Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Home Opinions No need to tinker with the changes made by the apex court in SC/ST...

No need to tinker with the changes made by the apex court in SC/ST (Prevention of atrocity) Act

Also Read

Jai prakash Ojha
The author works with IGNOU as Assistant Registrar. He frequently blogs/writes articles on social and political subjects. A post graduate in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, he also holds a post graduate diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication. He may contacted on Read his articles on ojhajp.blogspot,com

Dilution of some of the most stringent provisions of the SC/ST act by the apex judiciary has created apprehensions in the minds of dalit activists and leaders.

What did the court say? Automatic arrests on the lodging of mere complaints under this act should stop and FIR should not be filed before conducting a preliminary enquiry into the matter. Public servants should not be arrested before taking the consent of their appointing authorities. When a private individual is concerned, nod has to come from the SSP of the district.

I don’t think what the court said is bad law. The changed provisions are as per the principles of natural justice and would go a long in the strengthening of individual rights. The ongoing protests against the changes in the Act are guided by malicious agenda and reflect very poorly on the modus operandi of dalit activism which has lost track due to excessive state appeasement and is resorting to blackmail to arm twist the state.

More than 70 years have passed since independence; it’s a pity that dalit agitations are yet to come out of the victimhood mindset. The dalit movement suffers from psychological problems while confronting the upper castes. It is yet to get out of the world of hallucination and sees or imagine things that do not exist in reality or else, what explains its belligerence against the invisible Manuwad? Any attempt to seek review or bypass the verdict would be regressive and not in accordance with well established norms of democracy.

Looking at the ground realities, it’s a stark reality that despite the lapse of seven decades after independence, atrocities do take place against the dalits. It’s not only the upper castes but also powerful dominant backward and intermediate castes who are guilty. As per NCRB figures 2016, more than 47000 crimes took place against dalits and the trend of late is alarmingly high. Conviction rate is also very low hovering around 25 percent. Reasons for atrocities against dalits are not what they used to be in yesteryears.

The rises in income levels and lifestyle of the dalits with their increased visibility in public employment have created heartburn among non dalit communities who feel that dalits have been unduly favored and given reservation. World wide experience manifests that positive affirmative action programmes initially benefits the society but after a certain time, it tends to perpetuate the domination of beneficiaries. The new wave of militant dalit activism that does not shy away from confrontation with its eye for eye approach has also unnerved the dominant communities.

violence by dalits
A child injured during protests by Dalit groups

Moreover, it would be naive to underestimate the clout of dalits today and think that they can be beaten into submission. Politically they are a powerful community. The deepening of social democracy and implementation of local self government acts meant that there was always an option for the dalits to organize at local levels. Years of reservation has created an educated middle class among dalits who are well networked through unions and cells. The democratization of information through spread of social media has also provided a platform to the young educated dalits to organize quickly on issues related to them.

The atrocity figures may show an upward trend but don’t forget that nowadays the lower castes are much more vocal and the incidents of reporting have gone up. Crimes are a lot more visible now. The low conviction rate of crimes under this act may show the prejudiced mindset of the state and courts but it may also be construed that most of the cases filed under this act are on whimsical and frivolous grounds. Today most of the public organizations have SC/ST unions/cells. Fear of this act has prevented non dalit superiors from acting tough against their dalit subordinates even in matters of inefficiency, indiscipline and gross negligence of duties. Debates over necessity of this act or misuse of this act would continue but I think time is ripe for Indian democracy to take some tough decisions.

Let’s start with individual rights. This very notion of community rights /entitlements needs to be done away with. Individual rights needs to be strengthened and spotlight should be on empowerment of the individuals. Entitlements like reservation should be based on inclusive and secular criteria. One of the main factors that have led to hostility against dalits is reservation. Review of reservation is necessary to remove the grievances of the non reserved classes. The practice of creating special laws for special category of citizens needs to be stopped.

The fundamental purpose of any democracy should be to merge the differences between Hindus/Muslims and dalit /backward /upper castes and transform them into citizens. Steps that sharpen identity divides like issues related to caste, religion, language and region need to put on the back burner. Perpetuation of caste prejudices in the name of social justice has already torn the social fabric of the country. There is a widespread feeling among non dalits that the provisions of the Atrocity act are being misused to fix non dalits even in petty cases. No wonder from time to time voices have been raised by the Marathas, Vanniyar and other communities for the repeal of the act. This act has perpetuated mindless dalit aggression. The individual liberties of non dalits are threatened.

Its high time efforts are made to abolish bodies like National Commission for SC /ST, disband Dalit unions and cells and stop welfare schemes, education, jobs in the name of caste. Human Rights Commissions should cater to the needs of all individuals and all welfare schemes should be universalized. The state policies should be designed so as to take out the castes from their self created ghettos and change them into citizens. Caste is always anti national, religion is always anti national for they tend to buttress the sharp identity divides and prevents amalgamation on the basis of shared nationhood.

The state must protect the sanctity of its institutions……caste politics must not be allowed to ride roughshod over it. What the SC verdict delivered has to be accepted and its rulings should not be circumscribed by vote bank compulsions.

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

Jai prakash Ojha
The author works with IGNOU as Assistant Registrar. He frequently blogs/writes articles on social and political subjects. A post graduate in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, he also holds a post graduate diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication. He may contacted on Read his articles on ojhajp.blogspot,com

Latest News

प्राण व दैहिक स्वतंत्रता अनुच्छेद 21

हमारे सनातन धर्म की मूल भावना "जीयो और जीने दो" तथा "सभी जीवो को अपना जीवन अपनी ईच्छा से जीने का अधिकार है" में निहित है मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम भगवान श्री राम ने भी अपने संपूर्ण जीवन काल मे प्रत्येक जीव के प्राण व दैहिक स्वतंत्रता को अमुल्य व सर्वोपरि मानकर प्रतिष्ठित किया

2020: An unprecedented, unpredictable, and uncertain year

Who could have imagined that the “unique 2020” would ironically turn into the most "unprecedented, unpredictable, and uncertain 2020" of historic proportions, perhaps not even worth remembering and writing about?

Mr. Ahmad Patel, they missed you!

Through the obituaries and condolences written by MSM journalists, one can easily see as to why these power brokers who used to enjoy the access to power corridors are so unnerved as they miss the absence of jugglers and conjurers in current regime.

गुपकार गैंग द्वारा रोशनी एक्ट की आड़ में किया गया 25000 करोड़ रुपए का घोटाला!

व्यवस्था का लाभ उठाकर 2001 से 2007 के बीच गुपकार गैंग वालों ने मिलकर जम्मू-कश्मीर को जहाँ से मौका मिला वहाँ से लूटा, खसोटा, बेचा व नीलाम किया और बेचारी जनता मायूसी के अंधकार में मूकदर्शक बनी देखती रही।

Death of the farmer vote bank

While in the case of a farmer the reform delivered double benefit but the political class faces double whammy, that of losing its captive vote bank that was dependent on its sops and secondly losing the massive income they earned as middlemen between the farmer and the consumer. Either the farmer is misinformed or wrongly instigated, otherwise it is impossible to conceive that any farmer should be actually unhappy or opposed for being given more choices, as to whom to sell their produce.

Teachers assign essays with a 280 character limit

This a satire news article, which 'reports' that the government has added 280 character essays to the educational curriculum in an attempt to train students to use Twitter in the future. Note: I have chosen an image of a school from your media library and added the twitter logo on top of it.

Recently Popular

गुप्त काल को स्वर्ण युग क्यों कहा जाता है

एक सफल शासन की नींव समुद्रगप्त ने अपने शासनकाल में ही रख दी थी इसीलिए गुप्त सम्राटों का शासन अत्यधिक सफल रहा। साम्राज्य की दृढ़ता शांति और नागरिकों की उन्नति इसके प्रमाण थे।

सामाजिक भेदभाव: कारण और निवारण

भारत में व्याप्त सामाजिक असामानता केवल एक वर्ग विशेष के साथ जिसे कि दलित कहा जाता है के साथ ही व्यापक रूप से प्रभावी है परंतु आर्थिक असमानता को केवल दलितों में ही व्याप्त नहीं माना जा सकता।

वर्ण व्यवस्था और जाति व्यवस्था के मध्य अंतर और हमारे इतिहास के साथ किया गया खिलवाड़

वास्तव में सनातन में जिस वर्ण व्यवस्था की परिकल्पना की गई उसी वर्ण व्यवस्था को छिन्न भिन्न करके समाज में जाति व्यवस्था को स्थापित कर दिया गया। समस्या यह है कि आज वर्ण और जाति को एक समान माना जाता है जिससे समस्या लगातार बढ़ती जा रही है।

The story of Lord Jagannath and Krishna’s heart

But do we really know the significance of this temple and the story behind the incomplete idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Maa Shubhadra?

Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and Integral Humanism

According to Upadhyaya, the primary concern in India must be to develop an indigenous economic model that puts the human being at centre stage.