`TheSC/STActshouldbe used sensibly'
WHO: Kancha Ilaiah, Dalit activist
WHAT: On June 9, the police in Kerala's Palakkad district filed a case against Coca Cola Pvt Ltd under The SC and The ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. It filed the case after the Eravala SC community alleged that Coca Cola is polluting water sources in the area.
WHY: This is an absolutely wrong use of The SC and The ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The Act is meant to prevent atrocities against Dalits by caste Hindu society. Will the Sangh Parivar's crimes against Dalits be stopped by this move? I don't think so. As far as the pollution of water sources is concerned, we have separate water pollution laws to tackle that. Moreover, water is a natural resource meant for everybody, not just Dalits. Hence, its pollution must be dealt only with environmental laws. We cannot mix human rights violations and environment in this case. Dalits should use the Act sensibly. They should use the Act to fight cases that involve genuine discrimination.