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70 Years of Independent India: Inclusion & Exclusion

Dalit Sthree Sakthi organized a seminar on 15th August 2017, Conference Hall, Ravindra Bharathi on the eve of 71st Independence Day on the theme “70 Years of Independent India: Inclusion & Exclusion”. National Program Manager of Dalit Sthree Sakthi Sri GDV Prakash presided the program and the dignitaries on the Dais were Sri Kaki Madhava Rao IAS(Rtd), Former Chief Secretary; Sri PSN Murthy IDAS (VR), Founder of Ambedkar Mission; Sri Kalyan Chakravarthi IAS; Prof K Y Ratnam from HCU; Prof Vijay from HCU; Prof Sudha Rani from ABRAOU; Dr Siddoji Rao from SC, ST Officers Forum; Sri Girija consultant – Women & Child Welfare Department and Jhansi Geddam, National Convenor of DSS.

Sri GDV Prakash: In his presidential speech, has stated that 70 years of Independence have passed by and we can notice that there is no remarkable change. We have a feeling that independence means the change of power from the hands of the British into the hands of the

the Indians and not much than that. India is said to be a big democratic country, whereas the dalits are denied of democracy, self-respect, protection and caste discrimination is still prevailing. Though many from the SC, STs have been elected to parliament & assemblies because of reservations, but they have been of no use to the community. Similarly, the dignitaries have to focus on the areas where we have been included and excluded, the reasons and the ways forward to overcome these challenges.He also briefed about the campaign against domestic violence on dalit women to be launched in the conference and the activities to be followed till the public hearing on domestic violence to be held in November 2017 at Hyderabad by involving all the stakeholders.


Jhansi Geddam:She said that after completion of 70 years of Independence we as a large sect of people are discussing about the inclusion and exclusion in the country. Any‘ism’ or any thought survives for 10 years of period, after 10 years either it has to be modified or move a step forward. But our Indian democracy even after 70 years has not treated as equally on par with the other human beings. Manu Dharma Sastra states that we have a ladder system, sudras/dalits are in last step of the ladder. We have been seeing in the present days that we are not at all in the ladder system. The attitude and perspective of our policy makers and Beurocrats is not desirable. They gained a lot through reservations but they never behave

asthe representatives of their community, and they bluntly say that they are the representatives of their parties and they tell that the parties spend money, give ticket etc., that’s why dalit representatives always take the side of the government. They never think about Ambedkar ideology, inequality and exclusion of dalits in the society.

She said that dalit women and dalit youth coming forward and walking in the right path is the only solution to overcome the vulnerable situation and worst politics in our country. Dalit movements need to re structure and it is necessary we also have to reshape ourselves.


Sri Girija: The centres for social inclusions are being closed in many universities and is at stake in some universities. Domestic Violence starts at our home, and it depends on how we

we are behaving with our sisters, mothers, etc. Whenever the issue of domestic violence has been raised at any platform it has been side-lined or postponed. As on date we have more than 3 lakhs cases. How can we bring up the value system in the families where there is no equality and domestic violence prevails? Domestic violence mainly shoots up due to in equality, lack of gender perspective. Nowadays the victim women are coming out and are complaining on violence. It’s not that we will register cases, but domestic violence Act is to promote prevention and the present scenario says that we have failed to curtail DV in our country. Sakhi centres/one stop centres which were proposed after the Nirbhaya incident are now being established in the districts.

Prof Sudha Rani: She appreciated DSS work and for organizing this type of conferences especially on this day and on the topic useful for our community. The union government/ Prime Minister has been bringing in many programs but they don’t make much difference. Ambedkar said to Gandhi that this is not his home land and the dalits are being treated very meanly, less than the dogs. After independence Ambedkar wrote the constitution but he is nowhere remembered, on this occasion Gandhi is remembered everywhere. What is the mistake done by Ambedkar? In the academic syllabus, nowhere we find Ambedkar

The dalits have been questioning on the independence denied by the Indian rulers. Ambedkar has recognised untouchability, how can we quit castism and untouchability.The roots of gender discrimination are inpatriarch society. The dominant communities such as Brahmins etc have fortified the caste system, and have said that if their women marry other caste men, it is sin, the recent incident of Mandhaniis a good example. Therefore, we need to look whether are we treating and respecting only the women of dominant caste or even the dalit women equally. The women are denied all the liberty and forced in slavery in Hinduism. Though we bring in many Acts, unless and until the root causes are addressed, there will be no change. The Jogini system is still unaddressed and rules have not been framed. The governments which have come into power have no confidence in the constitution, for name sake they are appointing the dalits to the respective commissions etc. Therefore, we need to bring Ambedkar ideology to attain gender justice equality. The problems are still persistence and will be more in future. We all need to strive by all means to attain equality.

Prof Vijay: He said that he is working in a university which has taken the life of Rohit (abetment to suicide in HCU) who was an excellent student in chemistry. It is the result of the present political situation. We did study on the migrated labour to brick kilns and to the industry. In our country 75% are from the unorganized sector of which 90% are SCs & STs. The labor in brick kilns have migrated from Orissa, they are very backward communities from SC & STs. They are so vulnerable, that they have taken a private loan of mere 30 to 40 K for house construction, etc, to repay that have come out here. They don’t have white ration cards for 80%. To repay the loan, these people take advance from the owners, therefore the owners exploit the women, force them for more hours of work, engage the children without payment etc. Women are prone to be harassed in many forms in various angles by many people. Whereas the central government is saying a lot against the existing poverty/ vulnerable conditions and the governments are boosting a lot through media. As per the study of the Centre for governance for budget and availability it has been revealed that there has

been remarkable decrease in the allocation of budgets in the education sector between 2014 – 15 and 2016 – 17. Similarly, more budgets have been reduced for mid-day meals, SarvaSikshaAbhiyan etc. The Prime Minister has said that all will get own houses as he said that everyone will get Rs 15 lakhs per head and there are no protagonists for the voiceless and the oppressed and the organizations like DSS should come forward. In HCU the appointments are based on the political affiliations, the dalit students are suppressed and the saffron people are appointed.They are creating the context of supressing the dalit students and waive of reservations, give seats based on interviews only to supress.


PSN Murthy: He said many examples of inclusive and exclusive by quoting many instances related to day to day life for example we rear cattle, hens etc for the reason of some income in some means, sell or eat eggs, milk, bullock carts, tilling the land, etc. The cow is reared as we get income by some means. Similarly, some welfare schemes have been introduced for us

to make us survive and to do the laborious jobs, etc. They need us to just survive to be useful for them, we are not in a situation to understand the reality. We need the rights, opportunities and facilities/ liberty in a democratic country. Inclusion means giving voting right, exclusion means making the SC/ST MLAs, MPs not to perform their duties. Inclusion means giving seats in schools/colleges, exclusion means not giving jobs, not giving English language and computer skills. Inclusion means the non-dalit boys loving the dalit girls, enjoying sexually in the name of marriage and making them pregnant, and excluding them by denying to marry which can also be called as social exclusion.


Kalyan Chakravarthi: He said that the SC officers in service can’t speak out openly and as civil servant have lot of constraints.The SC/ST ministers are in slavery and how will be the position

of the civil servants. When the girls are grown up and between the age of 21 – 25 they can think well, but when they marry at a small age they can’t think. Still atrocities take place and how can we bring a change in the society. We get educated but have no jobs and though we earn, spend it on liquor. We need to bring change socially and get the women educated.


Prof K Y Ratnam: Ambedkar said on 26th January 1950 that we are entering into life of contradictions and as Ambedkar said the governments have failed in inclusion. He said the situation of dalit women is still vulnerable, the government failed to solve at least one contradiction. India is in the lowest rank of providing food security and are in 10th rank and in exclusion the dalits don’t have food security and are in hunger. Many atrocities are taking

place and these say about exclusion, in what manner we have been included. The democracy of our country is in danger, even the outgoing vice president has said that there is no protection to minorities. Any work done by the dalit women and men are unrecognised, even the IAS/IPS. Even in organized sector there is no protection, self-respect to the dalits and dalit women. A documentary on Kakoos has done a documentary on scavenging and she has been arrested. The governments instead of resolving the contradictions are enhancing them. Therefore, the democracy has failed and as Ambedkar said the governments have failed to recognize the contradiction and even today dalit women have not been recognized and the dalit are not treated even like the animals.


Kaki Madhava Rao: Coming to Inclusion and Exclusion, how many we could include and how many have been excluded. During Independence Ambedkar said to the British that independence is given to whom, is it to all or only to some, discussion has to made on what is

being given to the dalits. The dominant community said that Ambedkar is anti-national, and is trying to delay Independence. Ambedkar while writing the constitution said “We the people of India” means all including SC, STs, OBCs and OCs and said about equality considering all the existing inequalities. Ambedkar said that existing inequalities should perish and new inequalities shouldn’t crop up. Today our country is 3rd richest and very few are rich, it says how many are included and excluded. The taxes are levied to help the poor, when the taxes are reduced the poor are neglected, it is done by the central government. In the capitalist countries such as Germany, Japan, etc have not changed. Japan 51%, Denmark 60%, America 59% are collecting tax whereas India is collecting only 30% as tax. Similarly, the inheritance tax is not levied in India, whereas it is collected in many countries up to 50%. Except West Bengal and Maharastra, in all the states BCs have become CMs as they are well off.


Dr Siddoji Rao: In India we don’t have inclusion, only exclusion is there either before independence or after independence only transfer of power has been done from white

racist to brown racists. Ambedkar tried to bring inclusion through constitution. Ideologically, socially, morally we have been excluded, the Muslims are Indians and due to exclusion policy, they are treated as foreigners and the Muslims also feel the same. In these 70 years the minority are ruling the majority with the consent of the majority. Therefore, on this Independence Day we all need to look for the ways forward and chalk out a concrete action plan to overcome all the challenges of exclusion.

In this conference DSS launched a Campaign on Domestic violence against Dalit women. Sri Kaki Madhava Rao and other dignitaries released the campaign material/ fliers. This material contains the caption and picture carrying the message to stop domestic violence against dalit women. Similarly, the participants were briefed about the domestic violence in dalit women and the future course of action being initiated by Dalit Sthree Sakthi.


The cultural team presented melodious songs on Independence Day and Ambedkar.

Impact:

  • The dignitaries on the dais and the participants have felt that the discussions were good and need of the hour.

  • The inputs given by the dignitaries were very in depth and needs to be percolated both downwards and upwards.

  • The concepts have also reached large masses through the media.



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