A curious case ( though those who know the reality understand it well) of a person being posted as a senior functionary in Uttarakhand under the ST category happened to be a Brahmin. Nautiyal in Uttarakhand are brahmins and that is a well known and established fact but then if Nautiyal Saheb is an ST on a piece of paper ‘duly’ signed by an officer then he is. In India, you do not exist if you are not there on papers. You are dead if you are deleted from ‘sarkari-kagaz’s even if you are alive. So be careful dear friends about your living status. You must be ‘correct’ on sarkari files otherwise your existence is of no use.

Nautiyal Saheb filed a case against a person under the SC-ST act suggesting that the person abused him. The accused too happened to be a brahmin challenged Nautiyal in doing so under the SC-ST Act. He said that Nautiyal was a brahmin but lying in the court but Nautiyal presented his ‘caste’ certificate being declared as ‘Jaunsari tribe’. The High Court then posed a fine of Rs two lakh rupees on the litigant for falsely accusing the person and ‘tarnishing’ his image.

The person has now approached the Supreme Court and unless the court dwell this in detail, the situation would remain the same.

Now we come to the facts of the matter which will open your eyes and all those who are calling ‘for’ Bharat Bandh. We will show you how these acts meant for the benefits of the Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes have been circumvented. I am giving you example from Uttarakhand but there may be other areas too and the need is to work on them and expose them.

The tragedy is Uttar Pradesh government never ever properly acknowledged the presence of Adivasis in the state. With Pant, Tiwari, Bahugunas, Gulab Singhs at the helm, they cleverly created certain zones and declared them ST. One such zone in Uttarakhand is Janusar area which is declared as Scheduled Tribe area. Now the entire area is ST, it should come under PESA and other acts. The fact is there are a huge numbers of brahmins and Rajputs in the region who have appropriated all the jobs under the quota meant for STs. Tragically, the Dalits dont get their caste certificate that easily.

The caste system is pernicious here. It is more than in any other regions of Uttarakhand. The Dalits are not even allowed to enter into the temple. One of the most marginalised Dalit communities here is Kolta but it does not come under any category. It does not get reservation. The other is the Bajgi who are basically drum beaters and remain untouchables. In this Yamuna valley of Jaunsar, on the death of the person, the Bajagis have to beat the drum and if they dont, they face violence and boycott.

Boycott and violence are powerful weapons of the casteist forces. Political leadership know it well but will not act. The SC-ST Act is virtually redundant in the entire Jaunsar area as everybody is counted as Tribal and hence it is not applicable. The caste system is practiced with much intensity here. In fact, I told some of our friends that they should not try to go to these temples but make them redundant. If you are not welcome in the temple means that you are not Hindu. Just follow Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Many socialists friends wanted to launch a campaign for the temple entry. Another one became hero claiming to follow dr Ambedkar. I said, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar wanted people to come out of the mental slavery and would not have liked young students to fight for temple entry rights.

Shri Chandra Singh, IAS retd has been saying for years that all Indians must have a copy of the Constitution of India as it only will help them. For Dalits and other marginalised it is more than important. It will help them expose the corrupt system.

The Supreme Court must look into the Jaunsar case in etriety as how the upper castes have appropriated everything from jobs to other positions in the name of Janusari Tribe. There is nothing called Janusari tribe. It is a misnomer. There are so many castes and communities inside Jaunsar. It is a region and not a homogeneous identity. An impression was created and thanks to the brahmanical leadership in Uttar Pradesh of those years, a mystique was created. A bill also came in Parliament in 1969 to include certain castes in to the ST list while delisting others but due to pressure of powerful political leadership, it was withdrawn.

We are asking all the members of Parliament to look into it.The brahmanical elite in India have appropriated many of the things meant for the Scheduled caste and this is unconstitutional and must be exposed. Janusar case must be properly investigated. It is the area of Chakrauta, Vikasnagar, Sahaspur, Janunpur region of Uttarakhand. The court should order a status report of the Janusar region, status of the Dalits there particularly belonging to Koltas, Bajgis and Shilpkars as many of them are not included in Shilpkars as scheduled castes.

Those who are talking about ‘ withdraw the black act’ must get the information about the ‘convictions’ in the cases of violence against SC-STs. India has failed to protect and honor the laws meant for these communities. New ways are being ‘explored’ to circumvent laws and appropriate the jobs. The reservations are meant to break the hegemony of particular castes and protect the interests of India’s 85% populations which is under represented and not represented. The narratives being created are dangerous and must be rejected.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter @freetohumanity Email: vbrawat@gmail.com

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One Comment

  1. Saheli Chowdhury says:

    Thanks to the author for bringing this matter to light. There are so many similar injustices going on in the country and we do not even know about them because the ‘big media’ do not focus them.