(Debabrata Biswas, Ex.M.P & General Secretary of All India Forward Bloc has issued the following statement)
GOVERNMENT’S INACTION AND SILENCE ENCOURAGES ASSAULT ON DALITS. UNION GOVERNMENT MISERABLY FAILED TO CONVINCE THE COURT ON SC/ST ACT
It is a matter of great shame that the Dalits are being attacked every hour across the country. According to the reports of National Crime Records Bureau, there are clear evidences that atrocities against the Dalits continue to increase. The appalling fact is that most of these heinous acts are being taken place in the BJP ruled states. The fundamental right to choose one’s faith, what one eats or wears, who one marries and the freedom of speech are rapidly eroded.
The Dalit communities are now loosing their traditional jobs as the dominant casts groups are attacking them under the guise of cow-protection and Hindu nationalism. Due to caste apartheid and other economic factors, the Dalits are forced to do the low-level occupations that include cleaning of the dead animal carcasses, tanning of leather, bonded labours and manual scavenging. It has become order of the day that if the Dalits affirms their human rights, the dominant casts groups are finding new ways to terrorize them that includes mob lynching, rape, striping of dalit women and parading them naked in the streets, harassing families, social exclusion etc. The astonishing fact is that many BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders are openly supporting these atrocities and even dared to call the dalits as ‘street dogs’.
The educated and employed dalits are not spared from these discriminations. Several incidents were reported of members of dominant casts attacking dalit for accessing public and social spaces or for perceived cast transgressions. The government promises of uplifting the Scheduled castes by way of a legally mandated Scheduled Casts Sub Plan (SCSP) and the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) funds are failing. It is reported that only a third of the already truncated funds are allocated to SC and STs.
Published statistics are showing that thousands of the indigenous Adivasi communities continued to face displacement by industrial projects across the country. The government acquired land for coal mining under a special law without seeking the free, prior and informed consent of Adivasis. In many places The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, have been grossly violated.
The recent Supreme Court ruling on SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is also an assault on the rights of the Dalits. The ruling of the court dilutes the spirit of the said Act. But the Union government was initially reluctant to challenge the ruling of the Court. When it went for revision, it was too late and the entire process has become a farce. It is imperative to mention here that the Modi regime earlier stated to the Supreme Court that this SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was misused overwhelmingly, which enabled the Supreme Court to issue such illogical ruling. It clearly indicates the attitude of the Government of the day about the well-being and the protection of the dalits. The AG, appeared for the Government miserably failed to convince the Supreme Court about the implication of the ruling.
All these developments are showing that not only the minorities, but the dalits and adivasis are also being targeted by the BJP - Sangh Parivar forces for their nefarious agenda of establishing upper caste Hindu Rashtra. The All India Forward Bloc call upon all the secular minded and democracy loving people of the country to come forward and to resist this theocratic agenda. The party will organize nation-wide campaign on this issue.