UN should set up a commission to investigate Untouchable problems
FEDERATION OF AMBEDKARITE & BUDDHIST ORGANISATIONS UK
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Dear David Madurai, Project co-ordinator.
Judith Tsolo, Personal assistance to the Project Co-ordinator,
World Conference against racism, By the South African Government.
Respectfully we beg to draw your kind attention towards our humble request to bring the following human rights abuses to the attention of the relevant Human Rights Committee for their consideration. The form of racism that is practiced against the Untouchable Castes and Tribes, minority religious groups and women in particular are the worst kind the world has ever known. The practices of untouchability, is thousands of years old and yet they have manage to conceal it from the rest of the world, it is about time that the world take steps to investigate its practices.
Fundamentalist’s vision of Society.
The current Hindu revival, based on extreme fundamentalists ideals, is threatening the survival of both one of the largest minorities in the world, the ‘Untouchables’ and all other none Hindu religious denominations in India. The Rashtrya Sawayamsevak Sang (RSS) have always been active to promote fundamentalists ideals to achieve a Hindu state according to Vedic literature. They have been kept in check so far by secularist forces but now the fundamentalists have penetrated into the Government and thus the social services and have begun implementing their master plan to turn India into Hindu State in which low caste and other minority religions are being persecuted and discriminated against.
Their tactics and the militant activities have the resemblance of Italian Fascism and Nazi Germany in the beginning of the last century which was responsible for the second world war, if left unchecked we believe they are capable of unleashing monumental human genocide the world has ever seen. They believe that the Caste System is an ideal system created by God and all Social, Cultural; economic and political structures should be based upon it. To enforce their ideals they have formed Sang Parivar, which represent an ultimate Hindu view of life. The Sang Parivar have under its wings organisation like Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council), the militant wings include Bajrang Dal and Shiv sena which have terrorised the Untouchable communities for generations, it has 32 other Social, Cultural and political organisations which include the present ruling Bhartya Janta Party (BJP).
Academic, Cultural, Political and Government institutions are being manipulated to conform to a Hindu worldview. Academics are being manipulated to teach and include into the school curriculum ancient fairy tails from their Vedic literature to glorify Aryans (Upper Caste Hindus). The academics are given ultimatums to accept the Hinduisation of the Indian Society or leave the profession. They are being replaced by fully RSS trained teachers to implement the wishes of the Sang Parivar. They have already made the Sanskrit (the official language of the Vadas) compulsory in many states. They are even trying to dictate dress code to men and women to prevent influence of the outside world.
Indian history is being rewritten from fundamentalist point of view and well-known historians like Romila Thapar are being harassed, victimised and publicly humiliated for writing the history of India as it was. The Indian Constitution is being revised to accommodate Caste and its Vedic interpretations. They are active in all social, cultural, economic, political and legal fields and using intimidation to push their programme through as the European fascists did 60 years ago.
Their foremost victims, has been the Untouchable (Dalits) Castes (twenty five % of India’s population) who have suffered untold atrocities at the hands of the high caste Hindus for centuries. Under the British rule the world was totally ignorant of their plight and after the independence the successive Governments have successfully waved the Constitution before the world to say that they have eradicated ancient Caste injustices by law, unfortunately it cannot be further from the truth. The legal provision were not implemented because the officials responsible for implementation are themselves from the Higher Castes and they have their own vested interests in preserving the ancient Caste rules.
The much talked about reservation in educational and public services were designed to give Untouchables and tribal people helping hand to catch up to the rest of society, unfortunately it was never enforced. Their were to be 22% reservation of the total recruitments into public services and educational institutions for the Untouchable and Tribal Castes but in reality they only got one fifth of the quota reserved for them. The only reserved quota is always full, is the political one because the hand picked so called representatives of Untouchable Castes have always done their bedding and ignored the plights of the untouchables. Successive Governments of last fifty years have failed to fulfil the promises made to these poor unfortunate people in law or in political treaties. Government sources admit that these people fall easy prey to murder, rape, social, cultural harassment, ridicule and victimisation. These are daily occurrences.
Victims of prosperity
Untouchables fall victims to all sorts of man-made catastrophes because are easy prey. The recent nuclear test sites were selected where there were large concentrations of these people who have no social, political or economic power. They have suffered greatly by the Government’s Dam construction programmes, which have displaced more than 30 millions people in last 40 years, majority of these people, who are still waiting for compensation for their lost property and livelihood decades later. There are thirty new dam projects in the pipeline, which is to be completed in spite of the human cost. They attends to construct Sardar Sarover in Narmada Valley, Madhya Pradesh in Central India, which alone will displace 400000 people such is the vastness of these projects. The Government have no credible resettlement plans for these unfortunate people. The state of Maddya Pradesh have already officially declared that they will not be able to resettle them in their state due to lack of suffient land. Their confiscated property is under valued by the state on ‘take it or leave it’ bases and even that is not forthcoming unless they have strong lobby amongst Government officials. In sheer desperation they end up swelling the population of the Shantytown. It is an unfortunate state of affairs for people who have lost their ancestral homes and property of generations.
Minority Religions under attack
The programme of the Government is not only victimising the poor Untouchable Castes, it also harassing all other minority Religious denominations that do not honour Caste traditions. The destruction of the Babri Massjid at Ayodhya in 1992 and the massacre that followed were designed to agitate the religious sentiments of the Hindus against other religious groups and at the same time forewarned the other religious groups about the things to come.
We believe that there are catalogue of human rights abuses of worst kind, which has claimed millions of lives and has continued for thousands of years. We appeal to the international community that such abuses should not be allowed to continue. Therefore the United Nation’s Human rights Conference should set up an fact finding commission which should look into the plight of these Untouchable people, monitor the practices of untouchability and systematic destruction of their lives in the name of progress. The world owes a duty to safeguard the basic human rights of over 200 million Untouchables. Without secular and independent forces to guard these minorities at home these people are reliant on external pressures to protect their rights and livelihood. We have already seen what right wing forces left unchecked have done in Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe let us act now before millions more suffer.
We appeal to all of you leaders of the world, do not ignore their cries for help, and assist them to have basic human rights, they are not asking for much…just chance to be heard.
Chief Spokesperson, 2-4, Ffordd Ffynnon, Prestatyn. Denbighshire. North
Wales, LL19 8BA..
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