Dalits cheat Dalits, says writer Tukaram

Writer S Tukaram speaks at a memorial programme of poet-Dalit activist K B Siddaiah, organised by the Union of Dalit Sangharsh Samitis, in Mysuru on Saturday. dh photo

Writer S Tukaram said that Dalits are cheating and exploiting the community people and Dalit children do not get seats in educational institutions established by Dalits.

He was speaking during the memorial programme of the late K B Siddaiah, organised by the Union of Dalit Sangharsh Samitis here on Saturday.

Citing the misuse of funds, under the Scheduled Caste (SC) widow re-marriage incentive scheme in Periyapatna, for which a Social Welfare department Assistant Director is suspended, Tukaram asked, who should be blamed for this?

“Most of the government schemes, programmes, projects and benefits, meant for SC community members, are misused. The people are cheating the members of their own communities. Will the Dalit owners of educational institutions offer free seats to Dalit children?” he asked.

“For the maintenance of Ambedkar Bhavans across the state, the government releases Rs 335 crore, annually. However, the objective behind the construction of the Ambedkar Bhavans has not been fulfilled, so far. The bhavans should have become libraries; centres to provide valuable and useful information to the people; and cultural centres. But, the bhavans are opened only twice a year — on April 18 and December 6,” he pointed out.

“A total of Rs 30,444 crore is earmarked for Special Component Plan (SCP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP), in the state. While Rs 21,600 crore is reserved for SC communities, Rs 8,800 crore is for Scheduled Tribes. This amount is expected to be spent by 36 departments, under 376 programmes. Criminal cases can be filed against the officials concerned for not utilising the funds within the stipulated time. But, does anybody know where the funds go?” Tukaram asked.

“Earlier, Dalit movements involved ground work and plans. The language used was also proper. Nowadays, the protests are spontaneous, without any larger objective for the welfare of the community. The language used by the activists is also not good. If there is no check on this, the problems will aggravate in future,” he said.

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