Q24. Re-read the story on Rathnam as well as the provisions of
the 1989 Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Now list one reason why you think he used this law to file a complaint.
This Act was framed in 1989 in response to demands made by Dalits and others
that the government must take seriously the ill treatment and humiliation Dalits
and tribal groups face in an everyday sense.
refused to perform the ritual. Rathnam’s refusal angered both the powerful
castes in the village and some families from his own community. The
powerful castes decided to teach Rathnam a lesson. His community was ordered to
ostracise him and his family, and everyone was told that no one should speak or
do any work for them or with them. One night some men entered their part of the
village and set his hut on fire. Rathnam, then went to file
a case in the local police station under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled
Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Q25. Define the following terms with reference to the
Confronting Marginalization: Assertive, Confront, Dispossessed, Ostracise,
Ans. Assertive: An assertive person or group is
one that can express themselves and their views strongly.
To come face to face or to challenge someone or something. In the context of this
chapter, this refers to groups challenging their marginalisation.
To possess is to own something and to be dispossessed is to have to give up
ownership or to give up authority.
This means to exclude or banish an individual or a group. In the context of this
chapter, it refers to a social boycott of an individual and his family.
A stated course of action that provides direction for the future, sets goals to
be achieved or lays out principles or guidelines to be followed and acted upon.
In this chapter, we have referred to government policies. But other
institutions like schools, companies, etc. also have policies.
Q26. Mention a few crimes listed in Prevention of Atrocities
Ans. The Act distinguishes several levels of crimes.
Firstly, it lists modes of humiliation that
are both physically horrific and morally reprehensible and seeks to punish
those who (i) force a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to drink
or eat any inedible or obnoxious substance (ii) forcibly removes clothes from
the person of a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe or parades him
or her naked or with painted face or body or commits any similar act which is
derogatory to human dignity.
Secondly, it lists actions that dispossess
Dalits and Adivasis of their meagre resources or which force them into
performing slave labour. Thus, the Act sets out to punish anyone who wrongfully
occupies or cultivates any land owned by, or allotted to, a member of a
Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe or get the land allotted to him transferred
At another level, the Act recognizes that
crimes against Dalit and tribal women are of a specific kind and, therefore,
seeks to penalise anyone who assaults or uses force on any woman belonging to a
Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe with intent to dishonour her.