First National Conference of the Social Organisation of Dalits
New Millennium ! New Dalit !! New Programme !!!
New Delhi 9th and 10th December 2001
At the end of the second millennium, people all over the world, particularly the poor, deprived and disadvantaged sections of society who have been subjected to racial persecution, economically exploitation and social oppression, by the racist, fundamentalists, and fascist forces are introspecting the strengths and weaknesses of their movements. We think, it is the time for us to take the stock of the situation of our movement and come up with a program that removes our weaknesses and concretised our strengths.
The bygone millenniums have left long lasting marks on our movement. In these millenniums, Buddha was the first to challenge the Brahamanical religion and Brahmanism successfully. At a much later date, Sant Ravidas picked up the mantle of Buddha and asserted the Dalit identity by “Kahe Ravidas Chamara” and declared the equalities of human being of paramount importance. With his powerful writings, Sant Kabir challenged the superiority of Brahmans and questioned, “ Tum Kahan ke Baaman, hum kahan ke Sood.” The revolutionary writings questioning inequality of human being of Sant Nandanar of Tamil Nadu; Sant Kavi Namdev, Sant Tukaram and Chokhamela of Western India and numerous other toiling folk poets sowed the seeds of annihilation of Brahmanism in the 2nd millennium.
In the last two centuries of the 2nd millennium, Dalits and Backwards launched a frontal attack on Brahmanism. By launching Satya Shodhak Movement, Mahatma Jotirao Phule and his wife Savitri Phule gave a new direction to the Dalit Movement. Basing their strategy on the twin methodology of struggle and self-development, they were the first to establish schools not only for the untouchables, but for women too. They threw open their wells to the untouchables and started shelters for sexually oppressed women.
In south India, Ezavas of Kerala in the leadership of Narayana Guru successfully threw off the yoke of untouchability. Pulayas, Parayas and other untouchable castes led by Ayyankali of South Kerala also achieved considerable success. Periyar’s Anti-Brahmin movement in Tamil Nadu, Satnami movement in Madhya Pradesh and Namsudra Movement of Bengal are some of the corner in the history of Dalit Movements.
Dr. Ambedkar’s clarion call of Casteless and Classless Society provided Dalit Movement an ideological head and organisational body. His call for the annihilation of caste is the severest blow that Brahmanism has ever suffered. In his fierce battle against Brahmanism, he abolished untouchability of millenniums with the single stroke of his pen. His philosophy continues to remain the guiding spirit to Dalits for all times to come.
Friends, for a society that has been deprived of their human rights and civil liberties consciously by the temporal and religious powers, the achievements listed above are not less impressive by any measure or standards. Yet, Dalits are still socially oppressed, economically exploited and victims of political fraud. Our ultimate goal of a casteless and classless society remains a distant dream.
Therefore, like other movements of the oppressed the world over, we also need to evaluate and re-organise our efforts for realising our ultimate objective. This has become all the more important as Brahamanical forces in collusion with the Global forces of socio-economic exploitation are bent upon not only to nullify the gains that we have achieved, but also have unleashed the most draconian anti-people policies to stop our further march to progress.
Therefore, in the light of the new socio-economic environs ushered in by the forces of Liberalisation, Globalisation and Brahmanism, we have initiated a dialogue among the social organisations of the Dalits and Backwards. For the last one-year, we have been holding formal and informal discussions, talks and meetings, to come to an understanding. In furtherance of this aim, a meeting of the social organisations of North India was held in Ghaziabad, UP. Another meeting of forty organisations was held in Delhi where informal discussions took place. Discussions held with people in Nagpur and Hyderabad have produced positive responses. Everyone has consented to idea of holding a National Conference of the Social Organisations of the Dalits. This conference will be held in New Delhi on 9th and 10th December 2001.
A formal meeting to form a preparatory committee for this conference will be held as per the following program:
Sunday, 18th March 2001, 11.00 A.M. Ambedkar Bhavan, Rani Jhansi Road, Jhande Walan Karol Bagh, New Delhi.
It is requested to all the social organisation of the Dalits to depute their representatives for participating in this preparatory meeting. If you or your organisation has any suggestion, please bring them in writing (50 copies)
Following is the Agenda of the Meeting:
1. Introduction of the Participants and their organisation (Please bring about fifty copies of one page introduction of your organisation)
2. Welcome of the Participants
3. Aims and objective of the Conference
4. Fund Raising
5. Appointment/Election of the National coordinator(s)
6. Appointment/Election of the regional coordinators
7. Formations of the committees e.g. document preparation committee, declaration preparation committee, reception committee etc.
8. Schedule of Activities
9. Other items
64, Bala Saheb Gurudwara Road, Bhagwan Nagar,
RSVP: Please intimate the name and contact address of the person being authorised to represent your organisation.