Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday called for a larger public discourse on the ‘rising atrocities’ against Dalits. In a letter to Nitin Raut, the chairman of Congress’ Scheduled Caste department, he advised him to take up issues related to atrocities against Dalits in all relevant forms and also reach out to victims.
Targeting the PM Narendra Modi-led Central government, he alleged that the current dispensation has created an atmosphere of fear and lawlessness. His letter comes at a time when Dalit leaders in the NDA, Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan, Ramdas Athawale and MP Udit Raj are asking for the removal of Justice (rtd) AK Goel from the post of chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) because Goel, being the judge in the Supreme Court, had diluted the provisions of the SC/ST Act.
Scaling up the attack against the government, Gandhi said, “the hate speeches made by various BJP members and leaders exhorting their followers to target certain communities encourage local goons to act with impunity.”
He also criticised the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh for ‘inaction’, which has created an atmosphere of fear amongst Dalits and religious minorities in the state.
The Congress president told the SC department that it is important for the Congress to reach out to the victims of the ‘mindless violence’, and publicly support them. “The complicity of state agencies that makes such wide-scale persecution possible must be exposed,” he said.
He felt that it would be expedient on part of the SC department to examine the recent instances of violence against Dalits, where the state “failed to act against the perpetrators”. He said this will help “expose the deteriorating conditions of Dalits under the current political climate”. Gandhi also said that there was an urgent need for a larger public discourse regarding the “systemic persecution unleashed by the government”.