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Question-1

List two Fundamental Rights in the Constitution that Dalits can draw upon to insist that they be treated with dignity and as equals. Re-read the Fundamental Rights listed on page 14 to help you answer this question.

Solution:
Two Fundamental Rights in the Constitution that Dalits can draw upon are:-

No citizen can be discriminated against on the basis of their religion, caste or sex

All minorities, religious or linguistic, can set up their own educational institutions in order to preserve and develop their own culture.

Question-2

Re-read the story on Rathnam as well as the provisions of the 1989 Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Now list one reason why you think he used this law to file a complaint.

Solution:
The Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989 distinguishes several levels of crimes
One such crime is …….

Modes of humiliation
That is, if an individual or an organization commits any act which is derogatory to human dignity against anyone then it is a crime against them which is punishable under the law by invoking the 1989 Act

When Rathnam was asked to wash the feet of the priests he refused to do so. This angered the majority caste. In order to take revenge on Rathnam the majority community set fire to Rathnam’s hut.

Rathnam approached the nearby Police station and filed a case under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Action was taken by the government and the ritual of washing the feet of the priests was called off.

Question-3

Why do Adivasi activists, including C.K. Janu, believe that Adivasis can also use this 1989 Act to fight against dispossession? Is there anything specific in the provisions of the Act that allows her to believe this?

Solution:
The Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989 distinguishes several levels of crimes
One such crime is …….

Actions that deprive Dalits and Adivasis of their possessions
That is, if an individual or an organization wrongfully occupies or cultivates any land owned by a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe then it is a crime against them which is punishable under the law by invoking the 1989 Act.

 

Forestlands belonging to Adivasis have been encroached upon by timber merchants and paper mills. So Adivasi activist including C.K. Janu, believe that Adivasis can also use the 1989 Act to fight against dispossession.





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