The incidence of excesses on Dalits has indeed increased in recent years, said the defence minister, Jagjivan Ram. The Centre, he told a news conference, had impressed upon the states to take the required remedial steps to check this trend, as law and order was a state subject. These excesses often had origin in disputes over land given to them by law. It was in this context that the PM had also sent a communication to various chief ministers, Ram added. Asked if he thought the Congress and the CPI were sincere in their protestations in this regard, the defence minister replied: “Why should I doubt anybody’s sincerity.” Referring to the question of reservation in services and promotions for scheduled castes, Ram favoured maintaining the present policy till SCs were able to be at par with their counterparts in society. He refused to accept former PM Indira Gandhi’s assertion that more excesses were being committed now compared to during the Emergency.
If without declaring Emergency the Janata government wants to use its power with a vendetta against the Congress, then it would be a more dangerous Emergency than the one declared by the Congress government and it would bring disaster to the nation, said Y.B. Chavan, leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. Chavan said he was one of those who admitted that a lot of mistakes were committed during the Emergency, but to adopt a vindictive attitude was a thing which he shuddered to think of.
Youth Cong Shuffle
The All India Congress Committee has dissolved all units of the Youth Congress at the central and state levels and placed the Youth Congress in each area under the general secretary of the PCC. Convenors will be appointed for each district and block to launch the membership drive till elections are held and new Youth Congress committees are elected.