“The Dalit Defence” is increasingly becoming the ultimate move on the chessboard of Indian public life. Those charged of corruption, malfeasance, rape, murder and other misdemeanours claim shelter behind the nearly impenetrable shield of “harassment” by the power elites aka upper castes.
Twice in recent months “The Dalit Defence” has been played masterfully, first by “supporters” of the tainted chief justice of the Karnataka high court, P.D. Dinakaran. When charges of landgrabbing (ironically of land belonging largely to Dalits) were levelled against him to block his elevation to the Supreme Court, the Dravida Kazhagam sprang to his support.
“The real agenda is to prevent a member of a backward community from entering the ‘sanctum sanctorum’, now a monopoly of the upper castes,” K. Veeramani, general secretary of Dravida Kazhagam, the parent organisation of the DMK, was quoted as saying.
“The Dalit Defence” has now been moved by the Tamil Nadu chief minister, M. Karunanidhi again. When his partyman and Union telecom minister A. Raja is facing charges of corruption of astounding proportions in the auction of 2G spectrum, the DMK supremo has blamed opposition parties seeking his resignation for targetting him because he is a Dalit.
“Raja is a Dalit. That is why dominant forces are levelling malicious charges against him,” he said when asked for his comments on the opposition demands for his resignation in the wake of allegations of scam in 2G Spectrum allocation.
Questions: Are Dalits being unfairly targetted by the dominant communities even after half a century of constitutional guarantees? Or is “The Dalit Defence” just a fig leaf? Are Dalits incapable of misdemeanours? Or should we turn a blind eye merely because dominant communities have been doing it for a long time?
Does “The Dalit Defence” work in its intended constituency? Or are Dalits being taken for a ride by wily politicians and political parties?