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

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Harmful to Social Justice

With regard to Anand Teltumbde’s “Dismantling ‘Dalit’ with a Poisonous PIL” (EPW, 8 October 2011), the PIL filed in the Supreme Court asking for removal of certain castes from the list of scheduled castes/ scheduled tribes (SCs/STs) raises an important concern but also poses harm to the concept of social justice. The data related to crimes committed on the SCs/STs under the Prevention of Atrocities Act shows that most of the victims are from the castes the PIL would like to remove from the list. Our society has not reformed itself to the extent of accepting even educationally and economically advanced SCs/STs as equal citizens.

The Constitution mandates reservation for the SCs/STs in proportion to their population. The non-availability of opportunities through reservation to the weaker castes among them has more to do with the socio-economic developmental programmes of the State than with the reservation policy. The most important issue is to provide education and skills to weaker castes at the primary and secondary stage by opening schools and hostels.

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