Gujarat journalist returns award over anti-Dalit policies

January 24, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Ahmedabad, January 24, 2017: A leading journalist in Gujarat has decided to return an award from the state government as a mark of protest against its alleged anti-Dalit policies and actions.

Sunil Jadav, who is a Dalit, received the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule award, along with 25,000 rupees in 2011.

“After the way Dalits in Gujarat marched in support of the ‘Una chalo’ movement and the way it caught the nation’s attention, we thought that the government would finally take some action toward ensuring that Dalits are never attacked again,” Jadav, who has worked in the Saurashtra region for more than 15 years, told twocircles.

He alleged that the government failed to keep its word that the Una atrocity case would be moved to a special court. “The case remained in the local court and recently, the four accused were released on bail. How can they get bail in a case where there are more than 350 witnesses and the video has been seen by the public?” he asked.

Jadav said the Gujarat government had learned nothing from the recent protests and instead was marching right on deceiving Dalits of the state. “After Una, they promised setting up 20 courts to address only atrocity cases. But there is no action on the ground. On December 5, we submitted a petition to the state government with 30 demands. Fifty days later, no one from the government has yet responded to them. What message is the state government sending to the Dalits?”

“We are still waiting for justice in the Thangadh case from 2012, and after all these protests, this is how you ensure justice?” he asked.

He added that when he heard the RSS’ publicity chief Manmohan Vaidya’s controversial statements over Reservation two days ago, he had had enough. “Instead of working toward removing untouchability, the RSS wants to remove the ‘untouchables’. It is my right to protest, and returning the award is part of the same,” he said.

– tcn

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