New Delhi: In a bid to raise the issue of atrocities against Dalits more effectively, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has directed the party’s Scheduled Castes (SC) department to examine the recent instances of violence against Dalits, highlight such cases at necessary platforms and expose the government for not doing enough to safeguard them.
The move is significant as the Congress has been raising the issue of atrocities against Dalits on several platforms, including the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament. Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and polls in three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states later this year—Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh—the development is seen as the party’s outreach to the community.
“…it would be expedient on part of the SC department to examine the recent instance of violence against Dalits where the state failed to act against the perpetrators, and to expose the deteriorating conditions of Dalits under the current political climate. There is an urgent need of a larger public discourse regarding the systemic persecution unleashed by this regime," Gandhi said in a letter to SC department chief Nitin Raut on 27 July and publicised on Sunday.
Gandhi said that it was important for the party to “reach out to the victims of mindless violence and public support them". He also added that these issues should be taken up on all relevant platforms and that he should be apprised on the same.
The SC department of Congress is now formulating a detailed strategy on raising such issues. Raut is expected to hold a meeting with Gandhi on Wednesday during which a final shape to its outreach strategy may be given.
“He is deeply concerned and anguished about the recent incidents of atrocities. He has been of the view that Congress should raise a big movement to raise it. He has raised these issues in Parliament also. We have been raising this issue and running our outreach on the issue. A detailed plan is being chalked out," Raut said in a phone interview from Nagpur.