Indian Delegation working for collapse of Indian Democracy. Dalits are betrayed by India in Durban!
AMBEDKAR CENTRE FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE
WCAR, Durban 8th Sept, 2001, 3.00 pm
We strongly condemn the undemocratic behaviour and tacties used by Indian Delegation in Durban to kill Para 73 which was proposed by Switzerland to address the needs of quarter billion population of India who are, segregated, destituted and de-humanised in the name of Caste System, known as Dalits or Untouchables.
Last 3days Dalit activists were very busy in protesting and drawing the attention of global community to support Para 73 in the Program of Action, draft declaration. This Para was exclusively written for "Work and Descent" based discrimination by Switzerland and was approved in Prepcom III. It reads:
73. Urges States to ensure that all necessary constitutional, legislative and administratitive measures, including appropriate forms of affirmative action, are in place to prohibit and redress discrimination on the basis of work and descent, and that such measures are respected and implemented by all State authorities at all levels;
India first tried to delete this Para, but Canada, Norway, Brazil, Holy See, Chile and Syria supported the Para in its original form and opposed the deletion of the Para.
India again tried to dilute this Para to divert the attention from "Work and Descent". The new proposed Para by India was much diluted in its focus and implementation aspect and it reads:
73. Urges States to ensure that all necessary constitutional, legislative and administrative measures, including appropriate forms of affirmative action and positive measures are in place, particularly in areas of education and employment to prohibit and redress discrimination on the basis of race, colour, descent or national or enthnic origin and that such measures are respected and implemented as necessary;
India tried to delay its discussion so that it could take advantage of last minute pressure. Finally it didn't come to discussion due to India's delaying tactics.
Now WCAR is practically over without this Para being discussed and most of Paras left to be discussed, chances are they will be dropped, we were told.
First in PrepCom I in May 2000, India brought puppet Dalits to Geneva to tell that there was no Caste-based discrimination. India also pressured European Countries not to back-up this issue. Due to trade interest, they avoided to discuss directly Caste-based Discrimination.
In Bangkok PrepCom 2000, India diverted focus to Womens Trafficking. In PrepCom III, Swiss Govt decided to add this Para after consultation with other European Govts. and also India. We had a great hope that it will go through. Now at WCAR India brought to Durban many stooges of Congress and BJP to sing their tune as if there was no Caste System. They falsified the information and lied to the World.
Ambedkar Center for Justice and Peace faced the similar situation in 1993 at World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, Austria when Caste-based Human Rights Violations were addressed. China sided with India to stop Caste-based Human Rights Violations wording in drafting committee. China is afraid of its Child Labour Problem to get discussed in the World forum, said one European Delegate.
This brings to the conclusion that our caste Hindu brothers are desparate to hide "Caste-based Discrimination" inspite of United Nations recognising this in their following reports like CERD (Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination) 1996, CCPR (Committee on Civil and Political Rights - Human Rights Committee) 1997 and CRC (Committee on the Rights of the Child) 2000.
On the other hand World Media gave full attention to Dalits this time and protests, hungerstrikes, interventions in NGO forums were well reported by global media. We, alone, had about 45 Radio, TV and Newspaper interviews.
Therefore, we strongly protest India for its undemocratic behaviour to deal with problem of Caste System. Instead of addressing the serious sickness, the patient has a problem to admit that he is sick. Small country like Nepal, in fact, acted more honestly, saying that it has a serious problem of "Caste-based Discrimination" and sought help from UN at WCAR to deal with it. India has to learn from it. Moreover those days are over to hide the Caste System from the World in the 21st century.
We urge, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Mary Robinson to send a Special Rapporteur on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerence, Mr. Glele-Ahanhonzo, along with CRC and CEDAW members to investigate this Caste-based Discrimination and its impact on quater billion population of India under her mandate.
Secondly, Madam Mary Robinson also must demand India to comply with recommendations in concluding observations of the committees - CERD Report in 1996, HRC Report in 1997 and CRC Report in 2000, as a signatory to those respective conventions. (Please refer our website "http://www.ambedkar.net" for full details)
Thirdly, UN must ask India to empower Dalits for their economic survival through micro-economic projects and education so that 100 million Dalit children, locked in slavery, could be freed to live the life of dignity (Human Rights Watch report 1996).
Fourthly, Madam Rabinson should bring the investigative report of Dalits Human Rights Violations to World Bank so that annual loans to India could be tied with improvement of India's Human Rights Records, alongwith UN monitoring system in place.
Failure to do this now will result, sooner than later, a full scale Civil War, for India is sitting on ticking timebomb of social unrest. Muslims, Sikhs and Dalits have been demoralised through their Human Rights Violations. Their boiling point is on the rise. The results are obvious.
Western civil society will face disastrous results due to this: billions of dollars loss in investments, UN failure to control the Civil War, millions of people getting killed, South Asia getting destabilised and flood-gates of refugees open to Europe thus straining Europen Democracies to the limit and it will be impossible to do "damage control".
We also urge Ex-president Nelson Mandela to help us to dismtel this "Hidden Apartheid" of South Asia in return for India's role in dimantling the Apartheid of South Africa, so that 100 million Dalit Children could be liberated.
History tells us that no unjust system based on false foundation will survive forever. Justice will always prevail! Therefore, we urge, Western civil society, Madam Robinson and UN to intervane now, before it becomes too late!
It is in their interest as much as ours!
Yogesh Varhade, President, ACJP (Cell in Durban 083-3368-701),
USA Tel: +1-570-836-3979
or Pankaj Meshram, Communication Co-ordinator ( Cell in Durban 083-7306-107),
USA Tel: +1-720-652-0187