Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 11
The Haryana Government has allotted a piece of land measuring one acre to a Japanese Buddhist organisation, Reiyukai, for setting up a Buddhist cultural complex in Gurgaon Sector 42. The request for the allotment of land was made to the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, during the visit of a high-powered delegation of the state government led by him to Japan in October last year.
An official spokesman of the government said here this goodwill gesture reflected the sensitivity of the government towards the spiritual and religious inclinations of Buddhists. The step was also likely to facilitate the Japanese industrialists who had set up their units in the state.
He said Reiyukai had assured the government that the architecture of the temple would be so beautiful that it would attract tourists from all over the world.
Dalhausie, December 11
The Centre recently decided to spend Rs 2,000 crore, which includes Rs 1,000 crore assistance from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) for developing ‘model Harijan bastis’ under the Balmiki Ambedkar Yojana all over the country. Under the scheme four lakh houses are to be built every year.
Mr Shanta Kumar, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution System, stated this here yesterday while laying the foundation stone of a basti at Dalhausie. The basti will have Ward Nos. 3 and 4 of the local municipal council which was the first-ever highest basti situated at an altitude of 2400 metres to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 45 lakh.
Mr Shanta Kumar said five such bastis would be set up in Himachal, including proposed bastis at Shimla, Kulu and Basantpur, besides one each at Dalhausie and Nurpur, work for which had started already. Under the Balmiki Ambedkar Yojana, basic amenities like community services, sewerage, toilets, rain-shelters etc would also be provided.
Mr Shanta Kumar said the Central Government had earmarked Rs 60,000 crore under the Prime Minister Gram Sarak Yojana out of which Rs 180 crore so far had been allotted to Himachal Pradesh.
Mr Shanta Kumar said the Union Government had identified five crore people in the country who would be covered under the “food for all scheme”. He said 30 lakh tonnes of foodgrains had been provided under the scheme adding the Himachal had been given 11,000 tonnes of foodgrains free of cost.
Mr V. Prabhu, Chairman of HUDCO, informed that so far 45 ‘model Harijan bastis’ had been raised and 125 lakh houses were under construction in the country besides 100 model villages and 50 Harijan bastis had been proposed to be undertaken in the future. Mr Rakesh Pathania, Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC), also spoke.
Ms Renu Chadha, President, Municipal Council, Dalhausie, thanked Mr Shanta Kumar for providing Rs 4.33 lakh for the Dalhausie water supply scheme.
Later, talking to reporters, Mr Shanta Kumar said that 1414 remote villages of Kangra district in Himachal would be connected by public phones under a newly launched ambitious scheme called “Wireless Local Loop (WLL)”. He said this scheme was put into operation yesterday in Kangra district adding that under the scheme only those distant villages would be covered which so far had remained deprived of phone facility. He further said under the scheme 250 calls would be free of charge.
Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, December 11
The Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader, the Dalai Lama, today said science and religion were complimentary to each other as one helped in the modernisation of society while the other prevented mankind from going on the path of destruction.
The Dalai Lama today inaugurated a planetarium, science museum and astronomical observatory set up by the Science Awareness Trust at Sanaura village, near here. “No doubt science is important as it helps mankind through its inventions, but it must be used for the betterment and growth of mankind rather than for destructive purposes,” he stressed.
The Dalai Lama said every living organism aspired for a congenial environment and it was in this pursuit that mankind had made the best possible use of science. “I feel religion and science are equally relevant in today’s world as they both have a balancing effect on each other,” he said.
The Tibetan spiritual leader said the Science Awareness Trust, set up by Dr Prem Chandra, was a unique combination of science, religion and philosophy. He announced a contribution of Rs 2 lakh from his side for promoting the place.
Dr Prem Chandra has named the planetarium after his wife, Dr Shakuntala Prem Chandra.
The Science Awareness Trust is also providing computer education to students in the area and proposes to have a mobile computer education van which will try and reach out to the students in remote areas.
Mrs Shailja, wife of the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Mr Shanta Kumar, lauded the efforts of Dr Chandra in creating such a unique place in Kangra as it would provide an insight into the vast field of science to rural children. Mr Shanta Kumar, who was to be present at today’s function, could not make it due to his engagements in Parliament.
Express News Service
Patiala, December 10: THE Local Bodies Minister, Balramji Dass Tandon, while speaking at a gathering at Basma village in Rajpura sub-division, said that the Akali-BJP alliance in the state made tremendous efforts to alleviate the condition of the schedule castes and other backward classes.
He was here to distribute cheques worth Rs. 1.40 lakh to nine women under the Indira Aawas Yojna for renovating and building their houses. He said that the present government has made all possible efforts to raise the economic standard of these classes. Tandon said that under the regime of the present government, there has been a hundred per cent increase in old age pension. This, he said was evident from the fact that the number of old age pension cheques his government has distributed is more than the number of cheques previous governments had distributed in their respective regimes.
He said that these pensions were distributed every month, unlike their distribution earlier every three months, about Rs 20 crore were being disbursed as pension every month.
Tandon also laid the foundation stone of the Rs-43.83 water supply scheme at the village and also laid the foundation stone of a link road to be constructed at a cost of Rs 3.81 lakh, from Basana to Khalour. Besides, he handed over Rs. 11,000 to the village sarpanch for the party fund. Tandon also inaugurated a water supply scheme at Mohi Khurd village in Rajpura sub-division. He said that to supply fresh water in the villages, deep tubewells were being dug under the rural development scheme. He also laid the foundation stone of the new link road from Mohi Khurd to Gardi nagar and Anandgarh. He gave a grant of Rs. 11,000 to the village sarpanch.
By Kalpana Sharma
LUCKNOW, DEC. 11. Over two thousand women from all parts of Uttar Pradesh gathered in the freezing weather in an open ground here on December 10 - Human Rights Day. They came to participate in a `Jan Adalat' (People's Court) on violence against women. Over a dozen of them testified in public. They spoke of dowry abuse, torture, rape and caste atrocities. And all of them emphasised the inaction of police and the State.
The women who testified included the 68-year-old Kareshani Devi from Nathmalpur village in Saharanpur district. She was raped by a 27-year-old man who stifled her and forced her at knife point. Kamala, daughter of the 51-year-old Dalit, Tejania, narrated the experience of her mother who belonged to Hasanpur village in Fatehpur district. Tejania was beaten to death for complaining against a Thakur who assaulted her children. Her 11-year-old grand-daughter, working in the fields with her, was also killed. The Thakur then proceeded to their home and beat to death Tejania's 32-year-old daughter-in-law and her two young children.
These stories illustrate the National Crimes Records Bureau statistics which placed Uttar Pradesh first in 1998 for crimes against women, including rape, kidnapping, dowry deaths, mental and physical torture, molestation, sexual harassment and trafficking.
The `Jan Adalat' was the culmination of the year-long campaign, Hisaab, - Hinsa sahna band (Stop Tolerating Violence) - by a network of women's groups who have come together under the common banner of the Women's Association for Mobilisation and Action. Ms. Huma Khan of WAMA said in the last 10 years, caste and communal divisions had increased in Uttar Pradesh. And women had borne the brunt of the violent outcome.
The State's response to the increasing and documented evidence of violence against women was far from satisfactory. Ms. Khan cited the instance of women police stations that had been put up in 13 districts. Instead of helping women, they were more bureaucratic as they had no clear jurisdiction.
The members of WAMA also pointed out that while the Uttar Pradesh Government had supported the Centre's Prevention Of Terrorism Ordinance, it refused to endorse the proposed legislation on domestic violence. Given that the majority of crimes against women took place within the home, this was a clear indication of its lack of seriousness.
Indeed, despite the impressive gathering of over 2000 women, not one member of the Government took the time to attend the function. And when a representative group from the meeting went in the evening to meet the Chief Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh, he could not spare time to talk to the women despite promising earlier to do so.
The Supreme Court advocate, Ms. Indira Jaisingh, one of the ``judges'' at the `Adalat,' spoke strongly against police and the judiciary for not responding to women's issues. ``We pay judges their salaries through our taxes. Their job is to give justice. But if they are not doing their job, if they don't give justice, then they must go. The days when we sat back quietly are over. Now we say, give us justice or leave your chairs.''
Southern States - Andhra Pradesh-Hyderabad
By Our Staff Reporter
HYDERABAD, DEC. 11. The all- party meeting convened by the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) to address their grievances on reservation and delimitation of divisions for the coming Municipal elections ended in acrimony on Tuesday evening.
The Congress Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) staged a walk-out, protesting against what they called glaring discrepancies in reservation of divisions.
Almost all parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the Congress, the Majlis Bachao Tahreek and the TRS, raised objections to the reduced reservation of divisions for SCs and STs. The Congress leaders, Mr. P. Sudhir and Mr. P. Krishna, described the reservations as being ``political'' in nature to suit one political party.
When the MCH Commissioner, Dr. P.K. Mohanty, asked the political parties to give their objections in writing, the Congress leaders walked out saying that the all-party meeting was just a farce. ``You called the meeting to redress our objections and now asking us to give complaints in writing,'' Mr. Sudhir said, as he led Congress representatives out of the meeting. Voicing similar argument, TRS leaders too followed suit.
The MIM representative, Mr. Zulfiqar, said the wrong methodology in reservations had done injustice to the minority community. ``There are four Assembly constituencies which are represented by the MIM. Of the 35 divisions which fall under these constituencies, you have reserved 30 for BCs, SCs and STs, hardly leaving any space for minorities to contest,'' he said. In Mallepally, around 90 per cent of voters belonged to Muslim minority and yet the division was reserved for SC (Women), he complained.
A remark by Dr. Mohanty, suggesting that those not happy with the reservations had the option of approaching a Court, too did not go well with the leaders. Several of them resented the suggestion, saying, ``the MCH elections are going to be held after 15 years. Now, you want us to stall the same with a court case''.
Later, speaking to press persons, the Congress leader, Mr. Krishna, charged the MCH with acting at the behest of the TDP and tailoring the reservations to suit the chances of the ruling party. Mr. Sudhir said that his party would implead in a case that challenged the reservation of divisions. The TRS leader, Mr. Sudershan Rao, said the TDP was trying to stall the polls on some pretext or the other, as its chances were bleak in the election. The TDP City president, Mr. T. Krishna Reddy, scoffed at these allegations and said the elections would be held this time.
Dr. Mohanty, who later addressed a press meet, said the whole process of reservation and delimitation of divisions was guided by the Constitution, law and directives of the Court. ``Every party is dissatisfied, but we are satisfied at the process,'' he quipped.
There might be some aberrations, but the same should have been brought to the notice of authorities in time, he said. ``Only 5,320 objections were received by us out of which 5,077 were allowed. If there were more complaints, why the political parties did not bring them to our notice,'' he questioned.
The MCH Commissioner assured that all the complaints and objections would be forwarded to the State Government and also the State Election Commissioner for necessary action
Action Group Newsletter Criminal Tribes of India
For thousands of years, the tribes, in general, lived in their sylvan setting without having any intercourse or contact with the population of the outside world. As a result, the centres of civilisation had no impact on these people. This was responsible for the backwardness of these people. It is stated sometime that (Haimendorf : 1977:1) a military campaign extneding for a short spell into these fastness of tribal country bring the inhabitants temporarily to the notice of princes and chroniclers, but for long periods there was frictionless co-existences between the tribal folk and Hindu caste society to the truest sense of the word.
The forest areas in the Mughal period were larger than what they are today. The remote and inacessible forests yielded practically little or no income to the Mughal Treasury. When the East India Company come to India and got hegemony in some parts of this country, they began to play all sorts of nefarious games for their maximum benefit from the forest produce. The physical isolation of most of the aboriginal tribes was put an end to when in the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries communication facilities, such as railways and roads, were carried through the hills and forests, and the land hungry peasants of upper castes invaded the sparsely populated tribal regions of central and south India. Sinha (1981:107) stated : The tribal lands are being encroached upon by outsiders, particularly in central eastern and South India Money lenders continue to bind the tribal in perpetual indebtedness. Sometimes as bonded labourers and the bulk of them are yet unable to cross the threshold of unskilled labour in mines, factories and populations.
Moreover, the, extension of law and order to these forest abodes of the tribals enabled the wicked traders and the money-lenders to exploit the simple tribal people and earn profits. This resulted in loss of land and evaporation of economic independence. Throughout the long and glorious history of Andhra, covering the periods of the Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Rastrakutas, Kakatiyas, Qutubshahis and Asifjhs and their dynastic rule, the Adivisis or aboriginal tribes were pushed back from their home lands to the woods and hilly regions which remained the quiet haunts of the nomadic hunters and food gatherss and primitive tillers of the soil, who were ignorant of the use of ploughs and other agricultural implements. The adivasis continued to be the easy prey of the Hindu and Mohammedan feudal and British colonial oppression down to the Twentieth century. Thus the tribals lost much of their ancestral land and were destined to sweel the ranks of the depressed classes (Haimendorf : 1945). The colonial system, supported by its own laws of armed force and in collaboration with the local tyrants, controlled the tribals. This can be termed as the colonial economic exploitation which was carried out throughout the country with an exclusive idea of consolidating the political power over the Adivasi population and increasing their revenue. The result was the tribal revolts. According to Devalle (1980:8) : The cause of the rebelitions were mainly the establishment of outsiders in Adivasi lands, dispossession of land, socio-economic oppression, tax and rent increase, violation of forest rights, forced labour and labour in payments of debts.
Sometimes, these groups of people resisted and ultimately took to armed struggles, not only against local exploiters but also against the colonial administration. In this respect Raghuvaiah said (1971:5) : The simple, honest, hard working and unambitious victims suffered till their patience was exhausted and as a last resort they revolted and picked up the bow to break their shackles.
Even during the last phase of British rule in India, the tribals remined in different towards the well-being of the country of the administration. They were like forsaken children of Mother India. The Gandhian reconstruction programme gave scope to the process of politicization of the tribal to some extent and nurtured a generation of tribal leaders and provided them an opportunity to joint he mainstream of India life, Vekata Rao (1976:19) stated. The tribal population has to understand the spirit of patriotism which has to be planted. measured and watered by sustained effort.
Kaka Saheb Kalelkar said (1955) in this respect : our true rewards is the joy which is to be had from our lives being interwoven with those of the Adivasis.
It might be possible that certain castes or communities or tribals groups in India, due to certain exigenciew, drifted gradually towards criminal activities. In such circumstances a group of people would not, in any way, be stamped as 'criminals'. This gross gross mistake was done in labelling some groups as 'criminal tribes' in British India. In this connection, Bhowmick says (1973 : 50) : The criminal tribes Act was passed by the British Government as early as in 1871 arbitrarily and unjustly a against some of the aborginal tribes, caste and even a section of the Muslims of our country. Wioth a view controlling some turbulent and criminally proclived sections of our populations, the Ruling Government enacted this law by which these groups of people were kept under severe restrictions. By gradual modifications, this act was a more
Budhan is named after Budhan Savar, who died in police custody in February 1998. The Denotified and Nomadic Tribes Rights Action Group was formed in March 1998 to lead a nation-wide campaign for advocacy of the human rights of DNTs. The newsletter publicizes our activities and makes available, for the first time, a systematic archive of legislation and scholarly inquiry concerning DNTs.
Subscriptions to Budhan help fund our efforts to acheive justice for criminal tribes. Our activities include legal aid for the wrongfully accused, relief for families whose members are in prison, health care and education for those with out access, rights to housing and property, promotion and preservation of tribal knowledge, languages anf lifestyles. Budhan is published four times a year.
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 12, 2001
ONLY DALITS CAN DECIDE WETHER THE CASTE SYSTEM SHOULD FORM PART OF OUR HISTORY OR NOT AND NOT A FEW UPPER CASTES
The Central Board of Secondary Education and the National Council of Educational and Research & Training in collaboration with the Sangh Parivar have deleted Varna/Caste from the text books of history saying that it hurts the sentiments of concerned people. Here the Sangh Parivar is comparable with Talibans because they do not want even to discuss about the caste system, hence the question of eliminating the caste system does not arise. How can the policies of reservation be explained if the caste system is not discussed thread bare. These forces have not condemned ‘Manusmriti’ which says that dalit can not join heaven unless they worship Brahmins and also can not posses private properties.
From the present, one can infer the past. The chapter relating to the caste system is deleted from history; the same will continue to haunt the minds of the people when and where it originated. Caste exists today also and it seems that it will to continue to exist in future also, as per trends in the present circumstances. Why Hinudtva forces are interested in deleting the chapter from the NCERT Book. If they are serious about the dalit sentiments then they should first endeavour to eliminate the caste system by inter-dining and inter-marriage and through other social and Governmental mechanism. Once the caste system is eliminated from the society then one can think of deleting this from history. This is an act of solidifying the caste system further. In fact the Sangh Parivar do not want to see the progress of dalits, and want to exploit them further through the perpetuation of Varna. Dalits want a detailed and in-depth discussion on Varna/Caste, and its deletion from the history has hurt their sentiments, and they will oppose it tooth and nail.
Beef eating is our culture
Almost all tribals have been eating the beef since ages. Beside them, the Muslims and the Christians also eat beef. A sizeable number of scheduled castes in South India eat beef. Thus about 15% Scheduled castes, 12% Muslims, 3% Christians, 7% Tribals and 10% OBC eat beef today also. The tribals of northeastern region also eat beef and so is the case with the Mala and Madiga of Andhra Pradesh. Last year in Karnataka, dalits celebrated beef eating in front of State Assembly and it is a major food of their. Even Lord Buddha was a beef eater. Ancient Brahmins were also beef eaters as written by Prof. D.N. Jha. Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, Minister for Human Resource Development ,represents only 2-3% Brahmins population of the country; then how can he impose non-eating beef culture on others. This is the food culture of Bahujans. Any attempt to relate it to Muslims is a total distortion of history because beef eating has been the food culture of the country since ancient past. Hence beef eating is not related to any religion.
Angel said, ‘the capacity of brain expanded by eating beef’. Beef contains 21% protein, mutton, chicken and vegetables are having protein 16%, 13% and 7% respectively. Almost all scientists and statesmen in the western countries ate beef and now also it is the major food of their. Except India, beef is a major food of all countries in the world. Those who do not eat beef, will be bound to become mentally and physically weak. This is one of the main reasons that our performance is very poor in sports like Olympic games, science and research.
The Dalit God, Jambvant, advocated consumbtion of cow food. This is the classical culture of dalits and others which some Hindutva forces are trying to destroy by deleting it from the text books of history. In the ancient past cow food was offered to guests, many Hindu religious scriptures also support this contention, hence this act of distorting history, will not only deprive us from the sense of history in ancient time but also infringe the culture possessed by dalits, minorities and OBCs. The beef eaters have proved themselves superiors to us in many fields and if this food culture is not going to be adopted by us then we will continue to lag behind others in the world. Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee’s ambition would also be shattered in the sense he often says that in the age of globalization one should compete with others without support and favour. How can we achieve this when vegetable food will make us weak mentally and physically.
Discrimination and hatred towards dalits by some upper castes shows that Aryan had come from outside.
Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru wrote in his book ‘The Discovery of India’ that Aryans had come from Central Asia. Even Lokmanya Tilak said so. Many historical findings prove that Aryans had come from Central Asia. As I have said earlier that from the present one can postulate about the past. If we look at the characters of Hindutva forces it will be aptly clear that they had come from outside. I offer following reasoning besides the historical accounts :-
1. In no society, I have seen people of the same religion hating and discriminating against their brothers and sisters as it is prevalent in the Hindu society. Of course, a foreigner or an outsider will not have any consideration for people of other communities as in our case where most Aryans do not like Dravidians. This proves that Aryans had come outside.
2. India suffered at the hands of foreigners for about 1000 years and it is because of division in the society only. The invaders coming with their personal security could conquer our gigantic country. If the Aryans were not outsider then they should have offered friendship and fraternity Dravidians and would have called for unity to fight untedily against foreigners.
3. The act of deletion from history of some historical facts shows that Aryans are not willing for open and honest discussion about the caste system and ancient wrongs. They don’t want to eliminate the caste system by free and frank discussion which will help the development of the nation. This again shows that such forces do not have love for the country. Absence of national feeling proves that Aryans had come from outside.
WHERE IS THE HISTORY OF BUDDHISM AND BUDDHIST CULTURE
Once upon a time Buddhism was a major religion in this country but declined because of treachery and treason. Pushyamitra Shungh, a Brahmin courtier, killed Buddhist King- Brihdutt by an act of treachery. But, why Sangh Parivar is silent about this Buddhist glorious culture and religion under which India progressed most. The growth of the country stagnated and declined further with the decline of Buddhism and coming up of rigid caste system. Almost all Hindu temples like Tirupati, Puri, Kedarnath and Badrinath were Buddhist shrines at one time but later on were destroyed and grabbed by Hinduism. Even progressive and rational historians also did not justify enough while writing the history.
The modern communiction systems, excavason and archeological evidences have revealed the factors which caused the killing of Buddhism. Who killed Buddhism? Could there be anyone else than Hindutva forces? The All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations and Lord Buddha Club gave a call to embrace Buddhism at Ram Lila Ground on 4th November 2001 but the Vishwa Hindu Parishad did not allow it to happen and this again shows that they are the enemies of Buddhism. When Buddhism was a major religion of the country, its boundaries were spread up to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Srilanka, Burma etc. and later on Hinduism succeeded and Brahmin rule shrunk from Afghanistan to Pakistan and again to Kashmir and now they are running from there also. Buddhism is the State religion of many countries and on the contrary Hinduism faces crisis of survival in India only. Shankracharya and other protogonists of Hinduism are saying that Buddhism is part of Hinduism; are they not making laughing stocks of themselves while saying so? Buddhism does not perceive God and Soul and Hinduism can not be thought of without them and, therefore, both are diametrically opposed to each other. Now the time has come to trace the history of Buddhism. If India is known for any contribution to the world it is because of Buddhism.
Whatever historical truths are there, should remain in the pages of history. This blunder of Sangh Parivar would not only harm the country but them also. It is strange to know that Arya Samaj leaders are asking for the arrest of outstanding and rational historians like Romila Thapar, R.S. Sharma and Satish Chandra. In fact, forces which are asking for arrest of such historians, should be arrested because they are siding with wrong elements. I see dark future for India because issues like development, education, health and social evils are beeing relegated to the background while detrimental things like POTO, deletion of historical facts and exploitation of religious sentiments are holding the say.
Udit Raj (Ram Raj)
The three-day National Conference of Dalit Organisations (NaCDOrg 2001), held in New Delhi from 8th to 10th December 2001, concluded on 10th December 2001. Eminent Journalist and former Indian High Commissioner of Britain Mr. Kuldeep Nayyar, MP (RS) had inaugurated the Conference on Saturday, 8th December 2001 in the Speakers Hall of Constitution Club, New Delhi. Representatives of more than 150 Dalit Organisations from 15 states participated, and deliberated and discussed issues of Dalits concerns in detail.
The NaCDOrg-2001 took important decisions, decided future action programme for the next two years, and elected a National Convening Committee (NCC NaCDOrg) comprising of representatives of different states. The conference also decided to set up a secretariat in Delhi, and Centre for Alternative Dalit Media (CADAM) of Delhi was unanimously given the responsibility of running this secretariat.
The Conference unanimously decided to hold 2nd National Conference of Dalit Organisations in December 2003 (NaCDOrg-2003) in New Delhi. The NaCDOrg-2003 would be preceded by four Regional Conferences of Dalit Organisations (ReCDOrg) in four Different region of the country. The first such ReCDOrg would be held in Kalka in Haryana in the last week of April 2002.
DALIT SOCIETY AND ITS DYNAMICS:
Inter-caste & Inter-community dialogue is a must The NaCDOrg-2001 discussed Dalit Society and its Dynamics and expressed its concerns over the prevailing stratifications within the Dalit Society and considered it a reflection of the prevailing stratification in the Indian Society. The Conference was of the opinion that the prevailing apprehensions and bitterness within the Dalit Castes and Tribes and between the Dalits and non-Dalits were due to lack of inter-community dialogues and communications channel. The Conference requested all the Dalits to initiate intra and inter-caste dialogue to remove apprehensions in the Dalit Community. NaCDOrg took the responsibility to initiate the dialogue between Dalits and non-Dalits to remove apprehensions and bitterness and requested all the progressive and rational minded people to give-up their caste related feelings and form a united social front to annihilate the menaces of casteism. The Conference also requested the Dalits and non-Dalits to invite and involve more and more people from other communities in their programme for inter-caste and inter-community dialogue and understanding.
DALIT ECONOMY: LAND AND EMPLOYMENT
The NaCDOrg-2001 discussed the economical conditions of the Dalits, particularly the issues of land and employment. Conference expressed its concerns over the continued plight of agricultural labourers and non-implementation of Land Reform in various part of the country. The Conference asked the Government to implement the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act of 1960 in every state and distribute the ceiling land among landless. The Conference also appealed the Government to distribute already possessed land immediately amongst the landless.
It also expressed its concern over the deliberate attempts of the Governments to hand over the public sector in the name of disinvestments without ensuring the employment avenues for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes in these companies.
The Conference also took a serious note of planned marginalisation of Dalits, poor and weaker sections in the Approved Approach Paper of 10th Plan and requested the Government to ensure the well being of the Dalits and marginalised.
The Conference expressed its concern over the extremely low wages in the organised sector and requested the government to set the minimum wages matching the dignified standard of living.
RURAL DALITS: ADDRESSING REALITIES OF RURAL LIFE
The Conference expressed its concern over the rampant discrimination and untouchability prevailing in the rural India. It also expressed its concern over the growing violence against the Dalits. The Conference was of the opinion that the social ethos and values, which support the socio-economic suppression of Dalits, Women and other lower castes, must be resisted and sensitisation of non-Dalits should be carried out on massive scale. The Conference appealed to the Government to develop a Code-of-Conduct for the employees of state machinery dealing with the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes with the help of the organisations of Dalits and non-Dalits.
URBAN DALITS: ALTERNATIVES BEYOND RESERVATIONS
The Conference discussed the problems of the Dalits living in the urban India in detail and expressed its concern over the uprooting and destabalising the Dalit and marginalised families living in the slums. The Conference requested the Governments to do-away with the so-called beautification drive of the metros and cities without providing adequate hospitable space and amenities, and education and employment facilities to the slum dwellers, who provide the basic services to the society. The Conference took serious note of Government's attempt to reduce the job opportunities for the Dalits through various planned designs. The Conference condemned the Governments planning of reducing the employment in Public Domain by 3% per annum and demanded to increase investment for the generation of employment.
The Conference asked Dalits to prepare, develop and equip themselves for jobs in private sector and other non-traditional sectors like NGOs, Media, Hospitality, Business and Entertainment. The Conference appealed private sector to consider the claims of Dalits and marginalised sympathetically. The Conference requested the Dalits to get over the reservation hangover and look towards the opportunities beyond reservations.
DALIT WOMEN: ISSUES, CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES
The Conference expressed its concern over the continued plight and backwardness of Dalit Women and appealed to take up immediate remedial measures. The Conference directed Dalit families to get away all kind of superstitions of not educating girl child and admit their girls to nearby schools in the next session at all cost.
The Conference expressed its serious concern over the continued humiliation, harassment and raping of Dalit women and asked the Government to take necessary steps to stop it immediately.
The Conference also expressed its concern over the unequal pay to Dalit Women despite the constitutional guarantees of equal wage for equal work. It appealed the government to gear up its machinery to ensure proper wages to the hard working Dalit Women.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DALITS
The Conference discussed the role of various institutions established for ensuring the dignified living of Dalits and marginalised. It also discussed the role of National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, State Commissions of SC/STs, law and order machinery and judiciary in arresting the discrimination and violence against the Dalits. The Conference expressed the concern over the failure of National and State Commission of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for the ensuring justice to SCs and STs. The conference took serious note of the indifferent and rude behaviour of the employees working in these commissions and requests the government to take appropriate action.
The Conference has also taken a serious note of absence of National Commission of SCs and STs in the World Conference Against Racism and its failure to express the feelings of the Dalits before the nation. The Conference appreciated the stand taken by the National Commission for Human Rights and appeal to NHRC to take up the necessary steps to stop the violation of Human Rights of the Dalits.
The Conference directed the Dalit masses to bring each and every violation of their Human Rights to book and get the perpetrators of these violation punished. The Conference also decided to launch a National Awareness Campaign on the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of) Atrocities Act 1989 and appealed all the organisations to conduct workshops, seminars, and meetings at all possible levels of human habitations.
The Conference discussed the role of the Dalit Leadership in detail and came to the conclusion that the existing leadership of Dalits has failed to produce the desired results. The Dalit politicians, and members elected to legislature assemblies and parliament from reserved constituencies are not taking up the cause of the Dalits in respective assemblies and Parliament. Most of the MLAs and MPs are towing the line of their respective political parties and bosses and ignoring the interests of the Dalits and marginalised. The Conference appealed all the Dalits to discuss and debate the role of their elected representatives and send their recommendation before the 2nd National Conference of Dalit Organisations to be held in December 2003. The Conference appealed to all SC/ST MLAs to take active part in the legislature business and prevent the further marginalisation of Dalits by the Governments and their actions.
PROGRAMME OF ACTION
ž The Conference launched SELF-HELP MOVEMENT for the overall development of the Dalits. Dalits and their well-wishers were requested to support the efforts of the Dalits so that they are able to channelise their inherent potential to realise the goal of dignified living.
ž The Conference directed the National Convening Committee of NaCDOrg to meet in the second Sunday of February in Delhi and discuss the modalities of Action programme. The Conference also directed the NCC to prepare status Reports on the Education, Land, Economy, and Atrocities and present the same before the first, 2nd, 3rd and fourth regional Conference of Dalit Organisations respectively.
ž The Conference also decided to set up a Dalit Information/Resource Centre in Delhi for communicating the happenings, policies, programme and actions taken by the Governmental and non-Governmental agencies. ž The Conference also decided to form a Committee of Eminent Citizens comprising of Dalits and non-Dalits to act as an Ombudsman on the issues of Dalit Concern. The Members of the Committee would be finalised in the February meeting of the NaCDOrg in New Delhi.
ž The need for the Dalit Women Conference was strongly felt and it was decided that the same would be held simultaneously along with the NaCDOrg in future. The Conference also decided to hold a separate National Conference of Dalit Women in October 2002 in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
ž National Conference also decided to explore the possibility of forming a National Social Front, where organisations of different social groups could sit and discuss the issues of mutual concern and pave the ways for peaceful and dignified social existence.
ž The Conference also decided to have a public action programme on the last day of the National Conference of Dalit Organisations.