22 June, 2021

Politics As A Sedative

Why a high number of Dalit MPs or MLAs brings no automatic succour

Photograph by PTI
Politics As A Sedative

Let’s begin with the inevitable, and dismal, beginning: NCRB’s crime data. Early this year, its report held that Uttar Pradesh ­remains the top state for crimes against Dalits, including rape, murder and land-related violence. Cumulatively, they witnessed a 47 per cent increase during 2014-18 in UP, followed by Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, all ruled by the BJP during the period covered. Paradoxically, these are also among the states (including Karnataka, Rajasthan and West Bengal) where the BJP won the maximum number of seats reserved for the ­governmental category of Scheduled Castes: totalling 46.

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These years have also witnessed a steady erosion of fundamental rights and constitutional principles, through judicial pronouncements on reservations in particular. In March 2018, it was the attempt to weaken the stringent provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 by the...

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