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Plight of Scheduled Caste and Tribes in India Petition to Lok Sabha

Revolutionary poet Gaddar released They Burn B.Shyam Sunders book at Hyderabad The Concentration of all political and social power in the hands of the higher caste, has bred communalism of such virulent type that not only are the interests of the depressed classes being completely disregarded and ignored with impunity at every level of political and official life and work but even the very Constitution of India is being flagrantly flouted in almost all the states. B. Shyam Sunder Published by H.Shreyesker President Mool Bharati B.Shyam Sunder Memorial Society B.Shyam Sunder Marg . Gulbarga 585105 (Karnataka State ) e-mail shreyesker@gmail

Sri B.Shyam Sunder


B.A.LLB.,M.L.A.

Camp Govt; Guest House


Infantry Road

Bangalore

President
ALL INDIA DEPRESSED CLASSES ASSOCIATION.

Sri, The sterling services you are rendering to the nation and country have emboldened me to solicit your support and co-operation in a matter of urgent national importance in as much as the destiny of crores of Scheduled Castes are at stake. Nine years have passed by since the Congress assumed full and independent control of the administration, but in spite of the provisions and mandates in the Constitution, the legislation enacted by various States and the peremptory, even if high sounding, circulars and directives issued by various governments, Scheduled Castes are just where they were without any social, economic or political benefits accruing to them in the slightest measure. If necessary and imperative are not firmly taken it will not be possible to ensure that the Scheduled Castes are not deprived of the privileges and rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution and are also not wrangled out of the deserts at present. Patriotic as you are, I am confident that you will not hesitate to take such prompt action as is warranted by the exigency that exists, sadly and remorsefully in every State of the Republic of India. What is the use of the Socialist Pattern and to what purpose Socialistic legislation if the little bit of Socialistic privileges that the Constitution gives to the Scheduled Castes are so cunningly nullified. What has actually happened is that in a fairly large number of cases, persons claiming to be Harijans were put up for Parliament and Assemblies on their giving an assurance that they would not agitate for or demand the removal of the grievances of the Scheduled Castes and remain content with the crumbs from their masters tables, and naturally these people did nothing at all. The public in general will be surprised to know that, in most cases, Arya Samajists and Sikhs have been chosen to represent Harijans on the fraudulent plea that they were Harijans before they were converted to the Arya Samaj or taken into Sikhism. Names need not be mentioned but they can be readily learnt on the merest inquiries. Caste Hindus are in power throughout the Country, but they must sacrifice something if they really want to uplift the Scheduled Castes and the sincerity of all Members of Parliament and all Legislators will be judged by their reaction to my proposals. I am enclosing, herewith my petition to Lok Sabha, and this is to request you to be kind as to support it and the proposals made in it as strongly as possible on the 21 st and 22nd April 1959,

when the Report of the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes affairs is discussed. Also kindly let me know your views and comments as well as facts and figures about Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in your constituency so that I may incorporate in my forthcoming book. Thanking you in anticipation. Yours Sincerely Sd /(B. Shyam Sunder)

THE PLIGHT OF SCHEDULED CASTES AND TRIBES IN INDIA PETITION TO LOK SABHA

Submitted by
B. Shyam Sunder
B.A.LL.B., M.L.A.

President
ALL INDIA DEPRESSED CLASSES ASSOCIATION

Sri. B. Shyam Sunder


B.A.LLB.,M.L.A.

President
ALL INDIA DEPRESSED CLASSES ASSOCIATION.

To LOK SABHA The humble petition of B.Shyam Sunder, Member Mysore Legislative Assembly and President All India Depressed Classes Association, sheweth that A situation of grave urgency exists in the Republic of India which imperatively demands an urgent solution in as much as it seriously threatens and jeopardize the life and destiny of crores of members of Depressed Classes and Scheduled Castes all over the country. The concentration of all political and social power in the hands of the higher Castes, has bred communalism of such virulent type that not only are the interest of the Depressed Classes being completely disregarded and ignored with impunity at every level of political and official life and work but even the very Constitution of India is being flagrantly flouted in almost all the States. Apparently the aim is to perpetuate the age-old slavery of the Scheduled Caste and to deny them all opportunities of raising their position and status in life. A bare summary of the callous and disgraceful ways in which the Scheduled Caste are being treated is given here which will fully convince the Lok Sabha of the immediate necessity of taking strong measures to put a stop to the prevailing evils and to ensure the welfare and betterment of the Scheduled Castes. 1. Ridiculously Inadequate Allotment of Funds State budgets have become notorious for the extremely meager amounts they allot for the welfare and betterment of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes although there are a few exceptions, so that the Scheduled Caste and Tribes cannot benefit to the extent they should. The following statistics show the State of affairs: Sl. No. 1. 2. 3. 4. `5. State Kerala Madras Andhra Bombay Mysore Population of SC 13 Lakhs 51 lakhs 56 lakhs 50 lakhs 40 Lakhs Funds allotted for uplifts Rs. 93,41,000.00 Rs. 2,33,00,000.00 Reply not received Rs. 77,77,000.00 Rs. 94,00,000.00

Only Kerala can be said to have been somewhat more considerate, but Mysore and Bombay do illustrate the evil as it exists.

For this reason it is necessary that Lok Sabha lay down that at last 25% of the budget of every State should be devoted towards Depressed Classes welfare and uplift. The petitioner need not mention that more often than not the States overtake every directive that the Governments of India and the Central Scheduled Caste Welfare Board may have issued in regard to Depressed Classes. Your petitioner also learns from very reliable sources that Finance Ministers invariably put the most formidable obstacles in the way of anything being done for Depressed Classes, but it should be possible to make them see reason. II. Improper Administration of the Grants The details of the improper administration of funds, of grants being given to persons who assumes Harijan ship for this purpose only and get themselves certified by authorities and of not spending as much upon the most essential items as upon minor ones are too numerous to be mentioned herein, but the fact remains that the Scheduled Castes are not benefiting as much as they should. In most of the States, the Budget meant for the uplift of the Scheduled Castes, is mixed up with the Social Services Budget or with other head of the Budget. For instances, in Mysore the Budget allotted for the Scheduled Castes up liftmen is mixed with the Rural Development Budget so that justice can be done to neither, but the Scheduled Castes are made to suffer. In this regard, it is very necessary that proper directives should be given to all States and a line of action delineated which may put a stop to the prevailing state of affairs. III. Denial of Democratic Representation The system of reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes in the Legislatures has been reduced to a complete farce. The Caste Hindus who are in a majority throughout the country and are well placed in every sphere of the society, exploit the Caste and Religious sentiments against the Scheduled Caste candidates who is not a person of their own choice and who cannot be used by them as a puppet on the stage of their communal democracy. Thus the reservation given by one hand has been taken away by the other. Scheduled Castes are not properly or adequately represented in the Statutory Bodies, as Speakers, Mayors,Chairmans, Sarpanchs, Presidents in Assemblies, Municipalities, Local Boards, Panchayats and other similar institutions. In fact in villages where three are elected Panchyat bodies the elected member belonging to Scheduled Castes is made to sit at a respectable distances from the members of the Panchyats of which he is an honorable member and his duty is to slave the other honorable members and his vote is taken as a deposit with his master. That this is a very serious handicap Lok Sabha can itself see, as also the fact that a Scheduled
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Caste Mayor such as Bombay has now for the first time is a rare occasion indeed. If the Scheduled Castes are to take their place in the same rank as others, then it is necessary that they should have a strong voice in all statutory and local bodies which are really training grounds for higher responsibilities in a democracy. For this purpose also proper directives are necessary, although it would be far better to enact an All India measure which may ensure adequate representation to the Depressed Classes. It can be stated that Mysore, for instances, has four statutory bodies but none can boast of a Scheduled Caste members figures in the panel of Chairman, although such panels are always nominated. Apparently unless there is adequate Constitutional pressure none would like to nominate a Scheduled Caste member to any office, however sincere. IV. Discrimination in Government Services Eighteen percent of posts in services are no doubt supposed to be reserved to the Scheduled Case and Scheduled Tribes, but the very purpose of this laudable measure and necessary safeguard has been nullified as follows. 1.The full quota is never fulfilled under one pretext or other 2.Spurious Harijans frequently get posts 3.Recruiting is done mainly to lower and lowest grades and posts in very large Numbers so that most of the percentage gets filled leaving but little scope for recruiting SC to officer and higher grades and posts. The percentage, if at all, is given effect to only at the time of recruitment and by no means at the time of promotion, so that no member of the SC can occupy higher and responsible offices in the Republic. The sooner such malpractices are eliminated the better. V. Public Services Commission and Scheduled Castes It is sad reflection upon the things that happen in the Republic of India that few Depressed Classes can be found in the PSC, the notable exception being the UPSC which glories in at least one solitary member of the SCs. As States do not care to see that SCs are represented on PSC and other recruiting organizations, it is imperative that they were statutorily made to do so, because unless a SC member is in the recruiting bodies nobody would, as at present, care to ensure that the SCs got their rights. VI. Education of the Scheduled Castes The fact that no increase has taken place in the number of boys and girls of school going age is being completely ignored, and the requisite number of seats is not being added for SCs in schools and educational institutions.
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Secondly, the number of students in hostels is still what it was 10 years age, because no attempts is being made to increase hostel facilities for the SCs. Three isolated examples will not be a miss. Sl. No. 1 2. 3. Where hostel is Students Gulbarga Bidar Bellary 1950 220 145 235 1959 175 143 73

In Andhra and in Bombay States also, the number of SC students in the Hostels has not increased since ten years. Thirdly, free education is not enough and it is necessary that students belonging to the SCs are given stipend in addition, as was done in England some hundred years ago and also in the former Hyderabad State. VII. Housing schemes and Scheduled Castes In the name of slum clearance, SCs living in the heart of the city are being driven out of the main city and compelled to reside in isolated localities, while the lands made available after clearance go into the hands of higher castes and other communities Other difficulties of the SCs in regard to housing are as below:1.The grants made to Depressed Classes for building homes are extremely meager, never more than Rs.400 per head. 2.Very often this grant is given in installment, so that it gets wasted. 3.The grants, scantly as they are, are made in such way as to foster groups policies and create differences in villages; in fact it would be a lucky Harijans who got 4.Co-operative Housing schemes, which are really meant to benefit the poor and the grant without having to placate so political bosses needy, are being exploited to the advantage of the landlords and well to do People who already have houses of their own. 5.To illustrate the nature of this kind of exploitation the petitioner will like to give an instance from Mysore State. In Mysore State at Gulbarga, Sriyuths Chandrashekar patil. M.L.A., the President of the District Congress Committee, Md.Ali, M.L.A., and ExMinister Chanderki, Ex- Minister, Shanker Shetty, M.L.A., and land lord, Datatri Rao Awardi A Harijan Sewa Sanghi, Neelkant Patil, Advocate, brother of Chandershekar Patil and two sisters of the DCC President Mahadevappa Rampure M.P., Veerendra Patil, M.L.A., all congress leaders and their relatives who are in possession of more than one house of their own have exploited the Co-operative housing grants and built expensive houses at the most beautiful spot in Gulbarga, when thousands of deserving homeless and

sick persons of Gulbarg are struggling to have a hut of their own or at least some corner for rest. VIII. Scheduled Castes in Muncipal Employment As almost all Muncipal labour belongs to the SCs the councilors, who invariably belongs to High Castes, rarely pay any attention towards the welfare of the SCs in Municipal Services some facts are as below:1.SC Labourers in Municipalities even now are getting their wags at the rate, which was fixed some two decades back, though the conditions, have enormously changed and demand a great increase in wages. 2.Representation made by SC Municipal labour usually falls on deaf ears, otherwise they are brushed aside on the lame excuse that there are no funds. IX. Village Administration and Scheduled Castes The village administration is based upon caste system. SC s are forced to live out of the main village as out Castes : 1.They are not allowed to draw water from the common wells; 2.They bury their deads in separate burial grounds; 3.They worship non-Hindu Gods who are held as untouchable Gods (SudraDevatas) 4.They are not allowed to take part in the festivities of the village; 5.Even in the Government school if they got any admission they are made to sit separately from rest of the students; 6.The SC teachers and officers who are posted in the villages do not get any place of residence in the localities; 7.Even now the SCs are not allowed into the hotels and restaurants; 8.The barbers and washermen do not serve the SCs. Many complaints have been made about the treatment meted to SCs are mentioned above. But all fell on deaf ears. The village administration is controlled by Patels, Patwaris and Shanbhoges who are all Caste Hindus. There are more than nine Lakhs villages in India and in every village the Government has one Patel and Patwari or a Shanbhog, thus there are more than eighteen lakhs of Patels, Patwaris and Shanbhogs in India who act as village officers.
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The religious bent of mind of these Caste ridden Hindu Patels, Patwaris and Shanbhogs always keeps the SCs of the villages enslaved, suppressed and destroys the economic and social progress of the SCs. These Patels, Patwaris and Shanbhogs to maintain their superiority perpetuate untouchability in every sphere of the village life. Among the eighteen lakhs of village officers, we have not even one Patel, Patwari and or Shanbhog belonging to Scheduled Caste. X. Land less Scheduled Castes Labours It is obvious that land less Scheduled Caste labour in the villages is a problem which must be tackled without delay, and no doubt the introduction of the new land Reforms will go a long way towards a solution but it stands to reason that unless the States are made to do so they will not take any steps to give the landless Scheduled Castes their due. The following are the facts as they exists:1.Dilatory and other tactics are adopted so that Depressed classes got deprived of their rights in rural areas. 2.Scheduled Cases tenants are being evicted from their lands, and no attempt is being made to stop these evictions. 3.Even when they become entitled to lands by virtue of possession, cultivation and long occupation, pattas are not granted to Scheduled Castes. 4.In Mysore the Land Reforms introduced by the former Hyderabad State were stopped by the present Mysore Government, and similar things have been happening in other States too. XI. Scheduled Castes (Constitution) Order 1950 and Religion Under the provisions of the SCs and STs (Constitution) Order, 1950; to be classed as SC and one should belong to Hindu religion. But since time immemorial no Hindu ever treated any Scheduled Caste member as Hindu. This religious faith still persists in almost all the Hindus in India, even courts hold that one born as a Hindu cannot change his caste of birth by remaining in Hindu fold. This tendency has retarded all the conceivable prospects of eradicating caste system on the other hand it is perpetuating the same. The petitioner prays that when Hindu religion does not allow a person to changes his caste of birth by remaining in Hinduism then the provision in Scheduled Caste (Constitution) Order, 1950 Not withstanding any thing contained in Paragraph 2, no person who professes a religion different from Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of SC will certainly perpetuate caste system, so this provision should be deleted from the SC (Order), 1950, and to ensure our objects of establishing a casteless society, a comprehensive list of SCs common to whole of India should be prepared. The list should not vary from State to State as the present list varies. The SC

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(Order), 1950, should be modified to declare that a member of scheduled caste in any State or part of it will be treated as a member of SC in every State of India. The provision of the Scheduled Caste (Constitution) Order, 1950, which is in force are being used by privileged castes and persons for creating differences among SCs and damaging the solidarity of India. XII. Havoc of Communalism and Scheduled Castes Rank communalism is being perpetuated throughout India especially in the south in the shape of Brahamin and non-Brahmin movements. Communalism is the order of the day and more than that there exists a constant tussle and conflict between Lingyat and non-Lingyats in Mysore, between Reddies and non-Reddies in Andhra, between Marathas and non-Marathas in Maharashtra in every walk of life. So that, the SCs have been thrown into the limbo of political, social and official oblivion by the powers that be, and all their interests are being disregarded and ignored at every level of political and official life and work. Further the Division of India on linguistic basis has intensified communalism to the greatest extend. In Karnataka Lingyets are thinking for establishing Lingyat Raj, the Reddies in Andhra are for Reddy Raj, the Marathas for Maratha Raj. Nobody seems to say JAI HIND , but Jai Andhra, Jai Karnataka, Jai Maratha, has become slogan of the Communal Governments in the South and the SCs are being used by these rulers as fuel to feed their communal furnace. Incident in Ramanad District in Madras. State in recent times is a glaring example of this kind of communal machination. XIII. Enforcement Last but not least is the great drawback that there is just no machinery where by States may be compelled to enforce the directive of the Government of India, to fulfil the dictates of the Constitution and to abide by the guarantees given and promise made to Scheduled Castes. The States know this only too well, and so there is little obligation upon them to take SC affairs seriously. This humble petitioner is confident that from the summary given above the Lok Sabha will realize the enormity of the situations it exists to-day in thc country and understand the urgent and imperative necessity of tackling the problem on all fronts and by every possible means; legislation, directives, rules conventions etc. Accordingly, your petitioner prays that steps should be immediately taken to give effect to the following:A. Finances:1. Twentey five percent of the State Budget should be earmarked for SC welfare.

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2. Charitable and religious institutions and endowed property should pay a SCs cess of at least one and half percent. 3. No spillovers should not be permitted, nor should these funds diverted towards general welfare. 4. Grants should not be made on the recommendation of political bosses. 5. Financial administration should be put on a sound footing. B. Assistant Commissioner An Assistant Commissioner for SCs should be appointed in every State, who should be responsible to the Government of India, for ensuring that the State Administration does implement the Directives issued by the Center and the measures for SC and ST Welfare are sedulously undertaken and scrupulously carried out. C. Services 1. Every Public Services Commission and recruiting body should have atleast one SCmember,preferably the President wherever possible, who should be charged with the task of seeing that the SCs are recruited according to the reservation for them in the various categories. 2. As the quota has fallen far below on account of not maintaining the percentage during the last ten years, the recruitment and promotion of the SCs and STs should take precedence over all other until the percentage is made up. 3. Till the attainment of quota, reservations are to be made even in regard to promotional vacancies both in non-gazetted and gazetted. 4. At every District and Taluka headquarters at least one SC officer should be in a key post for instance, if the Deputy Commissioner is a Caste Hindu, the District Superintendent of Police should invariably be a SC member or vice versa and at Taluka headquarters either one of the Tahasildar or the Circle Inspector of Police should be a member of SCs .Then alone the SCs can expect justice in the administrative set up of the present caste ridden society. And to this end the State Governments should be given a special directive. D. Education 1. Every effort should be made to increase the number of seats for SCs and STs boys and girls in educational institutions and hostels and for this the District Social Welfare and Director of Public Instructions should be made responsible by statue. 2. In every taluka of each State the Government should start Hostels for Scheduled
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Castes and tribes Apart from free education, Scheduled Caste students should be paid stipend according to the following scale per menus:A B C D Primary Classes Middle schools High Schools University Rs. 5 perhead Rs. 10 per head Rs. 15 per head Rs. 55 per head

It will not be out of place to mention that the former Hyderabad Government used to provide stipends at this scale E. Representation If legislation cannot be undertaken to ensure that SCs get proper representation in Statutory Bodies, Municipalities, Local Boards and similar organizations should be set up to elect SC members as Speakers, Mayors, Chairmen, Sarpanchs and Presidents in various set-ups, Committees statutory bodies, etc. Further, the Union Government should declare, that SCs who have become members of other sects and religious organizations cease to be the members of the SC and forfeit all the rights reserved for the Community. F. Lands Every landless Scheduled Caste family should be granted land to the extent of the prescribed economic holding, and land for this purpose should be acquired by Government and given to SCs if no Government land is available. Those having lands in excess should be particularly made to part with them in favor of the SCs. Should Co-operative farming be taken up, care should be taken to ensure that SCs get benefited in every respect and are not victimized. The Commissioner for SC and ST, should have adequate staff in the Districts to ensure all these, and make monthly reports. G. Housing SCs should not be driven out of central localities in cities and towns and colonized out of the way, but they should be provided with money to build their homes on the sites themselves. Municipal lands in cities and towns lying idle should be reserved for homeless SCs as far as practicable. Grants for housing should not be made for political consideration, as it is being done now. H. Municipal labour

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All Municipal acts should have a clause whereby Welfare of SC labour employed by the Municipalities and Civic bodies is entrust to a special officer and not made dependent upon the whims of caste-minded councilors. I. Scheduled Caste as Village Officer The Government should appoint at least one SC member as Patel, Patwari or Shanbhog in every village, which will raise the status of the SC people and will certainly help in eradicating untouchability, removing inferiority complex from the society and will save the SCs from religious and social persecution. J. Electoral and Scheduled Castes 1.Religion plays an important and vital part in the social and political life of the village, so the Caste Hindus who are in a privileged position take advantage of this and try to see that the name of the SC members are not entered in the electoral. roll, which effects the voting, power of the Nation and deprives the SCs to exercise their legal right as citizens of India. 2. Thus lakhs of SCs in the last General Elections were kept out from enjoying their fundamental right of voting. The Hindu religion and caste mindedness of the villagers also plays its destructive roll at the time of taking census. SC population and their enumeration at the time of Census is unintentionally and willfully not record and shown less to reduce their proportional representation in the legislature and other bodies. To ensure proper enumeration of the SCs the Government should issue special directives and appoint special officers for this purpose. K. Communalism and Linguism 1. Death blow to the pernicious communalism the Government should enact measures prohibiting the use of all caste prefixes and suffixes, such as Brahamins, Reddies, Lingyats, Marathas, etc and prohibiting the use of all caste marks and signs publicly. 2. The government should re-divide India into small composite States speaking two or mono languages by scrapping the present unwielding mono linguistic States. 3. These measures will save the SCs to the greatest extent from the onslaught of the linguistic Communalism and strengthen the solidarity of the people. And your petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray.

B.Shyam Sunder
M.L.A.

SD/B.Shyam Sunder Given this day the 17th April 1959.


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