. . . . . . "Dalit Solidarity News" is an information project run by the International Dalit Solidarity Network. News stories are extracts from online newsservices. Link to the full story is found at the end of each blog. Visit the International Dalit Solidarity Network at www.idsn.org

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Formed in 2000, the IDSN is a network of international organisations, national solidarity networks and affected country groups, campaigning against caste-based discrimination throughout the world, from the dalits of South Asia to the Osu of Nigeria and the Burakumin of Japan. Visit our website International Dalit Solidarity Network for more information. SUBMIT DALIT NEWS HERE

Saturday, August 16, 2003  
Dalit panchayat chief hit with chappal for hoisting flag

The Hindu - 16 August

A Dalit panchayat president, who hoisted the national flag today, was allegedly "beaten with chappals" and his wife assaulted by a group near Tiruppuvanam in Sivaganga district.

Braving opposition from a section of the villagers, the two-time Sottathatti panchayat president, K. Raju (50), unfurled the tricolour in a local school. And, even as he was presiding over a `gram sabha' meeting, a group assembled in front of the panchayat office in an agitated mood.

Soon after the meeting, K. Subbiah (45) and S. Muthu (50) of the village, confronted Mr. Raju and his wife, Meena (40), abusing them on caste lines. Even as Mr. Raju tried to explain, they beat him up with chappals. His wife was also attacked when she tried to intervene. The accused then threatened the couple with dire consequences and left the scene, police sources said.

An injured Ms. Meena was rushed to the Tiruppuvanam Government hospital.

Mr. Raju lodged a complaint with the Tiruppuvanam police.

12:45 AM

Dalit woman attacked at fete

The Hindu - 15 August

Differences between supporters of the TDP and the CPI over the election to the chairmanship of school education committee of Mellakunta village in Kambaduru mandal of the district, which was conducted last month, resulted in the alleged attack on the SEC chairperson, Laxmidevi, a Dalit, by the former today.

According to the information reaching here, the TDP supporters attacked Laxmidevi and 20 of her supporters when she went to the primary school to hoist the national flag on the occasion of Independence Day. The election was a controversial one as the TDP-backed candidate was defeated. The election result was announced recently.

The TDP supporters were also alleged to have tried to disrobe the SEC chairperson.

They attacked her supporters when they went to the rescue of Laxmidevi.

12:43 AM

Woman sarpanch assaulted in Orissa

Kerela Next - 15 August 2003

KENDRAPARA: A Dalit woman sarpanch, who was reportedly stripped by some persons at Batira village, about 40 km from here last June, was assaulted again on Wednesday, police said here on Friday.

Niyati Behera of the opposition Orissa Gana Parishad was injured following the attack and taken to a hospital, they said.

Police said the incident was a sequel to a long-standing family feud.

Cases had been registered under various sections of the IPC against six persons on the basis of the claim of the sarpanch following the incident. Police arrested one person in this connection.

Incidentally, the same person had been arrested earlier following the stripping incident and was out on bail.

12:42 AM

Thursday, August 14, 2003  
Dalit women pen success stories

Kathmandu Post (Nepal) - 12 August

Hari Bahadur Basnyat, Minister for Education and Sports, released a book entitled Gyanka AAnkha Khulepachhi, during a programme organised at the National Women’s Commission (NWC) here today.

The book published by Aamaa Milan Kendra (AMK), is based on the success stories of two backward Dalit women of Baglung district. The stories entitled Tejkumari ko tej and Harikalako sikshya pachhiko safalta are included in the book.

Autobiographers Tejkumari and Harikala, who were enlightened through Women Mobilisation Project run by AMK in collaboration with CEDPA-Nepal, have been able to set examples for other village women of Nepal, especially the Dalits. "These two courageous and diligent women are role models for other Dalit women," said Roshan Karki, president of AMK. She further added, "this book has proved the leading capacity of the Dalit women."

Emphasising the need to bring into light such role models, Minister Basnyat commenced, "education is the root for empowerment of women and it only can bring the sense of gender equity."

Similarly, Haribol Khanal, director of Informal Education Centre, stressed the need for transformation in the Nepali social scenario. He said, "this story is the representation of all backward women and only if we change the situation, will we have proven that we have worked for gender equity."

Various speakers including Durga Sob, member of the Nepal Dalit Association, Dr Chatra Amatya, country director of CEDPA-Nepal and Laxmi Rai, member-secretary of NWC praised AMK for taking the initiative of publishing the book and focused on the need for such encouragement.

7:29 PM

Dalits to boycott carcass feeding

Kathmandu Post - 14 August, by Dil Bahadur Chhatyal

Dalits in remote villages of Doti district are gearing up to boycott the age-old practice of feeding on carcass. Backed by various organisations, the Dalits have started awareness campaigns to uplift their lives.

As part of the campaign, Dalits in Sanagaon staged a rally chanting slogans against carcass feeding recently. They chanted slogans such as "I shall neither eat carcass nor dispose a dead animal of so-called higher class people." The rally was initiated by National Dalit Society.

It is a common practice in the hilly districts of far-western Nepal that each Dalit family has contact with an upper class family called Rithi or the master. Whenever a cattle of a Rithi dies, the concerned Dalit family is informed. The family drags the dead cattle to their house with the help of neighbours. The carcass is then cut into pieces for consumption, informed Janaki Devi Nepali of Mudhbhara area.

"Sometimes Dalits here eat a cattle even two days after its death," said Nepali. "It has been the duty of Dalits to dispose off the dead cattle of upper class people. This is the very reason why Dalits are viewed as untouchables."

Feeding on carcass is the psychological reason why the upper class society regards Dalits as untouchables, according to Raju Nepali, a member of Dalit Women Organisation, Doti.

Due to lack of awareness and illiteracy, Dalits consider that they are destined to feed carcass and subjected to stay in a dirty environment, opined intellectuals. As the Dalits consume carcass, they are found infected with various types of diseases. Epidemics often surface in Dalit communities due to carcass eating, according to Rajendra Kandel, a health assistant at the Regional Health Directorate.

7:28 PM

Dalit communities engage in income generation programme

Kathmandu Post - 13 August

The local Dalit communities of Phalamkhani Village Development Committee have started various income generation activities after the hand over of about 200 ropanis of community forest of the same place to them on lease for a period of 20 years. A total of 65 families of the Dalits, who are in majority in the VDC, have started various programmes with the financial and technical assistance of the village development programme and forest for livelihood programme of the local development fund.

About 200 Ropanis of Thadopakha and Dhaukhani Community Forest was handed over to the Dalits to improve their living standard, programme officer Arjun Subedi said. About 30,000 saplings of Amriso, 10,400 cardamom, 2,300 raikhanyu and 200 nimaro were planted in the leased land to generate income of the local Dalit communities, he said. A total of 65 families of Dhaukhani and Thadopakha village of the same Village Development Committee will be benefited from the programme, it is

Only two percent of the income will be given to the community users group and the remaining income will be used by the Dalits, chief of the District Forest Office KP Yadav said.

7:26 PM

One-quarter of the nation - book review

Business Standard - 15 August 2003, by Uddalok Bhattacharya

When the author gifted me a copy of this book, I accepted it in a somewhat patronising mood. Having seen him at close quarters, I thought I could take an easily-done approach to it.

But this was not to be. The book’s various rights and wrongs gave flesh to my understanding of the man and the things he talks about.

With a certain degree of correctness, I could say that the educated Indian’s knowledge of Dalit affairs is restricted to a few names, Ambedkar et al. And I am no exception.

But being heir to the upper-caste tradition, an easy mix of obscurantist orthodoxy and enlightened liberalism existing cheek by jowl, I sought to know more. Chandra Bhan turned out to be a medium.

The turning-point in the author’s writing career came when Chandan Mitra, editor of the Pioneer, invited him to start a column called the Dalit Diary.

Subsequently, his reputation grew and he began two more columns — one in the Hindi daily Rashtriya Sahara and the other in Vartha, a reputable Telugu daily. Chandan Mitra won his lifelong gratitude.

The downtrodden is the best critique of a society. And the Dalit Diary poses questions about the Indian society and its various institutions and organisations in all spheres — particularly those that are opinion-makers.

The issue is simply this: What is the extent of participation of Dalits, not just in private institutions but also in ones that are controlled and funded by the state. Minimal, finds the author.

And this applies to places like the Delhi School of Economics, the Centre for Policy Research, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Nehru Memorial, and some such places that have been the hub of secularist ideas and radical thinking.

This begs another question: If secularism and socialism can thrive without Dalits partaking of them, so be it. Dalits will not join the bandwagon.

The media is another arena, the most important one, where Dalits are prominently missing. The eye-opener for the author was an article by the well-known journalist B N Uniyal “In search of a Dalit journalist”, published in the Pioneer in 1996, wherein the author (B N Uniyal) wrote that in his career as a journalist of over 25 years, he had not come across a Dalit journalist.

Here Chandra Bhan draws a distinction between the situation in this country and the US. There every media organisation worth its name makes it a policy to hire people from each ethnic and racial group in accordance with its proportion in the country’s population.

The same holds good for companies and educational institutions. From the IBM sites, he quotes the following lines:

“Everyone at IBM is focused on diversity in hiring, but now we’ve also created a team fully dedicated to recruiting women, minorities [Blacks, Hispanics]?” Likewise, the Harvard Medical School website bears out the fact that the minorities and women are similarly represented on the teaching faculty.

So much for the elite citadels. In rural India, the Dalit suffers not so much at the hands of upper castes as at the hands of intermediate castes like the Yadavs, the Jats, the Kurmis, the Patels, and the Vokkaligas.

The net result is an all-pervasive doctrine of exclusion — exclusion from the house of knowledge as well as the house of wealth.

The articles have been written over the period 1999-2001 (the Dalit Diary is still on). The issues are disparate, the Dalit factor being the connecting link. Not all arguments are correctly premised. Some even border on drivel.

However, both the logicalities and the illogicalities have to be seen in the broad context in which he writes.

The fight for Dalits’ emancipation is being fought on various planes. One can be forgiven for not always considering things in the cold light of day.

In this scenario of gloom and doom, there is a silver lining for Dalits in the person of Digvijay Singh, chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.

Another silver lining can be the captains of industry and the media, despite the intemperate language the author has used to attack them. They must realise, and so must all, that merit is a conditional virtue. It needs nourishment.

Mistakes in this book are so numerous and so nerve-rattling that reading sometimes becomes difficult.

But then, it is symptomatic of the Dalits’ plight that their front-ranking spokesman could not find a proof-reader.

Chandra Bhan Prasad
Dalit Multimedia Network
Pages: xvi+242
Price: Rs 500

7:22 PM

Wednesday, August 13, 2003  
Seven held in UP caste clash

The Hindu - 13 August

In an outbreak of caste violence, over 70 Dalits were injured, seven of them seriously, when members of a community opened fire on them following a dispute over a piece of land at a village in this district.

A Home Department spokesman in Lucknow, however, put the number of injured Dalits at 48.

The trouble began when scores of a community members arrived at Tejopur village in tractors and tried to forcibly till a disputed land whose possession was claimed by Dalits, police sources here said.

When the Dalits opposed the tilling of the land, members of that community opened fire injuring over 70 persons.

Seven of the community were arrested in connection with the incident and two rifles and five tractors seized, they said.

6:11 PM

70 dalits injured in caste violence in UP village

Press Trust of India - 13 August

In an outbreak of caste violence, over 70 dalits were injured, seven of them seriously, when members of Thakur community opened fire on them following a dispute over a piece of land at a village in Mau district.

A home department spokesman in Lucknow, however, put the number of injured dalits at 48.

The trouble began when scores of Thakurs arrived at Tejopur village in tractors and tried to forcibly till a disputed land whose possession was claimed by dalits, police sources here said.

When the dalits opposed the tilling of the land, members of the Thakur community opened fire injuring over 70 persons.

Seven thakurs were arrested in connection with the incident and two rifles and five tractors seized, they said.

Both the castes have been involved in a longstanding dispute over the piece of land which the Thakurs claimed to be theirs while dalits said it belonged to the Gram Sabha, police sources said, adding a case on the dispute was pending in the court.

6:10 PM

Police open fire to disperse clashing villagers

The Hindu - 13 August

Police fired several rounds in the air and resorted to lathicharge to disperse two groups, which indulged in stone-throwing, at Nimbarga village in Aland taluk today.

The Additional Superintendent of Police, D. Prakash, who is camping at the village, told presspersons that several persons, including the Sub Inspector of Police, Nimbarga, and four Armed Reserve constables, were injured in the stone-throwing incident and in the lathicharge that followed.

One of the injured, Shantappa of Siddarth Colony, was brought to the Government General Hospital here.

The mob also manhandled police officials who tried to persuade them to disperse peacefully. This, he said, forced the police to resort to lathicharge.

According to Mr. Prakash, who was also injured in the violence, the clash followed an incident involving a Dalit youth studying at the Government Junior College who tried to talk to a girl in the same college. Enraged by this, other boys allegedly thrashed him. (The Dalit youth was reportedly involved in a fracas seven months ago following his attempts to speak to the girl. Elders reprimanded the youth at that time.) When the injured youth rushed to the Dalit colony and informed the people about the incident, nearly 400 Dalits armed with lethal weapons went to the area where upper caste Hindus resided, he said.

Meanwhile, a group of upper caste Hindus also gathered near their area.

The Sub Inspector of Police, Sridar Daddi, and his staff kept at bay the two groups but when they started throwing stones at each other, police opened fire in the air.

Even as police tried to keep the two groups from clashing, another small group of upper caste Hindus went to Siddarth Colony, where upper caste Hindus and Dalits lived, and started attacking the houses of Dalits, Mr. Prakash added.

According to the Dalits, the mob entered their houses and beat up the inmates before taking away household articles.

When Mr. Prakash arrived with reinforcement at the spot, the groups surrounded the police officials and jostled them for some time. To bring the situation under control, police again resorted to lathicharge.

The situation in the town, though tense, is under control with police conducting a foot march. However, no arrests have been made.

The dalit boy, who tried to speak to the girl, is said to have fled.

Nimbarga witnessed violence involving dalits and upper caste Hindus in May when a dalit allegedly tried to molest an upper caste woman.

After several attempts by police and the district administration, peace was restored.

On that occasion, upper caste Hindus decided, though unofficially, to boycott dalits socially and closed down their shops in the village for nearly 15 days as a protest against the incident.

6:08 PM

Woman, daughter paraded naked on witchcraft charges
NewIndPress.com - 12 August

PATNA: A Dalit woman and her 18-year-old daughter were paraded naked in a village in Bihar and mercilessly beaten after being accused of practising witchcraft, police officials said.

The incident took place in the village of Lakhaipure in Gaya district, an official said.

About 50 villagers attacked the duo, accusing them of having caused the murder of a woman called Tulsi Manjhi in the village of Nawadih through witchcraft.

The police have lodged complaints against the 50 villagers, who are also accused of beating up the Dalit woman's younger son in the attack Sunday.

Instances of Dalits being harassed in the name of witchcraft are on the rise in Bihar. Last month two alleged witches were forced to consume human excreta in separate cases of harassment by villagers.

6:06 PM

Govt wants land given to Dalits for community home back

Indian Express (Ahmedabad) - 12 August, by Abhishek Kapoor

A land marked for a community home for Dalits in Vadodara, in memory of Babasaheb Ambedkar, has turned controversial following a communication from the Social Welfare Department asking the Vadodara Collector to get it back from the society. The Government had entrusted the land to the society in 1996 for the construction of the community home building.

The issue came to the fore last week when National General Secretary of the Vishwa Boudh Sangh Bhante Sanghpriya submitted a memorandum to the collector cautioning that he would immolate himself if the land was grabbed by the government.

This community home proposal dates back to 1992 when the then Chimanbhai Patel government had taken a policy decision to have a community centre for Dalits in every district of the State to mark the centenary year of Dr Ambedkar.

As per this policy, a committee, with the collector as its head, was formed to find a suitable place for a community centre in Vadodara. Accordingly, a piece of land, next to a shopping complex on the posh R C Dutt Road was chosen, and a foundation stone laid on April 14, 1992, in the presence of former ministers Mohansinh Rathwa and Karsandas Soneri.

However, nothing happened afterwards till 1996, prompting the Dalits to complain. ‘‘The Government had sanctioned Rs 5 lakh, but that remained on paper. Nothing happened on the ground,’’ says Dr Jagdip Vaghela, Managing Trustee of the Dr B R Ambedkar Bhavan Society. Under pressure, the administration had asked the community members to form a trust for the building. Accordingly, the Dr B R Ambedkar Bhavan Society was formed and the administration transferred the land under its name, free of cost.

With donations as its sole source of funds, the trust has been constructing the building for seven years since then. However, the project has not yet been completed. This has prompted the Government to take stock of the situation.

According to the Vadodara collector Bhagyesh Jha, the government wants to step in just to assist in the completion of the project. He said: ‘‘We just wanted to know whether they would be constructing the building soon. If they cannot do it, we are ready to help as the Government has money for it.’’

However, the Government’s new-found interest has caused concern among the Dalit leaders involved with the project. ‘‘Why does the Government want to interfere now? One floor is already ready and we shall be able to finish the building soon,’’ says Dr Vaghela.He said further that there was no timelimit set for the construction. Giving several reasons for the delay in the project, he explained: ‘‘We managed the money from within the community and started the construction in 1998. But the land got mired in a title suit in the same month prompting a stay on construction. The time we wasted in getting everything cleared led to the extension of the project.’’ He said last year’s communal riots in the State had also hindered construction as they could not find funds during that period.‘‘We have spent about Rs 7-8 lakh on it (the project) and now we hope to construct it within a year,’’ Dr Vaghela added.Queried on Bhante Sanghpriya’s decision, Vaghela said he did not know him. ‘‘Some people who have not contributed a single penny into the project are now jumping into the project,’’ he commented, adding: ‘‘If the Government is flush with the money, it can build another Ambedkar Bhavan. Vadodara is a big city and more of the oppressed people would benefit from that.’’

6:05 PM

Bihar: Mahato denies complicity

Press Trust of India - 13 August

The Minister of State for Sugarcane, Ashok Mahto, today denied allegations of his complicity in demolishing and torching nearly 200 hutments at Brajesh Nagar in Begusarai district and said he would resign from politics if the charges could be proved.

"The allegations that I along with my supporters raided Brajesh Nagar and torched and demolished hutments are absolutely wrong and politically motivated," Mahato said in a press statement.

He said he would quit politics if the charges were proved.

"I will like to make it clear here that I practice value-based politics...I am not having a feudal mentality," Mahato said adding, "My image is being tarnished by levelling false allegations against me by political opponents."

One Dayanand Mahto has in a petition to Begusarai Chief Judicial Magistrate Umesh Kumar Singh, on August 11 stated that the Minister along with his supporters looted valuables from the villagers on August 7.

Dayanand charged that the Minister and his over 100 supporters had stormed the village, sprinkled kerosene and torched huts belonging to weaker sections, including Dalits.

While Dayanand filed the case on August 11, two other villagers, Jogendra Sahni and Jawahar Paswan, together filed a similar complaint against the Minister and others yesterday.

The CPI-ML (Liberation) has demanded the immediate arrest of Mahato.

6:03 PM

Monday, August 11, 2003  
Dalit killed for entering Hindu temple in India's Gujarat

Islamic Republic News Agency (Iran) - 10 August

A 28-year old Dalit man died after being thrashed severely by upper caste Hindu residents for sitting in the veranda of a temple in Bhitasi village, Anand, in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

Local press reports on Monday quoted police officials and social workers as saying such incidents occur regularly, but only a handful are reported as members of the lower caste community still fear the wrath of the upper caste residents.

Raman Chaturbhai Vankar in Bhitasi village, near Anklav town, was allegely severely beaten up by members of the upper caste community on July 25 for sitting in the veranda of Bhathiji Hindu Temple.

The doctor's certificate states that Raman suffered only simple injuries and would be fine within a week. But Raman died on Friday.

The four accused were arrested but later released on bail.

With tears welling in her eyes, Raman's sister, Vimla, said: "We had gone to the fields and sat down in the temple veranda as he was tired. For this, both of us were verbally abused and then Raman was badly beaten up by them (accused).

In India, the caste system is perhaps the most distinguishing feature which broadly divides the population into four major groups, known as varnas. From top to bottom these are: Brahmans (priestly castes), Kshatriyas (warrior castes), Vaishyas (trading and artisan castes), Shudras (laboring and servant castes). Additionally, there is one other group which is sometimes referred to as the "fifth caste," but technically has no caste standing at all.

Traditionally, the term Dalit is an ancient Marathi (a west Indian language) word that may be defined as "ground" or "broken to pieces generally" and these people are referred to as "untouchables" or "outcastes."

Today, they are better known as Dalits, Scheduled Castes (SCs) or Harijans (sons of God). The idea of caste hierarchy rests largely on the concepts of purity and pollution.

In India there are approximately 240 million Dalits officially while they themselves claim to number double this figure. This means that nearly 50 percent of the population is Dalit.

The majority of Dalits are poor, deprived of basic needs, and socially backward. Regardless of constitutional guaranties and official decrees, the practice of untouchability remains an integral part of Indian daily life.

7:36 AM

Sunday, August 10, 2003  
Andhra Pradesh Dalitbahujan Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union
(AP Dalitbahujan Peasants and artisans Union)

Press note - Date: 04.08.2003

Right to land for Dalit - Agitation programmes in the context of Indian Independence Day

The political establishment and media are preparing to celebrate the 56th anniversary of Independence on 15th of August 2003. Many things are going to be told about the greatness of this Land and its glory, freedom, equality etc. But it’s high time somebody told that “the king has no clothes”. One and half million Dalit Bahujan Landless poor across the state are going to tell this ‘to the king’. From 5th of to 25th of August Dalit Bahujan Landless poor are going to lay siege to the Collectorates of many districts across the state of Andhra Pradesh. We call upon all Dalit Bahujans as well as all democratic minded individuals and organizations to join us in our struggle. We also invite you to observe the 15th August as a Protest Day. The fact that Dalit Bahujans who form 85% of the total population of this country possess only 8% land speaks volumes about the injustice, oppression that they have been subjected to over the centuries. On top of all this, a large numbers of Adivasis are increasingly being driven out of their home lands by government agencies themselves.

Let us take a brief look at what happened to constitutional provisions and various special laws and acts made according to the constitution as a result of various struggles waged by Dalit Bahujans over a period of time.

According to the Revenue Board Standing Orders, maximum land an individual can possess is 2.5 Acres of wetland and 5 Acres of dry land. No one who is in possession of land to that extent or holds a government job is eligible to occupy any government land or be assigned the same. There are clear government instructions to the effect that such lands must be confiscated and the same be assigned to SC, ST, BCs and the Landless poor. Despite this, Upper Caste Landlords are not only in possession of thousands of acre of such lands, but are also encroaching and annexing lands belonging to Dalit Bahujans. The Land Reforms Act of Andhra Pradesh State, which was originally introduced in the Assembly in 1958 was dragged on for three years and finally adopted in 1961. The landed class from which the legislators came resorted to this massive subterfuge in order to buy time to carefully classify the lands they possessed under categories that did not come under the purview of the Land Reforms Act.

Ultimately, the act was passed. Government estimated it would take over of 30 lakh acres of surplus land as a result of this Act. But it announced only 4,305 acres (Andhra Region), 22,995 acres (Telangana Region) as collected surplus land. Even out of this total it could extract only 2,384 acres.

By resorting to deliberate delaying tactics they circumvented the law in advance and ensured that the temple lands, tea, sugar, coffee, rubber plantations, fruit growing lands, mining lands were left out of the purview of the Land Reforms Act.

As a result of this legislative scam, we find thousands of acres of mining lands still in possession of Kamma, Reddy Landlords in districts like Rangareddy, Prakasam and Kurnool.

Zamindar of challapalle could save safely 3500 acres of land by dubbing it to be meant for sugar factories. To give one more glaring example from other regions of the state is the case of State Revenue Minister of the Andhra Pradesh State, Ashok Gajapathi Raju who has 1500 acres of land under the sugar growing lands label near Jamie mandal Vijayanagaram District.

In the 1999 election campaign, Chief Minister ChandraBabu Naidu made a grandiose promise that he would distribute One Crore acres of land to the deserving. Now he doesn’t mention it anymore, let alone implement it.

In 1990, the Supreme Court disposed of 116 Special Leave Petitions declaring over 2,05,326 acres as coming under the purview of Land Ceiling. The government was to take over the land and dispose of it as per provisions of the relevant laws. 13 thirteen years have come and gone not only land has not been taken over but the government has not been charged with contempt of court either even though there is clear violation of the Court’s order.

Contrast this with what happens when it is land that Dalits claim for themselves. In 1970, some extends of land, though by no means anywhere near the scale Dalits deserve, was given to Dalits. But, they were not given ‘pattas’. In most of the cases, those dalits were dragged to the courts. Many had to give up their legitimate claims. Others continue to fight their cases with attendant crushing material and mental costs.

In 1956 there was Andhra Pradesh Peasant Protection Act in which Tenants (Kowludarulu) were made legitimate buyers of the land from the Landlords at reasonable costs. Again the very legislative and administrative bodies responsible for implementing the Act sabotaged it leaving Dalit Bahujans as landless as before.

In Andhra Pradesh State, 16 lakhs acres government Surplus Land, 4 lakhs acres Hindu Temple land, 3.5 lakh acres of land in the control of other religious temples, that is, a total of 23.5 lakh acres are yet to be distributed.

Andhra Pradesh has 15 lakhs Dalit Landless families. With out doing any structural changes in the framework of resource allocation, all these families can be provided with land, a resource that plays central role in the very existence of toiling Dalit Bahujans, who are increasingly being denied the right to own it.

Despite the absence of any risk and at the same time having a possibility of establishing a permanent Vote bank , one wonders, why government does not distribute this surplus land to the needy which in turn not only will radically transform their lives but also will be a big boost to the rejuvenation of the agrarian economy as a whole?

One wonders why even the opposition parties who are desperate to share their turn of the power do not take up this issue?

The governing ideology of all these apparently varied political formations is Munudharma Sasthra, which forbids the right to land and education to Dalit Bahujans. While, on the one hand, the legitimate fundamental Dalit Bahujans rights are denied in a wide variety of brahminical ways, MNC’s and NRI’s have been gifted with a shocking 2 lakh acres of land! While the very guardians of constitution and society at large sabotage the principles of constitution and their own conceded laws - not to speak of promises - Dalit Bahujans have only one means, a time tested one, the arduous path of struggle.

The same ruling establishment and its beaurocracy which has never shown any interest in implementing laws when it comes to the question of protecting the rights of Dalit Bahujans, goes out of their way to brutally suppress Dalit Bahujans whenever they fight to get laws favourable to them implemented.

Scores of people fought under the leadership of APDBVVU at Kasimkota, Anakapalle (Visakha District), Mandlamoor, Pounaloor Mandals (Prakasam District), and various mandals of Warangal, Mahaboob Nagar and Chittoor Districts have been illegally arrested and charged with fake crimes and jailed, to cite only a few instances among many.

Therefore, we call upon all people of goodwill to draw the appropriate conclusions and urge you to stand by the victims. If the situation reaches such a low as to force people to fight against government to implement government’s own laws and government suppresses them, it is what political scientists call a crisis. And that’s where we are now with regard to the issue of land for the landless dalit bahujans.

Join us in our struggle for land and help us secure our dignity, security, livelihood, future!

Agitation programs in districts we work:

August 5th Visakapatnam,

August 6th Vijayanagaram,

August 7th West Godavari,

August 8th Chittoor and Krishna

August 11th Warangal,

August 12th Prakasam and Khammam,

August 13th Nalgonda,

August 14th Rangareddy (Hyderabad),

August 18th Mahabobnagar,

August 25th East Godavari

With warm regards

(Paul Divakar.N,) (P.Ramulu), (G. Sudhakar), (A.Chennaiah), (P.Prasad Rao)
General Secretary Jt. Secretary Jt. Secretary Jt. Secretary Jt. Secretary

9:08 PM

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