Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Hindu editorial on the recent violence in Maharashtra


... While the arson and damage caused to public property cannot be condoned and sit oddly with the principles of non-violence Dr.B.R. Ambedkar enjoined on his followers, the real reasons that made Dalit men, women, and even children come out and protest need to be understood. The protests were not just a reaction to one incident — the desecration of Dr. Ambedkar's statue in Kanpur or even the Maharashtra government's inexcusably slow response to the bestial killing in Khairlanji of four members of the Bhotmange family. The outburst of fury is a consequence of years of frustration over the indifference of the government, the ineffectiveness of the Dalit political leadership, and exclusion from the benefits of the new, globalised economy successive governments have been promoting.

The editorial goes on to suggest that the State of Maharashtra set up a commission (similar to the Rajinder Sachar Commission) to "assess how far benefits and entitlements have actually helped the most oppressed segment of the Indian population", and follow it up with "a package of meaningful and progressive measures, combined with a determined effort to deal with the perpetrators of atrocities against Dalits."

3 Comments:

  1. Boskoe said...

    Interesting. But, I would expect such a committee (the equivalent of Sachar commission) to be faced with a very complex task - because of the heterogenous nature of the "dalit group", and the differing issues faced by them across various regions.

    In addition, I guess - the only way to prevent atrocities - is to make sure that the concerned authorities are held accountable and that the rule of law is enforced. This would need to be applicable uniformly across the country irrespective of caste, religion, race etc etc.

  2. Boskoe said...

    on second thoughts, easier said than done, right? :-)

  3. harini calamur said...

    one of the things that is going to be crucial is justice.
    not just socio economic justice that reservations seem to imply but other forms as well. something as simple as if a Dalit is killed/raped/ has their property destroyed, the culprits is brought to trial - and if found guilty, charged in accordance with the crime. That simply is not happening.