Thursday, July 30, 2009

Radio Pakistan spreads propaganda about Dalits in India

Radio Pakistan, in its recent Punjabi Durbar programme, has said Scheduled Castes (SCs) children are being denied admission in schools in India, but nothing can be further from the truth.

Shyam Lal Arora, the district president of the Recognised and Affiliated Schools Association, Punjab termed the report false and malicious propaganda.

"The Dalits are not being discriminated or ill treated here in India. The Dalit children have been given equal rights and status in every school, college, office and department. Pakistan is making such statements to create tension in this country," said Arora.

"In villages also, Dalit children are being given admission without any discrimination. Pakistan's statement that the Dalit community is being stopped from taking water from community taps in the country is completely wrong. Here, people of all religions and Dalits take water from the same tap," Arora added.

Pakistan is trying to create a divide in this country by asserting that casteism is dominant in India.

Radio Pakistan's propaganda on casteism in India stands exposed by the fact that since independence, the Indian Government has taken several initiatives to improve the socio-economic and literacy conditions of the less-privileged in the country.

For instance, the strategy of the Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP), which was evolved in 1979, is one of the most important interventions through the planning process for social, economic and educational development of Scheduled Castes and for improvement in their working and living conditions.

As far as reservation of seats in educational institutes are concerned, the Central Government has reserved 27 per cent of higher education seats, and individual states have been given freedom to legislate further reservations.

In 2008, the Supreme Court had upheld the law that provides for 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Castes (OBCs) in educational institutions supported by the Central Government, while ruling that the creamy layer among the OBCs should be excluded from the quota.

This shows that the caste system as it existed in the past has been formally abolished.

Radio Pakistan, therefore, needs to study the Indian Constitution before airing baseless allegations about India. - ANI
- Jaisakthivel, Chennai, India

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