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“Why I Like Buddhism – Dr. Ambedkar’s Talk to BBC London”


In the short time allotted to me, I am asked to answer two questions. First is ‘why I like Buddhism ’ and the second is ‘How useful it is to the world in its present circumstances.’

I prefer Buddhism because it gives three principles in combination which no other religion does. All other religions are bothering themselves with God and Soul and life after death. Buddhism teaches Prajna (understanding as against superstition and supernaturalism). It teaches Karuna (love). It teaches Samata (equality). This is what man wants for a good and happy life on earth. These three principles of Buddhism make their appeal to me. These three principles should also make an appeal to the world. Neither God nor Soul can serve Society.

There is a third consideration which should make an appeal to the world and particularly the South East Asian part of it. The world has been faced with the onslaught of Karl Marx and the Communism of which he is made the father. The challenge is very serious one – That Marxism and Communism relate to secular affairs. They have shaken the foundation of the religious system of all the countries. This is quite natural for the religious system although today is unrelated to the secular system, yet is the foundation on which everything secular rests when the secular system cannot last very long unless it has got the sanction of the religion however remote it may be.

I am greatly surprised at the turn of mind of the Buddhist countries in South East Asia, towards communism. It means that they don’t understand what Buddhism is. I claim that Buddhism is a complete answer to Marx and his Communism. Communism of the Russian type aims to bring it about by a bloody revolution. Those who are eager to embrace communism may note that the Sangh is a Communist organization. There is no private property. There has not been brought about by violence. It is the result of a change of mind and yet it has stood for 2500 years. It may have deteriorated but ideals are still binding. The Russian Communism must answer this question. They must also answer two other questions. One is that why communistic system is necessary for all times. They have done the work which, it may be admitted the Russians could never have been able to do, but when the work is done why the people should not have freedom accompanied by love as the Buddha preached. The South East Asian countries must, therefore, be aware of jumping into Russian net. They will never be able to get out of it. All that is necessary to them is to study the Buddha and what he taught, a right and to give political form to his teachings. Poverty there is and there will always be. Even in Russia there is poverty, but poverty cannot be an excuse for sacrificing human freedom.

Read – India’s Foreign Policy – Aspirations and Failures
Unfortunately, the Buddha’s teachings have not been properly interpreted and understood. That his gospel was a collection of doctrines and social reforms have been completely understood. Once it is realized that Buddhism is a social gospel, the revival of it would be everlasting event, for the world will realize why Buddhism makes such a great appeal to everyone.

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
26, Alipur Road,
New Delhi
12th May 1956.

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The emotions from Late Dr. Shekhar Bagul, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, who attended funeral of Dr.Ambedkar on 7th Dec 1956.


Remembrance of Parinirvana Day :

Our Saviour was just 65 and nobody thought that he would leave us so suddenly. Everybody had great hopes of better future as he had shown us the way of the Buddha and gave us a new identity as Buddhist. The world to us was appearing a new, with new horizon, new expectations, new hopes. Those, like me, who had just returned taking Diksha only six weeks earlier at Nagpur, were projecting many things ahead. We all thought Babasaheb will show us the light and would explain us the path of the Buddha, how to practice it, how it will brake the shackles of slavish religious practices which made us to believe that we are born slaves and that we cannot worship in any temple, any God which we could call ours. We, one and all, were looking for the Star in the Sky to throw rays lightening the path which we were eagerly waiting to follow. Our star was sending messages from the capital New Delhi’s Alipur Road that he has planned to organise a mammoth Diksha Ceremony in Bombay, the citadel of his Depressed Classes movement. Within the span of six weeks the Buddha shrines were coming up in every colony, chawals, hutments, Zuggis zopadis and even on roads in those places. In BDT and Port Trust chawals of single rooms, Worli, Byculla, Nagpada, Matunga, Koliwada, Wadala and many places families were getting ready for the Day when they were going to take Diksha from the Saviour. Messages were coming from villages to us who were in Bombay that families and relations are coming for the Diksha. They were sending messages that they would come day or two earlier because they want to buy white saries and shirts as they could not get one in their places. They were asking what they have to do, will they get a chance to see Baba and bow to his feet? The Mumbapuri (Bombay) was in many moods; particularly: 1) Jubilation for the proud Mahars, Mangs, Bhangis and some Chamars and our Brahmin friends too. 2) The majority Hindus, minority Christians and Muslims appeared surprised and thought what will happen. The tradesmen were busy in replenishing their stocks with white garments. The Mali brethren were ordering truck loads of flowers and decorations. The South Indian poor men’s restaurants were getting ready and cleaning more spaces around their small restaurants. To those student activists like me, there emerging new contacts and friends from non-Mahar Communities. The South Indians, Biharis, Punjabis were declaring and telling us, as never before, that they belong to our ‘Kome,’ same caste, our Majjab and grateful to Baba as they too are enjoying facilities which he acquired for all us. The brotherhood was emerging fast in Mumbapuri and surrounding areas up to Kalayan, Varsava, Vasai and Panvel , etc. Many were planning to make arrangement there with their relations. Most of them were planning to sleep in open in Parks and pavements. Such was the Jubilation, great were the efforts, unbound hopes to take Diksha from the Saviour. They did not know what Disksha is, what it expects, how it looks and what happens afterwards. They only knew that the saviour will show the light through dark tunnels and will lead us to our spiritual home where they will live in self respect and dignity. They will have shrines and places to gather for collective worship and talk about each other’s problems and get organised for the next step the Saviour would expect them to follow. Such was the jubilation, all eyes on the star, waiting and getting ready for the day. Alas, the shadow of darkness fell suddenly on us, there was darkness everywhere, there were tears and sadness. Instead of jubilant dancing, women were fainting and falling, emotions were holding the breaths. The message from Delhi was that the Star is no more, the Saviour, the Boddhisatva has embarked on the journey to Nibhana. The Boddhisatva, true in his compassion and deeds, we heard was shading tears even on his last day for the poor of the villages, his poor, oppressed and poverty stricken lot. That is the lot who was planning to come to take Diskha from hundreds of miles to see the star. But the star was no more. Nonetheless many of them kept their plans to come to Mumbapuri as the announcement came that Baba’s Parthiv Deh will be flown to Bombay for the last rituals. I was at my desk in PMG’s office (GPO) when our office superintendent, a Parsi Bawaji, came and stood behind me. Before he could tell me the sad news, I was surrounded by half a dozen men and women. One Mrs Desai holding me and in hear tears said, ‘Shekhar, Babasaheb is no more with us, he has passed away, my husband heard the news on radio.’ I knew the lady but we never had a chance to talk. So also one Mr Prasad from UP, another Sidhaye from Andhra and Vhatkar from Karnataka came and stood with others with tears. I never thought these (non-Marathi) are my people. Baba brought brethren together even in his death. I was shocked, lost my voice. Our Superintendent, though a strict disciplinary, told us that we could go home, he too was in tears seeing our grief. I rushed towards Dadar Rajgriha with one or two friends. When that news came, there was about 10 hours gap before the plane could land at Santacruz airport with Baba’s parthiv Deh. Many started to go to the airport. It was obvious that Baba’s, the Boddhisatva’ s Parthiv Deh would be brought to Rajgriha, his home where he meditated, contemplated, read and wrote most of the treatises. At that time Rajgriha was turned into a hostel for Siddharth college students. I was a frequent visitor there to see my classmates and friends. I rushed there with my friends, others were already there. There were many people there. We were there almost 8-9 hrs before Boddhisatva’ s Deh was expected. We occupied one room on the second floor. We looked through the windows, people were coming not one by one but by loads and loads. Crying and sobbing with emotions. Women were beating their heads and cratching their faces. So great was the grief, many men and mostly women fainted. Within an hour or two the surrounding area and the streets were full of people, men women and children. The Road from Dadar Rly station to Matunga was fully packed. The ground opposite Rajgriha was covered inch by inch. The road to the right side of the Rajgriha and the girls school was fully packed so also the surrounding roads. In the Hindu Colony all the houses were of affluent people. They were locked. They could not get out or get in. Nonetheless the mourners were considerate and were giving way to the house-holders. We looked through the windows again and again, whole surrounding area was covered. Looking at the gathering we could not stop our tears too. What an irony, the women, men and children were dressed in all white. They bought their sarees, dhotis and shirts bright and whiter white for the Diksha Day but they had to wear them for Parinirvana Day. When I looked outside the window the whole area was in white just like a flamingo colony, calm but simply the tears running from every eye. By this time local leaders gathered in Rajgriha claiming their places. We did not move and locked the doors of our room upstairs. The leaders were squabbling for their places, rights and duties and preferences, who should seat where. There were messages coming every minute. One message was that Baba’s Parthiv Deh is already on a special flight with handful of close ones. It was also announced that Sohanlal Shashri and other trusted disciples of Baba were also on that plane. At this time I had an opportunity to make announcement for a minute or two as the main lot was holding their places in the main hall where Baba’s Deh would rest for DARSHAN. There was calm silence. There were trouble makers and speculators too. I had to simply announce that the people should keep calm and stay where they are. Every one gathered would get a chance of Baba’s Darshan. In that calmness and grief, the speculators were causing more anxiety. There were rumours after rumours about Baba’s sudden death. Evening papers were adding fuel to these rumours. Everybody’s thoughts were flying wild about Baba’s sudden death. Some thought it was a conspiracy at the high level to sabotage the Dhamma Diksha programme in Bombay scheduled at the end of the month. The wrath was falling on the poor Brahmins and the Hindu houses around Rajgriha were all worried. No wonder they were shut and there was no IN or OUT. When I looked out again, I saw one Mr Deshpande with a huge bouquet of flowers in the shape of a car wheel. To me it looked like a Dhamma Chakra. Many people knew him. I sent a word inside and one leader came to the window and announced that people should give way to him, he is Deshpande. Gathering quickly gave way and he was coming in. At this time situation became tense as one leader inside said he should not be allowed as he is General Secretary of Hindu Mahasabha. But others ruled him out and Mr Deshpande was allowed in. From suburbia many families went direct to Santacruze airport hoping that they will get the first glimpse of Babasaheb’s Parthiv Deh. I don’t know if they could manage that. They travelled back to Rajgriha. There were not much cry and tears. They were all dry after about 10 hours waiting without food. Volunteers, though, made arrangements of water at various places. Even the families of Hindu Colony served some food and gave water to those who were around their houses. When Baba’s Deh arrived at Rajgriha, all stood in silence folding their hands in respect. Many of them have their little ones on their shoulders. Their tears could not stop but they were silent tears. They thought the good earth has given the way and taken their Saviour away from them. I had a glimpse of Babsaheb’s Deh. It looked quite different from that I saw him few times in the past. It was calm and still as if the wisdom is radiating from his forehead. Baba was no more crying for his poor brethren who were gathered outside and lined up for the last Darshan. There was good discipline, the calm silence, simply wiping the tears while going in for Darshan. I saw through the window ladies coming out, many of them started crying and many fainted . The procession started in silence. Baba’s Parthiv Deh was placed on the specially arranged desk top of a bus or a lorry so that everybody on the way could see, people on the foot path, on the road and in the surrounding buildings. Bhaya Yashwant, Mukund, Mai, Dadasaheb Gaikawad, Shashri and prominent leaders were seated around baba’s Parthiv Deh. It was a long journey to Dadar seaside. My fiends and I walked from Rajgriha through main Road (now Dr Ambedkar Marg) to Naigam point. Many people, irrespective of their caste or religion were offering flowers. When the procession came to Naigam point, myself and my friends pushed close to the carrier. There, one Dr More, an OBC, admirer of Baba had a bagful of flowers hanging on the high rope line across the road (just like at the Ganesh Utsav they hang madaki top on the rope and devotees clime to reach it). As soon as Baba’s Deh reached there, with an accurate precision the bagful of flower petals were dropped on Baba’s Deh. It was an extraordinary sight. The silent procession proclaimed at the top of their voice saying ‘Babasaheb Ki Jai, Babsaheb Amer Rahe.’ As our brigade knew all the roads, we took a short cut and reached the Chaitanya Bhoomi to find the nearest place. Well, there were already many people there. We told them the procession is at Naigam/Parel and it would be here in a couple of hours or so. We captured the spots from where we could see the pier clearly. While on the road, from Parel to Shivaji Park, we could not fail to notice the situation very calm but tense. Evening papers were already rolling across Bombay. Shivaji Park being dominant Brahmin area, we could notice their fears too. May be it was the Bania dominated papers writing and speculating about Baba’s sudden death. may be they wanted to instigate some troubles between Mahars and Brahmins. But Baba’s followers were calm and quite, did not want any trouble on that day. Otherwise, it was feared, the roads of Hindu colony would tern into rivers of blood. When we reached Dadar Smashanbhoomi (now Cahitanya Bhoomi), there were many volunteers doing their jobs. Many of them with water containers ready to serve water to thousands of mourners. At the time there was no provision of water and the houses were far away from the smashan except one or two tin shade restaurants, they immediately ran out of their supplies and started serving water only. When procession arrived at Chaitanyabhoomi, Baba’s Deh was unloaded from the Chariot. We could see beloved Bhaya Yeshwant with his family, Mukund, Maisaheb and other prominent leaders around. The rituals and chanting of ‘Buddham Saranam Gachami’ were going on non-stop. A silence, a deep silence, only tears were flowing from thousands of eyes. The sky was calm too and felt it too shading the tears. The sea, just a few yards away, was calm too but the waves were rising and engulfing the sand and lashing the water as if the sea was showering rain flowers on Baba’s Deh. It was making big noise, we thought the see is also crying too. Once Deh was on the pier there were chanting by Bhikkhus and by all around. As soon as the pier was lit, the silence was broken. All raised their voice saying ‘Babasaheb Ki Jai, Long live Babasaheb.’ People’s emotions burst, they could not control, staring at burning pier, I too burst in uncontrollable tears. I had a habit, to see Babasaheb for those last ten years, wherever and whenever I could hear or read that Babasaheb was coming or going. Once I took a train without ticket and reached Igatpuri station where a ticket collector caught me and said ‘not you again, where you are going? Babasaheb has gone to Aurangabad, you should have changed train at Manmad.’ (He knew for sure that I wanted to see Babasaheb). Whenever Baba was in Bombay I use to stand in front of Rajgriha just to have Darshan. I had no courage to talk to him. Anyway he was always surrounded by leaders. When he came to open the new building of our Vidyarthi Ashram at Manmad, I had an opportunity as an SSD volunteer, when Baba exchanged a couple of words with me. I could not open my mouth, just kept looking. His words were about the discipline the SSD volunteers were expected to observe. On that day when Baba came near to our batch, I just broke the chain and fell on his feet. Baba moved a step back and said ‘I am not a God, you should not bow to my feet but keep your discipline of SSD sainik.’ Suddenly as lightening, I stood up and joined the chain of some ten sainiks of which I was in-charge. Baba going yard or two further looked back and saw us at stand-still. He gave a smile, which I can never forget. That day at Chaytya Bhoomi Baba was not smiling at me. While standing near Baba’s pier and paying last respects, just 3/4 yards away, all these thoughts and memories were coming before my eyes. I knew, I would not get that chance again. I was planning to see Babasaheb next year when I was planning to take Buddhism for my B.A. course. I wanted to tell him that I was at the Dikha Boomi and I made up mind there to study Dhamma. I was going to ask for his blessing. While standing there, I pledged, taking last glance at Baba, that I will keep my pledge to study Buddhism. As soon as the pier was lit, my thoughts were broken and there were cries everywhere. People were falling on the ground with grief. Some women tried to push through and wanted to burn on the pier. They were crying uncontrollably and saying ‘Baba who is going to look after us, who is going to protect us, what we could do without you.’ There were tears, uncontrollable tears everywhere. Grief had no bound as the Light had Gone and everybody saw darkness around. It was almost midnight, we friends, we moved towards the sea (Dadar Chaupati) and decided to spend night there slipping on the sand. It was cold but we didn’t care. We had some idea. We were sleeping just 8-10 yards away other side of the wall. We woke up in the morning. There were a few people and guards who were looking after the pier. We came to the pier, it was almost to the grounds. We started collecting some ashes, they were still hot and burning. With our noise the guards got up and were going to give us beating or throw us out. But one was there who saw us standing near the pier from the beginning to end. He realised that we were sleeping there in the cold all night. I told the guard that even if he beats me, I was going to take handful of Baba’s raksha. I told the guard to do a favour and let me have a handful of Ashes. He felt sympathetic to my urge and let me have some. I had nothing to take the Ashes in. He gave me a clean new piece of cloth from the bag. They had already had new cloth and containers there to collect Baba’s ashes. We left the Chaitanyabhoomi early in the morning and walked back through the same rout of procession. We could see the road was still littered with flowers and petals offered to Baba on the way to Chaitanyabhoomi. I thought there were millions teardrops there too. Every paper in Bombay was full of Babasaheb, his scarifies, his devotion, his wisdom, his compassion for he spurned all the temptation to serve his poor depressed masses and the nation as a whole. I don’t know why the scene of that day resurrects before my eyes and mind as it was on that day of 6 December 1956. In the evening I went back again to Chaitanyabhoomi. There were already many women, men and children there. Most of them were those who could not reach earlier, nonetheless they wanted to visit there and put raksha on their foreheads as Baba’s blessings. I heard some women were singing a grief song. It was by one Waman Kavi (Waman Kardak). They were singing ‘ Bheemai, Bheemai, keeti Humberave, keeti humberave. Bheemai Bheemai Dalitanchi Ai, wasarachi Gai, tujbin nahi koni Data. Amha Garibanche Jag he sune tujbina. Bheemai Bheenai kitee humberave, kitee humbarave .…’ It could, somewhat, be translated as ‘Mother Bheema, mother Bheema, how much we can cry, how long we can cry. Bheema, O’ Bheema the mother of Dalits, you are mother to us like cow to calfs. Without you there is no one our leader, our carer. The world of we poor is now empty without you. Bheemai, Bheemai how long we will cry and suffer.’ That was the day that was when I had last Darshan of my Babasaheb, the Mahakarunee, the compassionate, the Boddhisatva of many koti of Dalits. Homage to Baba, homage to Boddhisatva, the compassionate one, the Saviour of millions depressed, oppressed and suppressed, homage to him. Long live his Mission

With Metta,
yours in Mission Babasevak (Late Dr. Shekhar Bagul)

UPEKKHĀ


The fourth sublime state is the most difficult and the most essential. It is upekkhā or equanimity. The etymo-logical meaning of the term upekkhā is “discerning rightly,” “viewing justly” or “looking impartially,” that is, without attachment or aversion, without favour or disfavour. (See pp. 523-524 and 596-597).

Equanimity is necessary especially for laymen who have to live in an ill-balanced world amidst fluctuating circumstances.

Slights and insults are the common lot of mankind. The world is so constituted that the good and the virtuous are often subject to unjust criticism and attack. It is heroic to maintain a balanced mind in such circumstances.

Loss and gain, fame and infamy, praise and blame, pain and happiness are eight worldly conditions [5] that affect all humanity. Most people are perturbed when affected by such favourable or unfavourable states. One is elated when one is praised, and depressed when blamed and reviled. He is wise, says the Buddha, who, amidst such vicissitudes of life, stands unmoved like unto a firm rock, exercising perfect equanimity.

The Buddha’s exemplary life offers us worldlings an excellent example of equanimity.

There was no religious teacher in the world who was so severely criticised, attacked, insulted and reviled as the Buddha, and yet none so highly praised, honoured and revered as the Buddha.

Once when He went in quest of alms, He was called an outcast by an impertinent brahmin. He calmly endured the insult and explained to him that it is not birth that makes one an outcast but an ignoble character. The brahmin was converted.

Inviting him to a house for alms, a certain man entertained the Buddha with the filthiest language, current in His time. He was called ‘swine’, ‘brute’, ‘ox’, etc. But He was not offended. He did not retaliate. Calmly He questioned His host what he would do when guests visited his house. He replied that he would prepare a feast to entertain them.

“Well, what would you do if they did not partake of it?” questioned the Buddha.

“In that case we ourselves would partake of the feast.”

“Well, good brother, you have invited me to your house for alms. You have entertained me with a torrent of abuse. I do not accept it. Please take it back,” calmly replied the Buddha.

The offender’s character was completely transformed.

“Retaliate not. Be silent as a cracked gong when you are abused by others. If you do so, I deem that you have already attained Nibbāna although you have not realized Nibbāna. [6]”

Such is the advice of the Buddha.

These are golden words that should be given heed to in this ill-disciplined world of today.

Once a lady of the court induced some drunkards to revile the Buddha so much that Venerable Ānanda, His attendant disciple, implored the Buddha to leave the city and go elsewhere. But the Buddha was unperturbed.

Another woman feigned pregnancy and publicly accused the Buddha of having placed her in that condition. A woman was killed by His rivals and the Buddha was accused of murder. His own cousin and disciple Devadatta made an unsuccessful attempt to crush Him to death by hurling a rock from a cliff. Some of His own disciples accused Him of jealousy, partiality, favouritism, etc.

On the other hand many sang the praises of the Buddha. Kings prostrated themselves before His feet and paid the highest reverence.

Like the Mother Earth the Buddha suffered everything in silence with perfect equanimity.

Like a lion that does not tremble at every sound, one should not be perturbed by the poisoned darts of uncurbed tongues. Like the wind that does not cling to the meshes of a net, one should not be attached to the illusory pleasures of this changing world. Like the lotus that is unsoiled by the mud from which it springs, one should live unaffected by worldly temptations, ever calm, serene and peaceful.

As with the first three virtues so also upekkhā has for its direct enemy attachment (rāga) and for its indirect enemy callousness or unintelligent indifference.

Upekkhā discards clinging and aversion. An impartial attitude is its chief characteristic. He who practises equanimity is neither attracted by desirable objects nor is averse to undesirable objects.

His attitude towards the sinner and saint will be the same, for he makes no distinction.

I have stopped trying to educate caste-Hindus on reservations or sense of equality – Siddaraju Boregowda


I have stopped trying to educate caste-Hindus on reservations or sense of equality. Ambedkar himself was disillusioned by these caste bigots. He once said, *Anyone who relies on an attempt to turn the members of the caste Hindus into better men by improving their personal character is in my judgment wasting his energy and bugging an illusion*. Only way to achieve equality is not to debate these people but to fight these people. Caste consciousness is very thick and pushes caste-Hindus in to denial. Makes them not see the bright light. Fight for real equality hasn’t even began yet. Reservations in few government jobs that doesn’t account for 5% of all jobs that is not even properly implemented is not going to achieve equality. Reparations does. Reparations will include all jobs, government or private, ordinary, or super specialty, or super duper specialty. Temple jobs or ownership of private property. Land, goods, or services. All the social and economic capital that has been robbed from first people of Karnataka since 800 years should be re-appropriated. Reservations only sends them in to denial. Reparations will make their balls shrink.

*Siddaraju Boregowda.*

Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 2015


Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 2015

*రాజ్యాంగంలో ఆర్టికల్‌ 17* ప్రకారం అంటరానితనం నిషేధం.
దీనికి అనుగుణంగా పార్లమెంట్‌ 1995లో అంటరానితనం నిషేధ చట్టం రూపొందించింది.
ఈ చట్టాన్ని 1976లో పౌరహక్కుల చట్టంగా మార్చారు.
ఈ చట్టం కేవలం అంటరానితనాన్ని గురించి మాత్రమే ప్రతిపాదించింది.
అంతేకాక అంటరానితనాన్ని పాటించినా, ప్రోత్సహించినా విధించే శిక్షలు ఈ చట్టంలో అతి తక్కువగా ఉన్నాయి.
ఈ చట్టం ప్రకారం కనీస శిక్ష 30 రోజులు జైలు లేదా రూ. వంద జరిమానా లేదా రెండూ.
గరిష్ఠంగా శిక్ష ఆరు నెలల జైలు శిక్ష లేదా రూ. 500 జరిమానా లేదా రెండూ నిర్దేశించిన శిక్షలు తక్కువగా ఉండటంతో అంటరానితనం తగ్గలేదు.
పైగా వేధింపులు పెరిగాయి.
దీనిని దృష్టిలో పెట్టుకొని 1989 సెప్టెంబర్‌ 11న ఎస్సీ, ఎస్టీ వేధింపుల నిరోధక చట్టాన్ని రూపొందించారు. అనంతరము దీనిని 2016 లో సవరించారు.
దీనిలో పారెస్టు భూములతో పాటు అన్ని రకాల భూముల వివాదాలకు ఈ చట్టము వర్తింప చేసారు. అదికారులు ఉద్దేశ పూర్వకంగా నిర్లక్ష్యం గా వ్యవహరించినా వారిపై కూడా కేసులు నమోదు చెయ్యవచ్చు.
దీని ప్రకారం ఎస్సీ, ఎస్టీలపై… ఎస్సీ, ఎస్టీలు కానివారు చేసే వేధింపులు శిక్షార్హమైన చర్యగా పరిగణించారు.

*చట్టంలో పేర్కొన్న ప్రధానాంశాలు*

1. ఎస్సీ, ఎస్టీలపై జరిగే చిన్న నేరాలు వాటి కి శిక్షలు
2. ఎస్సీ, ఎస్టీలపై జరిగే పెద్ద నేరాలు వాటికి శిక్షలు
3. ప్రత్యేక న్యాయస్థానాలు
4. ఈ చట్టం అమలు ప్రభుత్వ బాధ్యత

*చిన్న నేరాలు – శిక్షలు*

ఈ చట్టం ప్రకారం ఎస్సీ, ఎస్టీలు కానివారు ఎస్సీ, ఎస్టీలపై కింద పేర్కొన్న ఆకృత్యాలకు పాల్పడితే వాటిని చిన్న నేరాలుగా పరిగణించి శిక్షిస్తారు.

🔹 తినకూడని పదార్థాలు తినాలని, తాగకూడని పదార్థాలు తాగాలని బలవంతం చేయడం.

🔹 కులం పేరుతో అవమానించడం

🔹 ఇళ్లలో చెత్తచెదారాలను పారబోయడం

🔹 ఇంటి నుంచి నెట్టివేయడం

🔹 ఆస్తులను ఆక్రమించుకోవడం

🔹 బేగార్‌ లేదా వెట్టిచాకిరి చేయించడం

🔹 అభిష్టానికి వ్యతిరేకంగా ఓటు వేయాలని బలవంతం చేయడం

🔹 ఎస్సీ, ఎస్టీ మహిళలపై లైంగిక వేధింపులకు పాల్పడటం.

🔹 ఎస్సీ, ఎస్టీలు ఉపయోగించే చెరువులు, బావులు, రిజర్వా యర్లు, కాలువలను కలుషితం చేయడం.

🔹 బహిరంగ ప్రదేశాల్లో ప్రవేశంపై నిషేధం విధించడం
పై నేరాలకు పాల్పడితే కనీసం 6 నెలల నుంచి గరిష్ఠంగా ఐదేళ్ల వరకు జైలు శిక్ష విధించవచ్చు. లేదా రూ.2,500 నుంచి 25,000 వరకు జరిమానా లేదా రెండూ కలిపి విధించవచ్చు.

*పెద్ద నేరాలు – శిక్షలు*

కింద పేర్కొన్న చర్యలను ఈ చట్టం ప్రకారం నేరంగా పరిగణించి శిక్ష విధిస్తారు.

1. మరణశిక్ష లేదా యావజ్జీవ కారాగార శిక్ష పడే అవకాశం ఉన్న తప్పుడు కేసులు బనాయించడం, అటువంటి కేసుల్లో సాక్ష్యం చెప్పడం. అది తప్పుడు కేసు అని కేసు పరిశీలనలో ఉండగా నిరూపితమైతే కేసు పెట్టినవారికి, సాక్ష్యం చెప్పిన వారికి యావజ్జీవ కారాగార శిక్ష విధిస్తారు. ఒకవేళ మరణశిక్ష విధించిన తరవాత తప్పుడు కేసు అని నిరూపితమైతే కేసు పెట్టినవారికి, సాక్ష్యం చెప్పినవారికి మరణశిక్ష విధిస్తారు.

2. ఏడేళ్ల జైలు శిక్ష పడే అవకాశం ఉన్న తప్పుడు కేసు పెట్టినా లేక ఆ కేసులో సాక్ష్యం చెప్పినా అలాంటి వారికి 6 నెలల నుంచి ఏడేళ్ల వరకు జైలుశిక్ష, రూ. 25,000 జరిమానా విధించవచ్చు.

3. ఎస్సీ, ఎస్టీ ఇళ్లకు ఆకతాయితనంగా నిప్పుపెట్టినా, వారి ఇళ్లపై పేలుడు పదార్థాలు విసిరినా 6 నెలల నుంచి ఏడేళ్ల వరకు జైలు శిక్ష రూ. 25000 వరకు జరిమానా విధించవచ్చు. ఆకతాయి చర్య వలన సంబంధిత నివా సం పూర్తిగా నాశనమైతే రూ.2,50,000 వరకు జరిమానా లేదా యావజ్జీవ కారాగార శిక్ష కూడా విధించవచ్చు.

4. ఒక ప్రభుత్వోద్యోగి ఈ చట్టంలో పేర్కొన్న నేరాలకు పాల్పడితే ఆ నేరానికి సంబంధించిన శిక్షతో పాటు అధనంగా ఏడాది జైలు శిక్ష విధిస్తారు.

5. ఒక ప్రభుత్వోద్యోగి సమక్షంలో వేధింపులు జరుగుతుండగా దానిని నివారించడానికి ప్రయత్నించకపోతే 6 నెలల నుంచి ఏడాది వరకు జైలు శిక్ష విధించవచ్చు.

6. ఒక వ్యక్తి ఈ చట్టం ఆధారంగా శిక్షకు గురైన తరవాత కూడా అదే నేరానికి పాల్పడితే ఆ నేరానికి సంబంధించిన గరిష్ట శిక్షతో పాటు అదనంగా ఏడాది జైలుశిక్ష విధిస్తారు. వేధింపులకు పాల్పడిన ఒక నేరస్థుడు శిక్ష అనుభవించిన తరవాత తిరిగి వేధింపులకు పాల్పడతాడని భావిస్తే ఆ వ్యక్తిని ఆ ప్రాంతం నుంచి మూడు సంవత్సరాల వరకు బహిష్కరించవచ్చు.
ఈ సమయంలో అతడు ఆ ప్రాంతం లోకి ప్రవేశించే ప్రయత్నం చేస్తే ఏడాది జైలు శిక్ష, బహిష్కరణ కాలాన్ని పొడిగిస్తారు.
ప్రత్యేక న్యాయస్థానాలు
చట్టంలో పేర్కొన్న నేరాలను పరిష్కరించడానికి రాష్ట్ర ప్రభుత్వం స్పెషల్‌ కోర్టులను ఏర్పాటు చేయవచ్చు.
వాటి ఏర్పాటుకు హైకోర్టు ప్రధాన న్యాయమూర్తిని సంప్రదించాలి.
కొన్ని సందర్భాల్లో అవసరమైతే జిల్లాల్లో ఉండే సెషన్స కోర్టులనే ప్రభుత్వం ప్రత్యేక కోర్టులుగా ప్రకటించవచ్చు.
ఈ సెషన్స కోర్టుల్లో బాధితుల తరఫున వాదించడానికి స్పెషల్‌ పబ్లిక్‌ ప్రాసిక్యూటర్‌ను నియమించాలి.
అతడికి అడ్వకేట్‌గా కనీసం ఏడేళ్లు అనుభవం ఉండాలి. ఈ చట్టం కింద నమోదైన కేసులను స్పెషల్‌ కోర్టులు రెండు సంవత్సరాల లోపు పరిష్కరించాలి.

*ప్రభుత్వ బాధ్యతలు*

ఈ చట్టాన్ని అమలు చేయడానికి రాష్ట్ర ప్రభుత్వం కింది చర్యలు చేపట్టాలి.

🔹 వేధింపులు తరచూ జరిగే ప్రాంతాలను గుర్తించి, ఆయా ప్రాంతాల్లో వేధింపుల నివారణకు ప్రత్యేక కమిటీ ఏర్పాటు చేయాలి. దానికి జిల్లా మేజిస్ర్టేట్‌ లేదా కలెక్టర్‌ లేదా డిఎస్‌పి అధ్యక్షుడిగా వ్యవహరించాలి.

🔹 బాధితులకు ఉచిత న్యాయ సహాయం అందించే ప్రక్రియ లో భాగంగా కోర్టు ఖర్చులే కాకుండా కోర్టుకు వచ్చి వెళ్లడానికి టి.ఎ, డి.ఎ చెల్లించాలి. ఈ ఖర్చులను బాధితుడి తరపున సాక్షికి కూడా చెల్లించాలి.

🔹 ఈ చట్టం ఆధారంగా నమోదయ్యే కేసులను పరిష్కరిం చడానికి ప్రత్యేక కోర్టులు ఏర్పాటు చేయాలి. వాటిలో స్పెషల్‌ పబ్లిక్‌ ప్రాసిక్యూటర్‌ను నియమించాలి.

🔹 ఈ చట్టంపై అవగాహన కల్పించడానికి విస్తృత ప్రచారం చేపట్టాలి.

🔹 ఈ చట్టం అమలు జరుగుతున్న తీరుపై వార్షిక నివేదికను కేంద్ర ప్రభుత్వానికి సమర్పించాలి. కేంద్రం ఆ నివేదికను పార్లమెంట్‌కు సమర్పిస్తుంది.

*చట్టం అమలవుతున్న తీరు*

1990 జనవరి 30 నుంచి ఈ చట్టం అమల్లోకి వచ్చింది.
ఇది దేశవ్యాప్తంగా అమలవుతుంది.
కానీ, జమ్మూ కశ్మీర్‌కు వర్తించదు. దీని అమలుకు సంబంధించిన సమగ్ర నియమాలను కేంద్ర ప్రభుత్వం 1995 మార్చి 31న ప్రకటించింది.
చట్టాన్ని రూపొందించింది కేంద్ర ప్రభుత్వమైనా, దానిని అమలుచేసే బాధ్యత మాత్రం రాష్ట్ర ప్రభుత్వాలకు, కేంద్రపాలిత ప్రాంతాలకు ఉంటుంది.

*అమలులో సానుకూల అంశాలు నిధుల కేటాయింపు:*

కేంద్ర ప్రభుత్వం ఈ చట్టాన్ని అమలుచేయడానికి రాష్ర్టాలకు గ్రాంట్లు ఇస్తుంది.
ఈ చట్టం అమలు చేయడానికి ఉన్న పాలన, న్యాయ యంత్రాంగాలను బలోపేతం చేయటానికి ఈ నిధులు ఉపయోగించాలి.
దీనికి సంబంధించిన బడ్జెట్‌ కేటాయింపులు నిరంతరం పెరుగుతూ ఉన్నాయి.

*ఉదా:* 2004-05 ఆర్థిక సంవత్సరంలో రూ. 35 కోట్లుగా ఉన్న బడ్జెట్‌ 2007-08 నాటికి రూ. 38 కోట్లకు పెరిగింది.

*కేసుల నమోదు:*

గడచిన ఐదేళ్లలో ఈ చట్టం కింద నమోదయ్యే కేసుల సంఖ్య క్రమక్రమంగా పెరుగుతోంది.

*ప్రత్యేక సెల్స్‌:*

ఈ చట్టం అమలు, పర్యవేక్షణకు స్పెషల్‌ సెల్స్‌ కూడా ఏర్పాటయ్యాయి. ప్రస్తుతం 17 రాష్ర్టాల్లో వీటిని ఏర్పాటు చేశారు.

*సున్నిత ప్రాంతాల గుర్తింపు:*

ఆకృత్యాలు విస్తృతంగా జరిగే అవకాశం ఉన్న సున్నిత ప్రాంతాలను 10 రాష్ర్టాల్లో గుర్తించారు.

*స్పెషల్‌ కోర్టులు:*

24 రాష్ర్టాల్లో ఈ చట్టం ద్వారా నమోదైన కేసులను పరిశీలించడానికి ప్రత్యేక కోర్టులు ఏర్పాటు చేశారు.

*ప్రతికూల అంశాలు*

ఈ చట్టాన్ని అమలు చేయడానికి కేంద్ర-రాష్ట్ర ప్రభుత్వాలు చర్యలు చేపడుతున్నప్పటికీ ఎస్సీ, ఎస్టీలపై వేధింపులు తగ్గ లేదు.

🔹కర్ణాటకలోని కోలార్‌ జిల్లాలోని కంబాలపల్లె గ్రామంలో ఒక దళిత కుటుంబాన్ని సజీవ దహనం చేసిన సంఘటన,
🔹బీహార్‌లో రణ్‌వీర్‌ సేన దళితులపై చేసిన ఊచకోత ఘటనలు ఈ వాస్తవాన్ని నిరూపిస్తున్నాయి.

*కారణాలు*

🔹 ఫిర్యాదులు తీసుకోవడానికి పోలీసులు ఆసక్తి చూపడం లేదు, కొన్ని సందర్భాల్లో పోలీసులు ఫిర్యాదుదారులపైనే తప్పుడు కేసులు పెడుతున్నారు.
లేదా బూటకపు ఎనకౌంటర్లు జరుగుతున్నాయి.

🔹 ఎస్సీ, ఎస్టీల్లో ఉన్న పేదరికం కారణంగా వారు ఇంకా వెట్టిచాకిరి చేస్తూనే ఉన్నారు. అక్కడ వేధింపులకు గురైనా తమ యజమానులపై ఫిర్యాదు చేస్తే ఉపాధి కోల్పోతా మనే భయంతో ఫిర్యాదు కూడా చేయడం లేదు.

🔹 చట్టం అమలు విషయంలో బ్యూరోక్రాట్లలో నెలకొన్న నిర్లిప్తత వలన కూడా చట్టం సరిగా అమలుకావడం లేదు.
కొన్ని సందర్భాల్లో ఉన్నత కులస్థులతో కుమ్మక్కై దళితులకు, గిరిజనులకు వ్యతిరేకంగా పనిచేస్తున్నారు.

Indian Consulate Silenced by Protests at Guru Gobind Singh Seminar


Indian Consulate Silenced by Protests at Guru Gobind Singh Seminar “The Guru’s crown was salvaged from desecration,” remarks Singh after protest Los Angeles, CA: Nov. 10, 2017 — An all-day seminar claiming to honor Guru Gobind Singh at Loyola Marymount University was interrupted at the outset when a Singh raised his voice in protest as the event organizers attempted to place a turban on Indian Consul General Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok. “Dr. Sahota would like to come up and honor Ashokji before we begin,” said the mistress of ceremonies, referring to Harvinder Sahota. “I protest this activity,” declared Bhajan Singh as Sahota reached for the turban. Speaking to Ashok, he continued, “Guru Gobind Singh is a warrior. You are a coward. You have killed so many people near New Delhi. We are suffering. You are coming here representing the government. You say Guru Gobind Singh is defender of truth. You are, right here, representing untruth. You say Guru Gobind Singh represents equality. You represent caste. You are casteist. you belong to the Hindutva forces. You have no business coming here to represent Guru Gobind Singh. We condemn you for coming here.” The seminar was co-sponsored by the Consulate General of India, the Indian Government’s Ministry of Culture, and the Sikh & Jain Professorship of Loyola Marymount University. As Singh protested, organizers called security and threatened him with arrest. “I don’t mind, you can arrest me, but you cannot put a turban,” said Singh. “That’s disgraceful to put a turban on this consul…. Take the turban away!” The sparsely attended seminar soon broke into disorder as organizers called a break, encouraged the audience to drink chai, and people filtered out. Meanwhile, a few people sat beside Bhajan and tried to physically restrain him. “Don’t touch me,” he shouted. “Take your hands off me.” One woman sitting in the row in front of him reached back and slapped him with a brochure. Most of the audience appeared to be members of 3H0, a sect founded by Yogi Bhajan and considered by most Sikhs to be a cult. In his protest, Singh referenced sexual abuse allegations leveled against the yogi, who died in 2004. As security guards and seminar organizers surrounded him, Singh would not be deterred and continued raising slogans of “Raj Karega Khalsa,” “Mulnivasi Zindabad,” and “Hindutva Sikhs Murdabad.” The week before the seminar, other Sikh leaders spoke out against the Indian Consulate’s participation. “This November, we remember the 33rd anniversary of the genocide of Sikhs in Delhi by the Indian government,” said Balbir Singh Dhillon, President of West Sacramento Sikh Gurdwara. “The genocide was openly orchestrated by the Indian government, but the perpetrators have never been brought to justice. Meanwhile, while we mourn the memory of the greatest tragedy in living memory which our community ever suffered, the same government which organized it has the arrogance to organize a seminar about our Guru.” Additionally, Jaswinder Singh Jandi, the former president of Fremont Sikh Gurdwara, remarked, “Guru Gobind Singh, like his predecessors, made it his mission to ally with and empower the lowest of the low, especially those treated as Untouchables and known today as Dalits.” Jandi concluded, “When the Hindu nationalists in power in Delhi today are doing everything they can to preserve the caste system and suppress the liberation of Dalits and other downtrodden people, it’s deeply offensive that they would seek to co-opt the legacy of our Gurus.”

Chhattisgarh police should help governments by helping scheduled tribes.


https://www.amnesty.org.in/show/blog/chhattisgarh-police-should-help-governments-by-helping-scheduled-tribes/
Chhattisgarh police should help governments by helping scheduled Tribes

30 October 2017, 10:11AM

P. S. Krishnan is a Former Secretary with theGovernment of India and has been working on issuesof social justice for nearly seven decades.

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 (POA Act) and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act 2015 (POA Amendment Act) constitute a jurisprudential statutory initiative to provide protection from violence for two of the most vulnerable social groups in India: the Dalits/Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Adivasis/Scheduled Tribes (STs). These laws are based on Article 46 of the Constitution, which mandates the State to promote the educational and economic interests of SCs and STs and protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.

The POA Act has rarely been used for the protection of STs. One reason for this is that the nature of atrocities against STs is different from those against SCs. SCs, who are a minority of the population across India – but a majority of agricultural and other labourers – are often isolated from other labourers by the design and working of the Indian caste system and practices of ‘untouchability’. They are typically subjected to attacks by members of land-owning and other dominant castes. Most Adivasi people, on the other hand, live in tribal areas where they often constitute a majority of the population, and are rarely physically attacked. Atrocities on STs are committed typically by misuse of the forest, police and revenue departments by persons from powerful castes, and increasingly corporates, who deprive them of their lands and other resources. On account of their marginalized status, many Adivasi communities have also been slower to utilise the PoA Act, compared to Dalits.

In this context, the formal complaints made by 98 men and women from villages in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh, at the SC and ST Welfare Special Police Station in Raigarh on 14 June 2017 is a landmark. The villagers alleged that they had been forced to sell their lands through threats, intimidation, coercion and misinformation, to agents of TRN Energy, a subsidiary of ACB India Power Ltd., and Mahavir Energy Coal Beneficiation Limited, operating in collusion with local land-registration officials. This is perhaps the first time that such an initiative has been taken by Adivasis in India in substantial numbers.

I understand that the Chhattisgarh police first instituted preliminary enquiries, (misunderstanding/misinterpreting the Supreme Court judgment in Lalita Kumari vs Govt. of U.P. & Others case), and finally refused to register the FIRs, claiming that no cognizable offences were made out.

The prompt registration of an FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) if the information discloses commission of a cognisable offence, and no preliminary enquiry is permissible in such a situation. Therefore, an FIR ought to have been registered straightaway without further delay. The circumstances of Adivasis are such that they cannot be faulted for not having made the complaint as soon as the offence took place. The blame for their not knowing that there is an Act to protect them lies with the successive governments which have kept them in a state of educational deprivation. The reason for the refusal to register FIRs seem to lie elsewhere.

The Gram Sabhas (village assemblies) in the affected villages of Khokhraaoma, Katangdi, Bhengari and Nawapara Tenda had passed resolutions in 2014 and 2015 stating that their lands have been purchased through fraud and coercion. Under Section 3 (i) v of the POA Act, occupying the land of an SC or ST or dispossessing them of their land is punishable with imprisonment for up to five years. Further, the transfer of tribal lands to non-tribals in Chhattisgarh is prohibited under the Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code 1959. Another protective provision can be found in the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA), which requires consultations with Gram Sabhas to be held prior to land acquisition in Scheduled Areas.

The mandates of Article 46 and other ST-related constitutional provisions, legislations and regulations bind both the State and Central Governments. In the case of Scheduled Areas, the Governor of a State has a special and direct responsibility.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently set the right tone by announcing that nobody has the right to dispossess tribals of their lands and mining should be done without any adverse effect on their surface cultivation rights. Under Article 256, the Government of India has the power to give directions to a State to ensure compliance with any law made by Parliament. Further, Article 339 (2) empowers the Union to give directions to a State in respect of the welfare of STs. These vast powers should be used by the Central Government.

The State Government also has its own responsibilities with regard to protecting the rights of Adivasis. These powers should be effectively utilised to see that justice is done. The provisions of the POA Act, the Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code and the PESA must be implemented. If these instruments are enabled by the state and central governments to succeed, Adivasis will increasingly begin to utilize legal provisions democratically to secure their rights, and cease being attracted to the idea of violent uprisings.

The example of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, who make up about 4.3% of the population in that country, is worth noting. These communities, like indigenous communities all over the world, have also suffered exploitation, deprivation and abuse. But they have learnt to increasingly resort to courts, alliances with environment groups and targeted protests against mining companies to secure their rights. This has helped them secure many victories, including an unqualified apology by Canada’s then Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the House of Commons on June 11, 2008. In September this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admitted to the UN that his country had not done enough to help Indigenous peoples. Much more needs to be done in Canada, including ensuring that the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous communities is sought in advance of mining on their land. (For, as in India, in Canada too mineral wealth is concentrated in tribal areas.) But indigenous peoples in Canada have been able to get their voice heard on issues including job creation, sustainability in projects, etc.

The proportion of indigenous people in India is about double that of Canada. In Chhattisgarh, the indigenous population is 30.6%. Communities here can be as, or even more, effective if they are able to systematically utilise the powerful legislations already existing in India.

It must be an urgent task for the central and state governments to enforce the laws protecting land-related and other rights of Adivasis, as they are constitutionally bound to do. In the Raigarh case, by ensuring that quick action is taken, tribal land rights are restored and compensation for past losses given, the Government will be taking a practical step towards fulfilling its constitutional mandate of social justice

The media, which appears to have not taken too much notice of this significant development, must also disseminate and build up support for this initiative. Local organisations like Adivasi Dalit Mazdoor Kisan Sangarsh, Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan, Sarva Adivasi Samaj and Amnesty International India who have supported this pioneering Adivasi initiative deserve appreciation and encouragement.

It will be useful for local and national organisations to consider this route of helping indigenous Adivasi communities to learn about constitutional provisions, laws and schemes, and work with them to secure their rights and entitlements through peaceful and effective mobilisation of Adivasis and their supporters.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Amnesty International India.