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Free Legal Aid for Bahujans and other Citizens

 

Adv Soniya Gajbhiye

adv soniya gajbhiyeLegal Aid is one of the most desirable services desperately needed by those who are unable to afford legal representation, engaging lawyers and to access the court system. It is necessary to provide access to justice by ensuring equality before the law. The right to have a counsel/lawyer and the right to a fair trial is an unavoidable requirement to do real justice. Free legal aid is the provision of free legal sevices in civil and criminal matters for those poor and marginalized people who can not afford the services of a lawyer for the conduct of a case or a legal proceeding in any Court.

Free Legal Services also includes Provision of aid and advice to access benefits under the welfare statutes and schemes framed by the Central Government or the State Government and to ensure access to justice in any other manner.

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Atrocity on Dalits in Ramojipeta, Telangana: A fact-finding report

 

On the day of Dussehra, Ramojipeta, a village in Illanthakunta Mandal of Sircilla district from where the Chief Minister's son, Mr. K Tarakarama Rao (KTR), was elected, witnessed a tragic Tsundur-like (in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, 1991) and Laximpeta-like (Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, 2012) Dalit atrocity. In the ghastly attack, nine Madiga Dalits were injured, 14 houses were damaged ,eight motor bikes were destroyed, and other properties were destroyed beyond repair. Buffaloes belonging to the Dalit community were also attacked. All youth of the Madiga community ran into the paddy fields in surrounding areas and hid themselves to protect their lives. Fearing an attack, a pregnant woman ran into a paddy field and hid there from 11 PM to 4 AM to protect her baby-within, and herself. What led to this ghastly incident? What are the reasons for this atrocious incident? In order to know this, we have to go into the background of this atrocity and subsequent developments.

ramojipeta 1

Background of the incident

In the year 2013, the gram panchayat of Ramojipeta village decided to install the statue of Baba Sahib Ambedkar in the center of the village. But it had not been accomplished for some reason.Then the Dalits belonging to Madiga community started laying the foundation stone to construct the base for this statue in the month of August ,2020.

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Jyoti Chorghe vs State of Maharashtra - A UAPA case study


Nikhil SanjayRekha Adsule

nikhil adsuleI had reasoned this out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive.” - Harriet Tubman

In this post-truth era, where democratic and participatory ethos is being subordinated and where the delicate distribution of powers as envisaged by the Constitution are being eroded, one can witness a trajectory towards authoritarianism with the recent amendments made in a dictatorial fashion to the UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) and NIA (National Investigation Agency) Act. Hon. Home Minister offered a false and an absurd explanation to these amendments by saying that these were in alignment with international laws -- a claim that was refuted immediately by the Amnesty International. The law has had a prolonged history of targeting minorities and the oppressed communities. The judiciary has been vested with the responsibility of containing the trespassing done by the legislators and to re-align them by appropriately interpreting and safeguarding the principles stated in the Constitution of India. A holistic view of the UAPA and its working is discussed here via a transformational Judgement given by Hon.Justice Abhay Thipsay in Jyoti Chorge vs State of Maharashtra is discussed with its finer nuances below..

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Exploring the Narrative History and Experiences of Meghwal Community: An Ethnographic Study

 

Mayur Helia

mayur heliaThe Meghwal community has no written history as such. Everything is in the oral form. Through this research, I have understood that a major portion of their history is lost in this process of oral history. Also, there are multiple stories which have come up over a period of time. About the origin of the community itself, there are more than five theories. The history of castes and untouchability is linked with that of occupation and food habits of the community. The factor of "purity" and "pollution" had played an important role in creating the social order. That is the reason why "Chamar" and "Bhangi" are considered to be lower in the social hierarchy than Meghwal.

Even the names which the community had at different points in time are linked with their occupation and names of patron saints; for example "Vankar" stands for weaving, "Dhedh" is related to dragging dead animals and "Meghwal" comes from the Megh Rishi. All the saints of the community had a humanitarian approach and had worked for the emancipation of the community. One of the saints, Veer Meghmaya, had sacrificed his life to get basic human dignity for the community. The concept of god in the community began from nature worshipping and has reached polytheism due to various religious influences. The cultural and traditional practices are shaped by various religious influences. And even till date, Meghwal community is marginalized due to caste.

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Dalit Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction

 

Rajendra Jadhav

India & Sustainable Development Goals through the Perspective of Dalit Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction

rajendra jadhavAsia Dalit Rights Forum has published its report on India & Sustainable Development Goals through the Perspective of Dalit Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction in the side event of High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York city of USA on 10th July 2018. a brief summary of the report for the readers of Round Table India.

Introduction

The Sustainable Development Goals, a 2030 Agenda, are a set of 17 Goals and 169 Targets, adopted by 193 nations. It intent of 'Leave no one behind' at its core. The SDGs were accompanied by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. These three conventions are interdependent and mutually reinforcing vehicles to inclusive, disaster and climate change resilient sustainable development. It is universally acknowledged that development that's not disaster resilient and climate adaptive would not be sustainable by itself.

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Fact-Finding Report on the Murder of Madhu, a Tribal of Attapadi


The composition of Fact-Finding Team

The Fact-finding team was composed of three representatives from Samakalvi Iyakkam – Tamil Nadu- A State-level Alliance for promotion and protection of child rights, in particular, the educational rights of children and Two representatives from THAMPU- A National Trust for Tribal Education Development and Research.

• Ms.Jayam, State President of Samakalvi Iyakkam – Tamil Nadu
• Mr. Arivazhagan Rayan, Consultant to Samakalvi Iyakkam – Tamil Nadu
• Adv. Mr. Christuraj, State Advocacy Coordinator to Samakalvi Iyakkam–Tamil Nadu
• Mr. Ramu, Leader of Muduga Tribe at Attapadi and Tribes Coordinator of THAMPU
• Mr. Jijeesh Tom, MSW, Coordinator from THAMPU

Objective of the Visit

Concerned on learning the cold-blooded murder of an innocent man named MADHU aged about 27 years, in board daylight on the 22nd February, 2018, at Attapadi region in Kerala, which shook the conscience of socially concerned people across India, and is under investigation, we, the first three of the above listed persons decided to visit Attapadi assisted by the other two investigators who do social work in the Attapadi Hill regions with THAMPU. The objective of the study was to gather facts from the field, as there were multiple reports in circulation through different media outlets, it was important that socially concerned and committed persons without any political affiliations study the situation from the perspective of the marginalized tribes in particular from the view of the women and children and understand the situation and objectively present the facts before the wider public and demands the state's speedy intervention towards establishing justice.

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Social Justice in Higher Education: An Ever Receding Goal


Hany Babu MT

The letter dated 5 March 2018 from the University Grants Commission (UGC) to the higher educational institutions regarding the implementation of reservation in teaching posts has once again made it abundantly clear that those who are at the helm of affairs in the Ministry of Human Resources (MHRD) and the UGC have scant respect for the principles of social justice.

Reservations Nidhin

'Reservations': Illustration by Nidhin Shobhana

The said letter requires universities and colleges to prepare their reservation roster "keeping the department / subject as a unit for all levels of teachers", which is in contravention to the previous circular from UGC dated 2006, where it was recommended that the roster should be prepared by taking the college/university as a unit. In fact, the 2006 circular (which is called "UGC Guidelines for Strict Implementation of Reservation Policy") clearly state that

 The practice of creating department-wise cadres, which tends to create single posts or cadres with artificially reduced number of posts in order to avoid reservation, is strictly forbidden."

The basic difference between the two methods of preparing the roster is as follows: If we take the College / University as a unit, all the faculty members of the same rank are taken together and a 200 point roster is applied, so that percentage of reservation earmarked for each category is fulfilled, i.e. 27% for the Other Backward Classes (OBC), 15% for the Scheduled Castes (SC), and 7.5% for the Scheduled Tribes (ST). But if department/subject is taken as a unit, 200 point roster will apply only to those departments that have a strength of 14 or more faculty members. A 13-point roster is to be applied to the departments or subjects with less strength.

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