THE states of Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, which are home to a majority of the adivasis outside the northeast, have been categorised as ‘least developed states’ by an official report of the central government.
IN a statement issued on December 11, AIDWA expressed deep disappointment at the Supreme Court judgment which upholds Section 377 of the IPC. It is shocking that inspite of the Union of India (along with the petitioners) arguing in favour of a reading down of S 377, the SC has upheld this draconian and discriminatory section that illegalised same sex relations and other forms of consensual sex. The section is also in contradiction with the recently amended rape and sexual laws.
THE law remains on paper on various issues. But, the most cruel issue is using humans to clean the human waste. Many judgments and orders have been issued by the Supreme Court and various High Courts. The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 was passed in the parliament. The employment of the scavengers or the construction of dry (non-flush) latrines is punishable under the law. There will be imprisonment for upto one year and/or a fine of Rs 2,000. The sad part of this is that till date there is no single conviction under this law.
THE CPI(M) delegation comprising K Varadarajan, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M), Basudev Acharia, Central Committee member and leader of the CPI(M) group in Lok Sabha, V Srinivasa Rao, Central Secretariat member and G Mamatha, CPI(M) member met Selja, minister for social justice and empowerment, government of India on December 10, 2013 and submitted a memorandum urging the government to move the amendments to strengthen the Prevention of Atrocities Act and adopt them in this winter session of the parliament.
A WORKSHOP on amendments needed to the SC/ST Atrocities Prevention Act 1989, held recently at Malur in Kollar district, was inaugurated by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member K Varadha Rajan who said the CPI(M)’s approach on caste issues is to integrate the struggles for social justice with class struggle. The surveys conducted by the party in different states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka have revealed that there have been more than 150 discriminatory practices based on the caste system.
THE sexual assault on a woman journalist by Tarun Tejpal, editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, has once again brought to fore the need for stronger institutional mechanisms to investigate complaints of sexual assault including adequate prosecution of perpetrators.
THE people belonging to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in Karnataka are getting organised under the Dalit Rights Committee and Adivasi Tribal Subcommittee led by the CPI(M). As a part of their activities and struggles, a successful Dalit Rights Assertion Convention was held in Mangalore on November 17, 2013.
THROUGH a memorandum submitted to M Mangapati Pallam Raju, the minister for human resource development in the government of India, on November 7, 2011, the Students Federation of India (SFI) brought to his notice “the appalling response of the Pondicherry University (PU) administration to the serious incidents of sexual harassment, ragging and intimidation of girl students in the university.” Instead of punishing the perpetrators of the above-mentioned crimes, the memorandum noted, “the PU administration has chosen to suspend the complainants and the students who stood by them.”
The recent riots in Muzaffarpur are a cause for great concern. Deliberate polarisation is being attempted to divide the people on communal lines. The AIDWA condemns the violence and demands immediate intervention to restore peace. The Uttar Pradesh unit of the AIDWA held a peace march on September 10, 2013 along with all the sections in the society
TRIPURA recently surged ahead of Kerala to achieve the top position in the literacy chart in India. The state’s literacy rate now stands at 94.65 percent. In comparison, the literacy rate in Mizoram is 88.80 percent and in Kerala 93.91 percent, as per the available records. Thus, according to the latest figures, the state of Tripura now tops the chart of states in terms of literacy. This is indeed a great achievement.