(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 26, 2012
CPI(M) Condemns Heinous Casteist Crime
THROUGH a statement issued from Rohtak on February 17, the Haryana state unit of the CPI(M) strongly condemned the horrible event in a village in Hissar district where a dalit youth’s hand was chopped off by a so called upper caste man only because the former had drunk water from the latter’s pitcher.
At present, this young man called Rajesh (26), belonging to village Saniana under Tohana subdivision, is being treated in a private hospital at Hissar after being attacked with a sharp weapon by an upper caste person at village Daulatpur near Uklana on February 15 morning.
A team of the CPI(M)’s district leadership visited the victim in the hospital and verified the authenticity of the heinous crime. The party’s district committee also held a protest dharna at the district headquarters against this shameful act of worst kind of caste hatred. Condemning this barbaric incident, the party’s state secretary Inderjit Singh described it as a blot on the face of the civil society and deserving widespread condemnation. He also demanded exemplary punishment to the perpetrator, treatment of the victim at government expenditure and adequate compensation to the affected family.
Later, on February 20, the state unit of the CPI(M) urged the governor to draw the state government’s attention to the appalling plight of scheduled caste population in the state. On the day, the party’s state secretary Inderjit Singh handed over a memorandum to this effect to the governor’s secretary, Mohinder Kumar. Another memorandum was given to the state’s finance minister H S Chatha, urging him to make separate allocations the scheduled caste population in the state in the work of various departments in the forthcoming budget.
The memorandum submitted to the governor said in Haryana the socio-economic condition of the scheduled caste population continues to be appalling and much worse in comparison to other social strata. The scheduled caste population is over 19 per cent or almost one fifth of the state’s population but, contrary to the official propaganda of their uplift, they are facing discrimination and prejudicial treatment in all spheres of life.
Notwithstanding the guarantees of equal opportunities mentioned in the constitution, the scheduled castes are lagging behind in all respects and facing untouchability and humiliation. Within the community, moreover, women suffer even more indignity, neglect and deprivation.
Haryana is often projected as a state having achieved big progress and development. But the illusory nature of the much hyped official propaganda gets completely shattered when a Dulina, Gohana, Harsaula, Mirchpur or Daulatpur is shamelessly enacted at regular intervals.
The memorandum noted that the aggressiveness of illegal caste panchayats has also increased in recent decades, with the tacit patronage of the ruling class parties, adding to the insecurity of the weaker sections of society. In fact, the so-called development under the neo-liberal policy dispensation is totally skewed and distorted, actually rushing huge undue benefits to a handful of the favoured few while rendering the socially disadvantaged strata still more vulnerable to all sorts of attacks economically and socially.
On the other hand, reservation in jobs has been made a mockery, with open violation of constitutional norms and legal provisions by those at the helm of bureaucracy and politics.
The hopes of the landless for a share in the surplus land have also been belied by the Haryana government through a draconian amendment in the land ceiling act that validates the possession of surplus holdings. This amendment was made totally arbitrarily, first through an ordinance and then through an act of the assembly; surprisingly, it was made retrospectively effective since 1972. Even the 30 per cent share of scheduled castes in agricultural lands of gram panchayats is not being provided them but auctioned for cultivation on annual basis. The vested interests are also creating hurdles in the allotment of 100 square yard residential plots to the landless families, as stipulated by the state government.
The MGNREGA is not been implemented in earnestness.
The scheduled caste sub-plan, mandatory for annual and five year planning, is not being implemented. Funds allocated for the SCs are often siphoned off, diverted for other purposes or even kept unutilised because of caste prejudices.
Scholarships for SC students are not disbursed in time and arrears continue to pile up. These are often delivered after students complete their courses.
How serious is the government in this regard can be understood from the simple fact that it has not bothered to constitute a state commission for the scheduled castes despite criticism from various quarters. Hence there is no agency where the aggrieved and deprived can move with their complaint for redressal.
In view of these realities, the Haryana state committee of the CPI(M) raised the following demands:
1) Adequate budgetary allocations under the SC sub-plan or special component plan for the SCs.
2) Funds for schemes should be non-divertible and non-lapsable so that they are delivered to real beneficiaries.
3) Formation of a State Schedule Caste Commission.
4) A white paper on the status of dalits in the state.
5) Creation of a social justice division under Planning Commission.
6) MGNREGA to be implemented at full scale and corruption strictly curbed in its implementation.
7) Dalit women to be given equal treatment; residential plots to be allotted jointly in the names of husband and wife.
8) Perpetrators of untouchability and atrocities against dalits to be firmly dealt with.