Page No 103:
List two Fundamental Rights in the Constitution that Dalits can draw upon to insist that they be treated with dignity and as equals. Re-read the Fundamental Rights listed on page 14 to help you answer this question.
Two Fundamental Rights that Dalits can draw upon to insist that they be treated with dignity and as equals are: Right to Equality and the Right to Freedom.
Re-read the story on Rathnam as well as the provisions of the 1989 Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Now list one reason why you think he used this law to file a complaint.
Rathnam used the 1989 Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act to file a complaint because on his refusal to perform a degrading ritual, the Dalit man was ostracized from his community, his hut set on fire and he was forced to move out of his village. These were all atrocities committed on a caste bias and humiliation forced down upon the Dalits. The 1989 Act lists modes of humiliation, actions dispossessing Dalits and Adivasis of their meagre resources and crimes against Dalit and tribal women as crimes.
Why do Adivasi activists, including C.K. Janu, believe that Adivasis can also use this 1989 Act to fight against dispossession? Is there anything specific in the provisions of the Act that allows her to believe this?
Adivasi activists including C.K. Janu believe that Adivasis can also use this 1989 Act to fight against dispossession because there is a specific provision in the Act for stating “actions that dispossess Dalits and Adivasis” of their modest resources or forcing them into performing slave labour, are criminal offences. Thus, the Act bears provisions to punish those who wrongfully occupy or cultivate any land allotted to or owned by a member of the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes.
The poems and the song in this Unit allow you to see the range of ways in which individuals and communities express their opinions, their anger and their sorrow. In class, do the following two exercises:
(a) Bring to class a poem that discusses a social issue. Share this with your classmates. Work in small groups with two or more poems to discuss their meaning as well as what the poem is trying to communicate.
(b) Identify a marginalised community in your locality. Write a poem, or song, or draw a poster etc to express your feelings as a member of this community.
Attempt this question on your own.