Inter-caste marriages can reduce attacks on Dalits: Ramdas Athawale
While referring to the increasing attacks on Dalits and the casteism menace, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Sunday suggested a formula to end the issues. Athawale said he would write to all chief ministers to promote inter-caste marriages in their states.
“I am suggesting that states could announce a scheme to give Rs 25 crore from their budget to the district promoting maximum inter-caste marriages,” he said. An inter-caste couple will be paid Rs 5 lakh and a government job will be given to one of them by the state to help reduce the divide between castes and bring them together, Athawale said in Gurgaon, where he visited party worker and Food Corporation of India member Risha Bashistha.
At present, the Centre gives Rs 2.5 lakh for inter-caste marriages. States have their own figures ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh.
Widely known for controversial remarks from time to time, the minister said UP tops the list of states with highest figures of atrocities on Dalits, followed by Bihar and Rajasthan. Dozens of houses and shops belonging to Dalits were burnt down and one person was killed in caste clashes in Shabbirpur village of Saharanpur in May. While talking about the attacks on Dalits and other minorities by cow vigilantes, the minister said gau rakshaks were taking law in their own hands.
“If you see someone violating the law, you have the option of going to the police station, but should not take law in your hands. Such elements are giving bad name to the government. They are not gau rakshaks but narbhakshaks (murderers) and they should be dealt with firmly,” he said.