Orissa Dalit Mahasabha Demands Dama Raut’s Dismissal

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

What else a man could have done?

This is how Biju Patnaik, the then Chief Minister of Orissa had reacted to news of outrage of modesty of the lady chairperson of Kutra Panchayat Samiti by his Panchayatiraj Minister Damodar Raut.

Despite defects in presentation, the National Commission for Women had held Raut guilty of the offense. A group of women of New Delhi had publicly caused him wear bangles to show Biju that his Minister was not “manly” as claimed by him. But, as was his wont, Biju did not bother. Dama declared that the allegation against him as well as the actions of Women Commission and the Delhi women were all politically motivated.

Biju’s son Navien is now the Chief Minister. The same Dama Raut is Minister for Agriculture.

Dalit class people are demanding that he should be dismissed from the Council of Ministers because of his caste hatred expressed against them.

They are in agitation against him ever since he publicly hurled abusive words against persons of Harijan segment at Jagatsinghpur on August 18.

Their agitation has reached the State Capital. On the Mahatma Gandhi Road, which is now the official site for State parades, thousands of Dalit protesters congregated on September 30 to harp on their demands for dismissal of Dama from the Cabinet under the banner of Orissa Dalit Mahasabha. Five organizations of Dalit people of the State participated in this congregation.

Even as the CM sits mum over the sensitive matter, Sri Raut asserts that it is another instance of acrobatics displayed by his motivated political opponents.

When the the Indian National Congress, the main Opposition party in Orissa, is lying inane as the viruses of loyalty-to-the-lady-autocrat has ruined its democratic mana in the State, the downtrodden people, brutalized by corporate administration run under the banner of BJD, have decisively started acting against the ongoing misrule, which is discernible from their collective action against a heavyweight member of Navin’s Cabinet.

Writing on the wall is getting more visible.

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