Madurai

“Non-Dalit youths must know what caste discrimination is”

Dalit women were the most common targets of sexual abuse. There was a misconception that Dalits were the major beneficiaries of caste-based reservation policies.

Awareness of caste discrimination must be created among non-Dalit youths, according to A. Kadir, executive director of Evidence, a non-governmental organisation.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Ordinance, 2014’ here on Saturday, he said caste discrimination and untouchability still prevailed in several villages.

Dalits had been denied justice from time immemorial. Educating Dalits on their rights was inadequate, he said.

Dalit women were the most common targets of sexual abuse. There was a misconception that Dalits were the major beneficiaries of caste-based reservation policies.

“More than 50 per cent of reservation is given to Backward and Most Backward Classes. Only 18 per cent of reservation is given to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,” he said.

Speaking on the Ordinance, Henri Tiphagne, executive director of People’s Watch, said elaborate studies must be conducted before proposing amendments. “The number of cases, charge sheets and FIRs registered since the implementation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, must be taken into account. The Act had listed only 22 forms of untouchability as offences, but the ordinance lists 178 forms,” he said.

Further, 32 offences listed in the Indian Penal Code had been brought under the Ordinance, he added.

A book titled ‘Jathi Indru’ was introduced by Stalin Rajangam, one of the five authors of the book. The book traces the history of caste discrimination and the people who imposed the discriminatory practices.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 10:21:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/nondalit-youths-must-know-what-caste-discrimination-is/article6311468.ece

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