Skip to main content

Gujarat Dalit families of Par village "forced" to migrate to Patan town following social boycott by dominant castes

By Our Representative
Fresh facts have come to light of dominant castes in North Gujarat villages violently reacting to refusal of Dalits to pick up dead cattle for skinning, a caste-based occupation mainly restricted to the Rohit or Chamar sub-caste, following the gruesome Una incident, in which four Rohit youths were badly thrashed by cow vigilantes on July 11, 2016.
Several Dalit families of Par village of Santalpur taluka of Patan district have been forced to migrate to Patan town following their social boycott by dominant caste people. Kantilal Parmar, a senior Dalit rights activist, said, “The social boycott has been continuing for the last six months after the Dalits refused to pick up dead cattle following a call to protest the Una incident.”
Currently sitting in front of the district collector’s office, the Dalit families want an alternative site to live, because they feel, they will never be able to live peacefully with the dominant castes, especially Rajput Darbars. Those participating in the sit-in or dharna include women, children and old.
“While most of the families have migrated out, 18 families have stayed back, hoping that there would be some compromise”, said Parmar, who accused the Gujarat government for “refusal to look into the plight of Dalits and other deprived sections.”
The forced migration to Patan town happened a week after the social boycott of Dalits, begun in Randej village of Bechraji block in Mehsana district of Gujarat because of the same reason – refusal to pick up dead cattle.
The conflict in Randej village began following the dominant castes arranging for a separate sitting arrangement for Dalits during a temple ceremony, after which the community refused to have food at the afternoon feast organized by the temple managers.
Objecting to this, dominant sections of the upper caste gave a call to socially boycott of Dalits, something that other villagers followed out of fear. A penalty of Rs 2,100 was imposed on all those who dared interact with Dalits.
The result was, Dalits stopped getting essential commodities from the ration shop. No one would ply vehicles to the Dalit area. Shopkeepers refused to sell milk, vegetables, and other commodities of daily needs. Dalit daily wagers were refused jobs. This created a situation of food insecurity among Dalit families, especially children and women.
However, unlike Par village, the Dalits of Randej deciced to fight back. They filed a first information report (FIR) with the police. However, this did not help, because the FIR was purposely kept weak, and no criminal case was registered against those responsible for social boycott.
This made Dalits to represented to the district collector, asking him to provide transport facility, cash dole to those who are unable to earn because of the social boycott, and ensure smooth distribution of milk and other daily needs from shops, especially the public distribution system. All this, the representation insists, should be done under police protection.
The representation also demanded strict action against shopkeepers and those responsible for refusing to sell items of basic necessities. It also demanded alternative employment to the affected families.
Kaushik Parmar, a Dalit rights activist who has been supporting the Dalits, says, “The sad part is, the government machinery is a mute spectator. Despite Gujarat’s poor performance of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGREGS) for providing employment in rural areas, the state machinery has not provided jobs to those who have been rendered jobless due to social boycott.”

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 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.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.