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[Debate Dalit on TV........More]

Member's view:


Thu Aug 30, 2001 

Hello! everybody,
I would like to share some of my feelings after watching a debate on Dalits on television. I don't know how many of us had watched that particular show on Star Plus `we the people', hosted by a renowned journalist Barkha Dutt (also my favourite journalist). The program was on 19th August. Noted personality like Kiran Bedi, Professor Nandi had come to the show. The room was full of student, men, and women of upper caste. It was painful to see Kancha Ilaiah, the Dalit writer and scholar sitting all by himself in a room full of hostile upper-caste men and women. But it was more painful to see and hear Prof. Nandi, a sociologist, giving a sarcastic comment that Dalit is the most previledged caste and it is easier for a Dalit to become a chief minister than a Brahmin and how the whole room bursted into spontaneous applause. Nevertheless it is worth appreciating of Kancha Ilaiah who sat through the program, fully calm and composed, giving his views very clearly.So I have written to `We the people'of NDTV protesting the way the program was conducted and suggesting them in future they should make it a point that both sides are equally represented as this particular one resembled a `Dalit Bashing' program.

Finally we should wish a good luck to the Dalit representatives i.e. N.Paul Divakar, Chandrabhan Prasad, Prakash Ambedkar, Sukhdeo Thorat and Martin Macwan etc. who are going to the Durban Conference.

regards to all,
Jyotsna Saren.


Fri Aug 31, 2001 

hello everybody,

The sentiment expressed by Ms. Jyotsna on the star programme needs serious thinking. though Ms Barkha Datt is her favourite journalist, i found her day  by day becoming more arrogant due to (possibly) overwhelming recognition she got for Kargil and J&K coverage and the way she conducts the show does not appeal to me. that is the reason why i stopped watching that programme.apart from that if we analyse the contents of the show, it needs no futher elaboration. In the midst of all urbanites it is futile to advocate the cause to dalits. if we consider the safeguards and provisions for dalits it will be no doubt sufficient to protect them but the hostile attitude of the implementing agency debars the persons to enjoy the share earmarked for them. and sadly the dalit fraternity is also becoming mute spectator to all these happenings and reply to all these is there and it needs introspection of the dalit elites (educated and employed people). But it remains to be seen the involvement of this section towards the development of the co-brothers (their own society). The theme of the Durban Conference is different from the issues related to dalits i.e. casteism and in my view santals do not suffer or are subjugated due to the casteism prevalent in Hindu society. Any comments?


Fri Aug 31,

There is no reason to look it an isolated case. But it is well concerted effort to defame reserved category people and it is not a new thing and
most of us may be accustomed to this to live with .We must understand that the journalists are not above the board, to say other way they can not go above the broad. So there is no question of expecting impartiality. After all they are upper caste and these are the people who want the command of society. If we go back to 90s, Mandal commission protest. You can remember that most of the news were mostly exaggerated. There was the protest, but that was not in the scale as it had been shown in the TV/ News paper. I found only one paper was mostly impartial that is Madras based 'The Hindu'.
In news paper less important matter concerning Upper caste gets more prominent figure in the news .If we read the news paper, you can find many  instances. Now problem is whether we should accept it as it is or try to protest it when things are not in right direction. That we must sit and think about this. Since it needs more introspections. We should go to the roots and vignettes of the problem. Then we may have had the glance of solution , not before it.

With Kind Regards,
Naresh Chandra Murmu


Fri Aug 31

Well, the views expressed by our members are worth discussing! thanks to Jyotsna we really have come to situation where we can chip in our views reharding this matter! If you ask me for my opinion I agree wholeheartedly with Naresh and  Purna.There has been a great degree of whimsical things going on in  the society with the lives of people of our community! I don't know whether any of you know Bengali or not but there has been a joke of very bad taste with the term ST and SC. The term ST has been transformed into "Sonar Tukro~ A piece of Gold" which I heard for the fast time from my class,ates when I was in Class IX.I was shocking experiance for me learn the way people look at the tribals!As time passed by I came to know the view people carry regarding our people!It was generally very degrading and that was the time when I determied to become a sort of somebody from a nobody.Even in my college days I heard people saying not very plesent things about the tribals!
If you speak of tyhe medical fraternity here in Bengal we doctors have set up an Adibasi Medicos which has been principally formed to view the voices of the tribal doctors.Say for eg. The Govt over here is saying that there are very few doctors who are willing to go to the remote villages;but on the contrary there are doctors from our community who are willing to go to those places but are not given chances in spite of repeated requests! I don't know the what s the condotion of our brotheres who arer in other profession!I would like to know or rather have more comments on this issue from other members!

Thank you!


Mon Sep 3, 2001  2:12 pm

Hello Everybody,

     I feel some of the issues got mixed up. From the past communication, I  presume that most of us perhaps have the notion that we belong to Dalit  society so when it is attacked we are shocked and aggrieved. But I have a separate view point on this: Santals are a totally different social group and they cannot be clubbed  under a banner name Dalit. Dalit is applicable to the persons who are  subjected to and also who have accepted the social hierarchy and

domination. Santals don't suffer that stigma. Ours is a self reliant and  self sufficient society. So when discussion is held to condemn or support  casteism why we are disturbed?

the concessions to STs and SCs should not be confused with the social status  of a Santal because this is a provision under constitution and not social in  nature. Moreover, it is not compulsory also to avail the concessions even if one is from that category. that is the drawback in our society, capable  people also don't hesitate to knock that door.

When we interact with other contemporary social group we are looked down upon as our society as a whole is weak and the reasons for weakness is known to all (at least educated masses). That also if you like to be compared and accepted you have to behave as per their expectations or don't get disturbed if you cannot behave like them. It is a universal phenomena as we also like to compare others with us. This also happens within santal

community. Therefore, who terms what is not important, we have to go deep to find out why he uses those words. From this we will find a direction for the future.


Recent episode in Kolkata regarding the medical college entrance exam. I was informed that only 5 STs were selected out of 45 seats earmarked for the STs. The bone of contention is the mismatch between the direction/order of Medical Council of India and UGC. The issue is to secure at least 45% marks to be eligible for getting admission to the medical colleges. There are two approaches one is to demand for the admission of ST students irrespective of the marks and the other one is to make sure that our students are securing that percentage and if required demand for a high level probe to establish that people at the helm of affirs violate the provisions of our Constitution. To choose an option differs from person to person and choice of option has a bearing on our development. To deal with such an issue requires more information to share and due to the facility limitation i am limiting myself from further writing.



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