Can Amaravati be a casteless city?

Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan wanted Amaravati to be a casteless city. He participated in Ugadi celebrations at Uddandarayapalem, the village which suffered most in the land pooling. Dalits of Uddandarayapalem  are accusing   The government that, “they were paid less  in return of their lands, which was several times lower than the compensation paid to the rich landowners, or say the farmers of other cases. It was not just money alone. The State government had discriminated the Dalits in giving the plots in both residential and commercial sectors. The plots offered to the Dalits were smaller than the plots offered to the rich and other caste farmers’.

The Dalits in the 29 villages of the capital region have been fighting for their rights and accusing the government saying that,” There was none to listen to them, except the CPM and its leader Ch Baburao. The Dalits in these villages were subjected to the police harassment for raising their voices. While the rich and other caste farmers enjoy the benefits that were rolled out by the government in the last three years, the Dalits, both having some lands and living as labourers, are the victims of the land pooling in the name of capital”.

“The daily wage labourers have lost their living and the government did not pay the monthly compensation of Rs 2,500 per family, which was several times lower than their wages. They are now made to travel to a long distance for daily wages or migrate to other villages where agriculture is available”.

The skill development centers were opened, but after training, there was no initiative from the government to provide alternative employment to these people.

The government, time and again, claimed that Amaravati would be a global city. While an attempt to build a global city is welcome step, one wonders how such a city can ignore a section of people. Global city does not mean just infrastructure but its acceptability of people of all castes, races and regions. The infrastructure should be accessible to all people living there.

Given the present situation, as Pawan Kalyan also noticed, the section of the people  in the 29 villages will have less access to the facilities of the capital city. Pawan Kalyan, for that matter, every person, should raise their voices for the injustice meted out to the section of the people in  the new capital.

One particular caste is trying to have everything in the city for their benefit and development. This was what this same caste tried to do in Hyderabad and parts of Telangana, which led to the State bifurcation. Let us learn from Hyderabad experiences before moving forward to build Amaravati.

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