On February 9, 2017, 26 MPs, cutting across parties barring the BJP, have written a letter to the prime minister to restore the Special Component Plan (SCP) and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP). The current budget had discontinued SCP and TSP and replaced it with allocations for welfare for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).
GIVEN the republican thrust of the Indian constitution, the above title might look quite anachronistic to some. This is because Indian constitution does not allow for such a reading as its republican character eliminates the need for hierarchical or parallel conception of sovereignty. The republican character of the Indian constitution makes people uniformly sovereign thus ruling out any competing conception of sovereignty.
There has been a long standing nexus between the RSS and big capital. Funding of Hate, a report published in 2002 clearly pointed to the nexus between the RSS, its affiliate organisations and foreign funding. The India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF) and Sewa Bharti International are the two main channels through which Vanvasi Kalyan Ashrams, Ekal Vidyalayas get their funding. In fact the facebook page of the Akhil Bhartiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram based in Jashpur says that all cheques and donations to it should be routed through Sewa Bharti or Sewa Bharti International.
ONE year has gone by since the sad demise of Rohith Vemula and still justice seems delayed and surely justice looks denied. The collective efforts by the central government, the state KCR-government and even the TDP government to iteratively nullify the national SC commission report certifying Rohith as dalit, and initiate fresh investigations after investigations to declare him not a dalit out-rightly shows the casteist nature of their involvements as organisations working in our society.
OVER the ages, people with disabilities have been subjected to discrimination, stigmatised, segregated and condemned to the margins. The disabled were abandoned at temple gates, driven out of homes and in some cases left to die or even killed. Disability, in popular perception, continues to be considered a punishment for sins committed in the past life. This is internalised by both the disabled and their families, who view it as a curse not only on themselves but also on those whom they are dependent on. The cultural antipathy to persons with disabilities is deep rooted.
TEN years ago in December 2006, the historic “Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights Act) (FRA) was adopted by parliament. Its conception and passage was the result of the decades of struggles and sacrifices of millions of tribals across India, of their organisations, of numerous activists and intellectuals working on tribal issues and because of the commitment and efforts of the Left parties.
In a statement issued on December 21, 2016, the Republican Party of India, Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch, Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union, All India Agricultural Workers Union, National Coordination Committee on Dalit Rights, Rashtriya Dalit Manav Adhikar Andolan and the All India Dalit Rights Federation have jointly appealed for observing Rohith Vemula’s first anniversary on January 17, 2017.
THE Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch (DSMM), Delhi state committee organised a commemoration meeting at Manakpura, Karol Bagh on December 6, 2016 to mark the death anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar. The meeting began with Subhashini Ali, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member paying floral tributes to a portrait of Dr Ambedkar. In her speech Subhashini Ali highlighted the various struggles of Dr Ambedkar and called for the need to change the present social system of casteism, exploitation and injustice on the basis of Ambedkar’s ideas.
BHEEM from Purulia was rendering a self-composed song in his native dialect. He was narrating the experiences of disabled people like him for whom every day brought in new challenges and struggles. The disabled folk singer was one of the few who could make it to Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on December 3 from West Bengal. The rest of the Bengal contingent, nearing a thousand, thanks to inclement weather and consequent disruption of rail services were either stranded midway or had to abandon their journey even before they could commence it.