European Parliament adopts historic resolution on Dalits

 

International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) Press release

A strongly worded resolution on caste discrimination in India was debated and adopted today by the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The Parliament condemned the high number of atrocities committed against Dalits in India and the Indian government's insufficient action on the issue of caste discrimination.

Copenhagen (IDSN), 13 December 2012 -- The European Parliament (EP) today sent a strong message of solidarity to millions of victims of caste discrimination in India and urged the country's authorities to live up to their pledges to end this serious human rights problem and ensure protection of Dalits and other vulnerable groups.

While acknowledging that significant work had already been done to eradicate caste discrimination in India, the EP expressed its deep concern over the continued human rights violations against Dalits; condemned the high number of atrocities committed against them; and deplored the non-intervention by state actors such as the police in acts of communal violence against Dalits.

Expressing its deep concern about the inhuman practice of manual scavenging, the EP urged the Government of India to amend and enforce the law banning this practice.

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Fresh Bout of Caste Violence within Muslims in Allahpur

 

(This is the English version of the press-note circulated by the All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz (AIPMM). Translated by Khalid Anis Ansari)

apur 1

In a village in Bihar's East Champaran district the lives of the poor Muslims belonging to backward castes has been under continuous threat from the dominant caste Muslims for the last seven years. The recent incident happened on the night of December 7 2012 when a handicapped and poor person named Akbar Ali was brutally attacked and his limbs broken by the henchmen of the dominant Muslim castes. After having assumed that he was dead they subsequently threw him on the roadside and left the site. Akbar Ali has been hospitalized in a private hospital in Motihari where his life now hangs in the balance.

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Demand for an open PhD admission notification in University of Hyderabad

 

Letter (dated 8th November, 2012) from the 'Joint Action Committee for the Protection of Reservation' to the Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad

[Via Arun Asokan]

(Please read this article 'Non-Implementation of Reservation policy in University of Hyderabad: A Report' published on 27th November, 2012, for comprehensive information on the implementation of quotas in the university)

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To
Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy
The Vice-Chancellor Hyderabad
University of Hyderabad

Respected Sir,

Sub: Request to announce an open PhD admission notice in the month of December, reg.

With reference to the letter, addressed to the VC by the Students' Union 2011-2012 (Dt. 22-08-2012) which brought to our notice the lapses designed in the implementation of reservation policy at University of Hyderabad for the academic year 2012-13; we would like to state that there has been a serious deterrent and foul play in implementing the constitutional guarantee for higher education to the depressed classes namely SC/ST/OBC/PH/DP/North-Eastern states and Union Territories Quota.

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Second phase of violence in Assam: Update from NCHRO

 

Press Release

Guwahati, 30-11-2012.

Following the news reports about the second phase of violence and the continuance of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps for over five months in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) areas, a team of National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) visited the places and met the affected people, some authorities and concerned citizens with a view to collect the facts regarding. The team, consisting of NCHRO National Secretary Reny Aline, Executive Members Prof. A. Marx, G.Sugumaran And Assam State Committee Member Ansari visited at least 14 camps in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts in BTAD areas. The team met the IDPs there, took stock of the real conditions of the camps, both recognized and unrecognized. The team also met the Gossaigaon SDO Vinod Seshan IAS, the Bijni Police Station OC Aditya Deori, Goalpara MLA Monowar Hussain and some Intellectuals, academicians and HR activists from various social groups.

The team is moved at the sub human conditions in which the IDPs are now kept in the temporary shelters without any basic amenities necessary for a human being to survive. Most of the camps are situated in godowns, school buildings, river banks, paddy fields and drainage areas. In the winter season they are living without clothes suited to endure the cold and chilly climate. Most of them are farmers and they already lost one crop. Due to the lack of trauma counseling and proper medical assistance people are suffering from diseases and dying here and there. We have collected information about at least four deaths in the camps. The team is much worried to see hundreds of children loosing their education and playing and helping their parents in their daily works. We emphatically state that such a situation is a violation of Article 15 and 21 of the constitution which guarantees right to life and protection against discrimination on the basis of caste, religion etc. The IDPs are entitled according to UN guiding principles to proper security, food, shelter, medical aid etc.

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Dharmapuri atrocity - preliminary report

Preliminary Report

by 

Evidence,

God's Mercy Illam, 9B, P.T. Rajan Road, (Near Singarayar Colony), Madurai – 625 002. Tamil Nadu.
On 14.11.2012

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Initiate action who indulged in torching Dalit homes
Incidents of attack on Dalit residential areas rising in Tamil Nadu
4 villages, 60 Dalit homes were torched and 120 houses got damaged

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Natham colony is within the police station limit of Nayakkankottai village, Vellallapattim Panchayat, Dharmapuri district. On 7.11.2012 around 4 p.m nearly 1000 armed caste hindus went on a rampage with deadly weapons like knives, wooden logs, petrol bombs, sickles and forcibly entered the Dalit residences of Natham colony, Nayakkankottai village and attacked them brutally. Around 30 houses were torched, 120 houses were attacked and damaged. Dalit's properties and valuables like TV, Two wheelers, cycles,cars, shops, steel cupboards, cot and other belongings were looted. Likewise in Annanagar, Kondapatti, New colony, Sengal medu Maravadi villages around 30 houses were burnt and got damaged.

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Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims – Part 11

 

Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims – Part 11: Hindutva, Gandhism, and the Caste Question

Continued from here.

Masood Alam Falahi

(Translated by Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com)

[Part 6 of Masood Alam Falahi's Urdu book Hindustan Mai Zat-Pat Aur Musalman ('Casteism Among Muslims in India')]

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The Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS

Faced with the growing assertiveness of Dalits and other Shudras against Brahminical hegemony and with their conversion to other religions, from the early years of the twentieth century onwards increasing numbers of orthodox Sanatani Hindus began to support the Arya Samaj's efforts to convert the indigenous Muslims to the Hindu fold and to Hinduise the Shudras so as to boost Hindu numbers and political clout. This represented a radical change in their attitude, because prior to this they had exhibited no concern at all for the despicable conditions of the Shudras. In his Presidential address to the Hindu Mahasabha in Benaras in 1923, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, a hugely popular Sanatani Brahmin leader, went so far as to appeal to the Sanatani Hindus to accept the Untouchables as 'true Hindus'.[i] It is instructive to note that when Gandhi established the Harijan Sevak Sangh in 1932 in order to keep the Dalits within the Hindu fold, he arranged for Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya to preside over its first meeting.[ii]

These Brahminical revivalists had by now clearly realised that unless the Shudras were fully Hinduised, there was little that could be done to prevent their mass conversion to Islam and Christianity. If this were to happen, the entire edifice of Brahminical supremacy, based on the labour and the enforced and religiously-sanctioned degradation of the Shudras, would come crashing down. Hence, they realised the need to devise various means to retain the Shudras within the Hindu fold. This was one of the main objectives of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which was established by a group of Maharashtrian Brahmins in 1925. Explaining the reason for its formation, its first supremo, Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (d. 1940), confessed that it was because of the emerging and rapidly escalating conflict between Brahmins, on the one hand, and non-Brahmins, on the other.[iii] This conflict was nothing but an expression of the growing assertiveness of the Shudras against Brahminical hegemony.

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Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims – Part 10

 

Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims – Part 10: Transformations in the Colonial Period

Continued from here.

Masood Alam Falahi

(Translated by Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com)

[Part 10 of Masood Alam Falahi's Urdu book Hindustan Mai Zat-Pat Aur Musalman ('Casteism Among Muslims in India')]

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Caste and Religion

With the onset of British rule in India, which was formalised in 1857, the country witnessed the emergence of new religious movements among both Hindus and Muslims. These movements were related to the race for numbers among Hindu and Muslim elites, with political power for each community in the new dispensation linked to its numerical strength. Hindu and Muslim religious revivalist organisations and movements began to vie with each other to bring the oppressed castes into their respective folds. In part, this was clearly motivated by the desire to bolster the political fortunes of the 'upper' caste Hindu and Muslim elites, who claimed to speak for all of their co-religionists.

Numerous such movements emerged within the larger Hindu fold at this time. Many of them aimed at Hinduising the Shudras and preventing their conversion to Islam and Christianity. Some of them also sought to woo back into the Hindu fold Hindu converts or their descendants who were now Christians and Muslims. One such movement was the Brahmo Samaj, which was founded in 1830 by Ram Mohan Roy, a Bengali Brahmin. Although Ram Mohan Roy critiqued many superstitious and idolatrous aspects of popular Hinduism, he did not mount a radical critique of the caste system, Brahminism, and Brahminical supremacy. It is said that, following orthodox Brahminical practice, he employed a Brahmin cook, and refused all his life to remove his janeo, the 'sacred' thread that is the distinguishing mark of orthodox Brahmins.

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