About The Seminar
Despite serious developmental efforts put forward by the State and the civil society, Dalits still remain socially excluded from the benefits that accrued to a large number of many communities. The social and economic disparities have deteriorated over years. Dalits are chronically excluded from economic, cultural and political benefits. The ambit explains that the dearth of opportunities plaguing the socially excluded communities is in its worst possible from the social institution of ‘Caste’. According to the Census of India (2011) Dalits constitute 16.7 percent of Indian population, yet their socio-economic and political status sets apart from the other upper castes and backward classes. Caste discrimination against dalits is strongly pronounced. India has been independent for the last sixty seven years and dalits still are living below the line of poverty with impoverished conditions.
The plans and schemes of Central and State Governments with regard to Dalits social welfare and social affirmative action schemes are full of lacunae. This is due to the hegemonic sentiment is still very strong and powerful, where the rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer.
Dalits fall victims of this social institution of caste where our society failed to keep all the social groups and communities within the reach of what we expect as a society and realize the full potential of each and every individual .Government reservations for dalits access to education, jobs and political participation have helped the dalits to increase the number in attending schools and colleges, but they do little to achieve the much need social inclusion of this most marginalized groups in India. Dalits are passive victims of caste discrimination and oppression that is taking place in many parts of our country in different forms and magnitude. Both social status and economic status exclude dalits in many social spheres of life.
Though there is little progress that dalits made in raising awareness about their oppression , caste discrimination remains as a common reality in every dalit’s everyday life. The scale of social exclusion and atrocities on Dalits is a grim reminder of violence on dalits even today is evident in the very recent incident of Laxmipeta of Andhra Pradesh where five dalits were brutally killed brutally by the land lord communities. Until equal opportunities and full participation of dalits in India, they would remain hidden away; an underclass in the debris of institutionalized discrimination and margnialisation.
The remedy against the established and organized negligence that has mercilessly deprived and impoverished dalits of the country lies in their empowerment. The dalits must interrogate the entire methodology that has not produced effective results. They must ask why they are not able to live as human beings. If dalits make strides towards greater autonomy in Indian society within the framework of Inclusive development, it would be a process of equity, full participation, entitlement, respect and honour as citizens capable of contributing immensely to the welfare of the society.