Q16. Give an argument in favour of the reservation policy.
Ans. The laws which reserve seats in education and government
employment for Dalits and Adivasis are based on an important argument- that in
a society like ours, where for centuries sections of the population have been
denied opportunities to learn and to work in order to develop new skills or
vocations, a democratic government needs to step in and assist these sections.
Q17. State the ideas of C.K Janu, an adivasi activist on
violation of constitutional rights by the government of various Indian states.
Ans. C.K. Janu, an Adivasi activist, has pointed out
that one of the violators of Constitutional rights guaranteed to tribal people
are governments in the various states of India – for it is they who allow
non-tribal encroachers in the form of timber merchants, paper mills etc, to
exploit tribal land, and to forcibly evict tribal people from their traditional
forests in the process of declaring forests as reserved or as sanctuaries. She
has also noted that in cases where tribals have already been evicted and cannot
go back to their lands, they must be compensated.
Q18. The right, law or policy related to marginalized groups
merely exists on the paper. Do you agree? Comment
Ans. The existence of a right or a law or even a
policy on paper does not mean that it exists in reality. People have had to
constantly work on or make efforts to translate these into principles that
guide the actions of their fellow citizens or even their leaders. The desire
for equality, dignity and respect is not new. It has existed in different forms
throughout our history. Similarly, even in a democratic society, similar processes
of struggle, writing, negotiation and organising need to continue.
Q19. Why do Adivasi activists, including C.K. Janu, believe that
Adivasis can also use this 1989 Act to fight against dispossession? Is there
anything specific in the provisions of the Act that allows her to believe this?
Ans. The 1989 Act is important as Adivasi activists
refer to it to defend their right to occupy land that was traditionally theirs.
Act merely confirms what has already been promised to tribal people in the
Constitution – that land belonging to tribal people cannot be sold to or bought
by non-tribal people. In cases where this has happened, the Constitution
guarantees the right of tribal people to re-possess their land.
Q20. How does the reservation policy work?
Ans. Governments across India have their own list of
Scheduled Castes (or Dalits), Scheduled Tribes and backward and most backward
castes. The central government too has its list. Students applying to
educational institutions and those applying for posts in government are
expected to furnish proof of their caste or tribe status, in the form of caste
and tribe certificates. If a particular Dalit caste or a certain tribe is on
the government list, then a candidate from that caste or tribe can avail of the
benefit of reservation.
Q21. What is Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest
Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006?
What are the salient features of Scheduled Tribes and Other
Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006?
Ans. The central government passed the Scheduled Tribes
and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
This Act is meant to undo the historical
injustices meted out to forest dwelling populations in not recognising their
rights to land and resources.
This Act recognises their right to
homestead, cultivable and grazing land and to non-timber forest produce.
The Act also points out that the rights of
forest dwellers includes conservation of forests and bio-diversity.
Q22. Why did the Safai Karamchari Andolan file a PIL in 2003?
What did they complain about in their petition? What
did the Supreme Court do on hearing their case in 2005?
In 2003, the Safai Karamchari Andolan and 13 other organisations and individuals,
including seven scavengers, filed a PIL in the Supreme Court. The petitioners
complained that manual scavenging still existed and it continued in government undertakings
like the railways. The petitioners sought enforcement of their Fundamental
court observed that the number of manual scavengers in India had increased since
the 1993 law. It directed every department/ministry of the union government and
state governments to verify the facts within six months. If manual scavenging
was found to exist, then the government department has to actively take up a time-bound
programme for their liberation and rehabilitation.
Q23. How did Dalits assert themselves?
Ans. Dalits asserted themselves in the following ways:
During 1970s and 1980s, in parts of southern
India, a number of assertive Dalit groups came into being and asserted their
rights – they refused to perform their so-called caste duties and insisted on
being treated equally.
Dalit groups demanded new laws that would
list the various sorts of violence against dalits and prescribe stringent
punishment for those who indulge in them.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Adivasi
people successfully organised themselves and demanded equal rights and for
their land and resources to be returned to them.