Debate on caste as a form of discrimination
NEW DELHI: The controversial issue whether caste as ``descent-based discrimination'' should be included in the agenda of the upcoming UN conference against, race, racism and related intolerance in Durban, South Africa, came up for discussion at the SC/ST forum of Parliament on Thursday evening.
The issue was raised by Republican Party of India MP Ramdas Athawale, who will be attending the UN meet to endorse this view: Thus far, the Bahujan Samaj Party, too has supported the inclusion of caste in the agenda, as it feels that social discrimination is a bigger problem than economic backwardness.
Earlier in the day, Athawale told journalists that after the meeting of the SC/ST forum, he planned to lead a delegation of MPs to the Prime Minister to urge him to get the 31-member official delegation to the UN meet to accept caste as a form of discrimination. The delegation is likely to led by external affairs minister Jaswant Singh and the government thus far ^ despite pressure from many NGOs as well as the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights ^ has resisted this description.