DC Debate: Cashing in on Dalits?

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Apr 19, 2018, 7:37 am IST
Updated Apr 19, 2018, 7:37 am IST
The BJP’s attitude towards Dalits must change, just sops will not be enough.
Dalit activists take out a march from Thampanoor in Thiruvanthapuram on Monday.
 Dalit activists take out a march from Thampanoor in Thiruvanthapuram on Monday.

BJP govt doesn’t care for Dalits: Ashish Dua

The BJP has always been an anti-dalit party. The top leadership of the BJP has been extending lip service but we all know what their real stand is. Let us now bring out some facts and put them in the public domain. Even as the Narendra Modi government tried to wriggle out of the spot that it had put itself in by suggesting that it would get an ordinance to correct the Supreme Court judgment on the SC/ST Act, the Chhattisgarh government has begun implementation of the diluted version of the law, and the state government has said disciplinary action will be taken against those who do not implement the new version — a clear case of the BJP’s unabashed doublespeak.

 

A circular issued by the additional DG (CID) of Chhattisgarh directing the police to implement the diluted version of the SC/ST Act busts the claims of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that there won’t be any weakening of the SC/ST Act.

Data shows that a dalit suffers an atrocity every 12 minutes. As per the National Crime Records Bureau, six dalit women are raped every day. The Indian National Congress was the first political party to legislate the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, and is also the first party to raise objections against the government’s bid to dilute it. It was the Congress that, in consultation with other Opposition parties, submitted a memorandum to the President on March 27, 2018 against this; the President had assured us that he would look into it.

The Prime Minister wants to know what the Congress has done for the dalits and Babasaheb Ambedkar. I would like to tell him to first look at news reports coming in from Uttar Pradesh which state that grills are being installed around the statues of Babasaheb so that they are not vandalised. Is this the new India that the PM promised to the citizens of this country? A place where statues have to be guarded by men in uniform or else they will be vandalised. Neither the PM nor any of his ministers has spoken on this issue.

Significantly, dalit BJP MPs — Udit Raj (Delhi), Savitri Bai Phule (Bahraich), Chhote Lal Kharwar (Robertsganj), Ashok Kumar Dohre (Etawah), Yashwant Singh (Nagina) — have written letters to the BJP leadership expressing dismay and anguish at the ill-treatment meted out to the SC/ST community.

Their letters state that “in the past four years the Modi government had done nothing for these sections”. It is clear from these statements that even BJP leaders have realised that the government is not doing anything for dalits.

It’s time the BJP starts doing something for the assimilation and oneness of society. Mere jumlas will not work anymore, the party needs to rectify its attitude towards dalits.

The writer is media coordinator, AICC

We believe in all-inclusive development: Devang Dave

If you cannot do anything good yourself, do not create hurdles for those who are trying to do so. This is one thing which the Congress Party chooses to ignore time and again. Recently, Congress leaders made a scathing remark stating that the BJP’s attitude towards the SC/ST community needs to change, as sops were not enough to uplift the much-neglected community. It is ironical that the party which governed India for 60 years and neglected the dalit community all along is audaciously questioning the continued and untiring efforts of a party that came to power just four years back.

BSP leader Mayawati has termed the BJP’s efforts of uplifting the weaker sections of society as natakbaazi in the name of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. Here I reiterate that the BJP is a pro-India nationalist party that has always worked for the inclusive development of the weaker segment. Today, the Congress, along with the BSP and SP, is using its old strategy of coaxing the minority against the BJP using the caste card. They want to divide the nation in the name of caste and religion, whereas we believe in development of all.

Yes, I totally agree that mere sops aren’t enough for cohesive development and that’s precisely why the BJP government has implemented and executed schemes especially for the deprived sections.

Stressing on the need for all-inclusive development, the Narendra Modi government’s Jan Dhan Yojana made banking accessible to lakhs of poor citizens who never had the luxury of having their own bank account. The Ujwala Yojana brought in electricity to thousands of poor households, while “Skill India”, a programme to develop skills and provide better livelihood to the underprivileged in rural areas, has proved to be an effective result-oriented programme. The Ekal Vidyalaya programme started in 51,000 schools has enrolled a whopping one million dalit kids in India.

Also, more than 82 per cent villages in far-flung and inaccessible areas have been connected by roads under the PM Gram Sadak Yojana. In addition, the recently launched Ayushman Bharat healthcare scheme aims at covering 10 crore poor and vulnerable families and provide a cover of Rs 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.

All these schemes have been implemented with the sole purpose of uplifting the masses, a herculean task, which was neglected by the Congress all along. Lastly, I must mention the BJP government’s commendable step of filing a motion urging the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision regarding the SC/ST Act, and thus has repeated its commitment to protect the rights of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The initiatives taken by the BJP government for the empowerment of dalits are endless.

The writer is national convenor, BJYM, IT Committee

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