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Caste-based discrimination a major structural factor underlying poverty: UN

 

media-statement

Continued plight of the 'untouchables'

UN experts call for strengthened protection of more than 260 million victims of caste-based discrimination

GENEVA (24 May 2013) – They occupy the lowest levels of strict, hierarchical caste systems founded on notions of purity, pollution and inequality. They face marginalization, social and economic exclusion, segregation in housing, limited access to basic services including water and sanitation and employment, enforcement of certain types of menial jobs, and working conditions similar to slavery.

They are the Dalits of South Asia, who constitute the majority of victims of entrenched caste-based discrimination systems which affect some 260 million stigmatized people worldwide, people considered 'untouchable'.

"Caste-based discrimination remains widespread and deeply rooted, its victims face structural discrimination, marginalization and systematic exclusion, and the level of impunity is very high," a group of United Nations human rights experts warned today, while urging world Governments to strengthen protection of the hundreds of millions of people across the globe who suffer from discrimination based on work and descent.

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Dalit women on intersections of violence and discrimination at the Human Rights Council

Dalit women on intersections of violence and discrimination at HRC 23 in the UN

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Side event at the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council
 

"Dalit Women: Working Together Towards The Elimination Of
Multiple And Intersecting Forms Of Discrimination And Violence
Based On Gender And Caste"

On 4 June 2013, 14:30-16:30, Room VIII, 3rd floor

This event offers a unique opportunity to explore the cross-cutting and intersecting nature and forms of gender and castebased
discrimination and to discuss what the international community can do to effectively address this entrenched problem.

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Cops watch as Dalits are attacked by organized mob in Keesara, near Hyderabad

 

Sub-Inspector of Keesara police station, Mr Venkat, was an eye witness to the brutal assault on Dalits in Rampally Dayara: Human Rights Forum

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To

The District Collector and Magistrate

Ranga Reddy district, Hyderabad

Dear Madam

Sub: Attack on dalits (Madigas) of Rampally Dayara JNNURM Colony- assistance to victims of attack-regarding.

You are aware that more than 10 dalits of JNNURM Colony of Rampally Dayara in Keesara mandal of Ranga Reddy district were injured in an attack on them by persons belonging to non-dalit castes of Ramapally Dayara village on May 1 and 2, 2013.

In the JNNURM Colony, Ms. Balamma of Rampally Dayara runs a belt shop which is located very close to the houses of the dalits. Inebriated customers have been creating nuisance for the past one year to which the family of Mr. Indrala Kalyan,a dalit resident of the colony belonging to the Madiga caste, have been objecting. The dalits had even a lodged a complaint in the matter at the local Kesara police station exactly a year ago on 4 May 2012. The owners of the shops have the support of Mr. Kandadi Anji Reddy and Mr Kandadi Srinivas Reddy of Rampally Dayara, the main accused in the attack of last week. While Mr. Angi Reddy is the mandal president of TDP, Mr Srinivas Reddy is the former upa-sarpanch.

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Harnessing Counter-Culture to Construct Identity

 

Workshop Report on
'Harnessing Counter-Culture to Construct Identity: Mapping Dalit Cultural Heritage in Contemporary India',
7-8 December, 2012, Convened by Ronki Ram

Ronki Ram

1. The topic and the goal

The workshop entitled Harnessing Counter-Culture to Construct Identity: Mapping Dalit Cultural heritage in Contemporary India was organized by International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) and Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), Leiden, The Netherlands at Lipsius, Cleveringaplaats 1, Leiden on December 7-8, 2012. The workshop focused on the emergence of Dalit cultural heritage as a counter-culture to the mainstream culture of upper/dominant castes social set-up and world view. If any social institution or phenomenon that can be singled out to boldly mark the centrality of the Indian society, caste qualifies to be the foremost one. Anti caste movement has a long history in India. It was further radicalized by the emergence of Dalit movement with the entry of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar into the highly contested political domain of the colonial and post colonial India. Dalit movement adopted various strategies in its tirade against social exclusion and made concerted efforts for the emancipation and empowerment of the socially excluded sections of the society.

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National Dalit and Adivasi Women's Congress

Call For Delegates

National Dalit and Adivasi Women's Congress

Organized by
Tata Institue of Social Sciences
Centre for Social Justice and Governance
in Collaboration with
Insight Foundation, Delhi
supported by
Dalit & Tribal Social Work International Forum
Venue: Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai Campus
Date: 15 – 16 February, 2013

Concept Note

What does it mean to be a Dalit woman, an Adivasi woman? At this conference, which is conceptualized, organized and co-ordinated by Dalit and Adivasi women , we frame these fundamental questions along with questions of the community and society at large. We examine the categories of Tribe, Caste and Gender from the viewpoints of Dalit and Adivasi women – a natural extension is to interrogate their intersections with each other and with other categories. We aim to contextualize our historical and continuing assertions against all forms of oppression and place them within a framework of social movements; as women leaders, participants and coordinators engaged in a process of social action.

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Fact finding team's report on Dharmapuri caste pillage

 

[Report translated from Tamil by Ratna Mala]

Dharmapuri violence: Caste rage, devastation and looting

Report of the Fact Finding team - consisting of Gambeeran, Yakkan, Yazhan Aadhi, K. Umadevi, Sridhar Kannan and Neerai Mahendran - on Dharmapuri caste pillage.

"My friends' mothers scolded in foul language and provoked them to set ablaze the cheri people's houses; my school mates burnt my house. The prize certificate which I got for the oratory competition was burnt. I witnessed the whole mess from that backyard. Now, how can I go to the same school"
-Vishali (name changed), ninth standard student, Anna Nagar, a survivor.


On November 7, 2012, the Dalit colonies of Natham, Anna Nagar and Kondampatti in Dharmapuri Panchayat were looted and burnt by a mob of casteist Vanniyars (an OBC caste). More than 250 houses were destroyed badly and and made unfit for living. The newspapers have reported this incident as a caste conflict with the burning of two or three huts. This is entirely absurd. This is not a caste conflict. But it is a planned attack of the dominant caste. A mob of 1000 Vanniyar casteists entered the villages with heavy weapons and petrol bombs when there were none to challenge them. They chased away the innocent women and children and looted and burnt their houses.

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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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