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

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

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.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Gujarat religious freedom amendment bill 'pursues' votebank politics, is anti-minority

Gujarat home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja  By Our Representative  A Gujarat-based minority rights organisation, taking strong exception to the state assembly last week passing the Gujarat Religious Freedom (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has asserted that the proposed law “is completely unconstitutional”, even as asking the Gujarat governor to give his accent to it.