Skip to main content

Dalits face social boycott in North Gujarat village, attacked following dispute on irrigation water

Villagers facing social boycott at the Patel district
collector's office
By Our Representative
In a fresh incident of social boycott in North Gujarat, the dominant castemen of Ganjisar village of Santalpur taluka, Patan district, have passed an unusual resolution imposing heavy fines on those who maintain any type of social relations with the fellow Dalit villagers. The social boycott was imposed, suggests a representation handed over to different level of district and state officials, following a dispute on irrigation water between the Dalit and Choudhury Patel farmers.
According to sources in the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), there have been so far as many as 77 cases of social boycott of Dalits in as many villages. Even NHRC chairman KG Balakrishnan has is learnt to have taken strong exception to the high rate of social boycott of Dalits during his past meetings with officials of the Gujarat government. A copy of the representation has been forwarded to the NHRC also.
The dominant caste resolution, which was passed following a meeting of members of elders of the dominant castes of the village, said that anyone who is found talking with a Dalit would be fined Rs 2,000; anyone who is found to be providing transport facility to a Dalit would be fined Rs 10,000; any shopkeeper found providing flour grinding facility to a Dalit would be fined Rs 10,000; any shopkeeper found to be selling any item to a Dalit would be fined Rs 10,000; and any barber who allows hairdressing to a Dalit would be fined Rs 10,000.
It all began on March 22, when Dalit farmers objected to Choudhary Patel farmers seeking to “violate” an agreement between the two sections. The Dalits own a borewell, from which they supply irrigation water to nearby farms. Under the agreement, those who get irrigation water from the borewell should, in turn, hand over one-third of the harvested crop to the Dalit farmers as payment. And, the crop should be brought to the place where the borewell is situated for distribution.
However, a few of the Choudhury Patels farmers, who produced a highly valued cash crop, jeera (cumin), refused to bring crop near the borewell. And when the Dalit farmers objected pointing out that this was a violation of the agreement, the dominant castemen quarreled with them, said Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust’s senior activist Kirit Rathod, who works in North Gujarat as a social worker.
“Things reached such a point that the Choudhary Patels lethally attacked three of the Dalit farmers, who were badly injured. They had to be taken to Radhanpur civil hospital, where they are being treated”, Rathod added.
Things did not stop here. “The Choudhury Patels, who rule the roost in the village, and passed a resolution three days later imposing social boycott on the Dalits, which continues to this date”, Rathod said, adding, “Worse, instead of bringing the culprits to book, the local police is seeking a compromise in favour of the Choudhury Patels.”
The Dalits form a minuscule minority in the village – just about five families -- as against 50 Choudhary Patel households, 150 Thakore households, 50 Rabari households, 100 Prajapati households, 30 Brahmin households, 25 Raval households, 15 Nai households, and five Thakkar households.
In a 10-point demand put forward before the officialdom, the representation demands that immediate steps should be taken to arrest those who attacked the Dalit farmers and a case of attempt to murder (Section 307 of the criminal procedure code) should be instituted against them. 
Pleading for immediate police protection, the representation also asks the cops to register a case under the anti-atrocities law against those who provoked the social boycott. The representation also demands free transportation to boys and girls who go to study outside the village.

Comments

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Poor response to tenders for Gujarat's bid for the world's tallest statue, no international firm shows interest

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government’s claim that its decision to build the world’s highest statue in the world, in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, would attract “tremendous” response top international construction companies, has gone phut. The state government floated international tenders in August to build the statue, which is slated to be 182-metres high. Despite the “international” character of the tenders and big claims, well-informed Sachivalaya sources close to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi say, “not one international firm has come up to offer to carry out the construction activity.”

Hyderabad-based Urdu university "bars" entry of its new chancellor, who had "initiated" reforms in institute

Counterview Desk
In an unusual controversy, Aslam Parvaiz, vice-chancellor of of the Hyderabad-based Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) has restricted the entry of its newly appointed Chancellor, Firoz Bakht Ahmed, allegedly because he was trying to initiate reforms, including setting up of a Maulana Azad Center for Composite Culture and Progressive Studies, Model Madrasa, Center for Empowerment of Muslim Women, Course for the Development of Legal Vocabulary and Legal Consciousness in Urdu, and so on.