The fact that tension has again been simmering in many villages of Punjab over the auctioning of reserved land from village common land, has once again confirmed that authorities are continuing to play the communal card to cause division in Punjab villages. It all has been happening despite the reservation of 33 per cent village common land for Dalit families from village common land.
Every year whenever the new financial year starts, the tension raises its ugly head in many villages as some influential persons under the patronage of politicians and officers, start attempts to take over the reserve land under the name of their dummy bidders. It had been going on from last many decades, but after some organizations started spreading awareness among Dalits about their rights and united them and started fighting for their rights some years back, bloody clashes have been happening repeatedly across Punjab every year.
Apart from bureaucrats, there are serious allegations against politicians also of various political parties. Dalits have been alleging that not only the members of opposition parties but ruling party leaders are also threatening them with dire consequences if they do not stop protesting for their rights. After the registration of cases against Dalits in various villages, tension has started spreading to almost all villages. The anger among Dalits have not only created serious problems for them in villages but many landlords, who do not have any problem with them , are also facing a labor shortage.
Law is clear that Dalits should get their right and authorities are bound to follow the law. But the lack of concern of government, has been creating problems and communal tension has been on the rise in villages. Punjab government should set an example by strictly implementing the law for the welfare of Dalits.