PMARC Dalit Media Watch- News Update 20-06-11

From: Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC <pmarc2008>

Dalits Media watch

News Updates 20.06.11

UP: Dalit girl raped, minor stabbed in the eye – IBN Live

Lakhimpur Kheri murder: Notice issued to Uttar Pradesh govt – NDTV

Rajasthan’s Dalit women celebrate ‘liberty’ at temple – Mangalorean Times

Government may fund women, SC/ST poll candidates – The Hindustan Times

Inter-caste marriages can eradicate casteism, says writer – The Hindu

IBN Live

UP: Dalit girl raped, minor stabbed in the eye

Sumit Pande , CNN-IBN

Updated Jun 19, 2011 at 10:03pm IST

Gursiyaganj: Law and order seems to be breaking down in Uttar Pradesh as a Dalit girl was allegedly raped at gunpoint in Kannauj and another blinded for resisting rape. Only one person has been arrested in both the cases so far, the other perpetrators are still at large.

A 14-year-old girl was stabbed when two youths tried to rape her in Gursahaiganj area in Kannauj. The incident took place when the girl had gone out for some work at Gadwa Buzurg village on Saturday evening. When the girl resisted, they attacked her with knives and she was injured to her left eye.

"The two men were trying to rape me. When I fought, they started hitting me and stabbed me in the eye. I thought I was going to die." Victim said.

In another incident, an 18-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped in Ranipur Beladi village in Basti.

The police claims that the manhunt for the accused in the two cases has begun.

The two incidents come close on the heels of the alleged rape and murder of a minor in a Lakhimpur-Kheri police station recently.

UP Congress Chief Ritu Bahuguna said, "We are building public pressure on the government that no case goes unregistered, no case goes unattended and are apprehended and send to jail because left to Mayawati government they would not even register a case."

"One of the two accused has been arrested in the case. Both accused are members of the Samajwati party," Principal Secretary, Information Prashant Trivedi said.

In 2007, Mayawati rode to power in UP on the strength of a Dalit-Brahmin alliance. With polls less than 12 months away, the focus now is on how effective her administration has been, but increasing incidents of violence against women, minors and Dalits could hurt her image. And in the din of politics, the focus on violence like in Basti and Kannauj is in danger of being lost.


Lakhimpur Kheri murder: Notice issued to Uttar Pradesh govt

NDTV Correspondent, Updated: June 18, 2011 14:52 IST

Lucknow: The Scheduled Caste-Scheduled Tribe commission on Saturday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government seeking a detailed report into the alleged rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Lakhimpur district of the state.

On Friday, the Crime Branch (CB) of the Uttar Pradesh Criminal Investigation Department (CID) filed the status report on investigation before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. The court has fixed July 4 as the next date of hearing.

14-year-old Sonam’s body was found hanging inside the Nighasan police station on June 10, sparking protests from opposition parties in the state.

The victim’s mother in her complaint had alleged that the girl was raped and murdered after which 11 policemen were placed under suspension.

While local police ruled out murder citing post mortem report, the state government has ordered a CB-CID probe. It has also removed SP Lakhimpur and lodged an FIR against three policemen.

The second post mortem conducted by a panel of expert from Lucknow confirmed that the girl was strangulated, but ruled out rape.

The parents of the girl had submitted an application for a CBI probe into the matter on Friday. UP Chief Minister Mayawati however, has refused to order a CBI probe into the matter. (With PTI inputs)

Mangalorean Times

Rajasthan’s Dalit women celebrate ‘liberty’ at temple

Varanasi, June 20 (IANS) In a revolution of sorts, some 200 Dalit women from Rajasthan Monday achieved what they thought would remain a mirage — performing rituals with upper caste Hindus at the Vishwanath temple.

Amidst ecstatic shouts of ‘Har Har Gange’, the women, who once worked as manual scavengers, also took a dip in the holy Ganga and chanted hymns along the Dashashwamedh Ghat, deemed to be the most pious bank.

"We never thoughtt we would get an opportunity to celebrate our liberty like this… For decades, we have faced hatred and discrimination. As we mingled with the upper caste, we get the feel of being liberated," Shanti Chaumaria, a manual scavenger of over two decades, told IANS.

While the Vishwanath temple does not bar Dalits from offering prayers, the women considered performing rituals with Brahmins an act of empowerment.

"It’s an out of the world experience for us. We want to stay here as long as we can. This day will remain memorable for us. We now feel we have really joined the mainstream. Sharing a platform with the upper-caste is really a privilege," said Guddi, who was a manual scavenger for 10 years.

After performing rituals at the Dashashwamedh Ghat for nearly two hours, the women proceeded to the Vishwanath temple, carrying earthen pots filled with Ganga water, even as the locals watched them curiously.

"When people from upper castes assisted us in carrying out the rituals, for a while it all appeared like a dream. Though we have visited several prominent temples across the country, it was for the first time most of us got the opportunity of taking a dip in the Ganga," said Shakuntala Chaumar, who was earlier involved in manual scavenging in Rajsthan’s Tonk district.

Brahmanand Chaturvedi, one of the priests who guided the women in their rituals, said: "For the almighty, everyone is same and equal. Why should there be any discrimination? These women are also a part of our society. We must make efforts for empowering them."

Sulabh International, the social service organisation which organised the programme, flew in the women from Rajasthan.

The NGO rehabilitated these manual scavengers by providing them with various vocational jobs like stitching, embroidery and pickle-making. The women now earn a monthly stipend of Rs.2,000.

According to Sulabh International’s founder Bindeshwar Pathak, an estimated one lakh people are still involved in manual scavenging in the country.

"Manual scavenging still prevails in several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra," Pathak told IANS.

"We are trying our best so that we can weed out the disgraceful practice in a year or so. It would require support from all sections of the society," he added.

The Hindustan Times

Government may fund women, SC/ST poll candidates

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, June 19, 2011

In a fresh attempt to curb money power in the elections, the law ministry has proposed that the government fund women and scheduled caste and tribe candidates of recognised political parties. Law minister M Veerappa Moily recommended in a draft cabinet note circulated to various ministries that to get this benefit, candidates should not have an annual income of more than R5 lakh and movable or immovable property worth more than R22 lakh.

The note also made it clear that this limit would also include the income and assets of the candidates’ spouses. “The income and assets of both the spouses will be calculated and taken together.”

“This proposal, applicable to the recognised national and state-level political parties, will bring transparency and put a check on the inflow of unaccounted money into elections,” the ministry note said.

Besides, the ministry said this would become an incentive to political parties for fielding more SC/ST and women candidates of marginalised sections and prepare the ground for the women’s reservation bill.

The ministry pointed out that the Election Commission (EC) was earlier not in favour of this idea given the lack of unanimity among the political parties.

But during seven regional consultations in recent months, the ministry said, “a consensus has emerged to check inflow of unaccounted money” in elections.

In February, the ministry hiked — on EC’s recommendations — the spending limit for a Lok Sabha candidate from R25 lakh to R40 lakh and for assembly constituencies in big states from R10 lakh to R16 lakh.

In the latest proposal, the law ministry has not fixed any particular amount to be given to the candidates eligible for state funding, saying, “At this stage, it is not feasible to give the financial implications, which will depend on the number of candidates to be fielded by the political parties.”

The Hindu

Inter-caste marriages can eradicate casteism, says writer

Staff Correspondent

Shimoga: It is necessary to promote inter-caste marriages to eradicate the caste system, said writer Rajeshwari Tejaswi.

She was speaking after inaugurating the convention of inter-caste couple, organised by Lohia Janmashathabdhi Pratishthana in the city on Sunday.

Plea to youths

The Mantramangalya system of marriage advocated by poet laureate Kuvempu, which is free from lavishness and meaningless practices need to be popularised. She called upon the youths, to come forward for inter-caste and simple marriages.

Addressing the gathering, writer D.S. Nagabhushan said that the caste system had weakened the democracy. He expressed concern on the political polarisation in the name of caste.

Caste has become a means to secure power and money. The intellectual class should strive to enlighten the people against the evils of caste system, he stated.

Sharing his opinions, former minister S.K. Kantha regretted the strengthening of caste consciousness among the educated people. The educated who were expected to initiate a struggle against the social stratification system, have instead become advocates of caste system. The division of labour and the allocation of rewards for the labour under the caste system, was unscientific.

Social equality

The preaching of social reformers such as Basaveshwara, Budha, B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi, who strived for social equality, need to be popularised, he said.

Socialist thinker and political commentator Yogendra Yadav also participated in the convention.

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