“ DISCRIMINATION AND ATROCITIESAGAINST SCHEDULED CASTES IN INDIA : A HISTORICAL INJUSTICE” Present By SHAMBHARKAR DEVIDAS PRALHADRAO M.S.W., SET,NET- SOCIAL WORK (Assistant Professor) Mobile No: 09421892282, Email : firstname.lastname@example.orgMahatma Jyotiba Fule College of Social Work-Yavatmal , Maharashtra(India).
Dalits- officially known as ‘Scheduled Castes’ (SCs) – constitute 16.23% of India’s population. They have historically occupied the lowest status in the Indian society. A central feature of caste discrimination is the concept of ‘untouchability’ based on the notion that certain caste groups are considered ‘impure’ and ‘polluting’ to other caste groups, leading to social ostracism, economic exploitation and denial of human dignity. Article 17 of the Constitution outlaws the practice of ‘untouchability’. However, despite legal and constitutional provisions as well as affirmative action schemes, SCs continue to face many forms of untouchability practices as well as social, economic and institutional deprivations. (1) The Indian Constitution vide Article 15 lays down that no citizen shall be subjected to any disability or restriction on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. It also guarantees that every citizen shall have equality of status and opportunity. (2)
The Planning Commission highlighted the fact that nowhere else in the world “has any particular section (of society) been devoid of basic human rights, dignity of labour and social equality on the basis of classification that finds its root in religious writings.” (5) The Commission added: “Since the caste system attains its sanctity in religious writings, emancipation from the rigid classification has been difficult to achieve. The consequences of these traditional restrictions in the past are to be seen, even today.” (6)
Objectives of the Paper : To describe the present situation of discrimination against scheduled caste To describe the present statues of atrocities against scheduled caste Methodology: The descriptive nature of this paper ; basically uses published secondary data related to study topic also takes reference of useful website links.
About the study of “Untouchability in Rural India” which survey was conducted in 565 Villages of 11 states in 2006 by Ghanshyam Shah, Harsh Mander, Sukhadeo Thorat, Satish Deshpande and Amita Baviskar, As per this study More than 50% of villages: Denied entry into non-Dalit houses Prohibitions against food sharing Denied entry into places of worship Ill-treatment of women by other women 45-50% of villages: Denied cremation and burial grounds Denied access to water facilities Ban on marriage processions Not allowed to sell milk to cooperatives Denied barber services Denied laundry services Ill-treatment of women by non-SC men
30-40% of villages : Schools-separate eating Payment of wages: no contract Denied entry in to village shops Denied work as agricultural labour Cannot sell things in local markets Denied visits by health workers Separate seating in hotels Separate utensils in hotels Discriminatory treatment in police stations 25-30% of villages : Separate seating in Panchayats Separate seating in schools Not employed in house building Denied entry into police stations Denied entry in to PDS shops Forced to stand before upper-caste men
20-25% of villages: Paid lower wage rates for same work Ban on festival processions on roads Segregated seating in schools Denied entry into private health clinics Separate drinking water in the schools 15-20% of villages : Cannot wear new/bright clothes Denied access to public roads/passages Denied entry in to Primary Health Centers Discriminatory relationship by non-SC teachers towards SC students Discriminatory relationship by non-SC teachers towards SC teachers
10-15% of villages: Denied entry in to Panchayat offices Schools: SC teacher and non-SC student Separate lines at polling booth Discriminatory treatment in Primary Health Centers Less than 10% of villages: Denied access/entry to public transport Cannot use cycles on public roads Denied entry/seating in cinema halls Compulsion to seek blessing in marriages
The following cases of discrimination against known public figures illustrate the gravity of the problem. In November 2011, a Justice of the Madras High Court stated that he had been humiliated by fellow judges due to his caste since 2001.(9) In June 2011, the Chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes – himself a Dalit – was denied entry into a Hindu Temple in Puri, Odisha. (10) In July 2011, a Dalit Member of the Legislative Assembly in Odisha, was allegedly not allowed to eat food along with his colleagues at an official meeting.(11)
SCs face persistent discrimination and serious crimes are committed against them ranging from abuse on caste name, murders, rapes, arson, social and economic boycotts, naked parading of SC women, force to drink urine and eat human excreta.(18) “As per Crime Statistics of India, every 18 minutes a crime is committed against SCs; every day 27 atrocities against them, (3 rapes, 11 assaults and 13 murders); every week 5 of their homes or possessions burnt and 6 persons kidnapped or abducted”.(21) The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women noted that Dalit women “face targeted violence, even rape and death, from state actors and powerful members of dominant castes who employ these methods to inflict political lessons and crush dissent within the community”.(23)
Sr.No Crime-Head Year % Variation in 2011 over 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2010 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) 1. Murder 674 626 624 570 673 18.1 2. Rape 1,349 1,457 1,346 1,349 1,557 15.4 3. Kidnapping & 332 482 512 511 616 20.5 Abduction 4. Dacoity 23 51 44 42 36 -14.3 5. Robbery 86 85 70 75 54 -28.0 6. Arson 238 225 195 150 169 12.7 7. Hurt 3,814 4,216 4,410 4,376 42 -2.9 8. Protection of Civil 206 248 168 143 67 -53.1 Rights 9. SC/ST(Prevention of 9,819 11,602 11,143 10,513 11,342 7.9 Atrocities ) Act 10 Others 13,490 14,623 15,082 14,983 14,958 -0.2 Total 30,031 33,615 33,594 32,712 33,719 3.1 Source :http://ncrb.nic.in , National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs , Government of India
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs Compendium-2011 report the registered cases under SC/ST(Prevention of Atrocities) Act , against Scheduled Castes in 2007-9819, 2008-11602, 2009-11143, 2010-10513 and in 2011-11342 . A total of 11,342 cases were reported under this Act during the year 2011 as compared to 10,513 in the year 2010 thereby reporting as increase of 7.9%(25)
It is taking place in 21st century when science guides the minds, entire human race has accepted the fundamental principles of equality of all humans, human rights and justice to all without discrimination of any kind. But in our society even educated people have irrational caste oriented minds. It appears the casteism is not a social problem but a chronic malaise or genetic disorder we suffer from.(26) Atrocities against Scheduled Caste is deeply rooted in the caste system. Yet, Dalit are facing different forms of discrimination in day to day life in republic of India. If India wants to be the super power in near future, there is much to be said and done regarding effective constitutional provisions and the fruitful attainment of cultural and socio economic equality of scheduled castes in our secular country.
1.www.wghr.org. Human Rights in India Status Report 2012, Page 116 2.htpp://ncrb.nic.in - National Crime Records Bureau Ministry of Home Affairs Government of India, Compendium 2011,Page 105 3.Ibid 4.Ibid 5.Planning Commission, Schedules Caste Sub Plan – Guidelines for Implementation, New Delhi 2006,planningcommission.nic.in 6. Ibid 7.UNHCR, Refworld, Broken People: Caste Violence Against India’s “Untouchables” http://www.unhcr. org 8.Ghanshyam Shah, Harsh Mander, Sukhadeo Thorat, Satish Deshpande and Amita Baviskar, Untouchability in Rural India: A survey conducted in 565 Villages of 11 states, Sage Publications, 2006. 9. The Times of India, Judge rubbed his shoes against me, says Justice Karnan, November 4, 2011 10. The Daily News and Analysis, Dalit denied entry in temple:Orissa government steps in to resolve issue, June 25, 11.IBN News, Orissa: Dalit MLA faces discrimination, July 23, 2011, available at:http://ibnlive.in.com/news/ 12.Dr Anand Teltumbde, Globalization and the Dalits, available at: http://www.ambedkar.org / 13.Annual Report of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, 2009, http://socialjustice.nic.in Also See: Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, India, 2007 http://www2.ohchr.org/
14.A large number of ‘manual scavengers’ are still employed in the Indian railways. The Ministry of Railways has chosen to deny the existence of manual scavenging in the Indian Railways entirely, most recently in the affidavit dated 21.3.2011 filed before the Court. The Court ordered a change of the toiletry system in the trains, raising public awareness on public hygiene, and prohibited manual carrying of human excreta. - Safai Karamchari Andolan & Ors v. Union of India & Ors, Writ Petition (C) No. 845 of 2011 15.National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 5 of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21: India, A/HRC/WG.6/13/IND/1, UN General Assembly, 8 March 2012, para 65. 16.Annual Report of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, 2009, available at: http://socialjustice.nic.in/ 17. Unpublished Note from Rashtriya Garima Abiyan. 18.National Coalition for Strengthening the PoA Act, Initiation of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), Joint Stakeholders’ Report on Caste Based Discrimination, November 2011. 19.This includes 2,208 murders, 5,974 rapes, 15,603 cases of hurt, 1,764 cases of kidnapping and abduction, 687 cases of arson, 572 of other Untouchability practices and 53,174 of other IPC crimes – National Coalition for Strengthening the PoA Act, Initiation of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), Joint Stakeholders’ Report on Caste Based Discrimination, November 2011. 20. National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Prison Statistics 2008; 2009; 2010. 21.National Coalition for Strengthening the PoA Act, Initiation of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), Joint Stakeholders’ Report on Caste Based Discrimination, November 2011. 22.Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: India, 2007, CERD/C/IND/CO/19, para 14. 23.UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Cultural Practices in the Family that are Violent towards Women, 2002, E/CN4/2002/83, Para 53. 24.Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: India, 2007, CERD/C/IND/ CO/19, para 15. 25.http://ncrb.nic.in- National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs , Government of India 26.Rajasvi M.I.(Quoted in) Igen B. ; Mayavati: Hope of Dalits-Faith of Bahujan Society , Manoj Publications, 2011, Page-124
Thank You Very Much ! SHAMBHARKAR DEVIDAS PRALHADRAO M.S.W., SET,NET- SOCIAL WORK (Assistant Professor)Mahatma Jyotiba Fule College of Social Work-Yavatmal , Maharashtra(India). Mobile No: 09421892282, Email : email@example.com