Dalits call Anna stir 'upper caste'
Poornima Joshi | New Delhi, August 25, 2011 | Updated 06:23 IST
The anti-politician feeling generated by Anna Hazare's agitation,
combined with Arvind Kejriwal's association with the Youth for
Equality, the organisation that spearheaded the anti-reservation
agitation in the AIIMS, has triggered a sense of unease among
parliamentarians belonging to Dalit and backward communities.
Dalit and OBC MPs on Wednesday lamented the "attack on the supremacy
of Parliament and the Constitution". From BJP's Hukumdeo Narain Yadav
to JD-U president Sharad Yadav and Lok Janshakti Party president Ram
Vilas Paswan, there was a sharp attack on what the MPs said was an
attempt to "undermine the Constitution".
This happened on a day when Dalit leader Udit Raj of the All India
Confederation of SC/ST Organisations led a march of around 500
activists from Jantar Mantar to India Gate against Hazare's agitation.
The rally brought peak hour evening traffic to a crawl in central
"Anna must clarify his stand on several issues before he speaks about
the Jan Lokpal Bill," Raj said. The protesters said Hazare's protest
was as "upper caste movement that has little to do with the oppressed
classes of society". Udit Raj's supporters criticised Team Anna's Bill
for leaving out of Lokpal's ambit NGOs, media and the corporate
Like them, the Dalit MPs too felt that the Jan Lokpal Bill assumes
supremacy of an unelected panel over legislature, executive and the
judiciary. This has instilled a fear among MPs belonging to weaker
sections who perceive Hazare's stir as an upper- caste movement.
Narain Yadav, a Lok Sabha MP from Bihar, expressed his unhappiness at
the " exclusion" of weaker sections from the debate at the BJP
parliamentary party meeting.
JD-U president Sharad Yadav received applause from the treasury as
well as the Opposition benches when he said corruption in society was
linked to the caste system and couldn't be eliminated through a law
"No law can prevent corruption that is inherent in Indian society
because of the caste system. Unless there is social justice,
corruption will continue to plague the system. When the drains are
flowing with sewage, how will sprinkling a bit of DDT help? You need
to clean the drain," Yadav said in the Lok Sabha.
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