Educate Your kids To Earn More, Dalits Told

Praveen Kumar said that the SC Residential Schools will observe holy month from March 15 to April 14 by celebrating the birth anniversaries of Dalit leaders like Kanshiram, Babu Jagjeevan Ram, Baburao Phule, Savitri Phule, Dr BR Ambedkar and others

Hyderabad: State SC Residential Schools secretary RS Praveen Kumar has said that the Dalits could develop only with education and they need books but not beer bottles. He asked Dalits to come forward to encourage their children, who used to beat drums (Dappu) with their hands, to earn dollars with the same hands.

Participating as chief guest in a meeting organised at the LB Stadium by the State SC Development Department on Wednesdayon the occasion of Dr Babu Jagjeevan Ram’s 110th birth anniversary celebrations, Praveen Kumar said development will be possible only with education and opined that there was no need for the children of those who were in higher positions.

“How we can be still Dalits as the children scaled mountain Everest though they got birth as SCs”, he asked. He, who strived to earn money with education, said that he was in a higher position and he was now spending Rs 1 lakh for the development of SC students every month.

He said that from March 15 to April 14, the SC Residential Schools observe as holy month by celebrating the birth anniversaries of Dalit leaders like Kanshiram, Babu Jagjeevan Ram, Baburao Phule, Savitri Phule, Dr BR Ambedkar and others.

He said that the students will get up at 5 am and read the books written by those great Dalit leaders and try to tell good things to others. He said that the Telangana state government was contemplating to launch 15,000 residential schools to the SC, ST, BC and Minorities’ children across the state and it was a unique step.

The government will spend Rs 1 lakh per year on every student who is pursuing education in those residential schools. He suggested SC, ST, BC and Minorities to utilise the opportunity provided by the state government.

Dr Babu Jagjeevan Ram birth anniversary celebrations committee organising chairman Dandu Surender Madiga presided over the programme. Dalit leaders — Vangapally Ramesh, State MRPS  leaders R Bhaskar, JB Raju and others participated in the programme.

Telangana Cultural Artiste Gidda Ramanarsaiah and others sung songs on Dalit leaders including Babu Jagjeevan Ram. The organisers have introduced the Sharanam Gacchami Telugu film unit to the meeting.

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Open Drinking Water Sources To Dalits, Not Rastapathi Bhavan

The naming of a Dalit, Ram Nath Kovind, as the next President, is not so dear to the Dalits in the country. The political parties may claim it as a progressive move, but the Dalits who are still being subjected to discrimination and denied access to drinking water sources across the country want the politicos to be practically progressive.

Guntur: The RSS and VHP driven NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had named Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit, as its candidate for the Presidential elections. While it is clear that Kovind is certain to make it to the Rastrapathi Bhavan, succeeding Pranabh Mukharjee, the Dalits of the land are not so happy about it. Kovind is not the first Dalit to make it to the highest office of the land. K R Narayanan was the first citizen of this nation two decades ago. It is now Kovind. But, in the last two decades nothing much had happened in the lives of the millions of Dalits.

Narayanan did nothing much to address the issues concerning the Dalits except creating a sort of history by standing in queue to vote in the general elections, which majority of the Dalits do in every election. The Dalits still suffer the discrimination on the basis of their caste. They have no access to the drinking water sources of villages and not allowed to walk on the roads of the dominating and exploitative caste people’s habitations. Their houses are still burnt and their women are still raped. Their youth are beaten and humiliated even in the institutions of higher learning. A look at a girl of these dominating and exploitative castes causes death punishment. They are not even allowed to approach the police to complain against the social boycott or discrimination. They are now, under the dispensation of the Chaiwala, they are prohibited from eating meat.

The Father of the Constitution, Dr B R Ambedkar, dreamt of a social revolution in the country through reservations. He wanted the reservations to continue for just 10 years believing that the reservations would educate and empower the neglected sections, particularly the untouchables. But, over the years, nothing has changed and the reservations continue making the employed and elected representatives remaining secondary citizen. The elected representatives in the reservation category are made just slaves. They have no voice and their voice is the voice of the leaders who head the political parties.

Right from the Sarpanch of the village to the President of the country, the elected representatives in reservation are just rubber stamps in the hands of the dominating caste leaders. They have no freedom and are made spineless.

Now that the Modi’s dispensation had come up with Kovind’s name, the Opposition too is looking for another rubber stamp to beat Modi with the same coin. The whole nation is set to debate on the Dalit issue for the next two to three weeks in the name of Presidential elections, but the fact remains the same in the villages across the country with the Dalits facing the discrimination and humiliation.

What is required for the Dalits in the country now is not the Rastrapathi Bhavan, but the drinking water sources, access to quality education, health and freedom in asserting their power in politics. The Dalit leaders who have been claiming big about BJP naming Kovind or the Congress coming up with yet another Dalit name, should stop beating the drums for these politicians. The question is not having a Dalit as President, but a Dalit in the country having the right to live a dignified life and have access to the resources including drinking water from the common pond or well.

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  1. June 21, 2017

    […] See Also: Open Drinking Water Sources To Dalits, Not Rastapathi Bhavan […]

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Rights Leaders Bojja Tarakam Passes Away

Hyderabad: Last rites of senior High Court advocate and rights activist Bojja Tarakam were performed here on Saturday. Many intellectuals, politicians, right activists and journalists paid their tribute to the departed lawyer. He was cremated at Mahaprastanam in Jubilee Hills.

Among those who paid homage to the senior advocate were Leader of the Opposition in Andhra Pradesh Assembly YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana State Kadiam Srihari, Irrigation Minister Harish Rao, Central Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, TJAC chairman Prof Kodandaram, educationist Chukka Remaiah, Revolutionary poets Gaddar and Varavara Rao.

Tarakam, 77, breathed his last at about 11.30 pm on Friday at a private hospital (KIMS) where he was admitted a fortnight ago. He had a brain tumor and after surgery he was diagnosed as cancer patient. The civil rights activist was involved in epic battles on behalf of Dalits who were butchered in the fields of Karamchedu in Prakasham district some thirty years ago. He was also in the forefront of the struggle to get  the killers of Dalits in Chundur village in Guntur district convicted  some years later. Son of an MLA and grandson of a philosopher, Tarakam practised at Nizamabad in Telangana where his wife Vijaya Bharati was working as a lecturer. They then move to Hyderabad where he started his practice at HC. He was promoted as a senior advocate. He along with Dalit intellectual Kathi Padamarao fought many a battle to get justice for the beleaguered Dalits.

Tarakam’s son Rahul Bojja is a senior IAS officer working as collector of Hyderabad district in Telangana. Tarakam worte poetry and published a number of books. He was a keen follower of Dr Ambedkar. His father, Appala Swamy, was a contemporary of Ambedkar and was a leader of the Republican Party of India. He represented Amalapuram constituency of East Godavari district in Andhra and Andhra Pradesh Assemblies from 1952 to 62. Tarakam started his practice at Kakinada in 1968. He married Vijaya Bharati, daughter of Boyi Bhimanna, a Telugu scholar, in 1968. Then he moved to Nizamabdad.  He was detained during the Emergency.  Besides arguing on behalf of the families of the victims of Karamchedu and Chunduru atrocities, he appeared in different courts in the country on behalf of the families of the Naxalite leaders who were killed in fake encounters.

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We are committed to social justice: Modi

New Delhi: Amongst the ongoing violence and outrage against Dalits, PM Narendra Modi has said that he is devoted to the development of all the Dalits, underprivileged and oppressed.

Observing that the self appointed guardians are threatened by the government’s commitment towards Dalits, and are creating tensions,  he exhorted them not to inflict pain on wounds caused by thousands of years of injustice. He also cautioned against giving  political color to the social problems. 

In a high profile interview to a prominent news channel, PM Modi spoke extensively on the issues ranging from communal violence, casteism, challenges before the nation and also about the upcoming UP assembly elections.

“Atrocities against the Dalits have no place in this society and the poison of casteism and communal vote bank politics have already caused enough damage to our country. I am devoted to the development of Dalits, underprivileged, oppressed and deprived”, he said in the interview.

Added to it he said, “economic progress alone was not the solution, peace, unity and harmony is essential for the society. We need to be committed to social justice”

As Uttar Pradesh is due for general elections early next year,  Modi said that his party would fight on the plank of the development. Their focus on development includes jobs for youth, maintaining peace & unity, welfare of farmers, villagers and brotherhood in the country.

In Uttar Pradesh Dalits account for 21 percent of the total population. BJP is looking beyond its usual support base of the upper castes, by wooing Dalits. Modi pointed out his government’s  celebration of the Dalit icon Dr. BR Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary, and the presence of many Dalit lawmakers in the party as key indicators of their party’s  attitude towards Dalits.

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Empowered Dalits should serve their brethren

  • It’s time they remembered Ambedkar’s Agra message

Mallepalli Laxmaiah


Mallepalli Laxmaiah

The story of a Dalit child named Navneeta hailing from a small village in Ranga Reddy District, whose suffering is proof for the insensitive character of our society. At a tender age of 12 she toils for the sustenance of her family. Afflicted by abject poverty, Navneeta’s family could not even afford the cost of treatment for her father even at government hospital.  Her father later succumbed to tuberculosis. Navneeta’s family of five, her parents, an elder sister and one younger brother was shattered on this day completely devastating her childhood. Her mother became insane from grief and her married sister later got afflicted by the same disease that took away her father. This made Navneeta the sole provider for her family. She quit her education and became a labourer in cotton fields in her village. This was a report published in Sakshi daily. There is no end in sight to stories such as Navneeta’s. But the bigger picture that we miss in this context is the increasing apathy in our everyday lives. If at any point our so called advanced community had taken some part in the lives of Navneeta’s family, she would not have had to quit school and become a labourer.

Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar foresaw this situation in 1956 itself. On 18th March that year in a public meeting at Agra he spoke with great concern for the future of the downtrodden community. Some members of the community  had  by then become employees in various government  organizations, have been elected to political posts through reserved constituencies and have been students because of reservations but showed no interest to work for the welfare of their own community.

 “There is some progress in education in our society. By acquiring education some people have reached higher positions. But these educated people have deceived me. I was hoping that after acquiring high education they will serve the society. But what I am seeing is that a crowd of small and big clerks have gathered around, who are busy filling their bellies. Those who are employed in government services, it is their duty that they will contribute willingly 20 percent of their salary to the cause. Then only the society will progress. Otherwise only one family will improve. When a  boy is educated in a village, the entire society has expectations from him. One educated social worker can prove a boon for them.”

Dr Ambedkar spoke with grief that he could not secure land for the landless labourers in the rural areas. On that day he pledged to fight for this cause. To this day his cause lies abandoned by all those who benefited from his struggle for equal education, employment and reservations. To this day it is an appalling fact that 70% of rural Dalit population are landless labourers who depend on seasonal jobs and migrate from place to place for survival. Those who are in power because of Dr. Ambedkar’s work have forgotten their cause, and are acting as puppets in their respective party’s propaganda, and under the leaders belonging to upper castes. Our system of election probably is a cause for this behavior.

The Dalit members may have feared that working only for Dalit welfare would cost them the votes of other communities as a result of which their parties might not even give them an opportunity to contest again. Dr. Ambedkar in his Agra address also spoke out to leaders and urged them to be a part of the community that paved a path for their political stature.

“If somebody invites you to his palace, you may go willingly. But you must not go there by putting your own hut on fire. If that king quarrels with you some day and drives you out of his palace, where will you go? If you want to sell out yourselves you may do so but not at the cost of your organization. I do not fear any dangers from others, but I fear danger from our own people.”

Though harsh, Dr. Ambedkar did speak the truth. He addressed the general population and warned them, “For the past thirty years, I am struggling to secure political rights for you people. I have got for you reserved seats in Parliament and in State Assemblies. I have got for you proper provisions for the education of your children. Today, we can progress. It is now our duty to continue the struggle unitedly for removal of educational, economic and social inequality. For this purpose, you will have to be prepared for all sorts of sacrifices and even to shed your blood.”

He urged the youth with positive hope, “My appeal to the students is that after acquiring education, instead of doing some clerical job, they should serve the village or locality people, by which, exploitation and injustice arising out of ignorance can be stopped. Your emancipation lies in the emancipation of the society.

Today, my position is like a big pole supporting a huge tent, I am worried about what would happen when this pole is not there. I am not keeping good health. I do not know when I will go away from you. I am not finding any young man, who will protect these crores of helpless and hopeless people. If any young man comes forward then I will go away peacefully.”

It might be wrong to say  that there was no one who took the baton from Dr. Ambedkar after he passed away, but it is the hard reality that one after another his ambitions and aspirations are becoming harder to achieve and the apathy of people from his own community for the cause is today’s  harshreality.

Laws and legislations passed to help realise Dr. Ambedkar’s goals have bred contempt in the upper classes, discrimination slowly graduated to this contempt and harsher arguments against reservations and affirmative laws in favour of Dalits.

The rate of Dalit employees has grown exponentially since 1956, but there is a small margin of them who show concern for the cause championed by Dr. Ambedkar. A society in which the middle class educated employee demographic lives in silence and subordination, that society will have stalled its own progress. This is true with the Dalit community, with several of the population landless, having no part in business and financial institutions and no part in industries, the only capital in the Dalit community’s hands are the educated people.

A society like our village should serve as an example to our community, where neighbours and people of the community reach out and help each other in times of happiness and grief. They work together, struggle together and play an important role in each other’s lives. When someone gets married, everyone joins hands  and helps out so that there is no difficulty in the celebrations. When someone dies the entire ceremony is handled by friends and neighbours, they contribute to prepare food so that the grieving family does not need to prepare food in the house. But the advanced community of employees and officers tend to forget that they hold a responsibility towards their less fortunate counterparts. And on this day it is important that we remember the message Dr. Ambedkar delivered in his Agra address and internalize it, and those who were benefited by the affirmative provisions that Dr. Ambedkar fought for help the community in return and follow the path laid by him.

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