Thursday, January 24, 2008


Talking about Hindu tolerance, I would like to qoute swami Vivekanand “ No religion on earth preaches the dignity of humanity in such a lofty strain as Hinduism, and no religion on earth treads upon the necks of the poor and the low in such a fashion as Hinduism".
Mayawati will go down in history as empowering Dalits politically. It is not a small achievement! There was a time when socially oppressed could not even exercise their franchise according to their wish. Upper caste people always try to find fault with her. It is natural. No priledged section of society wants a social change.

Caste prejudices continue, though the upper caste people keep saying that the system has almost disappeared. Atrocities on lower castes continue openly in rural India. In urban areas discrimination and prejudices are subtle and sophisticated. They have replaced the word merit for caste.
The extracts from various news reports and studies given below support my view:

Bant Singh is a Dalit who lives in Mansa village in Punjab. Born a Dalit, his is an inheritance of loss. He has a minor daughter, Baljeet Kaur, who was gangraped by upper caste men of her village in January 2002.

Many Dalit girls are raped while calling them untouchable and denying them the right to draw water from the village well and other forms of social ostracism, upper caste men do not hesitate to sexually violate them. It is a well-planned strategy of subordination.
25 Oct, 2006 0003hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK

New Delhi-based research organisation Cfore, which conducts an annual B-school survey for a national weekly, used RTI Act to expose the fact that SC/ST students are paid way below general category students during placements and also that the recipient of lowest salary offered is usually a Dalit.

The survey found that the average salary for a Dalit is at least 2 lakh less than the average salary at IIMs. At IIM-A, while the average salary was Rs 9.6 lakh per annual, Dalit students were offered 7.8 lakh. IIMs reserve 22.5% seats for SC/ST students.
"During the survey, we found that Scheduled Castes/Tribes students were mostly recruited by PSUs rather than MNCs.
12 Sep, 2006 0051hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK
BHOPAL: A Dalit woman sarpanch of Mahoikala village in Chattarpur district of MP was beaten up, stripped and then paraded naked by upper caste men for not paying them Rs 50,000 from the village development fund.
Thursday, June 22, 2006 11:19:58 pm TIMES NEWS NETWORKShocking allegations of intimidation of Dalit students have surfaced in the country’s premier medical institute, AIIMS. Two first-year MBBS students have submitted written complaints to the director of being subjected to casteist remarks and other forms of harassment by seniors.
12 Sep, 2006 0011hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK

HYDERABAD: Parents of SC/ST students of the Hyderabad Public School (HPS) have alleged that their children faced discrimination in the school.

Addressing mediapersons on Thursday, HPS SC/ST Parents' Committee president M Samuel said there were 1,200 SC/ST students in both the campuses of the school — in Ramantapur and Begumpet. Out of these 400 are boarders but they are not allowed to live in the boarding rooms inside the school campuses. "They were asked to live in special hostels provided by the social welfare department which are in slum areas," Samuel said.
"The issue was raised in the assembly even in April and the school education minister held a meeting of all concerned. But we came to know that it was decided that SC/ST students should not be allowed to live inside the school premises," Samuel alleged.
0158hrs IST 6 Oct, 2006 TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Pradip, a young Dalit man from a remote village in Madhya Pradesh, decided to fight back when upper caste people in his village refused him water.
Instead, the 20-year-old was beaten up and as a result, 250 Dalit families from his Chotiche village have been denied access to water.

Kalabai is a Dalit, but never before has she been so acutely conscious of her status. Her son Pradip has been missing since the incident.
The village gets its water supply from a government tubewell, but upper caste families determine how much water the Dalit families have access to.
June 23, 2006 (Khandwa) NDTV
BHUBANESWAR: Breaking a nearly 300-year-old ban, hundreds of Dalits on Thursday entered a Jagannath temple in Orissa's Kendrapada district. Prior to this, Dalits could have darshan only through the nine small holes on the walls of the temple located at Keredagada village.
15 Dec, 2006 0101hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK
BHUBANESWAR: Upper caste people on Friday responded to Dalits' entry into Jagannath temple at Keredagada by observing a bandh .

Some of the priests and upper caste people reportedly wanted to perform mahasnana , a ritual bath of the deities at the temple. The priests were trying to contact temple trust president Rabindra Narayan Bhanjadeo, a scion of the Kanika royal family.
16 Dec, 2006 0259hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK
JAIPUR, June 8: Even in the 21st century, life is not easy for dalits in the rural parts of the country. A scheduled caste community in a Rajasthan district has been ostracised for daring to seek police help to allow their grooms to ride horseback and for holding meetings to oppose atrocities of the upper castes.
Recently, in separate incidents, two Meghwal community grooms were not allowed to ride horseback in Udaipur district’s Amarpura and Nimdi villages. The marriage procession could move only after police protection was sought. The Meghwal community was ostracised in both villages for this misadventure.
Following these developments, the community called a meeting on 4 June. The community leaders there reportedly raised their voice against the atrocities of the upper castes. But Meghwals are being made to pay for this as they are facing a total boycott. Statesman--9th June,2006
Chandigarh, March 1: A group of incensed Rajput youngsters attacked and set fire to a number of dalit houses in Haryana’s Salwan village. A few policemen, who tried to stop the attackers were injured in the incident on Thursday afternoon. However, nearly 24 households in the dalit quarter of the village have been destroyed. After ransacking the homes, the mob made bonfires of the furniture and other belongings. Deccan Chronicle 2.3.2007
Despite India's bid to integrate itself into the global economy that counts more on merit than on lineage, Indian employers continue to follow age-old hiring practices that discriminate against lower castes.
This is the view of Katherine Newman, professor of sociology in Princeton University and Paul Attewell, professor of sociology at the City University of New York, who led a research study along with Surinder S Jodhka of Jawaharlal Nehru University and Sukhadeo Thorat.
"Indian employers, especially the large employers, do continue, despite their views that they do not rely on the caste factor for employment decisions, to have preconceptions or stereotypes about applicants in the labour market that reinforce caste as a source of employment discrimination," Newman said. Suman Guha Mozumdar in New York
a study was released by the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies in collaboration with Princeton University.
The study was conducted against 548 job advertisements with 4808 applicants over 66 weeks, across five metros.

It reveals that in fact a person's caste and religion could be a hindrance in getting a job, despite equal qualification.
The study says that a dalit had 60 per cent less chances of being called for an interview, and a Muslim had 30 per cent less, as against their higher caste peers.

Of job hunting and Indian caste system. Suman Guha Mozumdar in New York
November 02, 2007

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