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Justice, Liberty, Equality : Dalits in Independent India

By Raghuvanshi, Lenin

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Book Id: WPLBN0100002881
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 698.67 KB.
Reproduction Date: 01/01/2011

Title: Justice, Liberty, Equality : Dalits in Independent India  
Author: Raghuvanshi, Lenin
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Social Sciences, Dalits--Abuse of--India.
Collections: Authors Community, Politics
Historic
Publication Date:
2011
Publisher: Frontpage Publications Limited
Member Page: People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR)

Description
It has been 64 years since India — the largest democracy in the world — attained independence. Yet, justice for all is still a far cry in the country where the caste system continues to determine political, social, and economic lives of a billion people. Money and muscle power, together with political string-pulling, often result in denial of justice for the hapless ‘have-nots’, especially the Dalits (untouchables), ravaged by poverty and illiteracy. Atrocities and extortion on the Dalits, fake encounters, refusal to register complaints against the well-heeled, arbitrary arrests on false charges, illegal detention and custodial deaths are in commonplace. In the absence of a modern social audit system, the keepers of the law often unleash a ‘police raj’, especially in rural India. A crippled National Human Rights Commission and its state subsidiaries with limited recommendatory control and a dysfunctional Legal Aid System depict a gloomy picture indeed. In a unique way, Lenin Raghuvanshi, a veteran human rights activist, citing the case-studies primarily drawn from Uttar Pradesh, registering the highest rate of crime against the Dalits, chronicles how with implicit support from the administration, the Dalits are tortured and subjected to humiliation by the higher castes, like being garlanded with shoes, their faces blackened or being forced to ride an ass; yet, in most of the cases, violence, deaths or custodial tortures that are committed against the marginalised and deprived castes go unrecorded. Ironically, even after having shed the colonial yoke, its legacy continues in the administrative framework of our independent India marked with widespread corruption which has rendered many government-sponsored schemes in rural India a failure.

Excerpt
"It has been 64 years since India – the largest democracy in the world – attained independence. Yet, justice for all is still a far cry. Money and muscle power, together with political string- pulling, often result in denial of justice for the hapless, the ‘have-nots’ ravaged by poverty and illiteracy. Ironically, even after having shed the colonial yoke, its legacy continues in the administrative framework of our independent India. Atrocities, extortion, fake encounters, refusal to register complaints against the well-heeled, arbitrary arrests on false charges, illegal detention and custodial deaths are in common- place. In the absence of a modern social audit system, the keepers of the law, who normally perform under a demanding environment, often unleash a ‘police raj’, especially in rural India. A crippled National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and its state subsidiaries with limited recommendatory control and a dysfunctional Legal Aid System depict a gloomy picture indeed. In a system of defunct legal procedures, the economically weaker and socially backward sections often fall victim, languishing in legal tangles where only money talks. Official reports show the impact of 100 days’ guaranteed work at Rs 100 (£1.43) a day under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) is suspect. The Scheduled Castes, indigenous groups and other backward classes face atrocities and discrimination in all spheres of life. The data collection of 123 survivors in the pilot project under RCT- PVCHR on testimonial therapy, in which 89 per cent of survivors belong to Scheduled Castes, indigenous groups and other backward classes (OBC) verify this. The general impression is that Dalits and tribals not only do menial work, they also form the major source of churning out anti-socials and criminals. Unfortunately, a culture of silence has permeated the society historically. The privileged class is conveniently convinced that they cannot be wrong. That is why one finds most of the custodial torture, violence and deaths that are committed against marginalised and deprived castes going unrecorded. Many Dalits are tortured and subjected to humiliation like being garlanded with shoes, their faces blackened or being forced to ride an ass."

Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER 1 Southern Part of Every Village is South Africa 7 CHAPTER 2 My Own Voice: Folk Voices of Marginalised 20 CHAPTER 3 Testimonial Therapy: An Emerging Hope for Victims 53 CHAPTER 4 Shrinking Livelihood in 60 Golden Jubilee Year of Freedom CHAPTER 5 Monument against Child Starvation 80 CHAPTER 6 Rule of Lord: Collision of Caste, 90 Patriarch and Corruption CHAPTER 7 Political Patronage 112 ANNEXURE 131 NOTES 132

 

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