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Dr B.R. Ambedkar International Conference 2017 – Quest for Equity  – Reclaiming Social Justice, Revisiting Ambedkar – Interpretation of case laws involving reservation to SCs under the Presidential Order 1950 – (4)

August 4, 2017

Dr B.R. Ambedkar International Conference 2017 – Quest for Equity  – Reclaiming Social Justice, Revisiting Ambedkar – Interpretation of case laws involving reservation to SCs under the Presidential Order 1950 – (4)

Prof Chandrama Kanagali

Tanweer Fazal presented a paper on “Caste and conversion Gharwapasi in the Indian Courts”: Tanweer Fazal[1] presented his paper in Room No.B1 on 23rd July [Sunday] morning session held between 9.30 to 11.00 am under the chair of Prof Chandrama Kanagali. The Co-speakers were Bhup Singh Gaur and Balakrishna Hegde. He started his presentation obviously with confusion of “SC” as he started his PPT, without specifically telling as to whether it was “Scheduled Caste” or “Supreme Court” and it was pointed out by K. V. Ramakrishna Rao[2], another speaker from the audience. He corrected himself and proceeded to mention the following cases:

  1. Michael vs Venkateswaran, 1951.
  2. Ganapat vs Returning Officer, 1974.
  3. Anbalagan vs B. Devarajan and Ors, 1983,

Without giving citation of the case laws and quoting from the judgments, he was arguing and interpreting that the courts have been following the “Gharvapasi” concept helping the Hindutwa forces for Christians converting back to Hindu religion to get SC-benefits back.  He could not explain properly about the case laws and the exigencies for the amendment of the Presidential Order in 1956 and 1990 include converted Skihs and Neo-Buddhists under SC category. He also referred to K. P. Manu case, but without giving the case law reference and relevant judgment details. He went on repeating the same point that the Court was acting at the behest of the government giving in such judgments helping the “Gharvapasi” programme. Of course, he was confusing this with Muslims also, as if they were also involved in such court cases.

Tanweer Fazal, JNU

Christians by converting back to Hindu religion can claim back SC status: Then, he pointed out as to how in the case of K. P. Manu, the Court held that he could be back to Ezhawa community, provided they accepted him their community-member[3]. The facts giving rise to the present appeal are that one Shri S. Sreekumar Menon invoked the jurisdiction of the Scrutiny Committee under Section 11(3) of the Act challenging the grant of caste certificate, namely, Hindu Pulaya to the appellant on the ground that the said certificate had been obtained by him on misrepresentation, and that apart the concerned authority had issued the caste certificate in total transgression of law. The Committee conducted an enquiry and eventually by its order dated 4th February, 2006 had returned a finding that the appellant was erroneously issued a caste certificate inasmuch as he was not of Hindu origin and hence, could not have been conferred the benefit of the caste status. It is not in dispute that the great grandfather of the appellant belonged to Hindu Pulaya Community. His son Chothi embraced Christianity and accepted a new name, that is, Varghese who married Mariam who originally belonged to Hindu Ezhava community and later on converted to Christianity. In the wedlock three sons, namely, Varghese, Yohannan and Paulose were born. The father of the appellant, Paulose, got married to Kunjamma who was a Christian. The appellant who was born on 03.01.1960 sometime in the year 1984 at the age of 24 converted himself to Hindu religion and changed his name to that of K.P. Manu. On the basis of the conversion he applied for a caste certificate to Akhila Bharata Ayyappa Seva Sangham. Be it stated, the appellant after conversion had obtained a certificate from the concerned community on 5th February, 1984. Eventually, the Tehsildar who was authorised to issue the caste certificate had issued the necessary caste certificate. The Court had dealt with the three important questions.

  • whether on conversion and at what stage a person born to Christian parents can, after reconversion to the Hindu religion, be eligible to claim the benefit of his original caste;
  • whether after his eligibility is accepted and his original community on a collective basis takes him within its fold, he still can be denied the benefit; and
  • that who should be the authority to opine that he has been following the traditions and customs of a particular caste or not.

Tanweer Fazal, Bhup Sigh, Balakrishna Hegde - The paper presenters

As the Pulaya Community accepted him as their member, he is Hindu only: The Court decided as follows – “In the instant case, the appellant got married to a Christian lady and that has been held against him. It has also been opined that he could not produce any evidence to show that he has been accepted by the community for leading the life of a Hindu. As far as the marriage and leading of Hindu life are concerned, we are of the convinced opinion that, in the instant case, it really cannot be allowed to make any difference. The community which is a recognised organisation by the State Government, has granted the certificate in categorical terms in favour of the appellant. It is the community which has the final say as far as acceptance is concerned, for it accepts the person, on reconversion, and takes him within its fold. Therefore, we are inclined to hold that the appellant after reconversion had come within the fold of the community and thereby became a member of the scheduled caste. Had the community expelled him the matter would have been different. The acceptance is in continuum. Ergo, the reasonings ascribed by the Scrutiny Committee which have been concurred with by the High Court are wholly unsustainable. Consequently, the appeal is allowed and the judgment and order of the High Court, findings of the Scrutiny Committee and the orders passed by the State Government and the second respondent are set aside. The appellant shall be reinstated in service forthwith with all the benefits relating to seniority and his caste, and shall also be paid backwages…..”

Tanweer Fazal, Bhup Sigh, Balakrishna Hegde - audience1

Why Tanweer Fazal was suppressing the “Soosai v. Union of India, AIR 1986 SC 733 judgment”?: During his presentation, there were many factual mistakes in interpreting the court cases. First, he was not mentioning the court case references, but, when K. V. Ramakrishna Rao insisted him to mention the case specifically in the context, he was evidently evading and started making general remarks. He coolly and purposely avoided mentioning “Soosai v. Union of India, AIR 1986 SC 733 judgment”, where, the Court held that SC under the Constitution (SC) Order, 1950 means only Hindu. This has been practice of many writers and researchers not to mention this judgment, as it is not favourable to them. He was obviously mumbled and fumbled without giving any answer. The Chair person also  pointed out and advised him to be specific. Incidentally, a similar paper is already published in EPW and available in the internet[4]. Now, let us discuss the case laws for understanding.

Tanweer Fazal, Bhup Sigh, Balakrishna Hegde - The paper presenters.close view

Michael vs Venkateswaran, 1951 – AIR 1952 Mad 474, (1952) 1 MLJ 239: The first case[5], where a SC was converted to Christian, thus losing his Hindu status, he was barred from contesting reserved constituency, is as follows: “The petitioner alleges that he is a member of the Paraiyan caste which is item 64 in Part V of the Schedule to the Scheduled Castes Order. Admittedly, he is a convert to Christianity. He therefore would be a person professing a religion different from Hinduism and therefore under paragraph 3 of the Scheduled Castes Order would be deemed not to be a member of a scheduled caste. He desires to stand as a candidate for a seat reserved for the Scheduled Castes and he can do so only If he is deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste. As the aforesaid provision prevents him from so standing, he has filed the above application for adequate relief from this Court.” But the Court held that “the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order is valid and within the powers of the President, the petition is therefore dismissed”.

Tanweer Fazal, Bhup Sigh, Balakrishna Hegde - audience

Ganpat vs Returning Officer & Ors on 4 December, 1974 – 1975 AIR 420: The second case[6] is about contesting for a seat in Nagpur by a SC candidate after converting to Buddhism, thus, losing their Hindu status. The Court held that, “We would, therefore, in agreement with the High Court hold that the respondents-2, 6 and 9 are not Buddhists but continue to be members of the Scheduled Castes”, but also pointing out, “The attempt of persons who have changed their religion from Hinduism to Buddhism, who still claim the concessions and facilities intended for Hindus only shows that otherwise these persons might get a vested interest in continuing to be members of the Scheduled Castes. In course of time vested interests are created in continuing to be members of Schduled Castes as in continuing to be members of Backward Classes. It is from the point of view of discouraging that tendency that the provision of the Scheduled Castes Order seems to be a proper one.”

Tanweer Fazal, Bhup Sigh, Balakrishna Hegde - with KVR

Anbalagan vs B. Devarajan & Ors on 5 December, 1983 – 1984 AIR 411: In the third case[7], one Devarajan was challenged that he was Christian and therefore, he could not claim SC status, but, it was proved that he “……………had long since reverted to Hinduism and to the Adi Dravida caste. There is not a scrap of acceptable evidence to show that he ever professed Christianity after he came of age. On the other hand, every bit of evidence in the case shows that from his childhood, he was always practising Hindism and was treated by everyone concerned as an Adi Dravidh. There is then the outstanding circumstance that the voters of the Rasipuram Parliamentary Constituency reserved for the Scheduled Castes accepted his candidature for the reserved seat and elected him to the Lok Sabha twice. We have no doubt whatsoever that at all relevant times, he was a Hindu Adi Dravida and professed no religion other than Hinduism. The case was rightly decided by the Election Tribunal and the appeal is accordingly dismissed with costs.”

© Vedaprakash

04-08-2017

Balakrishna Hegde presenting his paper

[1] Dr. Tanweer Fazal is Associate Professor at the Nelson Mandela Centre, JMI, New Delhi, Email: fazaltanweer@yahoo.co.in, Phone: 91-9968822925 (M); http://www.jnu.ac.in/sss/csss/images/Tanwer-Fazal/CV Tanweer Fazal.pdf

[2] He has been independent researcher and presented a paper, “Nation” as approached by Jinna, Periyar and Ambedkar during their historical meeting held in 1940,  in another session.

[3] Supreme Court of India – K.P. Manu,Malabar Cements Ltd vs Chairman,Scrutiny Commt … on 26 February, 2015 arising out of CIVIL APPEAL No. 7065 OF 2008; https://indiankanoon.org/doc/98912765/

[4]https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Padmanabh_Samarendra/publication/302899845_Religion_Caste_and_Conversion_Membership_of_a_Scheduled_Caste_and_Judicial_Deliberations%27_Economic_and_Political_Weekly_li4_2016_pp_38-48/links/5732d20f08ae9f741b2362c4/Religion-Caste-and-Conversion-Membership-of-a-Scheduled-Caste-and-Judicial-Deliberations-Economic-and-Political-Weekly-li4-2016-pp-38-48.pdf?origin=publication_detail

[5] Madras High Court – G. Michael vs Mr. S. Venkateswaran, Additional … on 6 November, 1951

Equivalent citations: AIR 1952 Mad 474, (1952) 1 MLJ 239; https://indiankanoon.org/doc/496218/

[6] Supreme Court of India – Ganpat vs Returning Officer & Ors on 4 December, 1974; Equivalent citations: 1975 AIR 420, 1975 SCR (2) 923; https://indiankanoon.org/doc/83094/

[7]Supreme Court of India – S. Anbalagan vs B. Devarajan & Ors on 5 December, 1983; Equivalent citations: 1984 AIR 411, 1984 SCR (1) 973;   https://indiankanoon.org/doc/254650/

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Dr B.R. Ambedkar International Conference 2017 – Quest for Equity  – Reclaiming Social Justice, Revisiting Ambedkar (2)

July 28, 2017

Dr B.R. Ambedkar International Conference 2017 – Quest for Equity  – Reclaiming Social Justice, Revisiting Ambedkar (2)

Prakash Amedkar speaking at conference

Prakasah Ambedkar’s speech: Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr Ambedkar took on the current dispensation at the Centre, saying that it was needed to reclaim Ambedkar because some ground on the social justice front had been lost over the past three years (obviously referring to the coming of power of NDA / BJP in 2014). He pointed out that untouchability exists in two forms – visible and invisible. “Dr Ambedkar had warned that every revolution will have a counter revolution, and we are seeing that counter revolution take shape,” Ambedkar said. There is a need to rethink the concept of social justice, Ambedkar said, “because the very idea implies a giver and receiver of social justice, thereby cementing two classes.” If the societal values are not balanced, he pointed out that counter-revolution is going to happen. The concept of untouchability comes from religion, puja and connected issues. The “caste based priest system” should be abolished. The system of “giving justice” and “giving justice” is also not correct. Human values have to be built within society. Obtaining political sovereignty and economic sovereignty is important for the SCs. His speech has been important, balanced and pointed to the issue of “Quest for equity – Reclaiming social justice, revisiting Ambedkar.”

Rahul attacks Modi - he is naked

Rahul Gandhi’s direct attack on Modi and RSS: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said on Friday [21-07-2017] that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were rewriting history to silence the voice of Indians, and in specific, that of the oppressed classes. At the inauguration of the three-day global seminar on ‘Reclaiming Social Justice, Revisiting Ambedkar‘ hosted by the Karnataka government to mark the 126th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, Rahul recalled Adolf Hitler[1]: “There was a man called Hitler and he once wrote – keep a very firm grasp on reality so you can strangle it at any time. Today this is what is happening all around us. This strangulation of reality,” Gandhi said, as he targeted Modi and the RSS[2]. He said India lost its Independence because when Britishers stepped on its soil millions and millions of people kept quiet and allowed the British to do exactly what they pleased because they were powerful. “And that is exactly what is happening today – when the journalist doesn’t write about the violence in front of her eyes, when the judge is pressurized into giving a judgment. “India’s freedom was not simply taken away by the British. It was handed over to them by some Indians… we lost our voice because we surrendered it. “And this is exactly what Modi and RSS want. They want India to surrender its voice.” ………….”Do not forget that every single Indian will be robbed of their voice, every single Indian will be robbed of his future. We must firstly keep the firm grip on reality. We must never ever allow them to strangle it,” he said.

Rahul addressing 21-07-2017.2

“The emperor is completely naked but nobody around him has the courage to tell him”: Rahul continued his tirade against Modi: “There is a new global epidemic wherein leaders are trying to strangle reality, inspired by Hitler’s way of thinking. Modi wants to create a perfect history of India and thereby silence the oppression against sections of people who have suffered due to age-old practices and discrimination.” …….. “What is happening today is the systematic capture of India’s democratic institutions by the PM, bureaucrats and RSS,” Gandhi said[3]. “The emperor is completely naked but nobody around him has the courage to tell him,” Gandhi said, while adding that there was a ‘strangulation of reality’ by the government. Gandhi inferred on Rohit Vemula and Mohammed Akhlaq, whose deaths have become a rallying point to highlight the growing number of atrocities in the country[4]. “They say Rohit Vemula committed suicide. I call it murder. He was murdered by the indignities he suffered. He was killed because he was a Dalit.. The instrument of his murder was the letter written to his university by the Government of India. A letter that destroyed his future forever ,” he said. Vemula killed himself on the Hyderabad Central University campus after being removed from the hostel, while Akhlaq was lynched by a mob in September 2015 after villagers in Bisada (Dadri district) in Uttar Pradesh accused him of stealing a calf. Also referring to the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq at Dadri, he said he was “butchered” because they said he stole a calf, which was a lie. Instead of questioning his brutal killing, they asked whether the meat in the fridge was mutton or beef, he said. He said thousands of farmers commit suicide and the government looks the other way. But the government can forgive any amount of corporate debt, calling it corporate write-offs, but farmers were given nothing, he said.

Rahul addressing 21-07-2017

Rahul claims that Vemula was murdered[5]: Lashing out at Modi on demonetization, he said thousands of businesses were wiped out and “hundreds of people simply died”. “Privately our friends in the press called it insanity but publicly they called it the stroke of genius,” he added. From plastic surgery to nuclear weapons, which Modi had invoked as being ancient Indian practices of mythological gods, Rahul said the present dispensation is trying to gloss over the realities of the nation. “There have been good and bad sides to India, and we need to accept it and change it. The Modi government is trying to wipe out history and create a perfect India, thereby strangling the reality of Vemulas and Akhlaqs,” he added. He said the BJP and RSS want to destroy Ambedkar’s Constitution with such silencing of voices and not care about the people it protects. Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the media while speaking about demonetization and hinted that journalists were against Narendra Modi’s policies. “When demonetization happened, the media in private spoke of it as ‘insanity’ by PM Narendra Modi, but in public, termed it a ‘stroke of genius’,” he said.

Stars in Five-stars for mega govt event on equality

Ambedkar Conference delegates were treated at “Taj West End” Hotel: The VIPs and speakers were taken to “Taj West End” Hotel and given extravagant food, drinks and hospitality. Ironically, 60% of the speakers were drinking and enjoying the girl who was dancing tirelessly going round and round. When they had come to talk about the rights of oppressed and suppressed etc., they were enjoying how the girl was forced to dance like that in front of hundreds of “Ambedkar delegates”. Can it be called as “Five-star oppression and suppression,” though, the girl was dancing for money and not for promoting any artistic value and so on. When the ordinary speakers were given this Five-star treatment, what was provided to Rahul Gandhi, Siddharamaiah, the Congress MP. Marti Luther King – III, and host of other VVVIPs and human right activists, would be much more than this extravaganza.

Taj West End- where delegates were treated 21-07-2017

How and what “Bangalore Mirror” reported about the Five-star treatment of Ambedkar-delegates: The best and brightest minds descended on Bengaluru for three days starting Friday – July 21st 2017, for the 125th (126th ) anniversary celebrations of Dr BR Ambedkar. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was there to preside over after inaugurating at GKVK campus. The star attraction of the conference was the Human Rights advocate Martin Luther King III who along with several other scholars from US, UK and African countries spoke on human values in the current world. Several folk artists from Latin America and Africa were also invited to perform during the international event. The Karnataka government spent over Rs 20 crore for the event and hosting the delegates. Sources said over 80 luxury rooms were booked at Taj West End alone. On Thursday night [20-07-2017], there was a gala dinner at the Grand Ballroom where Martin Luther King-III was welcomed.  The three-day conference titled ‘Quest for Equity’ was held at Gandhi Krishi Vigyan Kendra (GKVK) campus in Bengaluru, organized by the Social Welfare Department of the Government of Karnataka.

Taj West End- where delegates were treated 21-07-2017-quest for equality

“What is wrong in that? Can’t Dalits stay in five-stars?[6]: Chairman of SC unit of AICC K Raju is one of the key oragnisers and a high-level committee including PWD minister HC Mahadevappa, IT-BT minister Priyank Kharge were working as convenors under CM Siddaramaiah for the event. Prof C Japhet of Bengaluru Central University was appointed as the key convenor to coordinate with all the events. “In the last three years since Narendra Modi government took over, attacks against Dalits have increased. They are killed in the name of cows, humiliated and harrassed. The event will see academic discussions on the issue,” KC Venugopal, Karnataka state in-charge, told Bangalore Mirror. When asked if the government had been a bit extravagant with the taxpayers’ money – given that rooms in five-star hotels had been booked in bulk, he shot back: “What is wrong in that? Can’t Dalits stay in five-stars? This is an international event so the arrangements will be such.” Social Welfare Department minister H Anajaneya said[7]: “The event was announced by the CM in his budget speech of 2016-17 and we have set aside Rs 15-20 crore for the event. This is entirely a government programme and not a political function. Rahul Gandhi will come for the inauguration in the morning and leave for New Delhi the same evening.” Thus, the 20th night extravaganza was extended to 21st night also, at the Taj West End for the Ambedkar delegates. So, the “Quest for equality” was achieved and the thirst quenched for all, without any discrimination.

© Vedaprakash

28-07-2017

Taj West End- where delegates-quest for equality

[1] Times of India, Modi, RSS rewriting history to muffle the oppressed: Rahul Gandhi, TNN | Updated: Jul 22, 2017, 07:29 AM IST.

[2] http://english.manoramaonline.com/news/nation/2017/07/22/rahul-gandhi-accuses-modi-govt-mutilate-india.html

[3] livemint.com Trump, Modi coming to power unleashed ferocious animosity against minorities: Martin Luther King III, Sharan Poovanna, Last Published: Sat, Jul 22 2017. 09 09 AM IST.

[4] http://www.livemint.com/Politics/09VnsqObadn9ZvD64sRopK/Trump-Modi-coming-to-power-unleashed-ferocious-animosity-ag.html

[5] Malayala Manorama, Emperor is naked, but nobody has the courage to tell him: Rahul’s scathing attack on Modi, Saturday 22 July 2017 09:37 AM IST

[6] Bangalore Mirror, STARS IN FIVE-STARS FOR MEGA GOVT EVENT ON EQUALITY, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Updated: Jul 21, 2017, 04.00 AM IST.

[7] http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/stars-in-five-stars-for-mega-govt-event-on-equality/articleshow/59689351.cms