* SHRI D. RAVIKUMAR (VILUPPURAM):
Hon. Chairman I am thankful to the Hon. President for mentioning in his Address
that the Constitution remains as the guiding light. The Constitution ensures us the
equality, democracy and freedom. On the basis of this Consultation , we have
acquired all the rights including the citizenship rights.
Hon. President has mentioned in detail about different sections of the society in
his Address. He has also highlighted the achievements of this Government. But
only a few lines appear about SC and ST people who constitute 25 per cent of
the population of this country. Particularly, there is no other information in the
Hon. President’s Address about the Scheduled Caste people than the mention
about extension of reservation to SCs and STs for another 10 year period.
Some days ago, our Government released the report of the National Crime
Records Bureau for the year 2018. The Statistics relating to the atrocities against
the Scheduled caste people throughout the country have been provided in that
Report. This Government cannot take pride in expressing the real status as
regards the economic development of the Scheduled caste people of this
country. They cannot also take pride in mentioning the educational status of Dalit
people in this country. That’s why these details have not become part of the Hon.
Atrocities against SCs have been on the rise. This has been mentioned in the
Report of NCRB. In the year 2016, 40,801 violent attacks took place against
Scheduled Caste people of the country. This has risen to 42,793 violent
incidents in the year 2018. During the year 2018, as many as 821 Dalit people
have been killed. Also 1283 Dalit people have been grievously injured. The Dalit
women do not have protection in this country. As many as 1530 Dalit women
have been harassed in this country. As many as 2957 women have been raped.
Dalit minor girls also do not have protection. As many as 871 Dalit minor girls
have been raped in the year 2018. I want to ask whether the Hon. President is
not aware or concerned of these atrocities against Scheduled Castes in the
If Dalit people are considered as Hindus in this country, there will not be complete
silence after witnessing so many killings of Dalit people. This deafening silence
indicates that Dalit people are not considered as Hindus as they are targeted time
and again. Although we have so many laws to bring down the number of these
atrocities against SCs, they are not being implemented properly which has
resulted in an increase of such atrocities. If violence takes place in the name of a
religion, the National Investigation Agency takes up the case as a terrorist act
and starts investigating the matter. The culprits are punished immediately.
Capital punishment is maximum punishment given to those who involved in such
terrorist activities. But even though 821 Dalit persons are killed in one year, it is
not considered as a terrorist act. If the crimes based on religion are considered
as terrorist acts and why the crimes based on Castes are not considered in those
lines. The killings that are booked under the Prevention of atrocities against SCs
and STs Act, should be considered as terrorist crimes. And NIA should come
forward to investigate these cases. Only then the number of such violent
incidents against SCs can be reduced.
Now the Citizenship Amendment Law has been passed and the National
Population Register is being prepared. These things remind me of British rule.
When census method was introduced during the British rule in India, only after
that the Dalit people became landless. In Madras Presidency, 100 years before
the introduction of Census, a person named Mr Bernard did a survey in the year
1772 in about 1900 villages. As per the survey undertaken in Chengalpattu
district, there were Dalit people who were large in numbers having lots of land in
their names. When British rule insisted to get the land ownership rights on the
basis of documents, all these Dalit people became landless. Those who gave
fake manuscripts and copper plates showing the ownership rights to British rulers
became land owners. Today also we face a similar situation. If it is said that one
should ascertain his citizenship on the basis of the documents he possess, this
will lead to a dangerous situation where 90 per cent of Dalit people will be losing
their citizenship rights in this country. I strongly accuse that NPR is aimed to take
away the citizenship rights from the Dalit people adding disregard tothe
Constitution framed by Revolutionist Dr. Ambedkar.
While introducing the Constitution of India revolutionist Dr. Ambedkar said those
who consider their religious beliefs above the interests of the country, come to
power, our freedom will face severe crisis. He also gave a caution that if we lose
our freedom we can never get it back. There is such a pathetic situation
prevailing in this country. We have to ensure protection of freedom in the country.
We all have the duty to protect the Constitution of our country. I request the
people in the Government should also come forward to fulfil such duties. Thank
you so much. (ends)
* Original in Tamil.