalit leaders during the SC/ST meeting held at the SP office on Sunday.
Pointing out the incident reported at Kukke Subrahmanya temple recently, Dalit leader Shekhar said, “The ‘Made Snana’ ritual is a barbaric and superstitious practice and it should be stopped. If the administration or police fail to do this, Dalits will have to interfere to prevent the practice next year. As Kukke Subrahmanya temple comes under the Muzrai Department, how can the mass meal be served to Brahmins separately?” he questioned.
Puttur sub-division DySp Nagaraj should be suspended for his rude behaviour with a Dalit leader, when he had gone to the police station to lodge a complaint against the miscreants, he said.
SP Labhu Ram said that when the miscreants were assaulting Shivaramu, the police interfered and separated him from the miscreants immediately. The allegation on police that they did nothing to curb the chaos was far from the truth, as the police had already arrested the accused, he claimed. “But they are now out on bail and the court will decide on the case,” he added.
Dalit Rights Committee city secretary Lingappa Nanthoor said, “there would be some people who indirectly support this practice and who played a vital role in the incident. The police department should identify such miscreants.” He urged them to file an atrocity case against assistant commissioner of Puttur sub division, Sundar Bhat, who is also the administrator of the temple.
DSS district convener S P Anand alleged that a Dalit girl Soumya from Kadaba had been denied a caste certificate, though she had produced all the documents in concern.
Most Dalits face similar problems through out the district, he pointed out. Another Dalit leader Gopal Kadumata said that Dalit employees who are working at hostels under the Social Welfare Department receive a pittance of a salary, which is given only once every four months. “This should be stopped immediately,” he said. Civil Rights Enforcement Cell S P Sarvothama Pai said no one had complained about the irregularities in payment of salaries.
The Hindu
‘Wall of untouchability' pulled down
R. Ilangovan
Dalits lay siege to tahsildar's office and forced Salem district administration to take firm action
Dalits of Sanyasipatti near Sankagiri in Salem district fought bitterly for five days before forcing the district administration to take firm action to demolish a four-foot-high and 20-foot-long wall erected right across a tar-topped road with the intention of preventing them from using it.
The ‘wall of untouchability' erected on November 29 in the middle of the night by some caste Hindus was pulled down on Sunday by those who put it up after revenue authorities intervened.
The wall had come up across the road laid by the village panchayat some 15 years ago to provide better access to the Arunthathiyar colony, where 200 Dalits families are living.
A caste Hindu group, which had constructed a temple adjacent to the road, had been at loggerheads with the Dalits for using the road.
“We were asked to take a circuitous route through the fields to reach the colony,” said a youth who was among the agitators.
With CPI (M) and DYFI leading the agitation, the Dalits laid siege to the tahsildar's office at Sankagiri till late Saturday night, forcing the officials to take the decision to have the wall demolished. “The officials first removed just a portion of the wall. But we insisted that it should be totally removed,” said Sekar, a DYFI activist. CPI (M) floor leader in the Assembly A. Soundararajan who visited the spot said the fight would continue till the wall was demolished totally.
On Sunday, a team of revenue officials led by Tahsildhar S. Razyia Begam arrived on the spot. Since talks between two groups had failed with caste Hindus objecting to the demolition and Dalits demanding it, there was threat of a law and order problem. But Sankagiri police provided security for the officials who later asked the caste Hindus themselves to pull down the wall.
S Gopalakrishnan, a bus conductor from the colony said it was a great relief for the people of the Arunthathiyar colony.
This is the third wall symbolising social ostracisation that has been demolished in Salem district within a span of two months.
Earlier officials removed a wall right in the heart of Salem city that separated Dalits from others while another was demolished near Omalur that blocked pathway to Dalit colony from the main thoroughfare.
Gujarat: Atrocities driving Dalits out of Sanand village
Published: Saturday, Dec 3, 2011, 16:35 IST
By Roxy Gagdekar | Place: Sanand (Gujarat) | Agency: DNA
Sanand, a taluka of Ahmedabad district, has been developing rapidly ever since Tata Motors set up its Nano plant here; it is now expected to emerge as the ‘Detroit of India’. But one of its villages, Goraj, hides an ugly fact - ostracisation of a Dalit community.
The irony is that this discrimination is taking place barely 50 km from Ahmedabad where Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram (also known as Harijan Ashram) is located.
Unable to withstand ‘harassment’ by upper caste villagers, Dalits are moving out of Goraj. A local community leader, Pravin Makwana, said that, in the last few years, almost half the 35-40 Dalit families of the village have moved out.
They had sought help from the police to end their ostracisation but to no avail. The Dalit locality in Goraj is surrounded by people belonging to other castes who have allegedly often attacked them. Kalpesh Dabhi, a Dalit student studying for a BA degree in Gujarat College, told DNAthat he was attacked and beaten up by a group of people on October 4, 2011.
He said he and his friends were once walking on a road that passes through ‘their’ (read upper caste) locality. “They took offence to this and beat us up. We had to be taken to hospital. I decided to leave my village rather than face harassment every day,” said Dabhi. A complaint about the incident was filed at the Sanand police station.
In the past few years, as many as six complaints (under the special law forbidding atrocities on Schedule Castes) have been filed by the Dalits of Goraj. Of these, two were filed on October 1, 2011 and October 4, 2011, respectively. The first complaint was filed after Dalit girls were allegedly teased by some upper caste boys. In the second incident, two Dalits were attacked while passing through an upper caste area. A counter-complaint was filed by the upper caste people of the area after the second incident.
When contacted, sarpanch of Goraj, Devu Thakor con firmed to DNA that Dalit families were indeed moving out of the village to escape harassment. However, talati-cum-mantri of Goraj, BG Gurjar, could not be contacted for his comments despite several attempts.Gautam Vankar, a peon at the BMW plant in Uttaria village near Shantipura, left Goraj to come and live in rented accommodation in Sanand town. Vankar, who is too scared to speak against the upper castes, is among the people who left the village recently.
Dahya Makwana (35), Ganga Makwana (50) and Khodabhai Dabhi are members of some of the families who have left Goraj in the last few years. Talking to DNA at his rented house in Sanand town, Vankar, who leaves for work at 8 am and returns by 10 pm every day, said he usually comes late from work and is too scared to go to Goraj out of fear of being attacked by members of the upper castes.
Mangalore: Made Made Snana Assault – Investigation Headed by Additional SP
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (SP)
Mangalore, Dec 5: Dakshina Kannada district superintendent of police (SP), Labhu Ram, said that Prabhakar, additional SP of the district, has been investigating the incident of assault on K S Shivaram, president of Karnataka State Backward Classes Awareness Forum, during his visit to Subrahmanya on Wednesday relating to Madesnana controversy, and other related incidents. He was speaking after presiding over the monthly meeting relating to the rederessal of grievances of scheduled castes and communities at the district police office here on Sunday December 4.
The Dalit leaders who participated in the meeting, asked the government to put an end to the Made Made Snana ritual at Dharmasthala, and expressed disgust at the above assault. They also demanded immediate action against those involved with the attack. They accused the police department of failing to extend protection to Shivaram during his visit. The SP said that a police sub-inspector and some policemen in plain clothes had accompanied Shivaram, but they could not concentrate on Shivaram because of rush due to annual festival at the temple.
The SP clarified that the issue of placing a ban on the above ritual vests with the state muzarai department. He said that those arrested in the case got bail as their offence is bailable. The participants expressed the opinion that minister, Dr V S Acharya, was wrong in voluntarily withdrawing the ban order against Made Made Snana. They accused the concerned of trying to sow seeds of enmity between different groups of Dalits, and demanded action against Puttur sub-divisional officer and deputy superintendent of police for the incident.
Dalit leaders like Shekhar from Beltangady, P Keshava, S P Anand, Lingappa Natur, Gopal Kadumutt etc were present.
In the meanwhile, in preparation for Subrahmanya Bandh planned for today, a vehicular jatha was organized in Subrahmanya at 10.30 am. The citizens, auto drivers, and devotees, who participated in the jatha, said that the sanctity and customs of the temple are being affected because of the row over Made Made Snana ritual. The jatha moved through Kumaradhara, Harihara Pallattadka, Balugod, Kollamogra, Kalmakar, Guttikar, Kamila, Panja, Balpa and Yenekal before reaching Subrahmanya at 5 pm.
Sullia Block Congress president, M Venkappa Gowda, addressing a press conference on Saturday, said that the party will be bound by the decision the devotees of the temple may take as regards Made Made Snana. He said that anger of devotees came to the fore because of hurting their sentiments. While agreeing that physical assault is illegal, he said such incidents have occurred because of hurt feelings. He felt that before placing a ban on this ritual, detailed discussions will have to be held.
In a statement, Sullia Taluk Shivalli Sampanna expressed anguish at making Swamijis and Brahmins a target for criticism in the guise of opposing Made Made Snana. "Brahmins have no role to play in Made Made Snana. Even Brahmin devotees take part in this ritual," the organization clarified.
The Hindu
Dalit organisations boycott meeting
Special Correspondent
Representatives of Dalit organisations boycotted a meeting convened by Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda in Vidhana Soudha on Wednesday to discuss problems faced by Dalit communities in the State.
Accusing Mr. Gowda of pursuing ‘divide and rule' policy, leaders of various Dalit organisations alleged that some prominent Dalit organisations had been intentionally not invited to the meeting and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Republican Party of India (RPI), which represent Dalits, had been equated with Dalit organisations.
Upset over not inviting Dalit leaders such as Lakshminarayana Nagavara, Guruprasad Keragodu, V. Nagaraj, D.G. Sagar and N. Giriyappa for meeting, they said this showed the lack of concern of the BJP Government towards Dalits.
They set December 5 as the deadline for the Government to “correct its mistakes” and convene a meeting of representatives of all Dalit organisations.
Representatives of Dalit organisations opposed to temporary shifting of B.R. Ambedkar's statue from the Vidhana Soudha premises to facilitate Namma Metro work said any attempt in this regard would result in grave consequences.
Attempts made by Mr. Gowda to assuage the feelings of Dalit leaders failed to yield results.

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