ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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GUJARAT-Everyday Discriminations against Tribals

GUJARAT Everyday Discriminations against Tribals Mathew Kalathil GUJARAT was the scene of a fierce and violent agitation against reserva- tion (of jobs and seats in educational institutions) lasting 102 days from December 1980 to May 1961. In the course of it, 42 violent deaths occurred. Over 144 houses of Harijans were burnt down or looted; 116 Harijans sustained serious physical injuries. An impression was sought to be created that the goals and purposes of the reservation policy for backward castes and tribes in jobs and in educational institutions had long been achieved and that Gujarat was a heaven for the backward castes and tribes at the cost of the others. People in other parts of India were persuaded by vested interests to believe that well-to-do people in Gujarat were made victims of grave injustice by the reservation policy and therefore it ought to be scrapped. The fact, however, is that backward castes and tribes in Gujarat are far worse off today than they were 35 years ago. Hundreds of them become landless every year. Thousands remain unemployed for a major part of their lives. A great number of them die of TB, leprosy and diseases common among malnourished, ill-clad and ill-housed people. Daily deliberate discriminations are responsible for the accelerating impoverishment of the weaker sections of society in Gujarat. This report describes in some detail instances of gross discrimination against tribals in parts of South Gujarat.

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