Dalit March

mk gandhi

Dalit Arts & Culture

C. SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

The act sates under section 3 (1) - Whoever, not being a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled (iv) wrongfully occupies or cultivates any land owned by, or allotted to, Or notified by any competent authority to be allotted to, a member of a scheduled Caste or a scheduled tribe or gets the land allotted to him transferred; (v) wrongfully dispossesses a member of a scheduled caste or a Scheduled tribe from his land or premises or interferes with the enjoyment of his Rights over any land, premises or water; shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to five years and with fine. The Act also provides for speedy trial of offences committed against members in Special Courts set up especially for this purpose.

POA attempts to curb and punish violence against Dalits through three broad means. Firstly, it identifies what acts constitute “atrocities.” These include both particular incidents of harm and humiliation such as the forced consumption of noxious substances, as well as the systemic violence faced by many Dalits, especially in rural areas. Such systemic violence includes forced labour, denial of access to water and other public amenities, and sexual abuse of Dalit women. Secondly, POA calls upon all the states to convert an existing session’s court in each district into a special court to try cases registered under the POA. Thirdly, POA creates provisions for states to declare areas with high levels of caste violence to be “atrocity-prone” and to appoint qualified officers to monitor and maintain law and order. The objective of POA is also to break away from caste system. As the caste system is a curse in our society ,the sooner it is destroyed the better. The caste system is an outdated feudal institution which has weakened our country because it disunites us. Hence, the sooner it is done away with the better, so that India emerges not just as a modern, powerful, industrial State but also shows that there are no “unequals among its equals.” The time has come for India to show that justice must not only be done but must be seen and experienced by its people to be done.