PMARC : Dalits Media watch – News Updates 28.06.11

Dalits Media Watch

News Updates 28.06.11

Pushkar village tense after residents threaten Dalit bride kin – The Times Of India

Kanpur: 2 arrested for raping teenager – Zee News

Co-optex MD removes Hindu deities images – IBN Live

School marks relief for special category – The Telegraph

Dalits lay siege to Panchayat office – The Hindu

The curious choices of Dalit seniors – Tehelka

The Times Of India

Pushkar village tense after residents threaten Dalit bride kin

TNN | Jun 28, 2011, 05.11am IST

AJMER: Tension prevailed at Dungaria village in Pushkar on Monday when the police had to escort a Dalit groom after the bride’s family was allegedly threatened by the local residents.

This is the third reported incident in the district in a year where the police had to intervene and provide security to the Dalit marriage processions.

Police said a complaint was made by Kannaya Lal Raiger – a Dalit – of Dungaria village near Pushkar that a group of villagers threatened him. They had warned him and his family of dire consequences if the groom came on horseback. "My daughter’s marriage was fixed with Naveen Kumar of Renn village in Naguar.

Sources said even a panchayat meeting was called on this issue but the group was adamant on its demand. "They said for the last 400 years no Dalit family has taken out a marriage procession in the village. Dalits celebrated their weddings outside the village," said a panch.

"This has been practised for centuries by our ancestors and the influential people of the village insist that we do so even now," said a youth.

Zee News

Kanpur: 2 arrested for raping teenager

Monday, June 27, 2011, 15:19

Kanpur: Two youths were arrested for allegedly raping a minor Dalit girl in Kalyanpur area, police said on Monday.

Vishal (20) and Avdhesh (22) have been charged with kidnapping and raping the 17-year-old Dalit girl on June 23 when she was on her way to home, Circle Officer Shailendra Lal said.

The victim was kept locked up in an unknown location for two days, where she was being repeatedly raped and beaten up, he said.

However, the girl managed to escape and return home late o Sunday, Lal said.

According to the neighbours, the girl was allegedly having an affair with Vishal since the last two years, he said.

IBN Live

Co-optex MD removes Hindu deities images

Express News Service , The New Indian Express, Posted on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:36pm IST

CHENNAI: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) condemned Special Officer and Managing Director of Co-optex C Umashankar for allegedly ordering the removal of pictures of Hindu deities from the Co-optex office in the city on Monday. S S Vedantam, working president of VHP, said the IAS officer had no right to remove the images of Hindu deities put up in the Co-optex office. “Though he is Hindu by birth, Umashankar is a practising Christian and is spreading this culture among Dalit Hindus in Tamil Nadu,” Vedantam alleged.

He further claimed that Umashankar had advised Dalits to remain officially Hindu in order to gain Government benefits but to practise Christianity in life. Keeping up this tradition, Umashankar had removed the pictures of Hindu deities from the Co-optex office, he alleged. Vedantam demanded that the State government take action against Umashankar.

When Express contacted the IAS officer, he said, ”What the employees have done in the Co-optex office has no Government sanction, so I have removed the pictures only from the head office of Co-optex. In all Co-optex stores inside the complex, shop keepers have displayed only pictures and idols of Hindu deities, with no place for gods of other religions,” he said, pointing out that customers from all religious backgrounds visited these stores.

The Telegraph

School marks relief for special category


Calcutta, June 27: The Mamata Banerjee government today announced a 25 per cent relaxation in marks for students from the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe categories for admission to higher secondary schools.

“There will be a relaxation of 25 per cent in the qualifying marks for students from SC and ST categories,” said Partha Chatterjee, the industries minister, after a cabinet meeting.

The decision means that if a higher secondary school fixes 75 per cent as the cut-off for admission to science courses, an SC or ST student will be eligible with a score of 50 per cent.

Students qualifying in next year’s Madhyamik examination will gain from the decision, as the admission process for the current academic session is over. The relaxation will be applicable in all government-run and government- aided higher secondary schools.

There are now no reserved seats in schools for SC/ST students. In colleges and universities, however, 22 per cent seats are set aside for SC students and 6 per cent for ST candidates. SC/ST students also enjoy relaxation in cut-off criteria.

“We wanted to extend the exemption benefit to students seeking admission to classes XI and XII and bring in parity. We will have to wait till next year for the decision to be implemented,” said Upen Biswas, the minister for backward classes welfare.

This year, around 197,099 SC students cleared the Madhyamik examination while the number of successful candidates from the ST category was 35,544.

Biswas had recently complained that students from the reserved categories were not getting the benefit of reservation. The minister, however, could not provide data on how SC/ST students were suffering for the lack of a reservation policy in schools. Asked about the number of students who would gain from the decision after next year’s Madhyamik examination, Biswas said no figures were available right now.

He said the decision was taken after talking to heads of institutions and principals of higher secondary schools.

A former school education minister said the cut-off relaxation was not required in schools.

“There are enough number of seats in the higher secondary schools to accommodate students from the reserved sections. There was no complaint that any student from the SC/ST category had failed to get a seat in a higher secondary school,” the former minister said on condition of anonymity.

The cabinet has also approved a decision to appoint 650 teachers in 100 higher secondary madarsas and 75 high madarsas.

It decided to send a team led by food minister Jyotipriya Mullick and North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb to closed tea gardens.

The Hindu

Dalits lay siege to Panchayat office

Staff Reporter

Tirupur: A group of Dalits in Kalipalayam village laid siege to Panchayat office on Monday alleging they were not enumerated as ‘Scheduled Castes’ despite them possessing all documents to substantiate their claim of belonging to the community.

They resorted to the agitation after their representation to the district administration was not looked into “properly”. K. Sundaresan, panchayat member, said the discrepancy in enumeration was noticed during the ward realignment process in 2010 in which each of the three wards were bifurcated to form six wards.

“The data on the government gazette released in the ward bifurcation process stated that only 59 Dalits are there in Kalipalayam village against the actual figure of 900,” he said.

In the Lok Sabha and the recent Assembly elections itself, more than 450 people from the community cast their votes, he added.


The curious choices of Dalit seniors

Ram Puniyani on how the RPI’s alliance with the Shiv Sena could harm the dalit cause

Electoral politics follows a strange logic in India. While Gopinath Munde, the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was hobnobbing with the Congress, in recent times the leaders from the Shiv Sena, like Narayan Rane and Sanjay Nirupam, have joined the Congress. On the other hand, Ramdas Athawaley of the Republican Party of India (RPI), a party claiming to be the party of Dalits based on the ideology of Dr BR Ambedkar, has allied with the Shiv Sena. It defies logic how the avowed votaries of the Hindu rashtra – Rane and Nirupam – can glibly shift to the Congress, which is formally a secular party and opposed to the concept of the Hindu rashtra. Equally surprising is the fact that the Congress, with the legacy of Gandhi and Nehru, has even accepted politicians who have had the opposite ideology throughout.

More surprising than this fact is the alliance between the RPI and the Shiv Sena. One can recall that a new term has been floating around for some time now that talks about this alliance. ‘Shiv shakti’ is coined from ‘Shiv’ of the Shiv Sena and ‘Shakti’ of Bhim Shakti, ‘Bhim’ being the mythological hero of Dalits. It has been made popular by the slogan “Shiv shakti is equal to desh bhakti(patriotism). And, since then this hobnobbing has been in progress. As such the politics of both these parties is very strange and logically they are totally opposed to each other’s agenda.

The Shiv Sena was propped up by Mumbai industrialists in collusion with a section of the Congress leadership to break the hold of the Left trade unions in Mumbai. From there, it went on to launch tirades against south Indians – calling them lungiwallahs – and in a series of ‘hate other’ political campaigns, it targeted Gujaratis and later north Indians. During this period, it indulged in street violence and intimidated these linguistic groups. Later it latched on the chariot of the Hindu rashtra and boasted of being part of the Hindutva politics in alliance with the BJP. The Shiv Sena also has been seriously implicated in the post-Babri mosque demolition violence in Mumbai by the Srikrishna Commission report.

As far as its political agenda is concerned it has been the most vociferous party opposing the issues related to Dalits. After the publication of Ambedkar’s collected works, the Shiv Sena protested against the volume Riddles in Hinduism which is heavily critical of gods Ram and Krishna. The party also opposed the move to change the name of Marathwada University to Dr Ambedkar University. It was also the only political party in the country which opposed the implementation of the Mandal Commission. On the other hand, Ambedkar talked of annihilation of caste, opposed the notion of Hindu rashtra and converted to Buddhism opposing Hinduism. He believed in educating, organising and agitating for democratic rights of Dalits. To achieve these goals, he formed the Independent Labor Party in 1936, the Scheduled Caste Federation in 1942 and laid the outline of the political principles for the Republican Party of India.

The RPI soon suffered splits. It was also co-opted by bigger parties, like the Congress and the BJP. The major agitation launched by Dada Saheb Gaikwad of the RPI did galvanise Dalits, but after that the Dalit leadership has been groping in the dark. The formation of militant Dalit Panthers in the 1960s, which peaked in 1970, was a brief phenomenon, which again led to splits and weakening of the cause of Dalits.

The Dalit politics started changing with Kanshi Ram and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), who took different path to power. He trained cadres for a long time, focussed the power in his hands and soon became politically successful. He later passed the baton to Mayawati, who, through different trajectories, succeeded in becoming the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. She did ally with the Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party on the way, campaigned for Narendra Modi in Gujarat and justified the Gujarat carnage partly. Today the BSP is the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh. It has given a boost to the Dalit identity, but the condition of Dalits has not improved.

Where does the Dalit movement go from here? A section of Dalits has benefitted form the reservation policy, education and other accompaniments of affirmative action. At the same time, a reaction to the enhancement of Dalits’ position in society has been the rise in the politics of Hindu rashtra, something which aims at the subjugation of Dalits and women. This is clever politics of Hindutva to attack Dalits and Other Backward Classes on the ground of reservation and later co-opt and use them against religious minorities. The Shiv Sena-RPI alliance is plain opportunism from both sides. The Shiv Sena is totally opposed to the Ambedkar’s values of liberty, equality and fraternity, while the RPI was meant to reflect the aspirations of Dalit masses for social equality, political place in the society and a dignified life. Can they be political allies? For the RPI, this path has been chosen on the plea that the Congress has not given adequate political power to the leaders of the RPI. They now think that alliance with the Shiv Sena and the BJP is the path to political power for Dalits. Time alone will tell the righteousness of this strategy, but one thing is sure that, if at all, this alliance will give power to a couple of leaders of the RPI but the issues of Dalits cannot be addressed by the more dominant political allies, whose very agenda is against the interests of downtrodden masses.

The Shiv Sena-BJP combine has shrewdly tried to wean away a section of Dalits for electoral advantage; they may also be able to use the RPI leadership for electoral gains. But, as far as the Dalit movement is concerned, the challenges are immense and playing junior patterns to the parties totally opposed to the political values of Ambedkar will be counterproductive. The only path for Dalits for an empowerment seems to be social agitations and movements around their material issues, issues of security, equality and dignity. This, though a painful path, is the only option available to Dalits for better future.

Scholarship for MA studies on decent work for LGBT persons

Dear colleagues and friends,

I attach the announcement of an ISS-Dreilinden scholarship for MA studies on decent work for lesbian, gay, trans- and intersexual (LGBT) persons: The Dreilinden gGmbH (a German philantropic foundation, see provides a scholarship for an MA student from the Global South and East, focussing on decent work for LGBT persons. Despite quite a bit of interest in the scholarship, amongst the applications for the academic year 2011/12, no suitable candidates have been identified so far. I’d be grateful if you could circulate the attached announcement of the scholarship in your networks. The information can also be found at:

Thanks & best regards!


Karin Astrid Siegmann

Lecturer, Labour and Gender Economics

International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS)

Kortenaerkade 12

2518 AX The Hague, The Netherlands

Phone: +31-70 4260 473

Fax: +31-70 4260 799

E-mail: siegmann

Manual scavenging: Centre told to take action in 2 months

Manual scavenging: Centre told to take action in 2 months

If amendments are not made, court will order personal appearance of high dignitaries

CHENNAI: Deprecating an affidavit filed by the Union Housing Secretary, the Madras High Court on Thursday said if the Centre fails to amend the law to prevent manual scavenging in two months, it will be constrained to direct the personal appearance of any of the high dignitaries, be it, from the PMO Secretariat or other departments.

Passing further orders on an application in a contempt petition, the First Bench comprising Chief Justice M.Y.Eqbal and Justice T.S.Sivagnanam also directed the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary to follow up the matter with the Centre. On the next date of hearing, August 22, he should file an affidavit stating the steps that would be taken by the State government for compliance of the court order.

Posting the matter for August 22, the Bench issued a caution that by that time if necessary amendments were not made, it would be constrained to direct personal appearance of any of the high dignitaries, be it, from the PMO Secretariat, Housing Department or the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Earlier, A.Narayanan of Virugambakkam had filed a contempt petition seeking to punish the officials for not complying with a High Court order of 2008 on eradication of manual scavenging.

On June 16, the Bench had directed the appearance of the Union Housing Secretary before the court on Thursday and file an affidavit on the steps taken to enact an appropriate law to totally ban manual scavenging and when the law would be implemented.

When the matter came up, the Union Housing Secretary, Kiran Dhingra, was not present. Her affidavit was filed in which she submitted that the Housing Ministry had taken all possible steps including the drafting of amendments to the existing law, “Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines(Prohibition) Act” to widen the definition of manual scavenging to cover cleaning of sewers, drains and tanks.

In its order, the Bench observed that the Additional Solicitor-General submitted that actually he was of the impression that the case has been posted for June 29 and therefore, proper steps had not been taken. However, the Joint Secretary in the Union Housing Ministry appeared in person with the Secretary’s affidavit expressing Ms.Dhingra’s inability to come to the court. The affidavit said inter alia that after the Chairperson, National Advisory Council, had sent a letter to the Prime Minister recommending appropriate amendments to the law, the Prime Minister himself was monitoring the situation.

“We deprecate such affidavit filed by the Secretary.” The court observed that it was really surprising that for the last six months it had been issuing directions for necessary amendments to the Act in order to prevent manual scavenging, but nothing had been done till date.

Women as Global Leaders 2012 : Call for Papers 1 Attachment

Many thanks

The Women as Global Leaders Team


"Creating a Sustainable Future for the World"

13 – 15 March 2012

Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

Email: wagl


From: Raghavan Prakash []
Sent: Sunday, June 19, 2011 3:13 PM
To: ruqo699fozi
Cc: wagl
Subject: Women as Global Leaders 2012 : Call for Papers [1 Attachment]

From: wagl <wagl>

Dear Colleagues,

The 2012 Women as Global Leaders Conference is pleased to issue the attached call for papers (CFP) and expression of interest. The theme for the 2012 Conference is “Creating a Sustainable Future for the World”.

Hosted by Zayed University – an internationally recognised institution accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education with campuses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi – the Women as Global Leaders Conference continues to break new ground not only in the Middle East and North Africa region but around the world as an event that draws the best and brightest together to discuss, debate and explore contemporary issues related to women and leadership. The 2012 Conference will be held 13 – 15 March on the new state-of-the-art Zayed University located in Abu Dhabi.

For this conference, we will attract women undergraduate and graduate students, educators and leadership practitioners from around the world. We would greatly appreciate if you could distribute our attached “Call for Papers” to whomever you consider appropriate, including website and listserv discussions groups.

We believe that “Women as Global Leaders” is an exciting, inspirational event for everyone involved. We look forward to your expressions of interest and participation.

For more information on the conference please visit our website at

Many thanks

The Women as Global Leaders Team

Zayed University

"Creating a Sustainable Future for the World"
13 – 15 March 2012
Zayed University, Abu Dhabi
Email: wagl

Women as Global Leaders 2012 – Call for Papers.pdf


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