Dr. Ambedkar on Education

Posted: February 27, 2015 in General

Originally posted on Dr B R Ambedkar's Caravan:

1. “Educate, Agitate and Organise”

2. “Education is something which ought to be brought within the reach of every one..the policy therefore ought to be to make higher education as cheap to the lower classes as it can possibly be made. If all these communities are to be brought to the level of equality, then the only remedy is to adopt the principle of equality and to give favoured treatment to those who are below level.”

3. “I am very fond of teaching profession. I am also very fond of students. I have dealt with them. I have lectured them in my life. I am very glad to talk to the students. A great lot of the future of this country must necessarily depend on the students of this country. Students are an intelligent part of the community and they can shape the public opinion.”

4. To deny them…

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Oppose BJP’s Land Ordinance Bill

Posted: February 27, 2015 in General

Click here to read the pamphlet in pdf – hrf pamphlet-land ordinance

hrf pamphlet-land ordinance-page-001 hrf pamphlet-land ordinance-page-002 hrf pamphlet-land ordinance-page-003 hrf pamphlet-land ordinance-page-004

Urban rules of untouchability PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 10:28
There is a polite silence around exclusion based on caste that happens in the cities. We trace the unstated rules through which it operates

By nisary mahesh and Asha menon

This is an exercise in mapping silence. In the cities, there is an unstated code that keeps some people apart. It is not polite to voice it, because the urbane believe  themselves to be liberal and free of traditional biases.
However, untouchability — any form of exclusion based on caste — is prevalent in the cities. We trace the  rules through which it operates by talking to people who are at the receiving end — the ‘untouchables’ of urban India.

Rule 1

A good place to start is the capital city. Here, your house broker will mysteriously become too busy for you if you are a Dalit.

When Anoop Kumar was in his late twenties, he went house hunting with this friend. “We went to Gautam Nagar through a broker. The assistant of the broker showed  me the place and we liked it. When we began negotiating for the rent, the broker asked us our caste. I said I am a Dalit and immediately there was a change of tone. The broker said that he needs to reconsider it, that he will need to talk to the landlord, that they nearly fixed another tenant. Later we found that it  was the broker’s younger brother’s flat. We fought with him over it, but we still did not get the house.”

Rule 2

While looking for a house, be prepared for questions on your caste.

Anila Jagdish and her two friends were looking for a house in the heart of Kochi, Kaloor. There were the usual questions posed to single women and then, came the direct question: “What is your caste?”. “I did think it was odd, but we had to name our castes like the whole thing was not awkward or nothing out of the ordinary.” Anoop has been living in Delhi for the past ten years and he now notices subtler ways in which landlords probe to find out his caste. “They ask me my full name, assess my ability to speak English and then the most familiar question would be about my eating habits — vegeterian or non-vegetarian.” Geeta Menon, of Bengaluru based Stree Jagruti Samiti which works with unorganised workers, says, “Many non-Brahmin people have spoken to us about difficulty in getting a house on revealing their caste.”

Rule 3

Neighbourhoods can be very choosy.

In Kochi, land-holdings of Scheduled Castes are bought by real estate companies. In these neighbourhoods, anyone who refuses to part with their small land-holding are not welcome to stay as a ‘sore sight’. Balan, who belongs to the Pulaya community, was asked to vacate his plot by a real estate tycoon who had purchased the surrounding plots for a mega project. Balan refused and today, he is being harassed for that. “The drainage water from the project is being pumped to my plot,” he says. There is a legal dispute, but Balan has little hope. “They can easily with their money power.”

Rule 4

Common pathways are not open to all.

Several instances have been pointed out in Kochi where Scheduled Caste people are forbidden from sharing pathways with upper castes. Umesan, a member of Vela community residing in Ernakulam says how his family was denied the use of a pathway through an upper-caste person’s plot. “I had acquired rights for use of the pathway, since my plot has no access to the main road. But recently a person from an upper caste purchased the plot through which the pathway runs and he blocked the way.” The matter was taken to court with the help of Dalit Service Society and the court ruled in Umesan’s favour.

Rule 5

It is best not to assert your Dalit identity.

Anoop is a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University, an institute generally known for its liberal politics. He joined the college for post graduate studies in International Politics. During a session on reservation policy in India, majority of the upper caste students said it was wrong. “Angry at their stance, I stood up and shared my experience of being Dalit.” Shockingly, Anoop was punished for it. “The next two years, none of the upper caste students spoke to me. If you speak about caste, you are immediately seen as a cadre of Mayawati’s party. It leads to hatred.” In Kochi, Girija talks about the threats she received and the harassment she had to face from teachers at her law college for organising Dalit students to avail government grants. “I was quite good at studies, but they manipulated the internal assessment to punish me. I had to seek the help of Dalit Federations for justice.”

Rule 6

There are separate benches for different castes, even in reputed educational institutes.

On November 5, Bandi Anusha (student of a prestigous college in Hyderabad) grew tired of being kept apart. Says her father. “She was made to sit alone at the front bench after her friends came to know of her Scheduled Caste status,” he says. Anusha decided to put an end to it and she was convinced that the only way out of this was to kill herself. Allegedly, she announced her intention to her classmates and nobody stopped her. She stepped out and messaged her father “bye dad im gng to die.”

Rule 7

City planning officials will have no qualms about exploiting the caste divide in slums, often to the detriment of backward castes.

In Chennai’s Nochikuppam, Perumal’s was one of the many families that sought relief after tsunami. But he, like the other Dalits in the fishing hamlet, realised that they would not be given a house by the sea (within city limits) since they were classified as “NF” (non-fishing) in government records. Dalits like many other backward communities in the hamlet were employed in activities that surround fishing — like cleaning the boats, selling fish, mending nets etc. They infact formed a majority in the hamlet. “To reduce the cost incurred to the government, the officials said that we would get it in the outskirts,” says Perumal. “And they told the ooru (hamlet) leaders to campaign for that and not bother about us.” The leaders were easily convinced, since they themselves were vulnerable to eviction from the city if they did not cooperate with the babudom.

Rule 8

You may not be good enough to sit next to foreign clients or for a flight ticket.

Rajen Dev came to Hyderabad to work for a prestigious IT firm. Over the years, he has noticed that he is not being treated on par with his peers. Sometimes it is the smaller things. “It is difficult for me to my flight expenses cleared. I will need to follow the official procedure, while my upper-caste colleagues get it cleared informally.” Then, there is the client visit during which Rajen is not encouraged to mingle with them. “They invite me but never seat me next to them. It could be for want of command over English language.” But Rajen fears there are larger implications. “I’ve been denied a promotion for the past four years though I’ve been the best performer. I sat with my seniors to discuss a development plan if the problem was with my work. But no one seemed interested.”

That an urban corporate would be discriminatory based on caste should not come as a surprise. In 2007, S Madheswaran and Paul Attewell had written in Caste Discrimination in the Indian Urban Labour Market (for Economic and Political Weekly), based on evidence gathered from National Sample Survey, that “Discrimination (against SC/ST employees) seems to be much more resilient in the private than in the public sector…”

Rule 9

The definition of ‘merit’ at work will not be inclusive.

“Merit in private sector is often defined in terms of what a person scores in an English-based, written exam,” says Venkat of Madras Institute of Development Studies. Break it down and the skills required – proficiency in English – are not often accessible to backward castes. In 2007, when Surinder S Jodhka and Katherine Newman wrote a paper based on interviews with 25 human resource managers in large firms in New Delhi and National Capital region, they found that the cultural capital expected from employees – like “worldly, sophisticated and well educated” – is not accessible to members of SCs. Mr.R Prakash, Director, Institute for Dalit Development and Studies, Kerala is also the Superintendent in the Department of Industries. “There have been many instances in offices where people refuse to address Dalits with respectable terms like ‘sir’,” he says. “Even the office boys refer to Scheduled Caste officers as ‘special quota’, which means he has not come to the position due to his merit.

Rule 10

You can be under tremendous pressure to perform, to prove yourself worthy of the ‘benefits’ given by the government.

When Amaravathi, a national- level Dalit woman boxer from Hyderabad, consumed poison, her family members blamed her coach. “She used to tell us that her coach would frequently scold her to achieve results or leave the sports hostel (of Andhra Pradesh) since she was enjoying free amenities there (referring to the facilities given to SC/St students),” they said.

Rule 11

Domestic help cannot use the same toilets or same water filters.

“In some households, localities in Bengaluru, the women who clean the house and the toilets are not allowed to use the toilets not drink water from the filters,” says Geeta.

Rule 12

Even the Gods will discriminate

“Neither churches nor the temples have not taken any steps to include the Scheduled Castes in their leaderships,” points out Mr. P K Santhoshkumar, Secretary, Dalit Service Society, Kochi. ‘The Kerala Temples Devaswom Bill’ was passed in 2008, to include the Dalits in devaswoms. “But not one has been included even as committee members nor have they come forward, since they are not confident how they will be accepted in the ‘Nair’ dominated temple devaswoms.”

Rule 13

Pooja rooms are a no-enter zone for domestic help.

In a posh locality in Chennai, a senior lawyer Veena was chided by her neighbour. Reason? For letting her domestic help clean her pooja utensils. “I calmly told her to wash them herself, if she has a problem with my domestic help washing them,” says Veena. The neighbour has not spoken to her since then. It is common even in Bengaluru, says Geeta. “They are not allowed into the pooja rooms or touch some vessels. Even after they wash the clothes and vessels, water is sprinkled on the same.” On a lighter note, she adds, “Ironically, how pure is the corporation water that is sprinkled?”

Rule 15

We are all friends till dinnertime.

Whenever lawyer Priyanka goes to her friend and Delhi-based senior journalist Maya Fernandes’ house, she does not stay for dinner. Says Maya, “Priyanka is a Brahmin and she is not comfortable with having food in my house because I cook nonvegetarian food. She usually calls up and asks me to finish my dinner and wait up for her or leaves just before dinner. One day, when she did come early and had to wait for someone else at my house, she bought a packet of chips.” It has definitely affected their relationship and Maya is not sure, if she can ever be a good friend to Priyanka.

Rule 16

Humour is often used to sugar-coat offensive statements and behaviour.

In a Kochi-based editing firm, Anila has to suffer another colleague’s playful attempts at dividing the staff into different caste groups. “She counts the Nairs in the room by asking them to raise their hands. Then, she pitches Nairs against non-Nairs in debates. It is all done as a joke, so how do we argue? Most people join in so that they don’t appear touchy or oversensitive.” One day, this colleague proudly announced in the office that the Brahmin receptionist liked her the moment he saw her because of her fair skin. Abraham Ninan remembers an incident that happened in one of the leading IT firms in Chennai. He was there to take classes in effective communication and on day one he could spot the class clown. “The minute I asked him any question, the whole class would start giggling. I realised that he spoke in halting English. According to them, he clearly did not belong.” He lacked in cultural capital.



Relief – Suicidal deaths of Farmers-Enhancement of ex-gratia to Rs.3.50 lakhs and loan settlement ceiling limit to Rs.1.50 lakhs to mitigate the distress and debt of deceased family members of farmers who have committed suicide-Orders-Issued.



G.OMs.No.                                                                                       Dated:19th February, 2014


G.O.Ms.No.421 Revenue (DA-II) Department Dated:01.06.2004.



In the G.O. read above, Government have evolved a ‘special package’ to support the distressed  family members as indicated below :

  • Financial Assistance :


An ex gratia of Rs.1.00 lakh (Rupees One lakh only) in cases of suicide provisionally arises out of farm income related issues  to the family/next to kin of the deceased farmer, as an economic support, besides loan settlement up to a ceiling of Rs.50,000/-(Rupees Fifty thousand only) as one time settlement, to creditors followed by a rehabilitation package.

Additional benefits :


  1. a) Admission of children in Social Welfare schools and Hostels.
  2. b) Allotment of houses under I.A.Y Scheme,
  3. c) Economic support under Government schemes and
  4. d) Pensions.
  5. Government  after careful examination, observed that the financial assistance, envisaged in 2004, is not commensurate with the present socio economic circumstances.  The ceiling limit  fixed, up to Rs.50,000/- only, under loan settlement package paid to debtors, as one time settlement, to clear off the liabilities also is a very  small amount, when compared to the debts with institutional and private money  lenders raised by  the farmers.  This is essentially due to escalation  of prices of agrarian farm in-puts,  fertilizers, and investments etc.,  A study  of the debts  raised by the farmers reveals that, 80% of the deceased farmers, raised debts, up to Rs. 2.00 lakhs to Rs. 10.00 lakhs due to repeated crop failures, and successive droughts.  It is further observed that heavy investments are made in drilling bore wells and there is high percentage leading to repeated drilling and failure which created debt spiral.  Similarly, an ex-gratia  of Rs. 1.00 lakh is insufficient to the distressed family in the present circumstances, particularly in  drought pone Districts. Keeping in view the increased distress of the farmers,  a policy decision has been  taken  that the present ex-gratia of Rs.1.00 lakh  be enhanced to Rs.3.5 lakhs and also to enhance the loan settlement amount from Rs.0.50 lakhs to Rs.1.50 lakhs to mitigate the debt burden and distress of the family members of the deceased farmers.
  1. Accordingly, Government hereby enhance the  ex-gratia and loan settlement ceiling limit to the family members of the deceased farmers in the following manner.
  • Enhance Ex-gratia from Rs.1.00 lakh (Rupees One lakh only) to 3.50 lakh (Rupees Three lakh Fifty thousand only) to the family of the deceased farmer towards rehabilitation of the family ; and
  • Enhance Loan settlement ceiling limit from Rs.0.50 lakhs (Rupees Fifty Thousand) to  1.50 Lakh (Rupees One lakh Fifty Thousand) to the persons (debtors) entitled; as one time settlement and to wipe off all  the liabilities  on the part of deceased families of farmers.



  1. The additional benefits  will continue as envisaged in G.O.Ms.No.421 Revenue (D.A.II) Department Dated:01.06.2004.
  1. All the District Collectors are hereby requested to immediately initiate necessary action in the matter accordingly.








The CCLA.,  A.P., Hyderabad.

All the District Collectors,

All the District Superintendents of Police,

Copy to:

All the Departments in Secretariat,

All the Heads of Departments/Directorates,

The PS to Joint Secretary to Chief Minister,

The PS to OSD to Chief Minister (CMRF)

The PS to OSD to Dy Chief Minister/Finance/Agriculture

P.S.to C.S./Secy(poll)




Press Release                  
The Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands that the Government revoke the lease granted to Singam Bhavani for mining of laterite in an extent of 35.84 hectares (86.05 acres) near Asanagiri village of Sarugudu panchayat, Nathavaram mandal in the Agency region of Visakhapatnam district. We urge the District Collector, who is custodian of the Constitutional rights of adivasis, to immediately intervene and cancel the public hearing for the proposed project slated for February 19 at Sundarakota village. Not doing so would amount to a mockery of the environmental clearance regime.  A three-member HRF team visited Asanagiri on Saturday and spoke with local residents who are adivasis of the Bagata and Konda Dora communities. They have vibrant farming consisting principally of cashew, paddy and fruit bearing trees apart from collection and sale of various minor forest produce. This livelihood will be destroyed if mining takes place. The project will also affect the adivasis’ religious and cultural rights since their dieties Gangalamma Thalli and Jagaramma Devatha fall in the mining lease area. The region is notified under the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution and the area in and around the mine lease zone is reserve forest. Both these salient facts have been suppressed in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report. The proposed project and the notification of the public hearing are in brazen violation of statutory rights meant for protection of adivasis and the Vth Schedule region. Even the public hearing notification in respect of the place of venue and time given is ambiguous and flawed.  In fact, the EIA report put out by the project proponent report is a sham. Assessments trotted out in the EIA report are highly dubious, riddled with a number of inconsistencies and misrepresentations. For instance it is stated in the report that there is no forest in the proposed mine lease area. This is a brazen falsehood. The whole area stretching from Sundarakota village in the east to K Doddugula and Asanagiri through to Bhamidika to the south and Rajavommangi to the west in East Godavari district is abundantly green with dense forest. Besides, there are many perennial streams in the area that are a source of sustenance. The claim that the proposed project’s impact on ecology will be insignificant is absolutely untenable. The proposed mining violates a number of Constitutional safeguards meant for protection and strengthening of forest ecology and adivasi livelihood. These include the Forest Conservation Act, Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act and the Forest Rights Act, 2006. These facts have been brought to the notice of concerned authorities but they have so far failed to act upon them. Holding a public hearing in the face of such brazen statutory violations and glaring anomalies will amount to a meaningless exercise. The proposed project entails unacceptable environmental and human livelihood costs in a highly sensitive eco-system. HRF believes that there is a powerful laterite mining lobby consisting of non-tribal benamis which is pushing through these projects. They are going about their operations in open contempt of the law with active assistance from officials and politicians. Their operations stretch from Sankavaram mandals of East Godavari district to Nathavaram mandal in Visakhapatnam Agency. We demand that the government put on hold all these mining proposals and initiate a comprehensive enquiry into the matter.  
VS Krishna
(HRF general secretary, AP and TS)  

Some senseless fellows spreading a false message that today is the martyrs day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and sukhdev and saying that we shouldn’t celebrate valentines day today. Don’t believe such idiots. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and sukhdev were hanged by British colonial rulers with consent of indian dominant castes on March 31st not February 14th.


Image  —  Posted: February 14, 2015 in General