ONE MORE CASTEIST ACT BY THE BJP GOVERNMENT
After having nominated the revolutionary thinker Dr. B.R.Ambedkar as the head of the drafting committee and having taken advantage of his fund of legal knowledge, he was cast away as unwanted material by a Brahminical clique which was dominating the scene.
Later Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said in the course of his address in the Rajya Sabha that though he was made use of as a hack (mercenary horse), he was able to get priority for certain communities and to make liberty, equality and fraternity as the basic principles in the preamble of the Constitution and ensure immunity for many basic human rights. He got untouchability abolished and made it a penal offence in whichever shape it could make its appearance.
In 1955, he got an Act passed by which anyone who observes untouchability could be punished by law. Before all this, even during the British rule, from 1938 to 1948, he got 21 Acts passed in the Provinces of (1) Orissa, (2) Bombay, (3) East Punjab (4) Hyderabad and (5) Madras permitting temple entry for members of all communities including the untouchables. Yet, they were mostly observed only on paper.
After Periyar started his Self Respect Movement he facilitated the members of the depressed community along with others into the temples at Madurai, Erode and Tiruvannamalai and made them offer worship. Earlier in the 1922 Congress Conference at Tirupur he introduced a resolution demanding the right for temple entry for the untouchables. It met with opposition from Madurai Vaiyanathayyar (Refer: Thiru.Vi.Ka. Memoirs). Only in 1948, some States passed Acts permitting temple entry for the untouchables.
The 1955 Act passed by the Centre was modified as Protection of Civil Rights (PCR) Act by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and passed in 1976 as it was felt that the earlier Act could not give sufficient protection to the toiling masses. She introduced such measures since there was a perceptible increase in the barbaric acts like casteist attacks by the upper caste people, violence, rape and oppressive punishment by caste panchayats.
During Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure, the Act underwent many modifications and the penalty was made more severe. In spite of it, since there was no decrease in the social atrocities against the oppressed people, the Act was further sharpened into “Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in 1989.
All these severe measures, however, have failed to make any dent in the casteist arrogance and complacency in the upper caste people who continue to treat people of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes as vermin.
There still continues the misery of the affected people being compelled to stage agitation even to get FIR registered by the police.
Even in Tamil Nadu casteist arrogance prevented even dead bodies being carried through public path to the cremation grounds, despite Court Orders permitting it.
Under the circumstances, whatever little authority was left in the Act has been rendered powerless by the directive of the Supreme Court in Dr.Subash Kasinath Mahajan Vs. State of Maharashtra, another that the accused should not be arrested immediately, without going through a laborious process. It has happened because the government was not represented in the Court by experts who had faith in Social Justice. After having been responsible for so many atrocities, Modi Government is enacting a drama of unveiling Ambedkar portraits.
The whole country is submerged in a tsunami.
Dr. Ambedkar was undoubtedly aware of all such trends. He gave vent to his agony in the same Rajya Sabha speech when he said, “…my friends tell me that I have made the Constitution. But I am quite prepared to say that I shall be the first person to burn it out.”
Of all the 31 judges of the Supreme Court, is there a single representative of the SC / ST community? There is not even a judge of the Backward Class. There is only one woman judge who is soon to retire. The Supreme Court is the monopoly of the Brahmins-cum-upper class hegemony.
In the Brahmin-RSS dispensation of the BJP, social justice is permitted to be simmered in the embers of casteism.
ATROCITIES- PREVENTION OR ENCOURAGEMENT
Some examples set by the Brahmins and other upper caste people.
1. Once a lower level woman employee in a Black Development Office in Uttar Pradesh was sexually assaulted by the upper caste officials of the same office. The offenders made sure that no case was registered against them. It is only after an agitation by women’s organizations that the culprits were awarded punishment in the lower court, but it was totally nullified and the accused were acquitted in the High Court. Can one guess the reason that prompted the learned judges to arrive at the judgment? The judges said, “The accused belong to the upper castes. The affected woman is of low caste. It was impossible for the officials to have assaulted the low caste woman.” How minister!
2. In the same Uttar Pradesh, a judge was transferred to the district court. The judge, belonging to the upper caste, got the chair thoroughly washed and cleaned before occupying it.
You know why? The earlier occupant of the office and the chair was of a lower caste. Obviously, his education had not made him learn the value of equality.