iii. quality of ritualistic formalism about many

iii. The reports of the National Commission on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes reveal that the crimes against SCs are increasing. Example: The number of crimes against SCs recorded by the police in 1955 was 180; it increased to 13,884 in 1979 and to 19,342 in 1987. iv. There has been a quality of ritualistic formalism about many welfare and development schemes formulated for the benefit of these people. Lack of enthusiasm and sincerity on the part of the Government officials and agencies have also been the cause of failure of many of the welfare schemes.

v. The benefits of the SC welfare programmes have been availed of by a few people belonging to Scheduled Castes. This small minority has developed vested interests and contributes nothing for the benefit of the majority. vi. The Scheduled Castes are largely concentrated in rural areas and 90% of them (including 35% agricultural labourers) derive their sustenance from agriculture.

In most of the villages, they continue to suffer from residential segregation. Hence many of their disabilities still persist. vii. The SCs are still tradition-bound. They suffer from a sense of inferiority and this takes away their ‘push’ to develop further.

They are not well-organised. Only in cities some “dalit organisations” are trying to fight for their rights. Politically also they are not a single homogeneous entity. Hence their political bargaining power is comparatively less. However, their political consciousness is grow­ing. The younger generation among them is becoming more assertive.

There is a positive change in the attitude of the caste-Hindus towards the SCs. Hence the social distance between the two is gradu­ally getting narrowed. The social position of the SCs is comparatively better in South India than in viii. North India. In Kerala for example, the SCs do not suffer from the traditional type of disabilities Greater changes are expected in their living styles in the years to come.

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