Saturday, 24 July 2021

Was Dr. Ambedkar in favour of the Right to private Property?

                         

Was Dr. Ambedkar in favour of the Right to private Property?

Article 31 of the Indian Constitution was supposed to give the right to property. On this subject Dr. Ambedkar said with great anger:

“My committee which drafted the Constitution did not take the Article 31. If I am asked, this Article of the Indian Constitution is a filth brought by the
Congressmen present in the Constitution Committee. I don't even feel like looking at it." (Fundamental Rights – DN Banerjee, pages 314-15)

Sau Sunita Nagarale

Thursday, 15 July 2021

A conscience encountered - South Asia Citizens Web

A conscience encountered - South Asia Citizens Web: I've often been blamed by friends and colleagues for not keeping secrets to myself. It has been my practice to share information with people (...)

Friday, 2 July 2021

BJP-RSS Politics and Economic Plight of Dalits in India — by Dr Ram Puniyani


India’s caste system is the major obstacle for betterment of the socio-economic condition of the downtrodden. The lowest in the rung of caste hierarchy, the victims of caste oppression are addressed as dalits or Scheduled Castes (SC). There are others who are also on the lower scale of hierarchy, the tribal (ST) and other backward castes (OBC). For centuries the low castes were subject to oppression at multiple levels. Theirs’ was a sort of slavery couched in the wrap of religion. Many Hindu scriptures gave the rigid outline of the social system. One such scripture has been Manu Smiriti which was burnt in a public protest by the greatest of the caste opponents Dr. Bhimrao Babasaheb Ambedkar.

As the opposition to caste structure started coming up during freedom movement of India, the reaction to this was Hindu Nationalism, rather Brahmanic Nationalism. It was the Brahmanic stream of Hinduism which has been most rigid about the oppression of lower castes. This Brahmanic Nationalism presented itself as Hindu nationalism and got expressed in Hindu Mahasabha and RSS. RSS thrived over a period of time and currently is the most powerful organization in the country. It is working for restoration of Caste, gender hierarchy and inequality of older times.

It is an overarching formation working in all spheres of life and its progeny working in political arena is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is ruling the country from last seven years. It is very subtle in presenting its agenda which is against dalits and other downtrodden. BJP poses to be associating with dalits while its policies are meant to subjugate this community. It has multiple strategies to win them over for electoral purposes while modifying the policies in a direction which are detrimental to the all round conditions of dalits, including their economic conditions.

BJP-RSS and anti-dalit ideology

BJP came to political forefront when it started its campaign for Ram Temple in the decade of 1980. In 1990 V.P.Singh implemented Mandal Commission, which gave 27% reservation to the other backward Castes. Earlier the SC had 15% of reservation, ST 7.5% and now OBC reservation was added up to that. This made BJP more assertive and its support base, the upper caste, came forward to support BJP campaigns for Ram temple and other divisive agenda, pushing the social equality attempts in the backyard. This identity based Ram temple campaign also served the purpose of distracting the attention from the plight of oppressed sections of society as well.

The period up to 2014, (2004 to 2014 period was the time when Congress led UPA was in power) saw that on one hand despite the opposition to affirmative action for dalits there was effort to implement it. On the other hand BJP was building itself to oppose the policy of reservation for dalits on one hand and to co-opt them into its ideological and political fold.

UPA I (2004-2009) came up with rights based approach, ‘Right to information’, ‘right to employment’, ‘right to education’, ‘right to health’ and ‘right to food’. This benefitted the large sections of dalits living below the poverty line. The ongoing affirmative action’s during many decades after independence did lift the dalit’s conditions to some extent. Still due to the deeply entrenched caste system, the affirmative provisions were not implemented as they should have been. So in a way the process of social transformation till 2014 was at snail’s pace anyway.

The major change in the condition of dalits has been due to reservations which were mandated by the constitution and which aimed to break the shackles of caste backwardness and improve the condition of dalits. RSS-BJP has been opposed to this all through, overtly or covertly. Mandal Commission was a turning point in a way as RSS-BJP activated its mechanism for opposing the same indirectly by raising the pitch of Ram temple campaign. They did float organizations like ‘Youth for Equality’. Social debates were popularised against reservation.

Reservation: Creamy Layer

The overall picture before BJP coming to power was summed up by prominent academic Sukhdeo Thorat. As per him “dalits are employed in manual, unskilled labor jobs in urban areas. Given these facts, only 5% of the working dalit population has actually benefited from the Indian reservation law.” (1) As per him while GOI poverty alleviation programs help dalits, the government does not strictly monitor them and many are never implemented…and the vast majority of dalits are denied upward socioeconomic mobility due to lack of access to education, land, and capital.

Further worsening of the situation began with BJP coming to power at Centre. The first attempt BJP initiated was at state level and then at Centre was to introduce ‘reservation based on economic ground’. Also there is a talk that creamy layers will be excluded from the reservations. The ‘creamy layers’ means those who have better socio economic status. Dilip Mandal, another scholar points out,“ for the first time, the central government is going to include an individual’s salary to calculate household earnings, which would determine the creamy layer category for members of that family. In one stroke, a large number of salary earners will be excluded from the ambit of OBC quota.” (2) Further Mandal elaborates, ”The proposed criteria, if implemented, will exclude even the lower middle class OBCs. Take the example of a family where both parents are primary school teachers. In all probability, their combined annual salary would be above Rs 12 lakh. Now, if their daughter applies for a government job, she will not be considered for the OBC quota.” (3)

Introducing reservation on Economic Ground has further weakened the position of the status of dalits. BJP led NDA passed the resolution approving 10% quota for upper caste on economic criterion. These criterion are liberal enough to include large sections of population at the cost of reservation of the dalits/OBC.

BJP Identity Politics and Lynching in name of Cow-Beef

BJP’s main plank in political arena is identity politics. This politics is based on polarization and creating a sense of fear among majority for the minority community. In pursuit of this while they have been pursuing the Ram Temple issue earlier; from 2014 when BJP got majority for the first time; it took the issue of Holy cow to higher pitch leading to mob lynching of Muslims and dalits. Both these communities are related to occupations of cow slaughter and leather work. The IndiaSpend data tells us the massive increase in the lynching with BJP coming to power and also increase in atrocities against dalits. This runs parallel to the impact on economic situation of dalits as the sale/purchase of old cows has massively declined and those involved in these trades, primarily dalits have suffered huge economic setback. “Muslims were the target of 51% of violence centered on bovine issues over nearly eight years (2010 to 2017) and comprised 86% of 28 Indians killed in 63 incidents. As many of 97 per cent of these attacks were reported after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government came to power in May 2014, and about half the cow-related violence — 32 of 63 cases –were from states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), recorded until June 25, 2017.” (5)

Running parallel to this was attacks on dalits who were dealing with Cowhide. In Una (Gujarat) seven dalit youth were stripped above the waist and beaten mercilessly. Following this the usual economic cycle of old cattle being bought and sold got a setback giving an adverse impact to the economic plight of many dalit families. “A new report by ‘Human Rights Watch’ reveals the impact of ‘cow protection’ on agriculture, industries and India’s minorities. The report looks at the issue of cow-related violence and its impact on India’s minorities. The report analyses the socio-political, legal and economic issues around cattle trade and cow-related violence. Indian government should prevent and prosecute mob violence by vigilante groups targeting minorities in the name of cow protection, ‘Human Rights Watch’ said in a report.”(6)

“The government [should] not [be] the one to decide on [what food you can or cannot eat]. This ban will have an ill effect on the lives of the Dalits who are [dependent] upon the labor connected with cows and leather products.” (7)

Due to the rigidity of caste hierarchy prevalent in India; dalits are forced to work in very degrading jobs like scavenging of rubbish heaps, work in slaughter houses, tanneries, leather factories and other menial jobs. To live in segregation from the upper castes such as Brahmins is a part of regular practice here.

Reservation for Dalits in Universities

From March 2018 UGC advertised the faculty jobs and in this only 2.5% of posts were reserved for SC and none for ST. This is totally in opposition to what the norms have been (15% for SC, 7.5% for ST and 27% for OBC) (8) This is going to have very adverse impact on the economic conditions of dalits along with change in the future academic conditions in the country. This will worsen the overall plight of this section of society.

Economic status

According to a 2014 report to the Ministry of Minority Affairs by Amitabh Kundu, over 44.8% of Scheduled Tribe (ST) and 33.8% of Scheduled Caste (SC) populations in rural India were living below the poverty line in 2011-12, compared to 30.8% of Muslims. In urban areas, 27.3% of ST and 21.8% of SC populations were poor, versus 26.5% of Muslims. (9, 10)

Some Hindu Dalits achieved affluence, although most remain poor. In particular, some Dalit intellectuals such as Chandrabhan Prasad have argued that the living standards of many Dalits have improved since the economic liberalization in 1991 and have supported their claims through large surveys. (11) According to Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011, nearly 79 percent of rural Adivasi households and 73 percent for Dalit households were most deprived among rural households in India. While 45 percent of scheduled caste households are landless and earn by manual casual labor for their living and same is for 30 percent for adivasis.(12)

A 2012 survey by Mangalore University in Karnataka stated that 93% of dalit families still live below the poverty line.(13) The budget (2020) has failed to give due share to the Dalits, Adivasis, working class, Women and Children. It has also failed to take concrete steps to resolve the economic crisis prevalent in the primary sector of the economy, i.e., Agriculture. Instead of providing the farmers with substantial financial relief, they have been left in a world of false hopes and promises. Also, education and health have not been provided with the kind of attention they badly need. (14) Congress president Rahul Gandhi has criticized the RSS and the BJP for the plight of Dalits and said he praised dalit community who are coming forward to protest against these policies. He commented this when many Dalit organisations had called for a nation-wide shutdown with strong determination against the dilution of arrest prevalent provisions under the SC/ST Atrocities Act by the Supreme Court.( 15)

BJP’s Strategies to Co-opt Dalits

RSS-BJP faces a unique dilemma. On one hand they want to ensure the subordination of dalits at all social levels. On the other they have to win over the electoral benefits of these communities. Through various of its organizations, RSS, achieves this. They are employing multiple strategies to win over there marginalized communities. Their affiliated organizations doing this are Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Vanavasi Klayan Ashram, Bajrang Dal, Seva Bharati to name the few. They have tried to increase Brahminic religiosity at all the levels. They have picked up some of the icons from these marginalized communities and revived them through Hindu Nationalist lens. In addition they have lured some of the leaders of these communities with the bait of pelf and power.

The BJP’s landslide victory in the 2014 general election was helped by Dalit votes. Currently, 84 parliament seats are reserved for Dalits as those constituencies are dominated by Dalit people. In 2014, the BJP won 40 of them, according to a study by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies(CSDS).

One such study, CSDS post-poll analysis after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, showed that between 2014 and 2019; support for the BJP among Dalits, Adivasis and Other Backward castes has more than doubled (16). Incidentally they comprise large section of poor people in the state. Similarly the 2021 post-poll survey also indicates that this support is becoming much higher among Dalits and OBCs than among upper castes.

This has been the strategy of BJP all over. Cambridge sociologist Manali Desai demonstrates the diverse ways used by this party for Adivasis and dalits. These groups find that they feel BJP offered them respect and recognition more than other parties. (17) In their perception this party treats them as equal members of society. It seems these social groups seem to perceive a sense of dignity which motivates them to vote for BJP. This is what explains the BJP’s attitude towards Matua community, which is in large numbers in West Bengal. This is what explains Modi’s visit to Bangla desh and a visit to Matua Mandir.

The situation may not remain the same as this community feels they have been betrayed. A report UCAN News (18) points out this sense of being let down and it is expected that this rising anger among the community will get reflected in 2024 elections. Now by and by this marginalized community is not taking the promises of BJP seriously. Young Dalits are increasingly aware of their rights as citizens. As per one of them “In the past, we were nothing but cannon fodder for both the opposition and ruling parties. The time has come when such exploitation will not be allowed,” (18)

As per the same report another Dalit activist in the northern state of Punjab, told ucanews.com that the present generation of Dalits has learned from the past. “The ongoing agitation wants to send a message across the Dalit people … to break the trap and demand equal rights in society,”.

Emerging dalit leader with great promise Jignesh Mevani, from Gujarat, who is the new face of Dalit political assertiveness; holds meetings, seminars and awareness camps that attract huge crowds of people. He outlines the clear path for advance of dalits in the current despicable situation. In one of the meeting held in Ahmadabad city Mevani criticized the BJP government of disregarding the interests of Dalit people. He called for more nationwide resistance protests as the BJP government is failing to defend the Dalit protection law in the Supreme Court. There are hopes as “Young people are now confronting the government with facts and figures, a trend alien to the community in the past. A new revolution is in the making and the time is not far away when the community will no longer be viewed as taboo or alien to mainstream society,” (18)

Summing up

BJP’s rise on political firmament has been a big setback to values of democracy, freedom of expression, security of religious minorities and dalits. It has also adversely affected the economic welfare of the marginalized sections of society. Through various measures the affirmative action meant for dalits are gradually being undone. In addition to raising of issues like Cow-beef have affected the livelihood of this section of society. Parallel to this BJP and its associates have unleashed the process of cooption of dalits into HIndutva fold.

Sections of dalits are able to see the agenda of Brahmanic agenda of BJP-RSS and do plan to oppose it through various measures. The awareness among dalit youth in particular is coming up to resist the BJP moves to undermine their social and economic status.

Foot Notes

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/news/the-india-cables/the-cables/35177-Socioeconomic-future-of-Dalits-remains-bleak/article14959909.ece
  2. https://theprint.in/opinion/with-creamy-layer-hike-bjp-undoing-3-decades-of-mandal-gains-getting-obc-support/456497/
  3. https://theprint.in/opinion/with-creamy-layer-hike-bjp-undoing-3-decades-of-mandal-gains-getting-obc-support/456497/
  4. https://archive.siasat.com/news/four-years-modi-government-and-communal-divisiveness-1365085/
  5. https://thepolicytimes.com/chaos-that-cow-vigilantes-created-to-the-livelihoods-of-dalits-adivasi-and-muslim/
  6. https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/02/19/india-vigilante-cow-protection-groups-attack-minorities
  7. https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2015/03/indian-beef-ban-hits-untouchable-dalits-hardest/
  8. https://scroll.in/article/894750/dalit-view-will-be-wiped-out-teachers-say-new-ugc-quota-policy-will-take-away-more-than-just-jobs
  1.  “India also has the largest number of people trapped in slavery – 14.2 million people”.<templatestyles src=”Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css”></templatestyles>
  1. Sengupta, Somini (29 August 2008). “Crusader Sees Wealth as Cure for Caste Bias”. The New York Times. India. Retrieved 20 November2011.<templatestyles src=”Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css”></templatestyles>
  2. Wax, Emily (31 August 2008). “In an Indian Village, Signs of the Loosening Grip of Caste”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 November2011.<templatestyles src=”Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css”></templatestyles>
  3. “Landlessness is higher among Dalits but more adivasis are ‘deprived. The Indian Express. 6 July 2015. Retrieved 6 September2015.<templatestyles src=”Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css”></templatestyles>
  4. TNN (28 October 2012). “93% dalit families still live below poverty line, says survey”. The Times of India. Retrieved 13 September2015.<templatestyles src=”Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css”></templatestyles>
  5. https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/dalits-adivasis-shortshrifted-modis-thirds-budget-rs-4-56731-crores-denied
  6. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/rahul-gandhi-slams-rss-bjp-for-plight-of-dalits/articleshow/63578704.cms
  7. https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/when-the-left-moved-right/article27266690.ece
  8. http://www.kashmirtimes.com/newsdet.aspx?q=109688
  9. https://www.ucanews.com/news/dalit-anger-challenges-indian-governments-future/82095#

 

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Dalit-Adivasi in Uttar Pradesh and the question of land

Dalit-Adivasi in Uttar Pradesh and the question of land

- S R Darapuri, National Spokesperson, All India People's Front

According to the 2011 census, the total Scheduled Caste (Dalit) population in Uttar Pradesh is 4.13 crore, which is about 21% of the total population of Uttar Pradesh. According to the same census, there are 61.91 lakh families of Dalits in Uttar Pradesh, which is 23% of the total families of Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, the total population of Scheduled Tribes (Adivasi) in Uttar Pradesh is about 11.34 lakhs, which is about 1% of the total population of Uttar Pradesh. There are about 1.77 lakh tribal families in this.

According to the above census, about 42% of the Dalit families in Uttar Pradesh are landless and do manual labour. Only 2.93% of the Dalit families are employed in government, 1.14% in non-government and 1.92% in private sector i.e., only about 6% are employed. The remaining 94% are in wage earning and other professions. Similarly, 35.30% of tribal families are landless and do manual labour. Of these, 3.54% are in government, 1.63% non-government and 2.95% in the private sector, i.e. 8% of the families are employed. The remaining 92% are laborers and in other professions.

According to the same census, 82.40% of the Dalit households in Uttar Pradesh have an income of less than 5000 per month. The income of 13.25% of the households is between 5000 to 10,000 and 4.29% of the households have income above 10,000 per month. The number of families with income above 5000 from government jobs is only 2.71%. According to the 2011 census, 81.35% of the tribal families in Uttar Pradesh have an income of less than 5000 per month. The income of 13.82% of the households is between 5000 to 10,000 and 4.81% of the households have income above 10,000 per month. Only 3.31% percent of the households have an income of more than 5000 from government jobs.

As per 2011 census, 15.69% of Dalit families in Uttar Pradesh have unirrigated land, 42.06% have irrigated and 9.12% families have other land. Similarly, 28.16% of tribal households had unirrigated land, 39.33% had irrigated and 12.50% had other land.

It is clear from the above description that the Dalits of Uttar Pradesh are mostly landless, low income and unemployed, which is the main reason for their social, economic and political backwardness. Being landless and doing manual labour only, they mostly work as agricultural laborers in the village. They also have to go to other's fields for pee and fodder for their animals. Being landless and unemployed, they have to face the tyranny and exploitation of the upper castes. Marking this weakness, Dr. Ambedkar in his speech in Agra had said, “My rural brothers are subjected to atrocities because they do not have land. That is why now I will fight for the land for them.”

It is also well known that India is an agricultural country and about 60% of its population is associated with agriculture as farmers and agricultural laborers. It is also clear from the above data that in Uttar Pradesh also most of the Dalits and Adivasis are landless and they can do only manual labour. Landlessness and mere manual labour are their greatest weaknesses. Due to these, neither they are able to face the atrocities on themselves due to caste discrimination and untouchability nor fight with force on the question of wages. Since employment in agriculture is only seasonal, they have to search elsewhere for wages or remain unemployed for the rest of the time.

In rural areas it is also a fact that land is not only a means of production but it is also a symbol of respect and social status. The person who has land in the village is not only financially strong but also socially respected. Now since most of the Dalits have neither land nor regular employment, they are neither socially respected nor financially strong. Dalits in rural areas can be empowered only when they have land and get regular employment. Therefore, the distribution of land and availability of secure employment is the first need of the Dalits and Adivasis and other landless.

After India became independent, land reforms were implemented by abolishing the zamindari system to redistribute resources in the country. By this, land ceiling laws were made in the country, from which land was to be made available for allotment to the landless. But there was a lot of dishonesty in implementing these laws because at that time most of the leaders in the ruling party Congress were old zamindars and this class also dominated the administration. That is why, on the one hand, very little land came out of these laws and whatever came out was not distributed to the landless. As a result, the people who had the said land before the implementation of these laws remained with them. Even today thousands of acres of land remains in the name of benami and trusts and temples in different states. Same is the situation in Uttar Pradesh also.

It is clear from the analysis of the socio-economic and caste census data that the question of land is the most important question for Dalits and Tribals of the rural area, which is not possible to solve without the proper implementation of land reforms. But it is a great irony that land reforms and land distribution is not on the agenda of any Dalit or non-Dalit political party. Therefore, empowerment of Dalits and Adivasis is not possible unless they are provided land by land distribution.

It is to be known that in Uttar Pradesh from 1995 to 2012, Mayawati was the Chief Minister four times. During her reign, except the central and western regions of Uttar Pradesh no land was distributed in the remaining parts in 1995 and 1997. In eastern Uttar Pradesh, which has the most dense population of Dalits, except in Gorakhpur, no land was allotted anywhere, that too due to the efforts of one officer (Harish Chandra, Commissioner Gorakhpur). It is not that land was not available for allotment in Uttar Pradesh. In 1995, in Uttar Pradesh, so much ceiling land, village common and Bhoodan land was available that not only the Dalits but also the landless of other castes could get subsistence land, but Mayawati did not allot it. Not only this, no action was taken to get possession of the land which was allotted earlier. After 1997, neither allotment nor any possession was given due ti sarvjan politics.

When the Mulayam Singh Yadav government came to power in Uttar Pradesh in 2002, he amended the Revenue Act to change the land allotment priority  of Dalits and merged them with other landless classes. There was land allotment in his government, but the land was given to other castes and not to the Dalits. Along with this, by amending the law, he also removed the ban on the purchase of Dalit land by non-Dalits. At that time this legal amendment was postponed, but later he duly gave it the form of law. Thus, due to Mayawati's non-allotment of land to Dalits, Mulayam Singh abolishing the priority of allotment of land to Dalits in law, the allotment of land to the Dalits of Uttar Pradesh could not be done and their condition in rural area remains very pathetic.

For the empowerment of Tribals, the Forest Rights Act- 2006 and Rules were implemented in 2008. Under this law, tribals and non-tribals living in protected forest areas were to be given lease of residential and agricultural land in their possession. The Tribals had to submit their claims in this regard. At that time, Mayawati's government was in Uttar Pradesh, but her government did not take any effective action in this direction, as a result of which out of total 92,406 claims submitted by Tribals in Uttar Pradesh on 30.01.2012, 74,701 claims i.e. 81% claims were rejected and only 17,705 i.e. only 19% of the claims were accepted and a total of 1,39,777 acres of land was allotted.

Seeing the negligence of Mayawati government in allotment of land to Tribals and the anti-Dalit/tribal mindset, All India People's Front had filed a public interest litigation in the Allahabad High Court, on which the High Court in August 2013 directed the state government to reprocess all claims under the Forest Rights Act. But no attention was paid to that too. Thus, 81% of the claims were rejected due to the negligence of the government of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav due to their anti-Dalit/Adivasi mindset.

Let us now see the role of the Yogi government of the BJP regarding the implementation of the Forest Rights Act. It is well known that BJP had written in its Sankalp Patra in the 2017 Vidhan Sabha elections of Uttar Pradesh that if its government is formed then all illegal encroachments of land (gram sabha and forest land) will be got vacated. After the formation of the government in March 2017, Yogi government immediately started taking action on it and in compliance of this, those people who were in possession of the gram sabha land and the forest land were to be evicted from them. According to this order, 74,701 claimants who were rejected for forest rights in 13 districts were also to be evicted. When the Yogi government started the eviction proceedings, we again had to go to the Allahabad High Court against it. We requested to stop the eviction proceedings and re-examine all the claims. The Allahabad High Court, on our request, stayed the eviction proceedings and gave one month’s time to all the claimants to file appeal on the old claims and gave the government the time three months’ time to re-hear and dispose of all the claims. But even after the expiry of the said period, no action was taken by the Government in this regard.

A few years ago, the validity of the Forest Rights Act was challenged in the Supreme Court by the Wildlife Trust of India and a request was made to order all the state governments to vacate the land related to the claims rejected under the Forest Rights. The Modi government did not take the side of the tribals / forest dwellers in the Supreme Court. As a result, the Supreme Court passed an order to vacate the land of all the rejected claims of Forest Rights by July 24, 2019. Due to this, the number of families affected in the entire country is 20 lakh, of which 74,701 families are in Uttar Pradesh. Against this order, we again appealed to the Supreme Court through the Adivasi Vanvasi Mahasabha, in which we requested for stayed of eviction order and direct all the states to re-examine all the claims. On this, the Supreme Court, accepting our request, stayed the eviction till July 10, 2019 and ordered all the states to re-hear all the claims, but no action has been taken on it in Uttar Pradesh even after the lapse of two years.

It is clear from the above description how the government of Mayawati and then Akhilesh Yadav has deprived the Dalits, Tribals and traditional forest dwellers from the right of land under the Forest Rights Act and the sword of eviction hangs on them in the BJP government. It is worth considering that if Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav had given the rights of land to these people after processing the claims of these people during their tenure, then their condition would not have been so pathetic today. Similarly, if Mayawati had given pattas of gram sabha land, which is still in the possession of the oppressors, to the landless during her reign, how much their economic condition would have changed. Therefore, it is worth considering whether Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, who have been forming the government in the name of social justice, have given any social justice to the Dalits and Tribals. BJP talks of harmony instead of social justice, which is status quoism. Will the Dalit-Tribals of Uttar Pradesh not seek answers from SP, BSP and BJP for the above injustice done to them in the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections?

Therefore, if real empowerment of the Dalits and Adivasis of Uttar Pradesh is to be done, it can be done only by strictly implementing land reforms and allotting land to the landless. For this the desired level of political will is needed which is totally lacking at present. Therefore, there is a need to launch a strong land movement to implement land reforms and to allot land to the landless Dalits/Adivasis. This movement cannot be run by opportunistic and caste politics party like BSP because it abstains from all types of movements. The Samajwadi Party also does only power politics. It too has nothing to do with the empowerment of Dalits and Adivasis.

 All India People's Front has always given a prominent place in its agenda for land reforms and land allotment and has fought for it in court as well as on the road. The same party had also obtained orders by filing public interest litigations in the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court for the honest implementation of the Forest Rights Act in Uttar Pradesh, which was thwarted by the governments of Mayawati and Akhilesh. Therefore, the AIPF calls upon all Dalit/Adivasi friendly organizations and Dalit political parties to Come on a common stage to create a public pressure to include land reforms and land allotment in the agenda of all political parties in the 2022 elections of Uttar Pradesh.

 

Was Dr. Ambedkar in favour of the Right to private Property?

                                Was Dr. Ambedkar in favour of the Right to private Property? Article 31 of the Indian Constitution was s...