Wednesday, July 6, 2011

[ZESTCaste] MP Dalit officer launches forum against caste bias

MP Dalit officer launches forum against caste bias
Milind Ghatwai Posted online: Mon Jun 27 2011, 03:13 hrs
Bhopal : A Dalit IAS officer, who alleges that he is being
discriminated against because of his caste, has announced the
formation of Jaibhim Vichar Manch, a forum to promote Ambedkar

Ramesh Thete (51), a 1993 batch officer, was suspended in a case of
alleged bribery, only to be reinstated in May after successfully
challenging his suspension in the Supreme Court.

Talking to The Indian Express, he said that he wanted to provide a
platform to highlight injustice against Dalits, and to promote what Dr
Babasaheb Amedkar stood for throughout his life. There are instances
of Dalit sarpanchs being not allowed to hoist the national flag, he
said, adding that the forum will highlight systemic issues.

A poet and singer, Thete said he would revive Shilpkar, a musical show
devoted to the life and works of Ambedkar. In the show, he would sing
along with noted performers Anuradha Paudwal and Sadhna Sargam. There
is no bar on bureaucrats participating in cultural and social
activities, Thete said, adding that he will seek a written permission
from the state government.

Thete was suspended in 2002, reinstated within a month, and suspended
again in 2005. He was Director of Employment and Training when an ITI
principal accused him of demanding a bribe. After a protracted legal
battle, the SC ordered his reinstatement and held there was no
evidence against him in the case. Thete had threatened to commit
suicide in front of the PMO when there was a delay in his

He joined duty in May and was made Deputy Secretary in the Department
of Rehabilitation when, he claims, he was due for the Secretary's


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