As I Sip My Morning Filter Coffee & Browse through the Pages of Newspaper, I find Nowadays, there are News filled only with Negativities, feel like throwing these papers into thrash. The news which I read of late is that Dalits are being Targeted by Modi Sarkar, rather not much has been done towards Dalit Empowerment. So, the Purpose of myself indulging into this Article is to find out the Facts to reply the Naysayers with Facts. Before I start the blog, I would like to quote from Swami Vivekananda’s Quotes:
“Raise the Masses slowly up, raise them to equality”.
Swami Vivekananda always opined by saying that “Masses have to be Given Secular Education for Improvement, they have to follow the plan laid down by Ancestors, that is, to bring all the ideals slowly down among the masses. We have to raise everyone with Equality.
Let Me before Going into the details, let me just give a brief description about Dalits. Dalit, meaning “Broken/Scattered”, in Sanskrit is mostly used for castes in India that have been subjected to lot of discrimination. Dalits were excluded from the four-fold Varna System of Hinduism & were seen as forming a fifth Varna also known as by the name of Panchama. The Term Dalits was in use as a Translation for the British Raj Census Classification of Depressed Classes Prior to 1935. Then it was Popularised by the Social Reformer & Economist & most Importantly Architect of Indian Constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (1891-1956)., himself a Dalit, & in 1970s it was adopted by Dalit Panthers Group. India’s National Commisssion for Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes. In 1932, The British Raj suggested separate Electorates, to select Leaders for Dalits in the Communal award. This was favoured By Ambedkar but when Mahatma Gandhi opposed the proposal it resulted in the Poona Pact. The Government of India Act, 1935, which introduced the reservation of seats for the Depressed Classes, now renamed as Scheduled Castes. The 1950 Constitution of India, introduced after India’s Independence, included measures to improve the Socio-Economic Conditions of Dalits. They Banned Untouchability, & Introduced reservations, to enhance the ability of Dalits to have Political representation & to Obtain Government Jobs & Education.
By 1995, all Federal Governments Jobs in India-10.1%, of class1, 12.7% of Class II 16.2%, Class III & 27.2% of Class IV Jobs were held by Dalits. Of the most Senior Jobs, in Government Controlled Enterprises, only 1%, were held by Dalits, Not much change in 40 years. In the 21st Century, Dalits have been elected to India’s Highest judicial & Political Offices. In 2001, the quality of Life of the Dalit Population in India was not similar to that rest of population.
According to 2007Reports, report by Human Rights watch (HRW), the treatment of Dalits has been like an Apartheid situation, & they “Endure segregation in Housing, Schools, & access to Public Services”. HRW they also observed that the then PM of India Mr. Manmohan Singh, saw a Parallel line between Apartheid, & Untouchability System. Mr Singh’s Comments in the year 2006, despite the obvious similarities, race Prejudice & the Situation of Dalits, they have a different basis& also Perhaps Different Solution.” In 2010, there was another survey done, Klaus Klostermaier in 2010, they still, live in Scheduled quarters, do the dirtiest Work, & were Not allowed to use the well in the village Mr. Zelliot also Noted that “Inspite of Much Progress Over the last sixty years, Dalits are still at the Social & Economic bottom of the Society.
Let Me give you all in a Detailed Manner, How Modi Sarkar Empowered Dalits through various Welfare-Oriented Initiatives. Most Political Parties we find that they have so far engaged only in Politics of Symbolism & Used Dalits as Vote Bank. However, Now the BJP-Led NDA Government has ushered a refreshing change with a Genuine attempt to reach out to the community & Create an enabling environment through multiple measures for their all -round growth & Development. It was Initially the Congress that became the Natural Beneficiary of the Policy & Secured a Lion’s share of Dalit Votes at the National Level for Decades. However, we find last Two decades, Dalits Have Shifted away from the Congress to Number of Parties entered the Political fray to take advantage of the Disenchantment of Dalits from the Congress but it is only the Bahujan Samaj Party which made a substantial dent in the community’s vote. But Even Mayawati, failed to usher in any Structural changes for the welfare of Dalits, rather she indulged in Installing Statues of Dalit Leaders across the state.
The BJP Government Under PM Modi’s Leadership has taken several Effective Steps In the crucial areas for the benefit of Dalits & these Measures are Likely to Deliver results in the Long run.
Various Initiatives Initiated by PM Modi for Empowerment of Dalits, as we all know what it is often seen that the benefit of reservation has largely been confined to the educated & well-heeled in the Dalit community. Generation after Generation, it is only People, from the same family & Community, who have been getting cushy jobs. Thus, it was necessary that the Policy of reservation was targeted better so that its advantages accrued other sections of the Dalits as well & they also get an opportunity to rise & shine. Since Dalits have traditionally, never been landlords in rural areas, they remained illiterate due to lack of Funds & evil Practice of Social Boycott. Hence Manual labour has been their only source of Income. Skill Development can provide better livelihood to Dalits in Rural areas. Skill Development Can Provide Better Livelihood to Dalits in rural areas. Infact “Skill India”, Programme is better & it proved to be an Effective Result-Oriented Programmes under the “Skill India Initiative keeping Dalits in Focus. Another Effective Implementation of Government Initiatives like “Stand-Up India”, for supporting entrepreneurship, Mudra Bank for easy Loans & “Jan Dhan Yojana”, for access to banking Services will go a long way in awakening the spirit of Entrepreneurship among the Dalit Community. Thus, Our PM Modi & His Government at the Centre have taken some serious Initiative for Long-Term benefits towards welfare of Dalits. But still I feel Mainstreaming & empowerment of Dalits can never be achieved If we don’t change ourselves, because social Discrimination is the root cause of this centuries old-evil.
What I find very Surprising Since BJP led NDA Government took over the office at the Centre remained in the news during 2015, for several wrong reasons & till Now the latest being Bheema-Koregoan, Gujarat riots, Bharat Bandh Sponsored by United Opposition several wrong reasons such as Polarising Comments of Fringe Elements, Party Functionaries, MPs, & Even Some Union Ministers. Some issues like Beef Ban, Dadri Lynching, Award Wapsi, & Intolerance Debate were Blown out of Proportion. But our PM Modi had the Grit & determination & showed the character to Implement several Initiatives to Empower Dalits.
According to our PM Modi” Dalits & Poor People, if given an opportunity, can bring in various reforms in the Country. That’s my Vision for Stand-up India. This Scheme is going to Transform the lives of Dalit & Tribal Communities.”. It seeks to convert Job seekers to Job Creators. In 2016, PM Modi Put in a total of Rs. 35,000Cr., with Accounts opened un der PMJDY. Mr. Modi in the same Year Distributed 5,100 E-Rickshaws under the scheme, & 151 women were among those Women who received the vehicles. E-Rickshaws were given to those who do not own Rickshaws. The Beneficiaries of this will be Poor. This will also benefit the environment. These Rickshaws will run on Batteries charged using Solar Power. These E-Rickshaws was distributed for use in Delhi-NCR Region.
In December 2016, PM Modi Launched the BHIM App for facilitating Electronic Payments by Consumers. “BHIM APP”, ‘A Technology Ecosystem for Poor’—Bharat Interface for Money is another UPI’s Progeny & Applications. The buzz in the Tech sphere is that it is to read, Technology, & Micro-Lending. BHIM had something different to offer which other Apps Lacked, it was PM Modi’s Voluntary Endorsement. This counts for a lot in the land where banking access is abysmally low & faith in Technology, is not active for more than 500 Million people. Pm Modi’s BHIM achieved the same number of Downloads in 10 days that a slicker PhonePe App clicked in Five Months. Ponape App is a standalone business & Business enabler for Parent company FlipKart. Paytm is another Digital Wallet Business. But our PM Modi helped spawn a Technology Ecosystem for the Poor.
The Ratan P Watal Committee mooted strengthening the digital Payments Ecosystem in a December 2016 report. Its Recommendations was to make BHIM relevant. More Importantly, BHIM has demonstrated a consumer App Reference Point to the App Develop & Telco Community—What it will take to Make Digital Payments Possible. “BHIM is one of the 30 Such Apps available today”. The App, which seeks to ensure easy, fast & Secure Digital Transactions, where our PM Modi invoked Dalit Icon Dr.B.R.Ambedkar several times at an event as he clearly stated the fact that Digitization would Empower the Poor, & PM Modi opined by saying “ The Mantra of Dr Ambedkar was to work for upliftment of the Poor”., & he also extolled the APP’s Feature that allows a Thumb Print to activate it. Pm Modi Reiterated “Your Thumb is your Bank Now”, It has become your identity now.”
PM Modi also stated the fact that “The RBI was born on Principles he (Ambedkar) wrote in his thesis. How the Federal Structure should run Economically. The Finance Commission that was formed for this purpose was a result of his Principles. If there is one Person whose contribution stands out in India’s Economic framework, it is Babasaheb Ambedkar’s. PM Modi said. PM Modi’s dedication of the App to Ambedkar is a Part of his Strategy over the Past year to tell the fact BJP is being truly Mindful of his Legacy, which was overlooked by Congress in these Many years. Congress Ignored the contribution of Dr.B.R. Ambedkar, who was the Architect of Indian Constitution. BJP Govt in Maharashtra decided to buy the London flat where Ambedkar stayed & celebrated the birth centenary of the Framer of the Constitution. PM Modi also Launched Two New Incentive Schemes for the BHIM APP users, –Cashback & Referral Bonus—with an outlay of Rs.495Cr., for a period of 6 Months. He also felicitated the winners of Mega Lucky draw of the 2 Major Incentive schemes to Promote Digital Payments—The Lucky Grahak Yojana & Digi Dhan Vyapaar Yojana.
The BHIM App created a world record by registering 1.9 cr. Downloads in just four months since its launch in December, 2016. Indeed, excellent way to Empower down trodden towards Digitization, making them to be Part of Economic Activities & also get Updated with latest Know-how.
Our PM Modi Inaugurated Dr.B. R. Ambedkar International Centre (DAIC) in the capital New Delhi. Dr. Ambedkar & Buddhist studies, “The centre will assist researchers from across the world who want to take up Social Justice issues concerning Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribes, other Backward classes, Women & Minority. During his Inauguration Speech “PM Modi said, that “DAIC will prove to be an Inspiration for the Promotion of the thoughts & teachings of Dr. Ambedkar, & that it would be an important place both for Research on Social & Economic Issues, & for the young, where they can see & understand the Vision of Babasaheb Ambedkar”. On The very same day he announced that the Government was developing five sites—Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Mhow Officially known as Dr. Ambedkar Nagar in Madhya Pradesh), London. PM Modi expressed the fact that this would be a homage to the Architect of Constitution, as a Homage from this Generation. The centre was originally Proposed in 1992, & after many years of delays, Modi finally laid the first stone on 20th April, 2015. Built on a 3.25 Acre Plot in Janpath, the four -storeyed Building, houses a Research Centre, an Exhibit on the life of Dr. Ambedkar, A 700-seat Auditorium, two Lecture Halls, & A Public Library with 10,000 Books & Access to 200,000 e-books & 70,000 Journals. PM Modi also Unveiled the two giant Bronze Statues of Dr. Ambedkar at the complex, in Dec.2017. He was one of the most Educated Indians of his time, holding Doctorates from the University of London & Columbia University. He Became Independent India’s first law Minister, & was Posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s Highest Civilian Award. In the year 2016, PM Modi sent squads of monks across Uttar Pradesh, to send a clear-cut message to Dalits that Modi Sarkar is with them fully. Under the Campaign Dubbed” Dharma Chakra Yatra, “70-80 Buddhist Monks visited across India’s most populous state in that year, to inform Mr. Modi’s stance on Buddhism, commitment towards Empowerment of Dalits. PM Modi also Suggested in the same year that there should be a debate on Ambedkar in Parliament, A coin was released commemorating Ambedkar.
Friends, so far, I haven you a detailed Picture of What Modi Sarkar has contributed towards Dalit Empowerment, by giving you all the policies implemented by Modi Sarkar. But there was a recent Controversy which was created over SC/ST, let me just clarify by bringing out the facts to you all.
The Supreme Court on March 20th 2018, decided that there are limitations regarding arrests in cases registered under the Scheduled Castes& Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989). It also ruled that “there is no absolute bar against grant of anticipatory bail in cases under the Atrocities act if no Prima Facie mala fide.” Amid the concerns that the SC would dilute the Law Contrary to the Intention of Legislature, that passed it & widespread violent Protests, then Government filed a review Petition. The Court on Aril 3rd refused to stay the ruling but assured the Centre’s plea to consider the review Petition.
Now let’s see The Significance Of SC/ST Act
The Act was conceived to be a safeguard against castes b& Tribes that have been Historically exploited & Abused. By doing this Dalits & Tribal’s communities will be emancipated who were Used by Vote bank by some Political Parties. As we all know Dalits are an Important section of the Population, in many states 200 Million of the Country’s total population of 1.3 Billion. Friends, the twist of the tale which was created by Naysayers towards this Act towards Dilution of this Act, can lead to the charged Emotions & expression of anger which was quite evident in the Protest of 2nd April 2018. The Violence which took place during the Protest left 10 dead in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh & Rajasthan. The Government Then Clarified its stand it made the Provisions of the Act More stringent in 2015 by bringing in amendments to the Law. The SC on its 3rd April hearing said the Judgement is only meant people without affecting the rights of the Marginal communities. The Court also clarified that people who are indulging in the Protests were Misled by Vested Interests.
As I conclude my lengthy blog with Factual presentation of Dalits Empowerment under Government led by PM Modi shows that How our Leadership at the Helm of Affairs took utmost care of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar who championed the cause of Social Justice, Architect of Indian Constitution. He believed in three words “Equality, Liberty & Fraternity. Request Everyone of you my dear friends to spread these Policies Duly Implemented to those who are creating Noises against our PM for not contributing towards empowerment of Dalits, hopefully will give a clear Insight towards our PM Modis Visionary Thought Process of Vikas & Parivartan of all Communitites – SABKA SAATH SABKA VIKAS
Dr. Sukanya Iyer
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