“Legal awareness vital for Dalits”
It is a known fact that awareness of Constitutional provisions and law enforcement agencies among Dalits is low and that is one of the stumbling blocks to their emancipation.
Studies reveal that the empowerment of Dalits has always resulted in a concurrent increase in opposition to them as well. Atrocities happen when Dalits try to avail themselves of legal resources; assert their right over common property resources, their occupation, right to participate in cultural life, their right to vote etc.
As part of an effort to instil and inculcate the legal as well as human rights aspects among political activists and campaigners of Dalit causes, a social movement titled “Inai” (Join) floated by Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi organised a workshop here on Saturday.
Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the workshop, D. Ravikumar, general secretary and former M.L.A., VCK, said that Dalit political activists have the need to know about the laws pertaining not only to the protection of Scheduled Castes but also on laws related to women and children.
The implementation of laws meant for these oppressed sections has always been problematic.
For example, in the case of abolition of bonded labour and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, the number of cases registered is abysmally low. The National Crime Records Bureau statistics reveal those details, Mr. Ravikumar said.
The conference was organised as part of the contemporary political debate to counter the false propaganda that the SC/ST POA, 1989 was being misused, he added.