Wednesday, July 10, 2013

CPI(M) protest against ‘pankti bheda’ in Karnataka

Demanding the State government to ban Made Snana and ‘Pankthi bedha’ (discrimination in serving food) practiced in Udupi Krishna Mutt and other temples, and fulfilment of various other demands, CPIM  staged a protest across Karnataka.
Members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) staged a demonstration in front of the Mini-Vidhana Soudha in Hubli. The protest was in response to the call given by the CPI(M) for a State-wide protest against caste discrimination. ‘Pankti bheda’ refers to the discrimination between castes during meals.

The protestors raised slogans against ‘pankti bheda’ and ‘made snana’, which involves devotees rolling over plantain leaves containing leftovers of the lunch served to Brahmins. CPI(M) district secretary B.S. Soppin urged the government to abolish such practices.

Mr. Soppin stressed the need for providing reservation for Dalits in the private sector and urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to allocate funds for Dalits based on population.
Dalit Hakkugala Horata Samiti convener Durgappa Chikkatumbala, members Gurusiddappa Ambiger, Hanumanthapap Jalagar and Nagamma Hiremani took part and handed over a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister to the additional tahsildar.

The memorandum sought increased scholarships for Dalit students and food allowances for SC/ST hostels, reservation in outsourcing works, provision of two acres of land to landless Dalits, increase in the compensation package to devadasis from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 1 lakh, and the withdrawal of cases against activists who protested at Udupi.

Addressing the protesters, CPM leader Vasanth Achary said that Pejawar seer holds padayatra with Dalits in Dalit colonies. However, discrimination is practiced in Udupi Krishna Mutt while serving meals.

About 168 temples coming under the jurisdiction of Endowment Department have been practicing inhuman practices across the State. The government should initiate measures to stop these practices and withdraw cases filed against all those protesters who had protested against discrimination, in Udupi.

He said the State government should chalk out a law on the model of Andhra Pradesh to implement SC/ST Component Plan and Tribes Sub Plan. The funds earmarked for the welfare of SC/ST should not be lapsed and the budget should set aside funds on the basis of population of SC/STs in the State.

Dalits constitute about 23.65 per cent of the population in the State. Hence, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah should set aside 23.65 per cent of funds under component plan for the welfare of the SC/STs.

The government should release funds for the development of Dalit colonies in the State and civic workers should not be forced to get into manhole to take up cleaning work. The minimum salary of civic workers should be increased to Rs 12,000 per month, to improve their standard of living.

CPIM City Secretary Sunil Kumar Bajal said that there was a need to strengthen social welfare department to check injustice on Dalits.

Reservation in government sector should be extended to private sector as well.

All those poor Dalits who do not have a roof over their head should be given sites and houses under various housing schemes of the government. Dalit families who do not possess land should be given minimum two acre land, to eke out their living. The scholarship amount given for SC/ST students should be hiked and food allowance for hostel students should be increased in the wake of rise in price of essential commodities.

The protesters urged Chief Minister to include their demands in the budget which will be presented by him on July 12. A memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister through Deputy Commissioner on the occasion.

DYFI District President Muneer Katipalla, Dalit Rights Committee secretary Lingappa Nanthoor and others were present.

Activists of the CPI (M) staged a demonstration outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Gulbarga criticising the maths for practising untouchability in the name of religion. The State government should intervene and put an end to these practices.

Coming down heavily on the Pejawar Math Swami, the party leaders said that while the seer had gone on padayatras in the Dalit colonies purportedly to end untouchability, he had done little to stop the practice of ‘made snana’ and ‘pankti bheda’ in maths.

Demanding the State government to ban Made Snana and ‘Pankthi bedha’ (discrimination in serving food) practiced in Udupi Krishna Mutt and other temples, and fulfilment of various other demands, CPM and Dalit Rights Committee staged a protest in front of Deputy Commissioner’s office on Tuesday.
(Source : The Hindu)

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