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

Junk food push causing severe public health crisis of obesity, diabetes in India: Report

By Rajiv Shah  A new report , “The Junk Push: Rising Consumption of Ultra-processed foods in India- Policy, Politics and Reality”, public health experts, consumers groups, lawyers, youth and patient groups, has called upon the Government of India to check the soaring consumption of High Fat Sugar or Salt (HFSS) foods or ultra-processed foods (UPF), popularly called junk food.

Insider plot to kill Deendayal Upadhyay? What RSS pracharak Balraj Madhok said

By Shamsul Islam*  Balraj Madhok's died on May 2, 2016 ending an era of old guards of Hindutva politics. A senior RSS pracharak till his death was paid handsome tributes by the RSS leaders including PM Modi, himself a senior pracharak, for being a "stalwart leader of Jan Sangh. Balraj Madhok ji's ideological commitment was strong and clarity of thought immense. He was selflessly devoted to the nation and society. I had the good fortune of interacting with Balraj Madhok ji on many occasions". The RSS also issued a formal condolence message signed by the Supremo Mohan Bhagwat on behalf of all swayamsevaks, referring to his contribution of commitment to nation and society. He was a leading RSS pracharak on whom his organization relied for initiating prominent Hindutva projects. But today nobody in the RSS-BJP top hierarchy remembers/talks about Madhok as he was an insider chronicler of the immense degeneration which was spreading as an epidemic in the high echelons of th

Astonishing? Violating its own policy, Barclays 'refinanced' Adani Group's $8 billion bonds

By Rajiv Shah  A new report released by two global NGOs, BankTrack and the Toxic Bonds Network, has claimed to have come up with “a disquieting truth”: that Barclays, a financial heavyweight with a “controversial” track record, is deeply entrenched in a “disturbing” alliance with “the Indian conglomerate and coal miner Adani Group.”

Modi govt intimidating US citizens critical of abuses in India: NY Christian group to Biden

Counterview Desk  the New York Council of Churches for its release of an open letter calling on the Biden administration to “speak out forcefully” against rising Hindu extremist violence targeting Christians and other minorities in India. In the letter addressed to President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and other major elected officials, the NY Council of Churches expressed "grave concern regarding escalating anti-Christian violence" throughout India, particularly in Manipur, where predominantly Christian Kuki-Zo tribals have faced hundreds of violent attacks on their villages, churches, and homes at the hands of predominantly Hindu Meitei mobs.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Link India's 'deteriorating' religious conditions with trade relations: US policymakers told

By Our Representative  Commissioners on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) raised concerns about the “sophisticated, systematic persecution” of religious minorities by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a hearing on India in Washington DC.

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

MS Swaminathan Counterview Desk In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers. Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’. Pointing ou

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Jharkhand: Attempt to create red scare for 'brutal crackdown', increase loot of resources

Counterview Desk  The civil rights group Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization in a statement on plans to crackdown on “64 democratic progressive organisations” in Jharkhand under the pretext of the need to investigate their Maoist link, has alleged that this an attempt to suppress dissent against corporate loot and create an authoritarian state.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.