Govt ban on discussion on caste flayed
HYDERABAD: Several Dalits leaders today strongly criticised the government decision not to allow discussion on caste-based discrimination in the forthcoming UN Conference against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance at Durban from Aug 31 to Sept 7.
Addressing a press conference here, Lok Sabha members Praveen Rashtrapal (Gujarat) and Ramdas Athawale (Maharastra); National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, AP Chapter secretary Paul Divakar and convener Suresh Kumar wanted the Indian government see that the issue of caste-based discrimination figured in the discussions at Durban to remove evils like untouchability.
The government has been arguing that caste is not same as race and that the Conference is only about race.
But a section of Dalits are insisting that that caste is very much like race in the Indian context as far as discrimination is concerned.
They said that they will submit a memorandum to the committee headed by Union Minister for External Affairs Jaswant Singh when it meets here on June 4.
The committee is eliciting public opinion on the issue.