Swachchakar Dignity

A blog to give you first hand reports on the conditions of Swachchkar community, their issues and concerns. A campaign for complete abolition of scavenging practices and brigning forth the growing voices of change with in the community.

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Learning through working. Working at the grassroots made me realise the big difference between those who claim to represent communities as well as the communities themselves. Common man is crushed between the ambitions of various individuals to lead and dominate. The dominant and high numbered communities will always dominate our discourse and the most marginalised are losing in this entire discourse. That is the reason why Mushahar remain at the marginalised and the issue of manual scavenging still not on our top agenda and to eliminate that the community has to decide its own organisations..

I am devoted to freedom of ideas and expression. I personally feel that we in the subcontinent want to dominate and control our discourse and each one of is a ultra nationalist in terms of their caste and community. Nationalism is not just national and political but it is equally in term of religion and caste. I feel each kind of nationalism is a dominant discourse which deny the dissenter a right to speak.

At the end, we all want to listen the truth suitable to us.. we have become expertised in the art of speaking truth of convenience. As long as that remain hall mark of our society and we speak to already converts, this society will remain stagnant, it will always try to control our ideas and choices. We need to oppose any such perception, ideas that want to control our mind and victimise us.

To understand India further, I feel, it is good to do foot walk, ( Padyatras) to various parts of the country. I have so far done it thrice covering nearly 1500-2000 kilometers. It is always interesting to see how people are coping their issues and what is the reason of their exploitation.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Supreme Court's Historic Judgement

We should try to get a full text of this judgement and must be send across the country. Dalits, tribals, Minorities and human rights defenders are being targeted by the police and intelligence for being part of some ideology just because they are raising issues of their rights. Reading books and raising uncomfortable questions have become crime in India. Hundreds of activists have been arrested. It is time these matters should reach to each one of our friends who have been humiliated, and targeted by the state. 


Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Just being member of banned outfit not a crime: Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: Members of banned organizations cannot be treated as criminals by police till they indulge in or incite violence, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday. 

The apex court's Friday ruling is part of a judgment acquitting Arup Bhuyan, convicted by a Guwahati court under the now lapsed anti-terror law Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act. Bhuyan was a suspected member of the outlawed secessionist outfit United Liberation Front of Assam ( Ulfa) which figures at the top of the home ministry`s list of banned organizations. 

"Mere membership of a banned organization will not make a person a criminal unless he resorts to violence or incites people to violence or creates public disorder by violence or incitement to violence," a Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra said. 

The order can have a bearing on the plans of outlawed outfits which include terror and insurgent groups. The list of 32 banned organizations on the website of ministry of home affairs includes al-Qaida, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Students` Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), CPI(M-L) and allied formations, militant groups active in north-eastern states, Khalistan Commando Force, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, International Sikh Youth Federation, Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen and Al Badr. 

Exactly a month ago, the same Bench had upheld bail to a doctor arrested for treating a man accused of chopping off the hand of a Kerala professor for setting a controversial question paper. 

The January 3 judgment had said, "Mere membership of a banned organization will not incriminate a person unless he resorts to violence or incites people to violence or does an act intended to create disorder or disturbance of public peace by resort to violence." 

The trial court had convicted Bhuyan based on his confession to police, admissible as evidence under TADA. Bhuyan had appealed in Supreme Court. 

Allowing his petition, the court said his conviction was based on "a very weak kind of evidence" and could not be sustained in the absence of corroborative material. 

On the confessions, Justices Katju and Misra expressed strong views. "As is well known, the widespread and rampant practice in the police in India is to use third-degree methods for extracting confessions from the alleged accused. Hence, the courts have to be cautious in accepting confessions made to the police by the alleged accused," the Bench said. 

Police often extracted confession from an accused because they were neither trained nor equipped with gadgets to conduct scientific investigation like their western counterparts, the Bench said, adding, "Hence, to obtain a conviction, they often rely on the easy short-cut of procuring a confession under torture." The court added, "Torture is such a terrible thing that when a person is under torture, he will confess to almost any crime. Even Joan of Arc confessed to be a witch under torture."

Read more: Just being member of banned outfit not a crime: Supreme Court - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Just-being-member-of-banned-outfit-not-a-crime-Supreme-Court/articleshow/7428601.cms#ixzz1D2vCXIK9

Vidya Bhushan Rawat
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