‘Dalits subjected to 148 types of atrocities, harassment’
‘Suppressing their desire to visit a temple should be of concern to society’
BANGALORE: K. Varadarajan, member, Polit Bureau, Communist Party of India (Marxist), on Wednesday exhorted the organisations and people engaged in the emancipation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to launch a struggle against the atrocities perpetrated on them.
Inaugurating an interaction on Karnataka Dalit Human Development organised by the Karnataka State Committee of the party, Mr. Varadarajan said that the Left party Governments in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura had successfully fought against the atrocities by bringing together those who were engaged in class and caste struggle.
Mr. Varadarajan, also general secretary of the Kisan Sabha, said that in the villages, the Dalits were subjected to 148 types of atrocities, harassment and indignity by others. The struggle against atrocities on Dalits is a major programme on the party’s agenda and will continue to be so, he said.
T.R. Chandrasekhar, Development Study Centre of Kannada University, quoting from the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s work, questioned the very basis of the Government approach in solving the Dalit problem. Denial of equality to them, suppressing their desire to visit a temple, get education and a place of their choice to live should be a cause of concern to civil society, than their poverty, he said.
“It is not enough if the country achieved food security, we should ensure that they should not suffer from hunger and illiteracy,” he said. The sex ratio was 1,000:960 in 1991 and it had reduced to 1,000:948, which was dangerous. Discrimination against women in all walks of life was taking a heavy toll on women, including Dalits, in the State.
Maruti Manpade, member of the committee, said that the planners had a wrong notion of development. Mere construction of flyovers, buildings and roads and big projects and information and bio-technology or the service sector could not be called progress. They had failed to provide any permanent relief to the Dalits.
L. Hanumanthaiah, former MLC, was unhappy that society seemed to think that it was enough if they were provided with some scholarship and reservation.
The percentage of Dalit students passing SSLC and PUC examinations was less compared to those from other communities despite facilities such as hostels for them.
Their living condition was not improving, though the Government has been spending a heavy amount to improve it, he said and asked where the money was going.
State Committee secretary G.N. Nagaraj and president, Karnataka Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (Ambedkarvadi), Mavalli Shankar, spoke.