Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 27.04.12
Case under SC/ST Act against Amity staff- Business Standard
'Explain low rate of recruiting reserved category teachers'- The Times Of India
Capital fund floated to support Dalit entrepreneurs- The Times Of India
Caste-based parties set to flood state- The Times Of India
Peace deal only on paper: Dalits- IBN Live
Caste census staff get a lesson in manner- The Times OF India
Case under SC/ST Act against Amity staff
The mobile phone and answer sheet of Dana, who allegedly took her life in her hostel room on April 24, has also been seized.
The first year MBA student is said to have taken the extreme step after being allegedly humiliated by the invigilator, when she was purportedly caught cheating in her exams.
Police have applied the SC/ST Act beside abetment of suicide charges (306 IPC) against the staff and management of Amity University, at Punchgaon campus, Gurgaon in the case.
No arrest has been made so far.
Due to the sensitivity of the case, the investigation has been handed over to the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Ravinder Tomar, Hamid Akhtar, Deputy Commissioner of Police, South, said.
The Meghalaya CM had described his niece's suicide as a "result of discrimination" by the authorities of the institute. "Primary evidence suggests that the girl was thrown out of an examination hall after investigators found a mobile phone with her," he had said.
However, Savita Mehta, Vice President of Ritnand Balved Education Foundation which runs the Amity institute informed that the entire staff of institute have great affection and love towards all students, particularly to those students who hail from remote parts of the country.
No discrimination is resorted to any students.
"As in all universities throughout the country, no student is allowed to carry her/his mobile phone during examination, she was copying using her mobile phone in the examination hall. She was expelled for this particular paper, and not for remaining papers and was told to leave," claimed Mehta.
The Times Of India
'Explain low rate of recruiting reserved category teachers'
LUCKNOW: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has written to the MHRD and the UGC regarding the low representation of SC/ST/OBCs in the teaching staff of the Central universities in the country. The commission has sought a report on the reason behind sanctioned posts in the universities lying vacant.
A reply to an RTI query shows that Central universities are apparently not very keen on filling the vacant posts of SC/ST/OBCs professors, associate professors, readers and assistant professors. The RTI data from 24 Central universities shows that most of the universities have more than half the sanctioned posts for SC/ST/OBCs lying vacant.
The situation is no different in Central universities in UP. Out of the universities which have responded to the RTI query, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, has 67% of the teaching staff from General category. Out of 106 teaching staff, including professor, associate professor and assistant professor, 71 are from General category. Allahabad University, on the other hand, did not have even a single SC/ST/OBC appointment in the professor grade. The same grade has 12 General category appointees. The Banaras Hindu University, in response to an RTI query from Mahendra Pratap Singh, has revealed that out of 51 posts sanctioned for professors, for SC, none have been filled. tnnThe appointments have only been made in the grade of assistant professors, but there are still 96 posts vacant for SC, 74 for ST and 123 for OBCs.
Former CPI MLA Manish Kunjam, who today returned after delivering medicines to abducted Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon, has said the IAS officer's health was "stable" and he was hopeful of his speedy release.
"Chattisgarh government and the Maoists have named mediators on their behalf and the state government has also taken a positive initiative towards opening a communication channel in ensuring safe release of the collector. (In this background) I am hoping that he (Menon) will be freed soon," Kunjam told reporters here.
The state government on Tuesday rushed medicines for Menon through Kunjam hours after the Maoists informed them that Menon was "critically ill". Kunjam said the collector's condition was stable.The state government has virtually slowed down its anti-Maoist operations in view of ensuring safe release of the collector.
The Maoists have named former National SC/ST Commission Chairperson B D Sharma and Prof G Hargopal as interlocutors on their behalf to hold negotiations. Sharma has already arrived at Raipur and Hargopal is expected to reach later in the day.
On its part, the Chhattisgarh Government has named former Chief Secretaries of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh--Nirmala Buch and S K Mishra -- as its nominees to resolve the six-day hostage crisis.
Earlier, the Maoists had named Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, former National SC/ST Commission chairperson B D Sharma and president of All India Adivasi Mahasabha Manish Kunjam as their mediators.
However, Bhushan and Kunjam declined to mediate on behalf of the Maoists but the latter had agreed to take medicines to the 32-year-old 2006 batch IAS officer who was taken captive on Saturday from Majhipara village in Raipur district.Speaking to reporters after reaching Sukma today, Kunjamsaid his role ends only at delivering medicines as asked by chief minister Raman Singh.
"Since I am not mediating between the Naxals and the government, I cannot tell you what would be the future course of action on part of the ultras," he said.
When asked whether he was carrying any special message for the collector's wife Asha Menon, Kunjam said he would share this information only with her.
Kunjam, who left on April 24 with medicines from Sukma to Tadmetla forest, said that he handed over the medicines to Menon yesterday afternoon.
Though he was supposed to return last evening, Kunjam arrived only today morning. He told reporters that he halted at Mesma village last night on the request of villagers there.
The rebels had sought release of eight of their jailed associates in exchange of collector's freedom and had set a deadline which expired yesterday.
The state government last night held a meeting along with government mediators --former Chief Secretaries of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Nirmala Buch and S K Mishra --and appealed the extremists to extend the deadline.
Abducted Sukma district collector's health stable: Kunjam
Former CPI MLA Manish Kunjam, who today returned after delivering medicines to abducted Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon, said the IAS officer's health was "stable".
Kunjam, who rushed medicines to Menon on behalf of the Chhattisgarh Government on Tuesday, told reporters in Ramaram village on way to Sukma that he was told that the collector's condition was stable.
The state government on Tuesday rushed medicines for Menon through Kunjam hours after the Maoists informed them that Menon was "critically ill".
"Since I am not mediating between the Naxals and the government, I cannot tell you what would be the future course of action on part of the ultras," Kunjam, who was asked by the rebels earlier to act as a mediator, said.
When asked whether he was carrying any special message for the collector's wife Asha Menon, Kunjam said he would share this information only with her.
Kunjam, who left on April 24 with medicines from Sukma to Tadmetla forest, was supposed to return last evening. However, the delay in his return gave some anxious moments to senior government officials and a search was launched to trace him.
When asked about the delay in return, Kunjam, who also happens to be the president of the All-India Adivasi Mahasabha, said that he halted at Mesma village last night on the request of villagers there.
Meanwhile, former National SC/ST Commission Chairperson B D Sharma, one of the mediators chosen from the Maoists' side, has arrived in Raipur, while another interlocutor Prof G Hargopal is likely to reach here later in the day.
The Times Of India
Capital fund floated to support Dalit entrepreneurs
NEW DELHI: The Dalit India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a body that represents Dalit capitalism in India, has floated its own Dalit Venture Capital Fund, a For-Profit company that will support India's Dalit entrepreneurs. DICCI has raised Rs 5 crore, the minimum required to start a venture capital fund.
"Over a year ago, a delegation from DICCI met Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the planning commission. He told us that, if we started our own venture capital fund, for every one rupee that we invested, the government would give us three rupees. While we have now begun the fund with Rs 5 crore, we plan to raise Rs 100 crore on our own before we approach the government for three times the amount," said Chandra Bhan Prasad, Dalit activist and mentor to DICCI.
Prasad clarifies that the fund will not give Dalit entrepreneurs money for free. It will not operate on a charity model but will work as a company for profit. "If a Dalitentrepreneur requires a certain sum of money for his business, the venture capital fund will invest the sum in his company in return for shares in the enterprise. In other words the VC fund will become a stake-holder in the enterprise. When the enterprise starts making profits, they will be shared by the company and DICCI," says Prasad.
The Times Of India
Caste-based parties set to flood state
HYDERABAD: Anticipating the 2014 Assembly elections battle to be one that sees caste loyalties asserted like never before, a plethora of political parties claiming to represent different caste interests are on the verge of being born.
In the coming few months, at least four leaders representing the major communities are slated to float political parties with a view to securing their 'legitimate' share.
Manda Krishna Madiga, who spearheaded the SC classification issue across Andhra Pradesh, has decided to float a new political party and contest the 2014 elections with the promise of ushering in social justice for the Madigas, a scheduled caste community.
His plank is surely to be the commitment that he would ensure implementation of the SC classification rules by which his community would greatly benefit in terms of government jobs and education. Manda Krishna's earlier efforts to enter the Assembly were nullified by the 2009 defeat to Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka in the Madhira constituency.
Manda Krishna had represented the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) platform at the time. "My party would be launched in June or post June. We will contest the 2014 elections with 'social justice' as our agenda. I am sure of achieving political power. We will not remain oppressed forever," he said.
Another such leader is R Krishnaiah, who has concerned himself backward caste-related issues in the past and has now decided to launch a separate political party for their welfare. Krishnaiah is president of the BC welfare association but is someone whose efforts to secure a Congress ticket have never been properly rewarded.
"Although the BCs in the state account for nearly 54% of its population, their representation in both the state legislature and Parliament is next to nothing. In 64 years of Indian democracy, the share of BCs in state legislatures has been a meagre 15% with only 4% representation in the judiciary and 7% presence in government jobs," Krishnaiah pointed out.
Another likely entrant in the political fray is former Congressman and newspaper-owner Nukarapu Surya Prakasa Rao. Rao is planning to float a party to champion the interests of the BC community once he comes out of jail where he is serving time in a cheating case.
Karem Sivaji, a Mala leader, is thinking of launching a political party to safeguard the interests of his community.
Currently president of the Mala Mahanadu, Sivaji is against SC classification which he says will cause rifts to appear among SCs in Andhra Pradesh. Sivaji, who has a strong base in East Godavari district, wants to float a party that could win some seats in the 2014 elections. However, history has shown that political parties that have championed the cause of a particular caste have not done too well in elections. Kapu Nadu, a community party floated by M Padmanabham, fared miserably in its maiden elections and was forced to pack up.
Nalla Surya Prakash started a political party for SCs but could not win a single seat. He later joined YSR Congress as the president of its SC cell. "Castes in the country are not homogenous as all castes have rich as well as poor people. So, there is no uniform emotional bonding between the entire community.
"If one examines election data from elections held in the last 60 years, never has a single community voted en masse for one party," said political analyst C Narasimha Rao.
Peace deal only on paper: Dalits
MADURAI: An uneasy truce. That's how Dalits describe the peace deal brokered between them and the caste Hindus by the Madurai District Police in Villoor village on April 24.While the police have claimed that the two communities were now working hand-in-hand, in reality Dalits continue to be treated as outcastes for all practical reasons.
A visit to the village on Friday showed that the despising practice of preventing Dalits from riding a bicycle or motorcycle on the streets where members of the dominant Hindu community reside continues to be in vogue.Relationship between members of the dominant caste Hindu community and Dalits in the village reached a flashpoint on May 1, last year, when a Dalit youth was assaulted for riding a motorcycle on the main street. This had led to a violent clash leading to police intervention and subsequent litigation in the Madras High Court.It was in this backdrop that the Madurai Superintendent of Police Asra Garg announced that peace initiatives had succeeded with members of both communities signing undertakings to treat each other with humanity and respect.
The 'truce' signed by 20 members representing each side promised to eliminate discrimination in hotels and tea shops and also grant Dalits the right to use the common pathway.
The agreement also provided for laying an approach road for Dalits to reach Kallikudi-T Kallupatti Road.While the outside world saw this as being akin to a successful peace initiative in Uthapuram, where a wall had divided the caste Hindus and Dalits, many residents of Villoor were not even aware that such a truce had been brokered."We learnt about the so-called harmonious agreement only through newspapers. We don't recall any peace meeting being held with people's representation in it," claimed a Dalit member of the village.
"Even today, Dalits cannot ride through the major roads," a villager said pointing to a man, who was pushing his cycle with water pots dangling on either side of the carrier. The unwritten rule in the village is that Dalits should get down from their vehicles and walk through the streets.
Dalits don't even see a Uthapuram connect here. "In Uthapuram the Dalit population is on a par with the caste Hindus. Here the 100-odd Dalit families are outnumbered by the dominant caste population of around 5,000. How do you expect truce to prevail," asks a farmer. While some members of the caste Hindus claimed that equality was maintained in tea shops and eateries, Dalits claim that the discrimination existed and they would not dare to question it. "Even now, if we walk across to our fields through their (caste Hindus) farmlands, they will block the irrigation channel," he added.
However, M Saravanan, the husband of Villoor Panchayat president Mari, claimed that the peace agreement was indeed signed with the approval of village committee and panchayat members. "We could not inform every villager because of paucity of time," he claimed.
Collector in the Dark About Deal!
A question has emerged over the legal sanctity of the peace deal brokered between the caste Hindus and Dalits in Villoor by the Madurai Rural Police as Collector U Sagayam has said that he was not aware of the initiative."Any agreement which involves members of two communities should be signed only in consultation with the district administration and its representatives. But in the case of Villoor, Superintendent of Police Asra Garg did not consult or inform me while finalising the peace deal," Sagayam told the Express on Thursday. "The RDO is already conducting an inquiry into the row between the two communities in the village of Villoor and based on a Police Standing Order 151 the official had conducted an inquiry into alleged police excesses in Villoor during May last year and submitted a report regarding the issue," Collector U Sagayam said.
The Times OF India
Caste census staff get a lesson in manner
CHENNAI: The socio-economic caste census that starts in the city from May 1 will not necessarily collect information on the specific caste of the people it covers.
Enumerators have been instructed 'be kind and courteous' to convince people about the need for the data, which will be kept confidential, but they have been directed not to be insistent if individuals are uncomfortable about divulging their caste.
Corporation of Chennai has started training people who will carry out the headcount. More than 100 people between the ages of 30 and 58 gathered at each of 15 centres, including corporation schools and zonal offices in the city, on Thursday, the first day of the training. They carefully took notes from a video and focused on acquainting themselves with data entry formats and the soft skills they will require for the census.
"People have been instructed not to argue with people or dispute the information they provide," a trainer said. Enumerators will enter information even if they suspect that it is be false, but will immediately have to inform their supervisors about the dodgy data.
The corporation will over three days train 3,104 enumerators in 15 zones how to collect data and in the technical know-how they'll need. "They are being taught to use biometric tablets to update and upload information on a central server," said Anthony Kavitha, a corporation school headmistress and trainer-cum-supervisor for the census. "People who will be covered will be informed how the census will contribute to policy changes and development."
Two weeks ago 80 trainers handpicked by the civic body took part in a two-day training session conducted by an expert from National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD).
The format has also been clearly outlined to all the enumerators. "The oldest earning member is considered the head of the family. An ordinary family is one that cooks at least one of their meals from a single kitchen. If the house is filled with bachelors who eat out, each individual will be counted separately," said Kavitha.
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
(An initiative of "Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC")
Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre- PMARC has been initiated with the support from group of senior journalists, social activists, academics and intellectuals from Dalit and civil society to advocate and facilitate Dalits issues in the mainstream media. To create proper & adequate space with the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media national/ International on Dalit issues is primary objective of the PMARC.