National Consultation On World Conference Against Racing
28th July, 2001 at 3.00 p.m.
National Consultation On World Conference Against Racing Demand To Include Caste Discrimination In The Agenda of WCAR.
India International Centre
28th July, 2001 at 3.00 p.m.
The World conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance will be held in Durban, South Africa, from August 31 - September 7, 2001. The World Conference will be a landmark in the struggle to eradicate all forms of racism. Even though apartheid has been tackled fairly successfully in a number of countries, the dream of making the world free of racism and related intolerance is still away.
The claim that India is free of racism does not appear to be true. Over 160 million Dalits of India are today victims of racism and related intolerance. They are subject to untouchability, torture, atrocity and indignity. They are victims of the Indian form of racial discrimination. Social activists, political leaders, representatives of the voluntary sector are engaged in ensuring the fact that the caste and descent based discrimination is brought to centre stage not only in the national forums but also at the international plane. Without giving serious consideration to their agonies and dissents and deliberating on them at length a global Conference on Racism will not be effective.
It is unfortunate that the Government of India does not allow any discussion on this important issue in any international forum. There seems to be an abiding fear in the Indian upper caste elite that international scrutiny will expose the tradition- bound society's failure in eliminating this over three thousand- year-old evil. There is also an apprehension that reference to the caste system will expose the failure of the State in ensuring the implementation of the Constitutional safeguards for victims of caste persecution and domination.
Voices of the victims of racism are heard from other parts of the World also. They are in Bhutan, Nepal, Japan, Latin America, South Africa, Palestine and in several other countries. People's collective protest both in India and other places has one thing in common, they all demand for the inclusion of all forms of racial discrimination and related intolerance on the agenda of the Durban Conference.
It is in the above context a number of civil society groups, activists and intellectuals from all over the country will gather on 28th July, 2001 at 3.00. p.m. at the India International Centre. We invite you and your friends to participate in this meet and share your views and insights. Keeping in mind the forces that are against the attempt to raise caste discrimination at International level clear and concrete strategies need to be worked out for highlighting issue at the UN Conference, at the NGO Forum and lobby with other countries. The resolutions passed in the meet will be sent to the World Conference Secretariat, Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, United Nations and to the NGO forum which will hold a parallel session in Durban. Based on the deliberations, we will also plan out one day protest against the Indian Government's attitude towards the attempt to highlight the caste discrimination at the international forum.
Dr. Prakash Louis: Indian Social Institute
P.L. Mimroth: Dalit Human Rights Campaign
Vineet Mundu: Delhi Forum, SC/ST/BC
Fr. Lourduswamy: CBCI Commission
John Dayal: Activist & Writer
Karam Mashi: CNI Bishop
Prem Pati: Social Activist
D.R. Goyal: Social Activist