Skip to main content

As Bharat Bandh takes off, "Brahminical" attitude of BJP blamed for apex court ruling on anti-atrocities Act

Bharat Bandh: Madhya Pradesh
By Our Representative
Even as the national call for action Bharat bandh against the Supreme Court allegedly diluting provisions of the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act takes off, India's premier civil society network, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) has said that the apex court judgment is in line with what the "Brahminical attitude of the BJP governments at the Centre and several states of India."
Demanding immediate action against the apex court ruling, which says that the POA Act is being "misused" to blackmail innocent individuals, NAPM in a statement has said that there is an urgent need to improve the "criminal justice system" in order to "ensure better implementation of the POA Act and conviction of perpetrators of atrocities on Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims."
NAPM regrets, the apex court ruling comes at a time "when abuses and atrocities against Dalits, Adivasis and Minorities have increased manifold, with the saffronized governments both at the Centre and in many states is looking the other way round." It adds, "Instead of containing these atrocities, regressive forces are relentlessly undermining the democratic right of reservation to the oppressed sections."
NAPM says, the March 20 order of the division bench of the Supreme Court, "diluting the already weakly implemented PoA Act, 1989, is nothing short of a direct attack on a piece of legislation that tries to uphold our constitutional ethos of protection of marginalized sections."
NAPM says, the fact is, the need for "a specific Central atrocities Act attained fruition in 1989 after protracted struggles, because even four decades since independence and an equal Constitution, brutal everyday crimes against Dalits and Adivasis remained largely unreported, unaddressed and unpunished."
According to NAPM, "Instead of looking at the entirety of the mounting atrocities and status of implementation of the Act, reflected even by the National Crime Record Bueau's (NCRBs) own data, the apex court chose to selectively issue guidelines on the need to 'safeguard innocent persons against false implication and unnecessary arrest'."
Bharat Bandh: Jamnagar district, Gujarat
It said that (a) FIR should not be filed without preliminary inquiry, to be completed within a week, and report must give reasons when permission is given for registration of FIR, (b) even if preliminary inquiry is held and a case is registered, arrest is not necessary, (c) no public servant is to be arrested without written permission of appointing authority, and (d) no person accused under the Act can be arrested without the written permission of the district police authorities.
NAPM believes, "In a land where registration of FIR is still a challenge for the oppressed and marginalized, what to speak of charge sheets and convictions, this judgement, based on partial reading of the NCRB data and prejudice, if not set aside, is bound to cause serious damage to the dignity and well-being of lakhs of Dalits and Adivasis across the country, who despite a POA Act are exposed to humiliation and hate crimes."
Pointing out that the data put forward by the apex court "is only a minuscule reflection of the large number of actual crimes across the country", NAPM quotes from the 2017 NCRB report, which reveals that the number of cases reported under the PoA Act rose by 5.5% to reach 40,801 in 2016. "In 2016, Uttar Pradesh (10,426 cases) reported the highest number of cases of atrocities against SCs, accounting for 25.6% of the total, followed by Bihar with 14% (5,701 cases) and Rajasthan with 12.6% (5,134 cases)."
Especially referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state, NAPM say, "The conviction rate of crimes against SCs and STs is way below the national average in Vibrant Gujarat, which despite the Una uprising is witness to gruesome atrocities to this day, including the killing of a Dalit man in Bhavnagar district for riding a horse!"
It further says, "The disposal of cases by police and courts reveal that under the POA Act, 11,060 cases were taken up for investigation in 2016, but the charge-sheeting rate was 77%, the conviction rate was 15.4%, while the pendency percentage was 90.5%. The data clearly shows how difficult it is to access and obtain justice within the Brahminical system which is deep within the administration as well as every sphere of life."
In support of Bharat Bandh:
Viramgam, Ahmedabad district
"While different parties such as the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Republican Party of India (RPI) have already filed separate review petitions against the Supreme Courts order, we think the Central government must immediately file a categorical review petition, praying that no dilution to the Act be permitted", NAPM says.
"The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) have also conveyed their views and demanded a review of the verdict, saying the original Act, as it existed before the apex court verdict, should be restored. We demand that Parliament must discuss this issue urgently and come up with solutions to prevent any dilution of the Act", insists NAPM.
The statement has been signed, among others, by well-known social activist Medha Patkar, former Sonia Gandhi adviser and Right to Information campaigner Aruna Roy, and Goldman Environmental prize (also known as Green Nobel) winner Prafulla Samantara, among about 50 top civil rights leaders.

Comments

Urvashi Devi said…
Can't understand why you all keep blaming the BJP ? It's been like this for decades . I can recall that in my grand mother's elections (maharani Gayatri Devi )one of things we went on and on about treating Dalits like human beings . In Rajasthan they couldn't use the same well , we used to drink water in a Dalit home just to say it's alright . So it's not the BJP it's the ancient mindset

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Hyderabad-based Urdu university "bars" entry of its new chancellor, who had "initiated" reforms in institute

Counterview Desk
In an unusual controversy, Aslam Parvaiz, vice-chancellor of of the Hyderabad-based Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) has restricted the entry of its newly appointed Chancellor, Firoz Bakht Ahmed, allegedly because he was trying to initiate reforms, including setting up of a Maulana Azad Center for Composite Culture and Progressive Studies, Model Madrasa, Center for Empowerment of Muslim Women, Course for the Development of Legal Vocabulary and Legal Consciousness in Urdu, and so on.

Poor response to tenders for Gujarat's bid for the world's tallest statue, no international firm shows interest

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government’s claim that its decision to build the world’s highest statue in the world, in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, would attract “tremendous” response top international construction companies, has gone phut. The state government floated international tenders in August to build the statue, which is slated to be 182-metres high. Despite the “international” character of the tenders and big claims, well-informed Sachivalaya sources close to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi say, “not one international firm has come up to offer to carry out the construction activity.”