The position of schedule caste and schedule tribe is always a question mark
for the society .being a developing country we are saying that we are giving an
equal status to them as compared with other caste but in reality, it is not like
this. In modern time also they are facing problem but we can say that the extent
of suffering ness is less as compared to previous time. For improving their
conditions government are taking various steps like specific laws are being made
for them, commissions were made only for their betterment and by means of
reservation also, the government is trying to improve their condition.
Specifically, Our Constitution guarantees justice and equality of opportunity to
all its citizens. It also recognizes that equal opportunity implies a
competition between equals, and not 'un-equals'. Recognizing the inequality in
our social structure, the makers of the Constitution argued that weaker sections
have to be dealt with on a preferential footing by the state. A special
responsibility was, thus, placed upon the state to provide protection to the
weaker sections of society.
Accordingly, the Constitution provided for protective discrimination under
various articles to accelerate the process of building an egalitarian social
order In the research paper I just explained the condition of schedule caste and
schedule tribe and what are provisions available to them under the constitution
of India. These provisions are just like a helping hand for them to improve
their condition. When all the sections of people developed then only our country
will become a developed country.
The Dalits are Caste traditional India's principal category of social ordering
and control is the most exhaustive and of noxious of all known exclusionary
systems. The Hindu social order, particularly its main pillars, the caste
system, and untouchability presents a unique case. As a system of social,
economic and religious governance, it is founded not on the principle of the
liberty (or freedom), equality and fraternity, the values which formed the basis
of universal human rights, but on the principle of inequality in every sphere of
The social order is based on three interrelated elements, namely,
predetermination of social, religious and economic rights of each caste based on
birth; the unequal and hierarchical (graded) division of these rights among
castes; and provision of strong social, religious and economic ostracism
supported by social and religious ideology to maintain the order. Among the
Backward Castes, Scheduled Castes are socially, economically, politically,
religiously, and culturally oppressed.
In the past, many Scheduled Castes embraced Christianity during the British rule
in India, these converts were given free food, clothes, and education by the
missionaries. Many of them got good educations and jobs. Some made an attempt,
in the 19th century, to disassociate themselves from the traditional callings of
the community. They began to imitate the dress and rituals of the Upper Caste in
order to avoid ill-treatment, Scheduled Castes have often preferred to change
With the legacy of Dr. B R Ambedkar, the Indian constitution guaranteed to all
citizens the fundamental rights and equal protection before the law. It provides
a number of safeguards to Scheduled Castes to ensure their all-round development
and protection against all kinds of the discriminations in India. But most of
the provisions of the constitution have remained only on paper because their
implementation has been faulty, half-hearted and inadequate and inequality,
discrimination, exclusion, and stigmatization can jointly contribute to the
utter marginalization in India.
They account for 2 percent of Tamil Nadu's population, and the Socio-economic
and Caste Census has now found that Dalits households in rural Tamil Nadu touch
25.55 percent. However, Dalits in the state continue to be a receiving end; and
there seems to be no in atrocities against them. "Historically, the political
discourse in Tamil Nadu revolved around the Brahmins versus non-Brahmins
question. Now, it has become Dalits versus non-Dalits.
- Article 1,2 of UDHR and ARTICLE 3, 5,6 of ICESCR provide for equality
and rights for all. The state should provide forthe enjoyment of all
economic, social and cultural rights.
- Article 23 UDHR and Article 7 ICESCR: Equality in employment and
prohibition of discrimination in pay and working condition.
- Article 25 and 26 UDHR state should provide for the basic necessity of
- Article 11(2): Protection in respect of conviction for offenses.
- Article 18 freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and
propagation of religion.
- Article 22 protection of interests of minorities.
- Article 8 Right to Right
- Article 10 ICESCR provide a right to marry and found family by one's own
- Beyond these provisions in the Constitution of India some special
provisions are made for the Scheduled Castes. Article 17 has abolished to
the practice of untouchability. Article 330 and332 gave provided for the
reservation of seats to appointments, Article 338 has made provision for the
special officer to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards for
the Scheduled Castes and Article 46 relates to special care about the
educational and economic interest of the Scheduled Castes.10
- National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes: Article
338 of the constitution requires constitution of the National Commission for
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for better protection of the rights of
the members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- Caste Disabilities Removal Act 1950: The Act provides that when in a
civil suit the parties belong to different persuasions, the laws of the
religions of the parties shall not be permitted to operate to deprive such
parties of any such parties of any property but for the operation of such
laws, they would have been entitled.
- Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955: By this Act, enforcement of any
disability arising out of untouchability has been made an offence punishable
in accordance with the relevant provisions.
- The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976
- Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
1989: An Act to prevent the Commission of atrocities against members of the
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes for Constitution of special courts
for trial of such offenses, and to provide relief and rehabilitation to the
- Protection of Human Rights Act 1993: The Act provides for the
Constitution of a National Human Rights Commission, State Human Rights
Commission, and Human Rights Courts for better protection of Human Rights.
The above provisions of International Bill of Rights and Indian Constitution
ensure that Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes be treated equally and not be
discriminated. It ensures that the state provides for measures to improve
Socio-Economic conditions of SC/ST so that they achieve a minimum standard of
living. The state is to protect Social, Economic and Cultural rights of them.
Honour Killing of Shankar:
The couple fell in love while studying at an engineering college in Palani and
got married around eight months ago. However, the girl's family tried to take
her away even when she told the police that she had married the man of her own
free will.In a suspected honor killing, family members of a high-caste Hindu
girl sent hired killers to murder her husband, a Dalit, in Tirupur on Sunday.
A gang of unidentified men, armed with hatchets and sickles, rode into Udumalai
pettai town in Tirupur district, waylaid Shankar, 22, and hacked him to death in
broad daylight. The youth died on route to the hospital. His wife Kausalya, who
was with him at the time of the incident, was critically injured and admitted to
the ICU later. In a statement to the police, she blamed her family members for
her husband's death and told the police that she had complained about the threat
from her family earlier. Chinnasamy, the father-in-law of V. Shankar (22), the
Dalit youth who was hacked to deathin broad daylight in a suspected honor
killing in Udumalpet on Sunday, surrendered before the Judicial Magistrate Court
in Nilakottai, Dindigul district on Monday.
Indra Sawhney v. Union of India
It has been held that caste is the determining factor for classifying a class as
a backward class. However, the court held that the maximum limit of reservation
cannot exceed 50% and there can be no reservation in promotion posts.
The Dharmapuri attacks:
In Dharmapuri district, Tamil Nadu, an angry mob of approximately 1,000
Vanniyars, a social group who consider themselves 'superior' to Dalits in
India's caste hierarchy, succeeded in looting and torching as many as 400 houses
in three Dalit communities with police remaining as onlookers. The attacks took
place in the wake of an inter-caste marriage between a Vanniyar woman and a
Following the suicide of the woman's father, the mob ransacked the villages of
Natham, Anna Nagar and Kondampatti over a period of two-three hours. The
inhabitants sought safety in a nearby village. Only when the villages had
already suffered much destruction, did the police move in. Since the incident,
142 suspected attackers have been arrested.
There are indications that the suicide was used as a pretext for carrying out an
already planned attack, the purpose of which may have been to destroy the
economic infrastructure of the Dalit communities. In recent years, the Dalits
have become increasingly assertive, while the Vanniyars appear to have stagnated
economically. Prior to - and following - the incident, political forces in Tamil
Nadu that appeal to the Vanniyar vote made strong anti-Dalit statements.
The estimated 1,500 victims of these attacks have suffered numerous human rights
abuses, including violations of the right to physical security; the right to be
free from violence; the right to housing, the right to marriage on free will;
and the right to fair access to justice. Even though the police knew about the
risk of an attack, they did not take any action to prevent it. Following the
incident, three police officials have been suspended.
Nallampatti Dalits want case registered against upper caste community:
Dalit residents of Rice Mill Pudur Colony at Nallampatti on Sunday demanded the
Thingalur police to register a complaint against members of upper caste
community over denial of livelihood for the last one month. The Dalit community
members wanted immediate action on a petition they had submitted a couple of
days back complaining about what they termed as a socio-economic boycott by
upper caste community members.
Police officials had reportedly told them that the case could be registered only
after a consultation on the relevant Sections with legal experts. Police sources
said there were complications involved in registering a case since the upper
caste members cannot be intimidated into providing employment to Dalits in their
fields. According to a police official, the cordiality in the relations between
the two communities was being vitiated by some organizations claiming to
champion the cause of Dalits.
Ever since a face-off erupted between the Dalits belonging to Arundathiyar sect
and upper caste members a month back after the death under suspicious
circumstances of a 55-year-old Dalit worker Chinnasamy, there has been an uneasy
calm in Nallampatti. A week back, the affected Dalits had submitted a petition
to the district administration pleading for intervention for their economic
sustenance, citing a resolution adopted by upper caste members not to engage for
farm work any Dalit worker from the Rice Mill Pudur locality. They had asked for
interest-free loans with subsidy component as a remedy.
Earlier this month, a team from the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)
visited the Rice Mill Pudur locality and held inquiries. The Dalit residents had
complained to the team that Chinnasamy was murdered by an upper caste group over
his strident stand on a PCR (Protection of Civil Rights) case registered in
Thingalur police station. The Dalit residents had also expressed unhappiness
over the Police Department's handling of the case.
Devasam v. Union of India
The 'Carry forward Rule' framed by Central Government was held invalid on the
ground that the power vested in the State Government under Article 16(4)could
not be so exercised as to deny reasonable equality of opportunity in matters of
public employment to members of classes other than backward. In this case the
number of vacancies which came to be reserved by virtue of 'Carry-Forward Rule'
was nearly 68% of the total vacancies which was unreasonable an hence the rule
was declared invalid.
Attack on Dalits in Coimbatore: National Commission for Scheduled Castes
COIMBATORE: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes on Friday conducted an
inquiry with 29 families who were affected by a caste violence that occurred at
Periya Thadagam in Coimbatore. A report detailing the incident and
recommendations was submitted to the district collector. On September 7, around
30 people were attacked by 17 caste Hindus for refusing to play the jamb, a
musical instrument, during the Vinayaka Chathurthi festival.
Six Dalits were injured and hospitalized. The Thudiyalur police had then
registered a case against 17 caste Hindus but did not arrest them. As per the
police records, the case was registered under sections 147, 148, 341, 294(b),
323 and 324 of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 3(1) and 3(2) of the
SC/ST Amendment Act. One of the victims, S Nagaraj said for over 15 years, they
had been facing such discrimination in the area.
They said they learned to drum and were often called by the Hindu outfits. "For
over three years, we had been playing the instrument for them during the
festival. But this year, we decided to set up a statue at our temple and refused
to play the jamab for them. They initially intimidated us and then threatened.
On September 7, they attacked us and beat us up so badly that six of us had to
be admitted to hospital. But 30 others were badly injured," he said.
The others attacked were identified as M Marudaachalam, M Poogodi, K Vijaya, M
Selvan, and M Subbammal. Chandra Prabha, research officer of National Commission
for Scheduled Caste and S Lister, an investigative officer of the commission met
all the 29 families residing in the village. S Lister said the government had
sanctioned a monetary benefit of Rs 50,000 to the six families after the FIR was
"We have recommended that sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 326 (Voluntarily
causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of Indian Penal Code be
included in the FIR as they have mentioned in the FIR that the victims were
attacked using wooden logs and iron rods. If this section is added, a
compensation of up to Rs 4 lakh would be provided to them," said Lister. He
further added that the Dalits still felt unsafe in the area.
"They wanted the government to relocate them to some other place near Thudiyalur
and issue them patta," said Lister. Dalit activist Selvakumar said the Dalits in
Periya Thadagam work in brick kilns and were daily-wage workers. "They do not
have any basic amenities and they do not even have a home of their own. If the
government issues patta to them, they will feel secure," he said. All these have
also been included in the recommendations in the report.
Commission for Schedule caste:
Originally Article 338 of the constitution provided for the appointment of a
special officer for scheduled castes to investigate all matter relating to the
constitutional safeguards for the SC to report to the President on their
working. He was designated as the commissioner for SCs and STs and to report to
the president on their working. He was designated as the commissioner for SCs
and STs and assigned the said duty.
In 1978, the government (through a resolution) set up a non-statutory
multi-member commission for SCs and STs; the office of commissioner for SCs and
STs also continued to exist.
In 1987, the government (through another resolution) modified the function of
the function of the commission for SCs and STs.
Later, the 65thconstitutional amendment act of 1990 provided for the
establishment of a high level multi-member national commission for SCs and STs
in the place of a single special officer for SCs and STs. This constitutional
body replaced the commissioner for SCs and STs as well as the commission set up
under the resolution of 1987.
Again, the 89thconstitutional amendment act of 2003 bifurcated the combined
national commission for SCs and STs into two separate bodies, namely, national
commission for scheduled castes (under article 338) and the national commission
for scheduled tribes (under article 338A).
The separate national commission for SCs came into existence in 2004. It
consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, and three other members. They are
appointed by the president by warrant under his hand and seal. Their conditions
of service and tenure of office are also determined by the president.
Traditionally, the different Scheduled Castes were employed in the various types
of occupations and with their varying social and economic positions, were
assigned different ranks in the overall ritual and social hierarchy of the caste
system. One might think of these castes, not as part of the organization of a
village society contrary that the Scheduled Castes were associated in certain
ways with social organization but their touch either with a person or a
commodity belonging to a Caste Hindu was avoided as far as possible.
Thus, there existed strata of castes on the basis of their farness from the
clean castes. What governs the daily life of a Scheduled Caste is discrimination
on the basis of caste manifests itself through visible practices such as a
separate drinking water wells, segregated housing colonies, separate burial
grounds, segregated places of worship, separate seating of children during
mid-day meals at school, denial of taking food from scheduled caste cooks in
mid-day meals at schools, prohibition of dressing like others do, prohibition of
intercaste dining and marriages, or mounting a horse during a wedding, amongst
scores of other forms.
Discrimination also manifests itself through non-visible forms in the shape of
caste prejudices that can be heard in the spoken language through idioms and
phrases. The failure of the Indian state and its instruments to cope with the
problems arising in the process of socio-economic change in a society with adult
suffrage and equality of opportunity and status, among other similar objectives
provided in our constitution, has led to rising expectations on the one hand,
and growing consciousness of the exploitation and indignity in social relations,
on the other.
Such a combination has inevitably led to strong resentment expressing itself in
violence. Unless these infirmities are removed and progress made towards the
creation of a truly just society and non-exploitative social order, violence is
not only likely to continue but may get aggravated.
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