Give Dalits their legitimate rights, not reservations

Hindustan Times 12.10.00

Khhicha: AS SOON as a medium built man in his early forties enters this' Dalit hamlet, there is a scramble among the residents to greet him. Men, women and children, irrespective of their age, rush towards him. The visitor's smile, however, vanishes when a youth tries to touch his feet. "Na, paage nathi parbanu, bhagawan sibae koine paage nathi parbanu" (Do not touch anyone's feet, except God's), says 41-yearold Martin Macwan, who has just been selected for this year's Human Rights award by the Robert E Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights. He is the second Indian to get this prestigious award. Earlier, Kailash Satyarthi, who has worked for the liberation of child labourers, received the honour in 1995. The award is given for standing up to oppression in non-violent pursuit of respect for human rights, says the communication Martin has received from the Robert E Kennedy Memorial Center, Washington.

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