Thursday, June 23, 2016

Gujarat's saffron brigade "attacks" NGO, files FIR for offering sweeper's job to dominant castes, unreserved

By Our Representative
An advertisement issued on April 6, 2016 by Ahmedabad-based NGO, Human Development and Resource Centre (HDRC), has turned into a full-blown controversy in Gujarat, with persons alleged to be owing allegiance to the Sangh Parivar forcing their way into the HDRC building, pelting stones, breaking its windows, and damaging flower pots.
The advertisement by HDRC, formerly Behavioral Science Centre, situated on St Xavier’s College campus, Ahmedabad,  was for the post of safai karmacharis (sweepers), insisting that it would give preference to the "unreserved category".
An HRDC note, following the attack, said, “Some people file a complaint against human rights activist Prasad Chacko, director HDRC, under IPC 153 A, inciting communal and caste unrest.”
The advertisement, mentioned names of the castes whose members could apply for the job – Brahmins, Baniya, Patels, Jains, Saiyed, Pathans, Syrian Christians and Parsis. However, commented HDRC, "This has turned into a communal and caste issue.”
Blaming the attack on the HDRC building on “allies of the RSS and other Sangh Parivar affiliates like Brahmo Samaj, Police Lok Seva Raskshak Samiti and some members of the Patel community”, HRDC said, they “began protesting” on Tuesday, with around “50 people entering the campus, terrorizing people and trying to damage the area.” 
The action, it said, continued on Wednesday in the presence of media, when physical harm was to objects. “A leader of the Brahmin community has also targeted the HDRC and ensured that charges are put against them”, it added.
HRDC said, the advertisement was released without “any ill-intention”, but regretted, “The reaction to it very clearly indicates that certain elements in the society will go to any extent to maintain the caste hierarchies and the discriminations.”
HDRC insisted, “The job of a sweeper is mostly given to the lowest castes in the society, Dalits, OBCs, those at the bottom of the caste pyramid across different religions. The discrimination against certain castes is perpetuated by various means and any attempts at trying to break that, is met with threat and intimidation by dominant castes.”
Pointing out that is “the worst feature of the caste society, and instead of finding ways to challenge it, it is being taken as something that has to be preserved”, HRDC said, “It is unfortunate to see that an advertisement to invite candidates from the general category for a sweeping job has turned into a crime and an FIR has been lodged against the HDRC director.”
Wanting to know on what basis police has resorted to such a tactic, HRDC said, the attack “Clearly, implies that the social order of caste system persists and cleaning work is to be performed in accordance with the social order, meaning untouchables have to do cleaning and serve.”
“A change of faith and religion does not guarantee freedom from menial work of sweeping. The continuance of this system can in no way define social harmony and peace”, it added.
Meanwhile, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), an apex body of tens of mass organizations headed by well-known social activist Medha Patkar has demand that the “charges filed against HDRC and the director Chacko be withdrawn, and instead FIR be registered against the people who have spread hooliganism on the campus.”

3 comments:

siddhartha dabhi said...

I do understand the point of keeping the job of sweeper - caste free, and it is also important to do so. But also the exercise of mentioning so called upper classes also defeats the purpose making work caste free. In fact this increases the antagonism between the castes.

Rajesh Singh said...

No Siddhartha My Suggestion is Let some " Dominant Caste " should start doing as practice

Uma Sheth said...

Will the saffron brigade help the so-called upper castes to get jobs if they are destitute? Of course not! But they will stop them from getting any job so they can live with dignity. That is how lop-sided their thinking is.