CRIME AGAINST DALITS
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- The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has expressed serious concern over the increasing trend of crimes against the oppressed sections, especially Dalits.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an advisory to the States/Union Territories for identifying areas prone to atrocities against Dalits.
- The Ministry has also suggested deploying adequate manpower/infrastructure to safeguard the life and property of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes.
- The guidelines have also highlighted the need for strong enforcement of the statutory provisions and laws relating to offences against SC/ STs.
Social Status of Dalits in India
- According to the data released by the National Crime Records Bureau.
- Crimes against scheduled tribe (ST) communities increased by 9.3% to a total of 8,272 cases registered in 2020.
- Crime against Scheduled caste (SC) communities increased by 9.4% to a total of 50,291 cases registered in 2020.
- They face Social discrimination in their day-to-day life, which in turn limit their Education, health, economic opportunities, liberty, freedom, etc, and erode their chance to live a life of dignity, as they face different kind of stereotype like in case of theft, crime, etc they came in the circle of doubt and were also arrested by police.
- Many people hide their caste identity by adopting a different name, or title, or they migrate to another place and start a new life by hiding their caste identity, by doing this they can save themselves from social discrimination and lead a life of dignity, and take benefit of economic opportunities and improve the standard of living.
- India is a democratic country; governments at every stage have tried to readdress these discriminations and ensured certain rights and protection for different groups of people, provided equal opportunities to all citizens, and also prohibited any kind of discrimination based on religion, caste, gender etc.
- Through Constitutional equality, they provided all people with the same level of opportunities and a proper mechanism to get justice.
- They mainly face violence due to their so-called lower caste status in the social Caste System hierarchy.
Steps taken in independent India to ensure socio-economic equality for Dalits, and other Marginalized sections of the society.
- Article 17 of the Indian Constitution abolishes Untouchability.
- Article 46 requires the State ‘to promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and to protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
- Article 335 provides that the claims of the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes shall be taken into consideration, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in the making of appointments to services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or a State.
- Article 15(4) refers to the special provisions for their advancement.
- Article 16(4A) speaks of “reservation in matters of appointment/promotion’
- Article 338 provides for a National Commission for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with duties to investigate and monitor all matters relating to safeguards provided for them.
- Article 330 and Article 332 of the Constitution respectively provide for reservation of seats in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People and the legislative assemblies of the States.
- Under Part IX of the Indian Constitution relating to the Panchayats and Part IXA of the Constitution relating to the Municipalities provides reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in local bodies.
- The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is the nodal Ministry to oversee the interests of the Scheduled Castes.
- The Scheduled Castes Development (SCD) Bureau promotes the welfare of Scheduled Castes through their educational, economic and social empowerment.
- Pre-Matric Scholarships.
- Scholarships for obtaining Higher Education and Coaching Scheme.
- The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 was enacted to provide punishment for the practice of untouchability.
- Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
- Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995.
- Enactment of “Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993.
- The ‘Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013’.
- In democratic Societies there is nothing to legally stop a Person from the most deprived Class and Caste from reaching the highest Position, but these legal rights also need socio-economic support from the government as affirmative action.
- Education can play an important role in reducing caste rigidity in our society.
- Governments need to take effective affirmative action based on strong data to ensure the socio-economic development of marginalized people living at the bottom of the social hierarchy.
- People also need to understand that our Sources of knowledge about the past and especially the ancient Past are inadequate. It is difficult to be very certain about what things were like at that time, or the reasons why some institutions and Practices came to be established. But even if we knew all this, just because something happened in the Past or is Part of our tradition, it is not necessarily right or wrong forever.
- Every age has to think afresh about such questions and Come to its own Collective decision about its Social institutions.
- Discrimination is an evil present in every society, which limit the political, social, economical, and cultural opportunities of people and promote a sense of insecurity among them and stereotype push them to that limit where they see violence as the only option to fight against discrimination.
- Therefore, it is necessary for all the society to get rid of this evil, in order to create a sustainable peaceful and tolerant society, where everyone could equally contribute in Nation building.