UN Prepcom for WCAR, Geneva May 1-5,2000 and Dalit "Traitors"
To Dalit Warriors around the Globe:
I just returned from Geneva UN Prepcom for World Conference Against Racism (to be held in September 2001). In the last 10 years of participation of Ambedkar Centre for Justice and Peace at many UN forums to highlight our problem, I never found that India was ever interested in promoting Dalit activists, scholars etc..
To my great surprise for this Prepcom for World Conference Against Racism at Geneva, India (indirectly financed and) supported the Dalit Delegation to attack our efforts to address the major workshop on "Castism". India uses International Institute of Non-Aligned Studies and Indian Council of Education as fronts to voice its policy. The "Traitors" among the Dalits sponsored by these organisation are:
1) Mr. Baburao Pakhiddey, Lawyer settled in Delhi, native of Wardha
District, Maharastra State (who shows off as an Ambedkarite but whose
wife may be trying to get BJP ticket,
I was told by his collegues from Delhi)
Besides these 5, Mr. A.S.Narang and Ms. Pramila Shrivastava were also part of above group.
Among the Dalit Activists Groups participated were:
Ms. Meira Kumar said in her intervention".. there is no real problem in India on Caste System since the laws are in place and there are strong constitutional provisions. It is the creation of the west that there is a problem (of untouchability and caste system)." She refused to circulate the copy of her intervention when asked by NGOs.
Mr. Pakhiddey and Choudhary, Narang, Tamata participated in the NGOs workshop discussion on themes for Asia-Pacific and Middle East Regional Workshop.
Mr. Martin Macwan and Ruth Manorama did the intervention on behalf of Dalit groups. I couldnot do the statement as I went through Canadian NGO, with consultative status, who had 12 other delegates to intervane. Dr. Shridhar, a young doctor, activist in Dalit Media Network, from TN also did intervention on Dalit issue. Smita Narula, Human Rights Watch did the same on behalf of her NGO.
In NGO Forum I insisted that since the Caste System and Practice of Untouchability affects quater billion population, it is the largest and biggest discrimination, seggregation, destitution on Earth and it must have major theme and workshop at Regional Prepcom in Tehran before final World Conference in South Africa. Anything less will not be acceptable. DSF Paul Diwakar, Martin Macwan, Mimroth, Henry Thagraj etc. all were also supporting the theme-"Caste System".
BJP sponsored puppets were trying to stop discussion on Caste System because India sees the serious consequences to its "so called largest democracy in the world" image alongwith the real truth about Hinduism.Also India worries about future Draft Declaration in the World Conference in 2001 in South Africa and solutions to Caste System in it.
Pakhiddey insisted that he was opposed to having a theme on "Caste System" because he said"Dr. Ambedkar mentioned that we are of the same race" Caste is not a discrimination. Even the Brahmins have 354 sub-castes. They are also discriminated".
Mr. Pakhiddey should do some reading on the literature of Babasaheb, specially his last speech at Nagpur on 14-15th October 1956 during the Conversion to Buddhism.
There Babasaheb clearly stated, explaining why he selected Nagpur for Conversion that" Nagpur was the centre of Naga Kingdom and Culture.There is a river known as Nag River around this city, I heard... Nagpur name also came from Nag People. At one time Nagas were the warriors and rulers of India...Nagas were the staunch followers of Buddhism... After Aryan invasion, there were many wars between them. India's history is nothing but the struggle for supremacy between Buddhism and Brahminism..They annihilated Nagas by hook or by crook..We heard the story of saving a Nag, the serpent, by Augusti Rushi in the hindu literature.. that was not the nag serpent but Nag people.. we are supposed to be the descendants of that Naga Person....." This clearly states that we, the Dalits, are different from Indo-Aryans.
There is a need for our people in Delhi to give some lessons to this "TRAITOR" and others like him who studied on the scholarship created by our liberator.
For the information of our readers: In 1996 August, Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), while discussing Country Report India submitted to Treaty Bodies, heard the claim of India that situation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes does not fall under the Scope of the Convention and ruled that it does fall under the CERD Convention. Ambedkar Centre had lobbyed very hard and majority of 18 Experts were totally in favour of Dalits. The report was very critical of India and it gave many strong recommendations to impliment immediately.
Two most important recommendations were:
As our saviour, one and only liberator, Babasaheb, Dr. B.R.Ambedkar said " Our battle is for Justice, reclaiming the human personality...Justice is on our side. We are bound to succeed." Let us have a faith in our strength and unity. There is a need for more Dalit Groups to work in International Arena with firm belief in our cause and commitment till we succeed.Dalit Solidarity Forum, with the support from Churches, is doing good work in internationalisation in some parts of Europe.But for better results we need to bring more serious workers globally and sooner than later civil society in the west will have to come to our rescue.It is the only choice they have to keep the stability in South Asia and world peace -dismantle this hidden Apartheid!
Yours in the mission for a just society,