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Country has subdued Dalit rights, says Brinda Karat

New Delhi, Dec 5, 2012, DHNS : 1:52 IST
Women participate in the Dalit dignity rally in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI photo
Left parties are firm on raising and debating Dalit issues in the ongoing Parliament session, said CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat while addressing the National Dalit Assembly at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday.

“Dalits are given one-third less ration in the name of economic growth. The country has subdued the rights of Dalits, but all political parties are not the same,” said the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader.

“We believe in removing all forms of discrimination. Every road in Delhi is cleaned by Dalit women, but ask them how much they get?”

She said the 17 per cent reservation approved by the Andhra Pradesh government is a positive step, and should have been given much earlier. “Forty houses were burnt down because a Dalit boy made the mistake of loving someone from another caste.

Just 40 km away from New Delhi, Dalit children are being killed just because they are Dalits. What is the government doing?” said Karat.

The ‘Dalit dignity march’ saw over 3,000 people from 20 states marching from Ramlila Maidan to Parliament Street on the eve of the death anniversary of Babsaheb Ambedkar on Wednesday.

“The divide between the rich and poor is increasing by the day. Land lying vacant with the government should be distributed equally among the poor for their progress,” said Ashok Bharti of National Confederation of Dalit Organisations.

Following the recent approval of the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan, Dalits want the government to pass a legislation to spend proportionate resources on the well-being of their community.

They also want the government to ensure that money allocated for their cause are used only for their benefit, instead of diverting it to other development projects.

Former CPI(M) general secretary A B Bardhan said the concerns of the poor cannot be solved by Parliament, where a majority of MPs are “crorepatis”. He called for electoral reforms, adding that “proportional allocation of seats in Parliament should be according to votes received.”

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