Apropos to the news item “Apartheid – Funded by Indian taxpayers” – HT dated the 5th and 6th May, 2009. It is really very shameful and shocking to note that even after 61 years of independence and constitutionally abolition of untouchability many decades ago, discrimination on the basis of caste still plagues Indian society, in some districts of Madhya Pradesh. If this discrimination of serving mid-day meals to the school children still persists, school authorities are surely to blame, because, it is happening right under their nose that the Dalits are being humiliated, victimised and deprived of their due share of food being funded by the government. Segregation of Dalit children from others and serving them mid-day meals after other have eaten-up, defeats the very principle of equality and social justice. It also speaks volumes of what the schools teach and preach their students? Poor Dalits are being treated as third rate citizens. This discrimination in MP does not remain limited to school premises alone, rather it extends far beyond the temples of education; as the pregnant Dalit women are also being harassed, humiliated and discriminated against by the public health centres, in many ways. Now that the matter has been highlighted by an NGO & HT, it becomes imperative for the State Govt. to investigate the whole issue from all angles seriously and take strict and appropriate action against the people responsible for causing irreparable damage to the Dalits, who are at the lowest ebb of socio-economic order, simply because of the misdeeds and wrong doings of such high-handed rich and upper caste people. Such people really deserve to take their due share of punishment as well, so that such incidents do not occur in future.
Secondly, it should be ensured that the team investigating the menace / malaise must be headed by some Dalit Officer, otherwise, whole range of discrimination shall be tried to covered-up by the influential engineers of malfeasance (by the virtue or vice of their money and muscle power) in connivance with the perpetrators and practitioners of apartheid, as it often happens in many other cases of this nature. It should also be borne in mind that such people spreading and practicing untouchability are not only corrupting the youngsters with impressionable minds, but are also blocking the Dalits’ passage to growth and progression by their malpractices (besides hindering all-round development of our country) and hence, it should be ensured that they do not escape punishment in any case. And lastly, merely transferring such practitioners of apartheid from one place to another shall not serve any purpose; rather heavy financial penalties should be imposed on them, besides putting them behind the bars for some period, so that they get a lesson and it also serves as a deterrent for such other perverted minds with sickening mentality, who are bringing a blot on the fair name of a developing country called India.