Skip to main content

BJP Dalit electoral erosion following post-Una campaign main reason for Navsarjan FCRA revocation: Macwan

Counterview Desk
A major reason why the Government of India (GoI) decided to revoke Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) license to Gujarat’s biggest Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust last week is its active participation for Dalit rights campaigns post-Una flogging incident of July 11, 2016 (click HERE), which had allegedly begun to damage the ruling BJP’s Dalit electoral base.
Pointing out that the GoI began to fear the “organized Dalit vote share of 16.6 per cent would damage it more than the combined opposition”, the NGO’s founder Martin Macwan in a commentary on the controversial FCRA move has said, as a result of Navsarjan Trust’s campaign, the Gujarat government forced to reopen investigation into Thangarh firing case.
The decision to reopen the Saurashtra’s ill-famed case, in which three Dalit youths were killed on September 22-23, 2012, was taken after the state government had already filed a C summary and closed it, Macwan says, adding, the state government “unease on the issue can be understood from their fear of releasing the inquiry report of an IAS officer appointed by themselves.”
The Gujarat government has refused to release IAS officer Sanjay Prasad’s report even after a state information commission (SIC) order dated August 22 to immediately hand over a copy of the inquiry report on the September 22-23, 2012 incident to the NGO. Instead, it has gone to the Gujarat High Court, challenging the SIC order.
One of the towering Dalit rights leaders of India, Macwan, who was awarded Robert F Kennedy award for Human Rights in 2000 five years after Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi received it in 1995, said, Navsarjan was because of FCRA, but was born following the murder of four colleagues in the Central Gujarat village of Golana on January 26, 1986 “to ensure that their blood does not go in vain.”
Insisting that Navsarjan is primarily inspired by the clarion call of Dr BR Ambedkar in the well-known treatise “Annihilation of Caste”, Macwan says, the NGO has been working for Dalit rights for 36 years, from 1990 to 2016, but it found out between August 3, 2016 and December 15, 2016 that its activities “created disharmony between castes” and cancelled FCRA.
“Navsarjan applied for fresh FCRA on February 27, 2016, and the FCRA certificate was granted on August 3, 2016, after over five months”, Macwan said, adding, “The FCRA department took this time to study papers sent by Navsarjan. They had their IB inputs about the activities of the organization before renewing the certificate.”
Yet, on December 15, 2016, Macwan said, he heard the reason cited by the government for revoking its own renewal order – “its undesirable activities aimed to affect prejudicially harmony between religious, racial, social, linguistic and regional groups, castes or communities!”
“I am surprised to know that Gujarat enjoys religious and caste harmony! Can there be harmony between various castes in villages where even after death the burial grounds are segregated for Dalits and Non-Dalits? Is disharmony the product of past 35 years?”, he asks.
Calling Una the biggest example of so-called “caste harmony” in Gujarat, Macwan says, “Navsarjan was the first in India to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Gujarat on existence of manual scavenging practices in 1996”, after which “it became a national issue, compelling every succeeding Prime Minsiter to make a mention of his government’s resolve to end manual scavenging.”
Giving details of the works it has been engaged in – ranging from land rights for Dalits to protecting Patan gangrape victims, providing legal aid to Dalit victims, and training thousands of youths (more than half of them girls) in vocational education – Macwan wonders, why should one fight shy of globalizing human rights “when we advocate globalization of the market and economy?”

Comments

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Hindutva founders, not Congress, were actual 'proponents' of two-nation theory

By Shamsul Islam*
No other organization, in the present world, can beat Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in double-speak. In fact, what George Orwell termed as "doublespeak" would be an understatement in the case of RSS. The latest proof of this nasty case was provided by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, de facto Prime Minister and senior RSS leader in the Lok Sabha (akin to the House of Commons in England) on December 9, 2019.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

Ships recycling Bill 'allows' India to be turned into a landfill for foreign hazardous waste

Counterview Desk
In a letter to M Venkaiah Naidu, chairman, Rajya Sabha, senior activist Gopal Krishna of the Toxics Watch Alliance has said that the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 should be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change to "safeguard country’s maritime environment from harmful and hazardous wastes and materials".

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.