New Delhi – Due to the caste system in society, the Dalit population of the country and the state are victims of caste oppression, untouchability, inequality, social injustice, and political discrimination. Even after 76 years of independence, about 17 percent of the country's Dalit population and more than 20 percent of Haryana's Dalit population are victims of various types of Manuwadi social discrimination, feudal oppression, and atrocities, from birth until the crematorium. A group of organizations such as Dalit Adhikar Manch of Haryana, Dalit Adhikar Andolan of Haryana, Dalit Shoshit Mukti Morcha, and many others came together to demand stronger action from the government on Monday, December 4 at Jantar Mantar.
The Mooknayak attended the cry for justice to talk to people from various marginalized sections and understand their plight. Subhashini Ali, Vice-President of Dalit Shoshit Mukti Morcha and an Ex-MP of Kanpur, said, "We feel Manuwadi people are gaining power. An immediate effect of it will be on the marginalized communities who will be losing out on basic rights. Privatization of education is one of the many agendas on our list. As we know, private spaces lack reservation policies. So making such important sectors private will push Dalit Adivasi students out, as not only will they find it difficult to pay the exorbitant fees, compete in reservation-less exams, but scholarships helping them will also dry out."
Balbir Singh from Punjab came all the way to attend the rally. He said, "We have come for solidarity. Like us, many daily wage workers face immense challenges. Under MGNREGA, we demand 200 days of work and 600 rupees as the minimum wage." The worker further added, "We also hope for equality in the education sector so that our children can study without any discrimination."
An elderly, widowed woman at the forefront of the rally spoke to Mooknayak, revealing harrowing details of her life. She said, "We are daily wage workers. We have worked in the hills to break rocks. Their dust has gotten into our lungs, affecting our health. Even when we go to government hospitals, we are prescribed medicines that are only available at private pharmacies. We do not have any money to treat ourselves."
A paper with a list of demands was handed to every attendee of the rally. The paper alleged, "The BJP government is shamelessly working towards creating a Hindu nation based on Manusmriti by destroying the Constitution. Attacks on women are increasing, and the constitutional rights of Dalits are being abolished. In this era, there is a very worrying increase in the horrific incidents of Dalit oppression. Under the protection of power, crime, and hooliganism have crossed all limits. Women and young girls are becoming its biggest victims."
The words further drew an irony with the present schemes of the central government. It said, "During the rule of the government, which pretends to save Beti, Beti Padhao, the ministers and MPs who indulge in sexual activities with the wrestler daughters who have brought glory to the country are roaming freely. Manipur burning in communal riots under the double-engine government and the stigma of cruelty against women shocked the entire society. An attempt was made to create the same situation in Nuh, Haryana. Instead of solving people's problems, the path of repression and terror is being adopted. Urban and rural sanitation workers are agitating."
The attendees further discussed the numerous issues faced by people from marginalized communities. The paper evidenced that by saying, "There are continuous movements of farmers and laborers. MNREGA workers are facing pressure due to their demand for work. There is no work on demand, and daily wages for the work done are not being received. Dalit and poor settlements are not being recognized. Dalits and backward classes are not being given a share in eligible Panchayat land. Widows, disabled, and those eligible for old age pension are roaming from door to door. People are being deprived of all the facilities by implementing the scheme of Family ID. Instead of implementing the food security law, people's ration cards are being cut. The above situation is being called Amritkaal."
Laws need to be made and strictly enforced to enable Dalits to acquire property and resources in urban and rural areas and to ensure an equal share in using these resources.
Guarantee of food, clothing, shelter, and social security with respect, easy access to all social services, including clean drinking water, electricity, and public means of transport, public health centers, and complete arrangements for medicines, testing labs, and doctors for the treatment of diseases.
The benefits and rights of all the welfare schemes related to the welfare of all Dalit sections, including women and children, should be protected.
Along with the general census, caste-based census should also be conducted.
The requirement of family ID should be canceled. The public should not be deprived of the benefits of schemes in the name of Family ID.
Dalits should be given a full share in cultivable Panchayat land. It should also be ensured that only the bidder cultivates the land, and accountability of administrative officers should be ensured.
All Dalit settlements should be recognized by giving them ownership rights. Landless people should be identified for residential plots, and possession should be ensured for their heirs, and all civic facilities should be provided.
An impartial investigation should be conducted into the fraud being committed by the Housing Board in the residential flats built in the name of Dalits in the cities, and justice should be guaranteed to the victims.
It should be ensured that the rural landless get possession of the land by giving them 5 acres of land per family and ownership rights.
Enact the Bonded Labor Abolition System Act, 1976, and end child labor immediately.
Cancel the new education policy and ensure free, quality education for all Scheduled Castes. Adequate scholarships should be paid immediately.
Implement the reservation quota in all public and private educational institutions and make a law against caste discrimination in educational institutions.
Reservation should be made mandatory in the private sector. The backlog in government sectors should be filled, and reservation in promotion should be restored.
The practice of manual scavenging should be strictly stopped, and priority for manual cleaning should be abolished, and those who do not follow it should be punished by taking legal action.
MNREGA should be implemented without any conditions and obstacles. Pending salaries should be paid immediately. Working days in MNREGA should be increased to 200 days every year, and wages should be Rs 600 per day. Provision for compensation in case of an accident should be made in MNREGA.
SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act should be implemented seriously. The criminals should be given