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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

“Left parties, Dalit movements should work together”

Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 01.08.12
 "Left parties, Dalit movements should work together" - The Hindu
Rahul in Allahabad today but politics not on his agenda - Indian Express
Meritorious students of MNNIT given free laptops - The Times Of India
Shinde thanks Sonia, PM for giving a 'Dalit' home ministry - The Hindustan Times
The Hindu
"Left parties, Dalit movements should work together"
Staff Reporter
made to think only about their everyday life and they are under a situation where they cannot think beyond their everyday concerns, so asset creation was never on the cards, according to P. Sivakami, former Civil Services Officer and founder-president of Samooga Samathuva Padai.
Addressing a seminar, 'Land and Dalits: the present and future,' here recently, she said, "A kind of slave mentality has been thrust upon them, so they always are made to remain as tillers of the land while the dominant sections became landlords." Awareness of land should be created among Dalits as it was a major tool towards their emancipation. She also said that the struggle for 'panchami' lands and lands meant for Dalits was going to fortify and would ultimately determine the Dalit struggle for emancipation.
"Though we have differences with the Left on certain issues, still we understand that it is a historical necessity to work together for Dalit emancipation."
Speaking earlier, A. Kathir, Executive Director, Evidence, said that about 12 lakh acres were allotted to Depressed Classes in 1892, owing to the efforts taken by J. H. A Tremenheere, the then Chengalpet Collector. However only 1,26,113 panchami lands in Tamil Nadu were identified in a study and among them only 3,000 acres were in the hands of Dalits. The remaining were encroached upon and grabbed from the Dalits over a period of time.
N. Muthumohan, Head, Guru Nanak Chair, Madurai Kamaraj University, said that land question formed an integral part of the political discourse and praxis during the 1960s and early 70s but somehow took a backstage in the next two decades, and after the Dalit upsurge in the 90s it had come up, but still needed to be addressed in a big way as the caste-class axis was still a pertinent one.
Ponnuthayi, All India Democratic Women's Association, said that an important phenomenon to note was that during most of the violence perpetrated against Dalits, it was the landless Dalits who backtracked without retaliating as they did not possess land. She cited the Uthapuram case where almost 80 per cent of Dalits owned lands and that was why they were able to stand and fight caste oppression for a long period.
The meeting condemned the encroachment of 'panchami' lands meant for Dalits in the State by members of other castes and government. They demanded the lands should be retrieved. They made an appeal to the State government to make the Panchami Land Retrieval Commission functional. The State government, in the name of beautification, should stop displacing Dalits in urban centres and settling them in the the city's margins.
Advocate Rajni, P. Chandrabose of Thiagi Immanuel Peravai, and Adhi Tamizhar Peravai's Viduthalai Veeran spoke.
Indian Express
Rahul in Allahabad today but politics not on his agenda
Prashant Pandey : Allahabad, Wed Aug 01 2012, 06:26 hrs
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will be in Allahabad on Wednesday to attend functions — a seminar on Dalits at Gobind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute (GBPSSI) in Jhansi, and inauguration of a children ward and a cancer treatment centre at Kamla Nehru Hospital in the city. Politics, however, is completely off his agenda and no Congress worker or local leader has been invited to the two functions.
The visit comes amid renewed talks of Rahul taking up a larger national role in the party. This will be the Gandhi scion's first visit to UP after the party's poor show in the recent Assembly elections; he had launched his party's electoral campaign from Allahabad.
Rahul's first stop, the seminar, is on the subject of "Democracy and the dreams of neglected communities". "Rahul will listen to the thoughts of the Dalit writers from across the state and also present his own views on the matter," said Prof Badri Narayan, the head of the Dalit Resource Centre (DRC), which is organising the event.
Rahul will also visit Kamla Nehru Hospital in the city, where he will inaugurate a 12-bed children ward and revamped ICU and cancer treatment centre. His father, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, established the treatment centre in mid-1980s but it was not functioning to its full capacity.
Rahul's team is learnt to have consulted with the GBPSSI on the presence of Dalit pockets before finalising his secret and sudden appearances in Dalit-dominated villages and Bastis in districts like Sant Ravi Das Nagar (Bhadohi) and Mirzapur on November 1 and 2 last year.
Prof Narayan, while refusing to comment on whether GBPSSI sent the invitation to the Congress leader or the latter was himself interested, said: "It is true he has always been interested in the intellectual work being done on Dalits and tomorrow's visit is going to be completely for intellectual purposes; completely apolitical."
Meanwhile, the apolitical visit has surprised the local Congress unit. "Usually, there is a set of party workers who usually accompany him whenever he is here. But they too have not been invited. We do not know whether to go there or not," said a senior district Congress committee functionary.
The Times Of India
Meritorious students of MNNIT given free laptops
TNN | Jul 31, 2012, 10.58PM IST
ALLAHABAD: Eighteen BTech students of Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) have given laptops under the Central Sector Scholarship Scheme of Top Class Education for SC/ST students, offered by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
At a ceremony organised in the institute on Tuesday, students eligible for scholarship under this scheme were given laptops by MNNIT director Prof P Chakrabarti.
Chakrabarti said it was heartening to see students being encouraged in this manner. He expressed gratitude towards the Central Government for offering the scheme, and congratulated the students on their achievement. He advised the students to use the laptops for their academic advancement.
MNNIT spokesperson Tanuj Nandan said the scheme provides financial support to students for pursuing studies beyond class 12, with the objective of promoting qualitative education among students belonging to SC/ST categories. Under the scheme, students are eligible for financial support towards tuition and other fees, living expenses, purchase of books and stationery for the duration of their study in BTech programme, as also a state-of-the-art computer as one-time assistance. Students are selected on the basis of merit.
The students who have received the laptops from B Tech I (2009-10 batch) include Sushobhit Chaudhary, Amrita Singh, Anuj Daya Bharti, Randhir Singh, Vishal Taraiya, Vishal Kumar, Vineet Kumar Nimesh, Anindita Mondal, Deeksha Singh, Prashant Kumar, Umesh Chandra and Anant Kumar Chaudhary.
Under the Central Sector Scholarship Scheme of Top Class Education ST students, offered by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, following students have got the loptops: Chandan Kumar Singh (BTech I, 2007-08 batch), Naresh Bhatt (BTech I, 2008-09 batch), Bhanu Pratap Singh (BTech I, 2008-09 batch), Pradeep Kumar (BTech I 2008-09 batch), Surendra Kumar Meena (BTech I, 2009-10 batch) and Diwakar Kumar (BTech I, 2009-10 batch).
The Hindustan Times
Shinde thanks Sonia, PM for giving a 'Dalit' home ministry
New Delhi, August 01, 2012
Sushil Kumar Shinde on Wednesday assumed charge as the new home minister and promised to work closely with the states in dealing with internal security challenges and contentious issues like setting up of NCTC. Expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for bestowing the charge of the home ministry to a Dalit, Shinde said there was a need to plug the gaps in the relations between the states and the Centre.
"I have been hearing from political circles in Central Hall in Parliament that there is still scope to plug the gaps in relations between the states and the Centre," he told reporters in New Delhi shortly after taking the charge.
Shinde said his predecessor P Chidambaram had done good work and plugged the gaps to a certain extent and that he too would try to further fill those gaps.
"We will have to further go ahead. One has to have good relations with states. The states may be ruled by different parties. But I want to send a message to all chief ministers that we are all Indians and together we will work wherever there is a difficulty," he said.
The statement comes in the backdrop of the opposition the home ministry has faced in recent past to National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and some other issues.
Shinde thanked Singh and Gandhi for giving him the responsibility of home ministry, saying after Buta Singh, who was home minister in early 1980s, he has become the second Dalit to hold the key post.
He said Rajiv Gandhi had given the responsibility of home ministry to Buta Singh and now Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh gave him the task.
"The Gandhi family has always taken care of the welfare of backward castes. Dalits can also take bigger responsibility. The home ministry is a critical ministry. I have performed in the past and I will again prove through my work as the home minister," Shinde said.
Asked whether he would go ahead with the plan to set up NCTC, which has been facing stiff opposition from the states, he said he has not taken any view on it and would like to talk to the states and his colleagues in the government first.
"I am open minded. Let me talk to the states also. I have to talk and get cooperation from all. This country belongs to the states," he said.
On the Naxal issue, Shinde said there were several reasons for the eruption of the Left Wing Extremism, especially the social reasons, and he would take into consideration all these factors while dealing with it.
To a question about his plan to deal with ongoing anti-corruption movement of Anna Hazare and his team, he said everyone was with the movement but it has to be within a "framework".
"The government will deal with it, the government is dealing it. It is an issue of collective responsibility," he said.
On the terror front, Shinde said it was fact that police could not be deployed everywhere but he would try his best to ensure peace and calm and as he has years of experience in the government, including as Maharashtra chief minister and a police officer in his long career.
He parried questions on issues like Pakistan's non-cooperation in tackling terror, attacks on Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan forces and the Telangana movement.
Arun Khote
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.

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