Skip to main content

Under Modi's Gujarat, 85 social boycott, force migration incidents involving Dalits took place; total 112 since 1989

Macwan introducing "Gujarat Vikas Samachar"
By Our Representative
Out of 112 cases of social boycott and forced migration of Dalits across Gujarat over the last 28 years, ever since the anti-atrocities Act came into force in 1989, as many as 85 of them took place during a little more than 14 years when Narendra Modi was chief minister of Gujarat, from October 2001 to May 2014 (click HERE for detailed table).
This is one of the 126 stories printed in what was originally supposed to be one-time “newspaper” in Gujarati called “Gujarat Vikas Samachar”, published by well-known Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust founder Martin Macwan. Encouraged by early response, he said, “We plan to bring out similar newspaper having people’s stories once a month.”
Analysing number of cases of social migration and forced migration, the story shows that in 1989-90, when Congress ruled, there was just one incident of social boycott and forced migration of Dalits. Then, for six months in 1990, when then Janata Dal (Gujarat) leader Chimanbhai Patel led a coalition government with the BJP, there was no such incident.
Thereafter, between October 1990 and 1995, when Patel merged his Janata Dal into the Congress and formed the government, followed by the chief ministership of Chhabilbhai Mehta, six incidents took place, three each in Mehsana and Bhavnagar districts.
Under the chief minister of Keshubhai Patel and then Suresh Mehta (both BJP) in 1995-96, there was no incident of social boycott or forced migration. Followed by this, for less than two years, in 1996-97, the Rashtriya Janata Party government, under the breakaway group of Shankarsinh Vaghela, came to power with Congress support. During this period, six incidents took place.
In 1998, Keshubhai Patel returned to power as BJP chief minister, and under him, till 2001, five incidents of social boycott and forced migration took place.
After Modi left to Delhi in May 2014, and Anandiben Patel became Gujarat chief minister between 2014 and 2016. Under her, as many as 10 incidents of social boycott and force migration of Dalits took place. Since August 2016, when Vijay Rupani became chief minister, five more incidents took place.
The story gives district-wise breakup of the number of such incidents – the highest being in Bhavnagar district (14), followed by Amreli and Banaskantha districts (12 each). Then, in Porbandar, Ahmedabad and Mehsana districts, seven incidents each took place.
Releasing “Gujarat Vikas Samachar”, to be distributed in thousands across Gujarat, Macwan told media, the purpose of bringing it out is to suggest how the most deprived sections society have remained unaffected by “development”, as claimed by the powers-that-be, under successive governments.
Macwan said, stories of landless workers, saltpan workers, vegetable vendors, majority of whom belong to the Dalit and other deprived sections., do not find reflected in the mainstream media. “Our effort is to bring these stories to light, and send them across Gujarat ahead of the state assembly elections, so that people can ask those who come seeking vote as to what they had done for them”, he said.
“The stories include that of a 12 year old tribal boy who got killed as he met with an accident on being forced to drive a tractor on a rich Patel’s farm. The landlord offered just Rs 5,000 as compensation. Worse, there is a board in the village which says that those who pay wages more than Rs 100 would be fined Rs 5,000”, he said.
Giving a graphic picture of where is Gujarat placed in malnutrition – “just one ahead of Chhattisgarh”, to quote from the “newspaper” – it carries stories by Niruben Chaurasia of Bhavnagar, whose survey shows that only those who give bribe are offered jobs; and by Manjula Makwana of Jasdan, who looks into how widows in five villages with a monthly pension of Rs 1000 have to make do their living.
Then, it has a story by Narendra Parmar of Patan, who gives a graphic picture of forced migratin in the district and how they were refused rehabilitation; and by Kalpesh Asuria of Banaskantha, who points toward the high malnutrition rate among young girls in the district and how Dalits were deprived during one of the worst floods which affected the district this year.

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

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.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.