e n

Anti-Dalit government?

Some time ago, the Punjab government had tried to crush a movement of the Dalits demanding reservations on economic basis by throwing their leaders behind bars and now the Dalits have been jailed for trying to get possession of the land meant for them

Dalits enjoy a considerable clout both in the society and government of Punjab. Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal does not tire describing himself as a great wellwisher of the Dalits. But the way the government has handled the issue of the land reserved for the Dalits in Sangrur district has exposed its real intentions.

Four villages of the district – Bhavpur, Baladkala, Matoyee and Bhamniwala – are dominated by Jats from
Haryana. For several years, the Jats have been tilling the land reserved for Dalit farmers. This year, when the
Dalit farmers tried to take back the land to put it to its intended use, the Jats, in an act of vengeance, announced the boycott of the Dalits. According to Rajpal, a Valmiki, the Jats associated with the khap panchayat declared that no farmer should allow the ‘Chhuhade-Chamars’ to enter his field and none should talk to them. The supply of drinking water to the Dalits was also blocked and the priest of Shri Ravidas temple was beaten up. The Dalits, in protest, launched an agitation under the leadership of Chaudhary Yashpal, national chief of the Bharatiya Valmiki Dharma Samaj, and got cases registered against two Jats. For the sake of formality, the police arrested one of them but let the other walk free after detaining him at the thana for a day. Also, the accused were not booked for addressing Dalits abusing as casteist approach and for boycotting them. In Baladkala, the police rained lathis on protesting BSPworkers and made 41 arrests.

Some time ago, the Punjab government had tried to crush a movement of the Dalits demanding reservations on economic basis by throwing their leaders behind bars and now the Dalits have been jailed for trying to get possession of the land meant for them. Does it not indicate that, like the government of Haryana, the Punjab government too favours Jat Sikhs over Dalits?

 

Published in the August 2014 issue of the Forward Press magazine


Forward Press also publishes books on Bahujan issues. Forward Press Books sheds light on the widespread problems as well as the finer aspects of Bahujan (Dalit, OBC, Adivasi, Nomadic, Pasmanda) society, literature, culture and politics. Next on the publication schedule is a book on Dr Ambedkar’s multifaceted personality. To book a copy in advance, contact The Marginalised Prakashan, IGNOU Road, Delhi. Mobile: +919968527911.

For more information on Forward Press Books, write to us: info@forwardmagazine.in

The titles from Forward Press Books are also available on Kindle and these e-books cost less than their print versions. Browse and buy:

The Case for Bahujan Literature

https://www.amazon.in/dp/B073JVMCTH

The Common Man Speaks Out
Mahishasur: A people’s hero

About The Author

Rajesh Manchal

Rajesh Manchal is Ludhiana (Punjab) correspondent of FORWARD Press

Related Articles

What Tushar Mehta means by threatening Degree Prasad Chouhan with prosecution
During a hearing on a petition filed by Degree Prasad Chouhan in the Supreme Court, Tushar Mehta accused several organizations of patronizing Naxalism and...
EWS is not just reservation for upper castes
By presenting the reservation regime as a tool for economic welfare and poverty alleviation, the essence of the concept of reservations has been changed....
Prof G. Mohan Gopal on EWS reservation: ‘Caste apartheid in a democratic Constitution’
The real purpose of the EWS reservation is to destroy the ability of unrepresented, marginalized social groups to organize themselves and get their due...
Supreme Court nod to EWS reservation proof of upper-caste stranglehold on all wings of State
The key difference in reservations for the OBCs and the savarnas is that one caste group had to fight for four decades to secure...
A snapshot of Dalitbahujan children growing up among the dead
Squatting on the edge of the drain, Shivanshi is cooking rice. Avneesh and several other children are helping her. Behind them, the children have...