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On Ambedkar Jayanti, how safe are Dalits in Andhra Pradesh ?

by Sharath
104 views Vijayawada

Ever since Jagan Mohan Reddy assumed charge as the Chief Minister of the State, there has been an increase in the attacks towards the Dalit, Scheduled Tribe, and other marginalized communities in the State. The increase in atrocities cornering marginalized communities in the state indicates issues of lack of efficiency and vigilance with the state police department, the inefficiency of concerned autonomous bodies like the Scheduled Caste Commission and Tribal Development Department in the state.  The nature of terrific incidents that happened to the people from the marginalized communities has made a strong impression that people feel unsafe, especially Dalits who are mostly subjected to suppression under the caste-based current government rule. 

According to various media reports over the last 22 months of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s tenure more the 200 atrocities took place against the Dalit community. Ironically, policemen who were supposed to protect the people were involved in attacks against Dalits. One such notable incident was when a young man named Indugamilli Varaprasad from the Mala community of Dalits was tonsured by a police sub-inspector on 19 July 2020 in Vemulapalli village of Sitanagaram Mandal in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district. The sub-inspector (SI) Shaik Feroz Shah and two constables had picked him up from his house on Monday for “questioning” about his alleged argument with a YSR Congress leader. These incidents expose the Dalit suppressive behavior under this government.

Similarly, a horrific incident happened on 16 May 2020 in which a Dalit doctor named K Sudhakar got beaten up and humiliated in front of the public for demanding PPE kits and N95 masks from the state health department. A Dalit magistrate, S Ramakrishna, from Chittoor was attacked physically by YSRCP men, who were aides of YSRCP Cabinet Minister of Mines and Minerals Peddi Ramachandra Reddy.  There are many attacks on the press, journalists, and other media personalities too by the ruling party over the reports on Dalit issues. 

Ambedkar Smriti Vanam project has taken a back seat in Jagan’s regime. By disrespecting Dr. Ambedkar, YCP has not only insulted his legacy but also hurt the entire Dalit community. It looks like this Government is implementing and enforcing its own constitution in the State that is antithetical to Dr. Ambedkar’s vision for Indian democracy and Dalits.

It is a known fact that the current government is working only in favor of a particular caste group in the state ignoring the other people. In its thirst for publicity, the government has even diverted the funds from the SC corporation, and under the YSRCP regime, the state has become unsafe for Dalits and other marginalized communities.

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