THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Modi’s Two Years and the Plight of Dalits by Anand Teltumbde

Modi's Two Years and the Plight of Dalits

Anand Teltumbde

Narendra Modi, the self proclaimed Ambedkar-bhakt recently completed two years of his boastful rule. Babasaheb Ambedkar, an iconoclast par excellence, was loath having bhakts around but might have relented and been pleased to have a prime minister as his bhakt, with his characteristic pragmatic approach. He had modestly demanded dalit representation in the state structure so that they would safeguard dalit interests from the casteist majority of the caste Hindus. He experienced in his own life time that it did not work. Here he gets an all powerful prime minister, with a dash as his bhakt! A modicum of expectation he would have from Modi is to turn around the country in the direction he prescribed and of course, some concern for the deteriorating condition of dalit masses. It is well known that Ambedkar had warned the new rulers to bring in social and economic democracy at the earliest possible time. He had provided a vehicle to reach there in the form of the Directive Principles for the State Policy. Although not justiciable, they were to be the fundamental principles for governance of the country but were totally ignored in the sixty years of the Congress rule. An Ambedkar bhakt was expected to get them back into focus. So was he expected to stop the worsening trend in condition of dalits.  Two years may not be a long time to show visible results but certainly enough to mark a directional change. Do Modi's two years show it?

Rhetoric and Reality

On the eve of the last elections the BJP had a coup over the Congress in buying off all the prominent brokers of dalit votes. This investment paid it rich dividend. Enthused by this win, it went full blast in appropriating Ambedkar by propaganda blitzkrieg and grabbing all possible places where his memorials could be erected.  Modi hasn't left a stone unturned in paying acclamations to Ambedkar, taking it as proxy for the concern for dalits. Paradoxically, whatever Ambedkar stood for was being trampled upon with impunity. There was harassment and brutalities unleashed on dalit students in higher education, who Ambedkar believed would truly represent him. The deliberate delay in scholarships to dalits students, institutional attempts to smother voices of radicals among them, their willful humiliation went on all over, which was eventually exposed by a bright research scholar Rohith Vemula, with the cost of his own life. As such, discriminatory treatments have not been new to dalits but the institutional manner in which they happened during the past two years was certainly conspicuous. Even now, despite countrywide outrage and struggles for justice to Rohith, Modi continues to back his killers.

Modi repeatedly swore by the Constitution as his sacred text but in actual conduct he trashed it to the dustbin. He not only continued with the ignorance and neglect of the Directive Principles but also did not hesitate to mutilate them. Leave apart the spirit of the Constitution, its words like secularism, equality, liberty, etc. stand slandered in his rule. The basic principle of 'equality before law' in the Constitution, which is the single biggest constitutional solace for the poor and marginalized itself is nearly dismantled as shown in the shocking 'clean chit' for to the Hindutva criminals in Malegaon blast case. Ban on beef eating, Ghar Wapasi, saffronization of education, jingoist promotion of nationalism/patriotism and irrationality are directly detrimental to the dalit interests. Dalits are thwarted in their realization of the sinister import of these subtle shifts of the BJP by their identitarian blinkers but they are the effective reversals of all their gains earned during the last century.

Deprivation of Dalits

For want of space, we will see how deprivation of dalits has gone up during Modi's rule just with the budget allocations on two schemes: One, their overall development vide Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) and, two, on the Safai Karmachari-related schemes.   

The Constitution of India explicitly recognized the need to close the socio-economic gap between these communities and the rest of the Indian population and mandated special protection and provisions for SCs and STs. It was actualized but in prospective terms only in 1974-75 in the Fifth Five Year Plan period by the policy of the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) and later in 1979-80 in the sixth plan period by the Special Component Plan (SCP), later christened as SCSP. They were the statutory allocations to be made in every budget, central as well as state, to be spent on these communities, respectively, and were mandated to be budgeted plan outlays in proportion to their population. As in any scheme for dalits, the government never kept its promise and blatantly stole their share right from the beginning in the budget itself. Even most of these funds were diverted to unrelated activities and even then the actual spend was far less than the budget. Even with this misdoing, the allocations by the previous regimes might look better than the two budgets (2014-15 being the interim budget) Modi presented. As Table 1 shows, for the year 2015-16 the ratio of the SCSP allocation to total plan outlay worked out to just 6.62 %, by far the lowest since 2007-08 and that for the TSP at 4.29 %, lowest since 2011-12. These ratios should have been 16.62 and 8.6, respectively, as per their population. Although, in view of the important state elections following the budget, these ratios are slightly improved in the current budget to 7.06 and 4.36, respectively, they still remain lower than the earlier ratios. It will show that within these two years Modi has deprived of dalits and Tribals of Rs 13,370,127 crores and 5,689,940 crores from their legitimate share.

Table 1: SCSP and TSP Allocations in Rs. crores [If the Table does not fit, you could delete first four years]


2007-08 RE

2008-09 RE

2009-10 RE

2010-11 RE

2011-12 RE

2012-13 RE

2013-14 RE

2014-15 RE

2015-16 RE

2016-17 BE

Plan Outlay

158491

183528

233386

284284

327396

413625

475532

467934

465770

550010

SCP/SCSP

SCP Allocation

12368

14727

15906

23183

29918

33085

35801

43208

30851

38833

%

7.80

8.02

6.82

8.15

9.14

8.00

7.53

9.23

6.62

7.06

TSP

TSP Allocation

7447

8771

8600

10363

17959

18721

22030

26715

19980

24005

%

4.70

4.78

3.68

3.65

5.49

4.53

4.63

5.71

4.29

4.36

    Source: Union Budgets 2007-08 to 2016-17.

Table 2: Outlays for Safai Karmachari-related Schemes (Rupees crores)


2013-14 

BE

2014-15 

BE

2014-15 

Actual

2015-16 BE

2015-16 RE

2016-17 BE

Self-Employment Scheme of Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers

557.00

439.04

 47.00

470.19

10.01

10.00

Pre-Matric Scholarship for children of those engaged in  "unclean" occupations

  9.50     

 10.00

 10.00

  10.00

2.50

2.00

    Source: Union Budget for respective years.

Safai Karmacharis, or manual scavengers accounting for about 10% of the total dalit (SC) population, are the dalit among dalits. (See last Margin Speak in EPW, 7 May 2016). An Act was passed in 1993, namely, the Employment of Manual Scavengers & Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, which was substituted by another and stronger Act, namely, Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013. But despite persistent agitation of these hapless people nothing is done. Even with such a backdrop, Modi's concern for these people is evidenced by the drop in the allocation for 'Self-Employment and Rehabilitation scheme' from Rs 557 crores in the last two budgets (as Table 2 shows) to Rs 439.04 crores and Rs 470.19 crores, which were further slashed to a token entry of Rs 10 crores. The allocation for 'Pre-Matric Scholarship for children of manual scavengers' shows still more dismal picture: While the budget allocation was marginally raised to Rs 10 crores from the earlier 9.5 crores, it was slashed to 2 crores in the last budget.  

Spurt in Caste Atrocities

While the BJP desperately depends upon dalit votes, it's win in the last elections getting it clear majority in the Lok Sabha for the first time, coupled with the overbearing style of Modi has bolstered the entire Sangh Pariwar. Its aggressive hindutva rhetoric generally emboldened the feudal forces and lumpen elements in rural areas to suppress assertive instincts of dalits, which are associated with their aspiration of liberation. Not all of them internalize the tactical need of the BJP to woo dalits. This dynamics has aggravated the caste contradictions in villages which often manifests into gory atrocities. While the atrocity graph has always scaled skywards right since the economic reforms were instituted, the rise during the Modi's rule appears spectacular. The National Crime Research Bureau has only the 2014 atrocity figures, but they might be enough to reflect the nature of this dynamics. The Table 3 gives a glimpse of the atrocity scene of dalits, which shows an alarming increase of over 19 percent from the incidental peak previous year.

Table 3: Atrocity on dalits from 2010 to 2015

Type /Year

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014*

Murder

570

673

651

676

794

Rape

1349

1557

1576

2073

2388

Kidnapping..

511

616

490

628

1456

Dacoity

42

36

27

45

37

Robbery

75

54

40

62

92

Arson

150

169

214

189

201

Grievous hurt..

4376

4247

3855

4901

4531

PCR ct

143

67

62

62

101

PoA Act

10513

11342

12576

13975

8887

Others

14983

14958

14164

16797

21541

Total

32713

33719

33655

39408

47064

Percentage rise

-

3.08

-0.19

17.04

19.43

Source: NCRB, 'Crime in India' for various years.

* Break-up computed from the figures in Table 7.2, Crime of India 2014.

These figures are police figures, which are a function of the degree of independence of police from the political formation. The nakedness with which the BJP is using police for promotion of its agenda, the pressure on these figures needs to be understood.      

In sum, the two years of Modi has been grossly devastating to dalits in short term and utterly ruinous in the long term. Dalits had better realized that the Sangh Pariwar's dream of establishing Hindu Raj, a curious cross of the Hitlarite Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer and Manu's Brahmanism, is a deadly antithesis of Ambedkar.    



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