HYDERABAD: Haryana minister of state for schedule caste and backward caste welfare Krishan Kumar Bedi speaks to Aishik Chanda on beef in Mewati biryani, rape of Dalit women, attack on Dalits in name of gau raksha and distance between BJP and Dalits.
Q: What is the significance of government drive of searching for beef in biryani in Mewat (a Muslim-majority district of Haryana)?
A: There is a total ban on consumption of beef. Our policy is ‘Gau suraksha, gau suvardhan’. We have made a strict law forbidding slaughter and consumption of cow. It is because Haryana is land of Krishna and there can’t be killing of cows in this holy land.
Q. But how can you justify beating of Dalits outside police station in the name of protection of cow?
A. That was a result of misunderstanding of some people. Some gau sevaks came to know that few people were transporting cow meat. A fight ensued between two Dalit groups over cow hides. Later, some more people got involved in it.
A Special Investigating Team has been constituted and they are enquiring into the matter. Modiji also gave a statement after that there cannot be goondaism in the name of cow protection.
We are thinking from both the sides.
Q. Do you think the policies are increasing the distance between the Dalits from the BJP in Haryana?
A. There are three Dalit ministers, including myself, in the present Cabinet. Our Chief Minister has decided to officially celebrate the birthdays of Valmiki, Sant Ravidas, Sant Kabir and Babasaheb Ambedkar. For the first time, we are taking the welfare schemes directly to the scheduled castes. There are also many Dalit bureaucrats. I don’t think Dalits are moving away from BJP.
Q. But rapes on Dalit women are not stopping...
A. No, no...We had conducted a three-day session in the Assembly where we looked at the scheduled caste atrocities during the 12 years of the previous regime of Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
More than 11,000 atrocity case applications were pending with the SC Commission. Now, most of the cases have been solved by our present government. There were more severe cases of Dalit atrocities during the previous regime, including burning of houses and rape and killings of Dalit women.
Our regime saw only one rape case of a Dalit woman and that is under CBI investigation.