SC/ST Act: BJP Is Losing the Support of Dalits?

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The violent protests by Dalit groups against the apparent reluctance and delay by the government in filing a review petition in the Supreme Court against its March 20 order that called for changes in the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, point to exploding Dalit anger.

SC/ST Act Protest 11 Persons Killed

Dalits protest spread across several states and 11 persons killed and many injured, public property damaged, use of social media and anger visible on the street.

The central government has been quick to blame the opposition parties of encouraging the Dalits protests, at least two important reasons underlie the ‘Bharat Bandh’, organised by Dalit groups.

BJP and PM Modi has not fulfilled the promises

The BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi used their support to win the 2014 national elections and more recently the 2017 UP assembly elections, but has not fulfilled the promises it made prior to and after these elections reports

First, the 1989 Act was passed almost 40 years after Independence, and Dalit leaders argue it was the result of many struggles against an unequal and oppressive society and polity, and are not willing to listen to the reason of misuse put forward by the Supreme Court.

They feel it is an attempt to dilute the Act, which will have strong repercussions on Dalits who have recently experienced a series of atrocities, with little protection from the government.