The Indian constitution has a special provision called ‘reserved constituencies’ that are meant for weaker sections of the society. These could be for Scheduled Castes (SCs) or Scheduled Tribes (SCs) where candidates belonging to that category alone can contest elections so that the needs of the section they represent are met. This ensures the right to equality that is guaranteed by the constitution.
But that’s not the reality that exists 415 km from Karnataka’s capital Bangalore in Raichur’s Gurguntla village in the Lingsugur taluk of Hyderabad-Karnataka region – the northernmost part of the state.
This video takes a look at the politics of the region through the eyes of women of the Madiga caste that was until a few years ago, considered ‘untouchables’. Today, that discrimination may have ended but they continue to remain the least touched by any benefits of government programmes. Work as part of MNREGA, the Act which guarantees the rural poor 100 days of work in a year, that could have guaranteed them their right to work, given them livelihood and dignity, has been struck off for the past two years by the local MLA.
Watch the grim reality of Indian politics where the powerful among the scheduled castes corner all benefits, and where each of the mainstream political parties appear to be responsible for the state of affairs and for leaving out the weakest link for whom the constituency was declared ‘reserved’ for in the first place.
About the presenter
Vasanthi Hariprakash is an independent journalist, anchor and media strategist, former special correspondent at NDTV 24×7. She is the founder of Pickle Jar, a platform to curate programmes and conversations of social relevance.