Dalit Suicides Provokes Protests

Bangalore State

“State government is corrupt and ignores our existence”, says Dalit organizations.

By Jignasa Sinha

Bangalore, March 7, 2019: The Dalit Sangharsha Samithi (DSS) held a protest at Town Hall in Bangalore on the 7 th of March, to seek fulfillment of their 20 demands from the state government. The DSS includes all the Dalit, Scheduled Castes and Tribe (SC/ST) development organizations present in Karnataka. The dalits took out a rally in
Bangalore to stage protests against the Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy. A draft of their demands
states that the committee is distressed because the authorities didn’t fulfill their demands, and paid no
heed to their complaints, this lead to eight people committing suicide.

Raj Shekhar, District President of DSS in Bijapur says, “The state government is not giving out the
allotted funds sanctioned by the central government for Dalits. Most of us don’t have regular jobs and
require these funds. The education system and job sector in Karnataka is biased and discriminates
against us by not allotting us the reserved seats.”

The committee was shouting anti-government slogans near the Town Hall. They rallied towards Mourya
Hotel to attract attention from the authorities. They drafted their 20 demands and want the state
government to take immediate action. Some of their issues are:

  • Several sub-casts under Dalits are not enrolled in government’s records. Due to this, they do not
    receive benefits they are entitled to.
  • The Prohibition of Transfer of Certain Land (PTCL) act was introduced for the SC/ST. But
    recently, the Supreme Court gave a judgment that acted against this act, and people are
    protesting so the state government supports them in regaining their land.
  • The budget in 2019 included sanctioning of a thousand crore for the SC/ST development – this
    money has not been allotted to the communities, people want their money from the state.
  • There is an evident discrimination against Dalits in Karnataka who are working in government
  • If the state government is recruiting 500 people, one of them has to be from the Pourakarmika
    class. These people should also be given direct payment.

M.M. Raju, the state president of Akhila Bharat Dalit Horata Samiti (ABDHS), says, “People from across
Karantaka have come here to protest. Our core committee DSS has no president; we filed several
petitions seeking a leader. But the government appointed none. We want a president to lead all the
Dalit organizations across Karnataka to help reduce atrocities committed against the Dalits or SC/ST.”