The dilution of the SC/ST Act is disastrous, and I am saying this as a human, while most of the citizens operating this war see it through the eyes of a “General Category” citizen. The biggest question here lies, that while the country has got the Supreme Court, it also needs a stronger jurisdiction. But here, in this very country, the government doesn’t follow many of the laws which the Supreme Court passes.
It either challenges, withdraws or hangs the law in the middle of a rope just to keep it away from reaching justice. In this country, the dilution of SC/ST Act, which itself provides justice, for the benefit of the “innocent” is absolutely shocking.
The abundance of caste discrimination in the country is much more than the “misuse of the law” as alleged by those in power.
I have lived most of my life in the hills of Haflong and Shillong. Apart from these cities, I have witnessed the economy of remote places. The residents of these villages have to travel over 100km and come to the plains to find work.
I have many friends from those regions who had to struggle much more than me to reach the stage of being called a “graduate”. And this is not just the case of these two cities. This scenario exists in every state of North East where the citizens are living as some of the poorest people in India and also dealing with the rally of fake encounters. So does it sound as a misuse when citizens belonging to the marginalised region scream for their name to be equal to the “powerful Brahminical culture”? I don’t think so.
Now comes the case of SC Act. I have been to regions belonging to the Barak Valley and regions belonging to West Bengal having both tribals and non-tribals belonging to the BPL section. They cover more than half of the population of the respective regions. In Barak Valley, the children receive a minimal education. Even when they do get the opportunity to go to school, the hunger for food remains higher than knowledge because until and unless a child has a full stomach, they cannot educate their mind. So they just use the opportunity to fill their stomachs with the daily meal in the school. Right after school, the rest of their day is full of labour and no education.
The same scenario travels to West Bengal in the regions of Sunderban, where a majority of the population is under the black cloud of poverty. They suffer the iron bullets of the government along with the moral bullets of the rich.
Even in this era, where we have “Eradication of Zamindari” written in our textbook, the opposite happens to be the case. The “Zamindari system” has been replaced by the political demagogues having their pawns placed properly in each and every region continue the discrimination.
In this vulnerable country, it is saddening to see that 11 people died just to have their rights to equality. In a country where caste discrimination is so solid, dilution of the SC/ST Act would just be the initiation of a civil war.