November 15, 2015

Take Steps to Improve the Condition of Dalits

Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch (DSMM) has issued the following statement on October 10.

WE have come to know through media reports that the cabinet committee on parliamentary affairs has decided to hold the winter session of parliament from November 26 onwards. The first two days have been allotted for a special sitting on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar, to discuss on Ambedkar and Constitution. DSMM welcomes this decision, but feels that it is not enough to confine to just holding a discussion. This special sitting should take steps for the betterment of the position of dalits in our country. Therefore, we appeal the government of India to look into the issues concerning dalits seriously and make some laws in advancing social justice as was dreamt by Dr Ambedkar. For that we are suggesting the following points to be considered for agenda for this two day special sitting of parliament.

1. Enact a law providing reservations for dalits in the private sector. Fill up all backlog posts. Extend reservations to all the Scheduled Caste people irrespective of their religion.

2. Enact a law providing statutory status to the SC/ST Special Component Plan for its effective implementation.

3. Pass the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Bill 2015 in Rajya Sabha in this session.

4. Formulate a special mission to eradicate untouchability as there is a need to take up a nationwide special propaganda campaign against social discrimination and untouchability.

DSMM, since its formation, has been demanding for a special session of parliament to discuss and enact laws for the upliftment of dalits. On the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar, we submitted a memorandum to the government of India in this effect. We also organised a countrywide signature campaign in support of this demand. A Dalit Parliament was also held at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. As a result of all these efforts, at least now the government has finally agreed to do that in the form of a special sitting, though not a special session as we had demanded. We ask the government to extend the special sitting to five days instead of two days so that justice is done to the important agendas.  We urge the government to take steps to make this sitting fruitful in terms of improving the status of the dalits.