Dalit Women's Right to Political Participation in Rural Panchayati Raj (Part 1)

 

Dalit Women's Right to Political Participation
in Rural Panchayati Raj
A study of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu

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Executive Summary

~
Jayshree Mangubhai
Aloysius Irudayam sj
Emma Sydenham

~
(Research done in Collaboration with Navsarjan Trust, Gujarat and Evidence, Tamil Nadu)

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"More and more Dalit1 women should contest the elections and get elected to the panchayat, and help the Dalit community become liberated from their bondage. Like the dominant castes2, the Dalits should join hands with other Dalit sub-groups and stand together against the dominant castes. They should be able to work independently in the panchayats and stop being proxies for the dominant castes. We Dalits need to focus on our progress, throwing off our subordination."
- Annammal, village panchayat President in Madurai district, Tamil Nadu

"Reservation has meant little difference other than formal elections: it has not meant any real change for women other than their ability to move outside the house."
- Dalit women elected representatives, Ahmedabad district, Gujarat

Direct political participation of Dalit women in local governance (Panchayati Raj) is a central human right in itself and enables the realisation of a host of other human rights. Political voice and decision-making power concerning basic services, economic development and social justice are critical factors in challenging and transforming structural caste-class-gender discrimination, and enabling Dalit women to realise their fundamental rights. Political participation also demands accountability from state and non-state actors to guarantee and respect these women's equal political voice and development. This requires a transformation of power relationships both within institutions of governance and in the women's social environment.

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Non-Implementation of Reservation policy in University of Hyderabad: A Report

 

Report on Non-Implementation of Reservation policy in
University of Hyderabad (A case study of 2011-12 Admissions)

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Ambedkar Students' Association

[Via Arun Asokan]

Non-Implementation of Reservation Policy in P.G Courses for the year 2011-12 

University of Hyderabad has a clear-cut policy of 'no cut-off marks' for admission into P.G Courses, which means that the seats vacant under any quota must be filled. For reserved quota it becomes obligatory to fulfill mandatory provisions of reservation policy. But University of Hyderabad has violated it. From Table 1, owing exceptions to M.A Urdu and M.P.A Dance, we could observe that almost all departments had candidates available. Despite this, the seats remained vacant.

Table 1: Statement showing the No. of Vacancies and Availability of Candidates
intake 21

intake 22

Source: Compiled from Agenda Circulated for 67th Academic Council at University of Hyderabad.

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Agitation for OBC Reservation at Delhi University

[Statement Forwarded by Anoop Patel, AIBSF]

A group of students and teachers of Delhi University staged a protest demonstration in front of Ramjas College. A delegation met the Principal, Ramjas College and put forward their demands. After staging the demonstration the group marched to the office of the Dean of Students' Welfare (Delhi University) and continued the protest. They forced the Dean of Students' Welfare to come out and listen to the demands. But the issues that were raised were not resolved and therefore we have decided to continue with the agitation and take it to the higher authorities, namely the Vice-Chancellor of the University and to the Ministry of Human Resources Development.

ramjas_1_copy

Although DU follows the cut off system for admission for General and OBC, Ramjas College has rendered the cut off for OBC by restricting their admission to the number of sanctioned strength. Therefore, the General Category admission goes well above the sanctioned strength, but the OBC students are denied seats even if they meet the cut off. 27% reservation for OBC has thus been rendered meaningless in Ramjas. The following demands were put forward:

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Andhra Pradesh Dalits and Adivasis marching towards achieving Statutory Status for SCP and TSP

Karthik Navayan

SC, ST Sub-Plan Nidhula Saadhana Ikya Kaaryacharana Committee (United Action Committee to claim SC, ST Sub-Plan Funds) was formed under the leadership of Sri Kaki Madhava Rao, Former Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh as its chairman and Retired Justice K. Ramaswamy as adviser. Retired IAS Officers Sri B. Danam, Sri K.R. Venu Gopal, Sri T. Gopal Rao and Retired IPS Officers Sri Rushya Rao, Dr. D. T. Nayak, Dr. V. N. V. K. Sastri are some of the important persons as its members. National Dalit Forum, Sakshi Human Rights Watch- A P and Center for Dalit Studies have come together to provide secretarial assistance to the committee.

The Committee has brought together nearly 100 people's organizations and NGOs under its fold. The core committee constituted a drafting committee to draft the bill to provide statutory status to SCP and TSP. The drafting committee consisted of Sri K. Madhava Rao, Sri B.Danam, Sri V.Nanda Gopal, Mr. R.Ravi Kumar. The Drafting committee met several times to articulate the bill. The salient features of the Bill are:

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Growth without Inclusion- At Whose Cost?

Union Budget 2012-13

Response from Dalits and Tribals

Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan/NCDHR*

The Total Plan Expenditure of Union Budget 2012-13 BE is Rs.3,99,011 cr. For Special Component Plan (SCP) and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) Rs. 37113.03 cr. and Rs.21710.11 cr has been allocated which is altogether 9.3% (SCP) and 5.4% (TSP) as compared to the legitimate allocation of 16.2% for SCP and 8.2% for TSP. For STs there is decrease of 0.1%. There is gap of Rs. 38,535.54 cr. for both communities.

As per the guidelines, each Ministry has to allocate fund under SCP/TSP but it is unfortunate that only 25 departments have allocated for SCs and 28 for STs. While all other departments like Energy, Coal, Industries 70-75 departments have not allocated any funds. Quality of allocation is less in the growth sectors and more in the survival areas.

If we calculate spending on SCs & STs in the Total Budget (Plan+Non-Plan) of Rs.14,90,925.29 cr, the share of both communities come to only 3.9%.

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Loot of SC/ST funds in last year's Union Budget

 

Karthik Navayan

A February 2011 press release of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan says: 

* Once again UPA Denies SCs Rs.Cr. 24,570 in Scheduled caste Plan and STs Rs.Cr. 10530 in Tribal Sub Plan

 * Together for SCs & STs, allocates only 4.03% for in both Plan and Non-plan budgets

 *The Demands for Separate budget head for SCs and STs realized

In the budget that has been presented today, the expenditure for both SCs and STs in Plan and Non-plan budgets is a mere 4.03% of the total budget. For a population of 24.4% of the total country this is a mere lip-service and shows no real policy concern for the development of the vulnerable sections of the society.

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Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes and Tribal Sub Plan funds – An Appeal

Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes and Tribal Sub Plan funds – An Appeal

 17/02/2012

To

Shri Kiran Kumar Reddy

Honorable Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh

Subject: Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes and Tribal Sub Plan funds – an appeal for a two days discussion on this subject in two houses of the Andhra Pradesh Legislature – Regarding

Dear Sir

Permit us to recall the discussion some of us had with your good self on 12/03/2011 on the subject of the unspent Special Component Plan for Scheduled castes and Tribal Sub Plan funds in our state over the period covered by the years 1992-93 to 2010-2011 (19 years) amounting to Rs 40,829.65/- crores. At the time we had brought to your kind attention that the actual allocation made till then had been only Rs 32,953.87 crores and that against this amount allocated, the actual expenditure had only been Rs. 19,225.24 crores. Thus, over all, an amount of rupees 21,604.41 crores which should have reached the Scheduled Castes legitimately for their development never reached them. As for the Scheduled Tribes the magnitude of recourses denied to them in this manner has been of the order of Rs 5,000 Crores. We had also submitted a written representation to you dated 5th March 2011 making several suggestions as to how this situation could be set right. Our main prayer to you in the discussion with you and in our written representation was that you should lead these efforts yourself personally as chief minister, given the extraordinary importance of the subject for the poorest of the poor on state. We await your response in this regard even now.

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