People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 26

June 30, 2013




Uthapuram Dalit Women Are Real Heroes


SP Rajendran


DELIVERING a special address at Madurai, Brinda karat, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M)  said that radical social change would happen only when deep-rooted caste prejudices and discriminatory practices against Dalits are annihilated.


A programme was held in the city on June 15 to honour the advocates and social activists who fought for social justice in Uthapuram village near Madurai, Tamilnadu where portion of a long wall that separated Dalits from caste Hindu locality was razed down to enable access to common pathway as a result of strong movement organized by the CPI(M) and the Tamilnadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF).


Brinda Karat said the National Crime Records Bureau shows that in 2012, there were 33,655 cases of atrocities perpetrated on Dalits. This gives us an idea that on an average, everyday 93 members belonging to the Dalit community have been victims of one form of atrocity or the other. It is a shame that even after 66 years of independence such a situation exists in the country.


NCRB data suggests that 1,10,000 cases of atrocities are pending in courts, but only 3.6 per cent have ended in conviction. Among the 35,655 cases sent to court, conviction in cases of atrocities on Dalits was a mere 23 per cent and in 77 per cent cases the perpetrators go scot-free. It is a shame on the judicial system and on the process of legal justice, she said.


She praised the brave Dalit women of Uthapuram as the real heroes who had fought a valiant battle. “When the wall was demolished in Uthapuram, it was not just brick and mortar. The wall represented the edifice of discrimination and denial of minimal human dignity,” she said. Many civil rights like worshipping rights and access to common property resources have been won after a long struggle.


Still there are unfinished tasks like proper access to the common pathway that was created after the demolition of the wall. The Madras High Court has ordered that full compensation be given to each and every family that was affected in the police excesses. The order further said that district monitoring committees should be vigilant in maintaining peace and it is our duty to put pressure on the monitoring committee to implement the court order fully, Brinda pointed out.


T K Rangarajan, MP and CPI(M) Central Committee member, P Sampath, president, TNUEF and U Vasuki, national secretary of AIDWA and district leaders also spoke on the occasion. The 92- year-old veteran leader of the Party, R Umanath was present on the occasion in which a lot of Dalit women participated. U Nirmala Rani, advocate, Madras High court and other advocates were felicitated.


Earlier, while talking to reporters on the sidelines of the programme, Brinda Karat said that the Left parties do not see the development of a third front before the elections; each party has its own agenda and in the case of Left, alternative policies are important as the current policies are disastrous to people. She said that Left parties are in good coordination with each other and are working for alternative policies. Answering a question whether they would support the DMK for Rajya Sabha seat, she replied, “There is absolutely no question of such support.”