Citizens' Issues
Bureaucracy treated me like an untouchable: Ex-IAS officer Sivakami
New Delhi : As the suicide of Rohith Vemula puts the focus back on the contentious issue of Dalit rights, former IAS officer and author P. Sivakami says that the community is denied even the minimum human rights. The critically acclaimed author and former bureaucrat said she quit in 2008 after being treated like an untouchable.
 
Sivakami, who was in the Indian Administrative Service for 28 years, told IANS that her decision was fuelled by the realisation that Dalits have no place in nation-building. With more than eight books to her credit, Sivakami is among India's most prominent Dalit writers. Her first book, "In The Grip of Change", had created a stir as it questions patriarchy in the Dalit movement.
 
"Both the political class and bureaucracy work together against the Dalits. During my service, though my position was next to the minister in the state I was serving in, I had to struggle for basic rights for tribals. I was dubbed as a person who belongs to the community when I was working for their welfare. It amounted to untouchability. I realised that there was an unwritten law against people from the lower community," said Sivakami, whose last posting was secretary of the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department in Tamil Nadu.
 
Many times, funds allocated for the tribal community were siphoned off for other projects and filling even a post of a teacher in a school for tribal children needed permission from the cabinet, which never listed it as a priority.
 
"To fill vacancies, I had to get approval from the cabinet and it was never a priority for them. When I demanded to fill the posts of teachers in tribal schools, I was accused of running a parallel government. The funds meant for tribals were used for other projects," she said, adding that no Dalit has held secretary-level positions in the home or finance departments in the last six decades, which she deemed significant.
 
"The post of secretary in the industries, finance or home ministry is considered a key position. No Dalit has been given these posts for the last 60 years. The discrimination is felt in all levels," Sivakami said, adding it was her father who inspired her to become a civil servant.
 
Disillusioned with the system, she quit the service and joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in 2009. A year later, she floated a political party, the Samuga Samathuva Padai to become the voice of the voiceless and the oppressed.
 
Discrimination, according to Sivakami, is pervasive - whether in educational institutions or the bureaucracy.
 
Referring to Rohith's suicide, Sivakami said educational institutions harass Dalits in the name of reservations. "There is a feeling that Dalits are not intelligent just because they have reservations. Dalits have a poor image," she lamented.
 
Flaying theories that Rohith committed suicide under academic pressure, she said that it is shameful to attribute backwardness of intelligence to a certain community.
 
"The set tone by BJP is that the scholar committed suicide owing to academic pressure and a research scholar needs extra brilliance. What do they mean by extra intelligence? How can you attribute it to backwardness," she asked.
 
The former civil servant also felt that the brouhaha over Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's visit to the Hyderabad Central University was unwarranted as any support is vital for the Dalit community.
 
"Why call Rahul's visit as political? Any support is important for the victims. Why didn't (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi go there ? " she asked.
 
As Rohith's suicide has brought out the wide gap in India's social system, Sivakami felt that the dominant culture has to introspect on its failures.
 
"Nation building is not possible without brotherhood. Denying basic rights for the community based on caste is violence," she contended.
 
A staunch Dalit feminist, Sivakami believed that women have to be brought into the mainstream and she doesn't regret leaving the civil service for activism.
 
"I was voiceless there. Now I am doing meaningful jobs. My party has a presence in 10 districts in Tamil Nadu," she said.
 
What is her solution for an equal society?
 
"Sixty percent of the landless poor are Dalits. They should be given land and treated equally. The government has to strengthen the education system and create jobs in the private sector as well. Old habits never die. To change mindsets, one has to constantly talk about the discrimination the community faces," she opined.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Saravanan K

1 year ago

The reality which is in most peoples interest to deny so as to avoid feeling guilty,, rememebering the way they treat their brethren(explicit and implcit) based on caste,class and colour in their daily life right from Maids onwards, acceptance will deal a deathblow to their moral superiority that they credit themselves with.....

PPM

1 year ago

This lady does not understand the basic principle of life, even after 28 years of being IAS officer.

Life is exactly "as a man thinketh" - Life is entirely depends on the size and power of thinking. Expecting everything from others will make the brain to go in to inactive mode as there is no need to search or work for anything. That is what happening with Dalits of India.

In life, you can not make anyone rich or powerful by giving everything - they need to have the urge within themselves to come up in life.

Dalits can be given all the opportunities in the school/college and till they get in to a job. But, in the job they need to learn and work same as the level of others. Promotions and responsibilities are based on the performance only.

There are communities in Tamilnadu, who have come up - economically & politically - without the hand holding of the governments. Real tough and hard work for 2 generations make them tick in life.

What is the status of dalits even after 60 years of reservations in studies and jobs - they will remain the same even after another 200 years of reservations.

Simple Indian

1 year ago

Though civil society is to blame for not having changed its mindset against Dalits over the past 60+ years, despite reservations having given many Dalits / backward caste people good education and high govt position. Yet, it's also the "Creamy Layer" among them who do more damage to their cause, as generations of Dalits / backward caste people who get the benefits of reservation & quota systems, continue to avail it despite not needing it anymore. For instance there are many cases of even Dalit / ST/SC IAS officers' kids availing the reservations meant for truly backward caste/class people. Unless the "reserved category" class of people oppose such blatant misuse of the reservation system by their own ilk, they will never improve their lot. Moreover, legal provisions won't change social mindsets. Dalits / SC/ST/OBCs should only seek govt welfare / subsidies for education and not for seeking jobs. They must compete for jobs with non-reserved category people, to 'earn' the respect of civil society - in the long run.

Walmart to open 10 cash and carry stores in Karnataka
Bengaluru : Retail giant Walmart India on Thursday announced it had signed an agreement with Karnataka government on Thrusday to set up 10 cash and carry stores in the state.
 
"Today (Thursday), we signed an agreement with Karnataka government to open 10 cash and carry stores in Karnataka," said compnay's CEO Krish Iyer at panel discussion 'Promoting Women Entrepreneurship' at the Invest Karnataka 2016 Global Investors Meet (GIM).
 
Citing Walmart's goals of promoting and encouraging women entrepreneurs in a big way, he invited them to approach Walmart team for evaluation to enroll as a vendor.
 
"We are running a women entrepreneurship development programme on demand and supply side. Demand side includes developing women entrepreneurs who can open kirana stores or small hotels, restaurants and dhabas to whom we will supply at low costs," he said.
 
Supply side opportunity is much bigger at Walmart where it already sources merchandise from 30 women-owned businesses and services from 35 women-owned businesses.
 
In 2011, Walmart launched the global Women Economic Empowerment Programme aimed at doubling the current $20 billion worth merchandise sourcing from women entrepreneurs across the globe.
 
Iyer said other important global goals for Walmart are to promote diversity and inclusion in the existing supplier mix from both merchandise and professional services and empower nearly one million women globally.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Nifty, Sensex may rally – Thursday closing report
If Nifty closes above 7,450, there are chances of a strong rally
 
We had mentioned in Wednesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex were under pressure and that Nifty has to close above 7,420 for the downtrend to end. The major indices of the Indian stock markets rallied after three days of losses and closed with small gains over Wednesday’s close. The trends of the major indices in Thursday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) on Thursday revised the growth forecast for the software services sector to between 10-12% for the financial year 2015-16, a statement said. The exports revenue of the industry grew by 12.3% and domestic revenue grew by 10% in 2015-16. The earlier growth projection by the IT software industry body for the present financial year was in the tune of 12%-14%. “Amidst a growth of 0.4% in the global IT-BPM in 2015, the industry is expected to reach an estimated $143 billion in FY2016, doubling its revenue over the last six years and crossing the $100 billion milestone in export revenues,” the statement said. “In addition, e-commerce contributed $17 billion revenue boosting digital consumption. India continues to gain market share in the global sourcing sector and emerges as the largest, most diversified and scalable destination,” it added. “Amidst a volatile global economic environment, the industry has been able to set new benchmarks by growing from strength-to-strength and sustaining its double-digit growth,” BVR Mohan Reddy, chairman, Nasscom said. With an increase in technology spending estimated by global technology analysts, industry expects the double digit growth story to continue in 2016-17. “The IT-BPM industry export revenue is expected to grow by 10%-12% in 2016-17 reaching revenues of $119-121 billion. The industry is expected to add a net employment around 2 lakh,” the statement added. The S & P BSE Information Technology Index closed at 11,179.77, up 0.92% on the BSE.
 
The government has approved seven infrastructure projects in road and port sectors envisaging an investment of Rs.9,672 crore, an official statement said on Wednesday. "The Public Private Project Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) and the Empowered Committee (EC) both chaired by Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs met on February 2, 2016, and cleared six road projects and one ports sector project with estimated project cost totalling Rs.9672.12 crores," a finance ministry statement said. "Quick clearances given," Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said in a tweet. The projects include four national highway projects, one each in Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh and two in Uttar Pradesh, and one port project in the coastal state of Goa. Besides, two road projects in Uttar Pradesh have been cleared for Viability Gap Funding (VGF), under which the government gives support to infrastructure projects.
 
The Adani group would invest about Rs.21,000 crore in Karnataka to expand its power station, and set up a solar project for renewable energy and a sea port on the state's coast, group founder Gautam Adani said on Wednesday. "We are setting up two 800 Mega Watt (MW) plants at our Udupi Power Corporation Ltd. station at Rs.11,500 crore, and a 1,000 MW solar power project at Rs.7,000 crore and a greenfield seaport at Tadadi at Rs.2,000 crore on the coast," Adani said at the state's global investors meet (GIM). Tadadi is in Uttara Kannada district of the state, about 500 km from Bengaluru. The $17.5-billion Ahmedabad-based conglomerate had bought the 1,200 MW Udupi thermal project from Lanco group at Rs.6,300 crore in April 2015. The power plant is located near the temple town of Udupi in the coastal district of Dakshina Kannada, about 400 km from Bengaluru. "As the Udupi plants run on imported coal, we are setting up a captive dredge at the New Mangalore Port Trust at Rs.500 crore to handle about 10 million tonnes of coal per annum. The jetty will create 600 jobs," Adani asserted. The additional investment in the power project will make it the largest independent power producer in the southern state and provide energy to about 20 million homes when 1,600 MW will be added to the grid.
 
The top gainers and the top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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