Despite the right to non-discrimination on the basis of race or caste enshrined in Article 15 of the Indian Constitution, discrimination against SCs and STs is pervasive. Markings of “SC” for scheduled caste, “ST” for scheduled tribe, “O” for OBC (other backward class) and “G” for General, of candidates for the post of constable on their chests in a bid to identify their castes during their medical examination in Dhar district of BJP ruled state, Madhya Pradesh, is not only a violation of human rights but also a criminal offence under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
As per news agency reports, candidates who were undergoing medical examination in a district hospital of Dhar district were labelled with their castes. It says that in order to identify the SC/ST and general candidates, the district hospital came up with this idea and asked the candidates to write their respective caste names on their chests. Medical board member and civil surgeon S.K. Khare denied the allegations and said markings were not intended to hurt anyone or show them in a poor light. It was done to make the process easier as each category has job quotas and markdowns in requirements. The Superintendent of Police, Dhar dist. said there was no instruction from the police to mention the caste of a candidate on their chests. “An inquiry has been initiated. Those found guilty will be punished,” he added.
Such acts are intentionally severe in their prescriptions. National Council of Churches in India strongly condemns such inhuman acts and urges the state to take swift and robust action against the medical and police officials for violating the rights of Dalits, Adivasis and OBCs.
|Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
National Council of Churches in India
News source: Hindustan Times and various other press reports