‘Dalit leaders should sink party differences’

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan on Sunday appealed to the elected representatives belonging to the dalit communities to sink their differences and come together to protect and pursue their rights.

“When we speak out, it should be on our rights. Wherever we are and whatever be our political parties, we should sink our differences and speak on our rights,” Balakrishnan said while addressing a symposium on ‘Ambedkar, Constitution and Reservation’, organized by Vanchit Varg Morcha (VVM).

Former Bihar assembly Speaker and VVM patron Uday Narayan Choudhary said, “The dalits are living in a very critical condition. VVM will spread awareness among the dalits and minorities about how their constitutionally given rights are in danger.”

The three other speakers included Urmilesh, activist and social mobilizer Meena Amkhare from Bhopal and social activist Arun Kumar Gupta. They dwelt at length on the atrocities on dalits and the superstition and obscurantist ideas under whose spell they were still living.
Calling the country’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru a constitutionalist who respected the rights of deprived sections, Balakrishnan said, “Personally, Ambedkar favoured the provision of Communal Award for the scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) sections in elections, in which only the SC and ST electors could exercise their franchise to elect their representatives.” Balakrishnan further said, “But while drafting the Constitution, he provided that voters of all sections could elect SC or ST representative in the designated constituency.”

The former National Human Rights Commission chairman further said, “This power given to dalits and adivasis is marvellous. Today, every political party knows that they and their rights can no longer be ignored. We are still not aware of our rights.”

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Updated On: Oct 9, 2017

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