Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 10.11.11
Headmaster arrested for molesting eight-yr-old dalit child - The Times Of India
Classed as untouchable but essential to daily life - The National
Digvijay asks Hazare to clear stand on reservation issue - Daily Bhaskar
HC stays criminal proceedings against man accused of dowry harassment - The Times Of India
The Times Of India
Headmaster arrested for molesting eight-yr-old dalit child
TNN | Nov 4, 2011, 01.19AM IST
VIRUDHUNAGAR : In an inhumane act, a 51-year-old school headmaster allegedly molested an eight-year-old girl child in rural Virudhunagar district on Thursday shocking her parents, as well as public in the village.
The dalit girl, studying third standard in the Panchayat Union Elementary School at Pazhaya Sennelkulam near Sriviliputhur had come to the school around 8.30 in the morning. In less than two hours, she returned home crying. When her parents sought her explanation asked her as to why she was crying, the girl narrated the incident that happened at the school.
"Soon after the girl arrived at the school, the headmaster Ramasamy took her from the classroom to a secluded spot within the school premises and molested her. When she started crying, Ramasamy let her go. But he threatened to murder her if she revealed the incident at the school to anyone," police said.
The girl's parents immediately rushed to the school and complained to the other staff about this. to the staff there.
But Ramasamy, who spotted the angry parents approaching the school, fled from there.
The girl's parents then went to the police station at Vanniyampatti and lodged a complaint. Police registered a case against Ramasamy under IPC sections 354 (assault with intention to outrage the modesty), 506 (1) (criminal intimidation) and SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
Ramasamy was arrested later in the day and remanded to judicial custody. Police are conducting inquiries whether the headmaster had committed similar offences in the past. The girl was taken to the government hospital at Srivilliputhur and discharged after treatment and psychological counselling.
A Kathir, director of Evidence, an NGO demanded that a thorough probe on the antecedents of the headmaster should be done and he should be dismissed from service for the offence.
Classed as untouchable but essential to daily life
At midday in Dharavi, Mumbai's largest slum, the mercury rises close to 40°C as Sungha Bhain takes a break from working a cumbersome masala-paste machine.
"I've had my own business over 10 years," the 60-year-old grandmother says amid a cloud of red chilli dust. "We sell the paste on the market for 100 rupees [Dh7.36] per kilo. This is India's most popular spice, so thankfully there is always a demand for it."
Ms Bhain is one of thousands of Dalit, or untouchable, entrepreneurs in Dharavi who are set to get a boost from affirmative action legislation.
The cabinet has passed a public procurement law that commits all government departments to make at least 4 per cent of total purchases from businesses run by people from Dalit and tribal communities.
The arrangement will provide a substantial windfall as the government's procurement department spends about US$7 billion (Dh25.71bn) annually on supplies such as stationery and office furniture.
It is estimated that Dalit-owned enterprises contribute 5 per cent to India's GDP, which, according to the World Bank, was $1.73 trillion last year. These figures alone make this informal sector one of the largest contributors to growth, says Sheetal Kumbhar, the senior executiveof the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
"This is massively important sector but also at the same time the one that is most neglected. There cannot be inclusive growth in this country without taking a note of this sector," Mr Kumbhar said.
Dalits are being noticed elsewhere, too. The US private-equity company Warburg Pincus is in talks with several Dalit-led enterprises, Mr Kumbhar says. There is also talk of the Indian government creating a Dalit venture capital fund. Small businesses in Dharavi alone turn over about $1bn annually, according to Reality Gives, a charity that works in Dharavi.
But few of Dharavi's small businesses have employed standard bookkeeping methods or accountants or have been officially registered. Most businesses operate in small areas, often with old-fashioned machinery. Pen, pad and calculator is the usual style of accounting.
Dalit businesses, however, are vital to keeping Mumbai running. Five-star hotels use them for their laundry, restaurants get their poppadoms from Dharavi, and richer folk have their repairs done by the sector - anything from curtains to fridges.
Getting credit to expand has been a traditional stumbling block for Dalit enterprises.
"The hardest part for Dalit enterprises are getting the loans. "Traditionally they have been left outside the formal banking system and therefore getting loans to grow their businesses has been near impossible," says Mr Kumbhar. Many Dalit families work in the Gulf. No accurate data is available on how many Indian families in the Gulf could be classified as Dalits since the sector is disorganised, but the number is "in hundreds of thousands if not in millions, since most are working in the informal sector jobs," according to the chamber of commerce.
People who work in the sector are ambitious and hard-working.
For Dalit families wanting to start businesses on their return from the Gulf, help is at hand from the chamber.
"These people lack formal education but it doesn't mean they are short on drive," says Mr Kumbhar. "On the contrary, if there is a way out of poverty, people are willing to go for it and establish their own … enterprises."
Digvijay asks Hazare to clear stand on reservation issue
Source: PTI | Last Updated 15:01(09/11/11)
New Delhi: Asking Team Anna to clarify its stand on reservation issue, Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Wednesday said he suspected "political ambitions" behind Anna Hazare's decision to expand his committee to include Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Muslims.
"Anna expanding his committee to include Dalit Tribals Muslims and Youth. Vote Bank? Political ambitions? Reservation quota? May be!," Singh, who had recently alleged that the Gandhian was being used as a "scapegoat" by his team members to fulfil their political ambitions, commented on the microblogging site Twitter.
The Congress leader in another tweet asked Hazare and Kejriwal to clarify their stand on reservation saying that they had earlier opposed it. "Anna and Kejriwal should clarify what is their stand regarding Reservation. Both have opposed reservation publicly," Singh tweeted.
On Monday, Hazare had said he plans to restructure his Core Committee to also give representation to religious minorities, tribals, dalits and youths to strengthen the campaign against corruption.
In yet another teaser, the AICC general secretary asked Hazare to clarify his stand on MNS chief Raj Thackeray's statements against North Indians. "Anna should also clarify what he has to say about Raj Thakre's statement against North Indians. He had supported Raj Thakre on this issue," Singh said.
Singh's remarks have come on a day when Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said it is "amply clear" that Anna Hazare's associates want to join politics andasked them to be open about it. "....staying out (of politics)and tacitly supporting or opposing any party is not done," he told a Marathi channel.
In a letter to Chavan two days back, Hazare has slammed him for asking the Centre to give green nod to the first phase of the controversial Lavasa project.
The Times Of India
HC stays criminal proceedings against man accused of dowry harrassment
Abhinav Garg, TNN Nov 7, 2011, 01.53AM IST
NEW DELHI: Delhi high court has stayed criminal proceedings against a man accused of dowry harassment and of atrocities under the SC/ST Act by a Dalit woman who claims to be his wife.
The man sought relief after a sessions court in the capital ordered the police to lodge an FIR in the case. The petitioner Anand drew HC's attention to the fact that the sessions court took allegations leveled by the woman on face value and didn't even issue him notice to be heard, violating principles of natural justice.
Arguing that a court can't proceed ex-parte in such a sensitive matter where the liberty of a person is involved since allegations leveled are of a serious nature. Anand also requested the court to send his case back to the trial court so that the case can be re-assessed on merits. He maintained that the police, in its probe report submitted periodically in court, have already admitted that the case against him rests on shaky evidence.
In her complaint to the police last year, the woman said she met Anand in 2008 and both soon came very close, with Anand proposing marriage. When she pointed out she was a Dalit and he an upper-caste man, Anand allayed her fears saying being an educated person he never believed in caste barriers. However, the woman says, Anand admitted his parents will not accept the union and suggested they marry in a temple. So the couple married in August 2009 in a Temple at Janakpuri and began leading a conjugal life, as per the complaint. Things soon took a turn when Anand's parents came to know about the marriage. They convinced their son that he could walk out of the union, goading him to act cruelly against her and ultimately abandoning her.
After the police initially refused to lodge her complaint the woman went to court and leveled the same allegations.
The police in its report to court said it had not come across any evidence to back the woman's allegations. It said serious discrepancies were found in her claims including the priest at the temple denying the couple married in its precincts. After the magistrate dismissed the woman's complaint she moved a sessions court that saw enough merit in her case to order an FIR be lodged.
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.