1.Protest in NewYork, UN notices!
Human rights activists including academicians and professionals residing in USA have gathered in front of UN office in NewYork,on 24th Nov., to condemn the Kherlanji Massacre and associated hindu caste system in India. This protest was to make aware and educate the international civil society. Ambedkar Centre for Justice & Peace i.e. ACJP delegation presented the demands in the form of Memorandum to be conveyed to the Prime Minister of India through his Excellency Ambassador Nirupam Sen at the Permanent Mission of India to United Nations. ACJP also presented a copy of memorandum to the office of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan.
Thanks to those who made it possible on the Protest day to New York. Its very important to give shape to the voices all over world against various products of virulent discriminatory socio-religious practices like Caste system. Kherlanji is not the only product of such heinous caste system, there are many mindboggling atrocities happening on Buddhists & Dalits in India everyday. Let`s put collective effort to ignite minds as-World lives in communication!
Please read the attached note/press release. Click here for ACJP press release note!
2. Protests in Japan
India is bleeding terribly by caste virus both in Rural and Urban parts. Kherlanji Massacre is a witness. Unlike thousands and thousands of brutalities on Buddhists in India(so called Outcaste/Dalits) gone unnoticed so far, this time world must know how human values are killed everyday ! Therefore Kherlanji protests are needed to be observed worldwide. When Indian Government is hopelessly silent, waiting for another massacre to happen, let’s make effort to let the world community know about the nasty caste virus that has plugged in Indian socio-religious system affecting every 5th person in India to loose his dignity. Once recognized, this virus must be killed immediately with the help of Change Agents for the cause of suffering people, otherwise humanity will never forgive us.
On the similar lines, a protest was observed in Japan. Here many Indians from diverse professional and academic background came together and protested in front of Indian Embassy in Tokio.
Pic1:Protest in Japan
They submitted the charter of demands. You can see sisters joining hands in the protests, which very important. Soldiers of humanity thanks a lot ! We all are together in this fight irrespective of caste,religion and nationality. Lets wipe out caste from this soil !
Pic 2: Peaceful Kherlanji Protest in Tokio
Click here for pdf to read ACJP (Ambedkar Centre for Justice and Peace) demands. Special thanks to Inmission for sending reports!
Today afternoon one of the brother staying in Germany member received a copy of Netherland International Conference – Declaration from one of the Senior Management Personality who has taken keen interest in Hindu Caste System and the problem of Untouchability. We want to share with you with his kind permission.
4 Protest in Geneva
In the series of protests, Geneva is not left out. The city of international agencies, Geneva atlast heard voice of Kherlanji injustice from a human rights activist and research scholar. Killings of Buddhist family in Kherlanji does not go unnoticed in the most happening city. And here it is, his hunger protest surely has sent a ripple of inquisitiveness among the representatives of Nations who frequently visits Geneva. Watch out for larger momentum across the globe henceforth –youth from India taking lead in establishing new dawn of peace by working on mass awareness, arn’t they telling world ‘come on, human rights are not safe unless one fights for them’. So unlimited fight for just society is on.
We feel motivated by your single-handed protest in Geneva. We wish the energetic individual within us could unknowingly lay a path for a silent growth of many such aware seedlings in vast humanity. Thanks for the same!
5.Protest in Stockholm, Sweden
The world community is responding to the inhuman tendancies shown by an age old stucture against the Buddhists and Dalits in India. This time it was people of Sweden to respond. Bahujan Student Network (B.S.N.) here organised a Protest in Stockholm, Sweden on Friday, 1st Dec, 2006.The friends of Bahujan student Network motivated many and effectively protested against regular killings of Dalits in India and Kherlanji Buddhist Massacre in perticular .
The rally startedfrom the Central Station of Stockholm went through the city and culminated at Indian Embassy. The rational behind was an awareness campaign to educate civilised world on Human Rights Violation against Dalits and Buddhists in India which is indeed the worst kind of racism prevalent in the modern world.
Earlier, in this backdrop a film ‘Bawander’ was shown on 28th Nov. The film is actual story of Bhanwari Devi from Rajastan who was gang raped in 1992. The film was followed by a seminar on ‘Caste Discrimination’ in India, that was on 30th Nov. Mr. Hans Magnusson from Dalit Solidarity Network, Sweden was quite helpful in arranging the campaigns.
The rally concluded with handing over the Protest letter to be conveyed to the Prime Minister of India through her Excellency Ambassador Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa.
The letter includes demands such as
1. Flawless investigation and procecution in Kherlanji Buddhist Massacre as soon as possible.
2. Strict enforcement mechanism of SC/ST Atrocity (Prevention) law, 1989.
3. Set up of special courts and public courts to speed up the judicial process of such cases.
4. Set up of special cells in each village to register and monitor cases of Dalit atrocities.
5. Quarterly publication by the state government containing the cases of Human rights violations and the number of prosecutions thereof.
Brothers and sisters, that was great effort indeed. We, at Atrocitynews thank you all for the dynamism you all showed despite you coming from different regions, religions and beliefs!
Demonstration in Stockholm, Sweden are still continuing. Brave activist from India and Sweden have arranged a Campaign there against the deadly Caste Virus. It is surely inspirig>> Lets be part of new age India and show our leadership stance by uplifting global consciousness against all inhuman socio-religious practices. This is right step to arrive at global fraternity and world peace.
Pic1,2: Sign Campaign in Stockholm against Atrocities on Dalits and Buddhists
Pic5: Generation Y ( Banner in Swedish)
Pic6: Responsibility to remove Caste virus is on every shoulder
6 Kherlanji reverberating in UK ! 19Dec06
Kherlanji issue is still making appeal to the alive human minds across the globe. Savio reports from UK……..
“Sub : Meeting of the Sabhas below on 9th and 10th Dec 2006 in Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton regarding the Kherlanji issue.
1. Guru Ravidass Temple – Foleshill Road – Coventry
2. Bhagwan Valmik Sabha – Fisher Road – Coventry
3. Guru Ravidass Temple – Jasmond Road – Coventry
4. Central Valmik Sabha International UK – B’ham
5. Guru Ravidass Sabha – Handsworth
6. Guru Ravidass Sabha – Wolverhampton
I thank all of our above Sabhas for having invited me to discuss the issue of Kherlanji and I was happy to take part in these deliberations. I also apologize for not able to meet many more of our Sabhas as the time was limited but hope to meet them in near future.
This meeting was of great importance as it stirred the impulse of our Dalit brothers and sisters in the UK. The issue of Kherlanji was discussed at length. The meetings not only focused on this particular issue but on the growing unrest and the deteriorating situation of the Dalits in India.
Meeting mainly focused on International support and solidarity to our people in India and call for the State’s obligation in the promotion and protection of Human Rights of the Dalits. It also called for stern implementation of the National and International Instruments in safeguarding the rights of the deprived sections of the society.
Sabhas planned to hold such meetings at regular intervals and I will keep you all updated and abreast of such meetings. I once again thank all of our Sabhas for their support and solidarity.
Yours in Solidarity
Thanks Savio for reporting !
7 ………………………The Historic Resolution………………………
Pic1:European Parliament resolution on the human rights situation of the Dalits in India
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT Session document : MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION pursuant to Rule 91 of the Rules of Procedure by the Committee on Development on the human rights situation of the Dalits in India :-
The European Parliament,
Having regard to the hearing held by its Committee on Development on 18 December, 2006;
-having regard to the Report on EU’s Economic and Trade Relations with India by the Committee on International Trade (Final A6-0256/2006), the Opinion expressed on this Report by the Committee on Development (2006/2034(INI)) in this regard, and the European Parliament’s Human Rights Reports of 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2005;
having regard to General Recommendation XXIX (descent based discrimination) adopted by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 22 August 2002 and the 48 measures to be taken by the State Parties;
-having regard to the study being undertaken by the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, in which draft Principles and Guidelines for the elimination of ‘discrimination based on work and descent’ are being developed, and noting the preliminary report issued by the Special Rapporteurs on discrimination based on work and descent;
-having regard to the various provisions in the Constitution of India for the protection and promotion of the rights of Dalits, affecting at least 167 million people, including: the abolition of the practice of untouchability; the prohibition of discrimination on the ground of caste; equality of opportunity in matters of public employment;and educational, employment and political affirmative action through reservations in state-run institutions and political representative bodies; as well as numerous legislative measures ordering the abolition of some of the worst practices of untouchability and caste discrimination, including bonded labour, manual scavenging and atrocities against Dalits;
– having regard to the National Human Rights Commission, National and State Commissions for Scheduled Castes and the National Safai Karamchari Commission (dealing with the problem of manual scavenging);
– having regard that India is the largest functioning democracy in the world where every citizen is equal before the ballot boxIndia’s immediate past President and Head of State was a Dalit and Dalits have served as ministers; having regard that there are Hindu schools of thought which reject caste discrimination and exclusion as an aberration of their faith;
– whereas Dalits and similar groups are also found in Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh;
– having regard to Rule 91 and Rule 90(4) of its Rules of Procedure;
A. whereas the National Human Rights Commission of India has reported that the implementation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) ct remains very unsatisfactory, and whereas it has published numerous recommendations to address this problem;
B. whereas, despite 27 officially registered atrocities being committed against Dalits every day, police often prevent Dalits from entering police stations, refuse the registration of cases by Dalits and regularly resort to the practice of torture against Dalits with impunity;
C. whereas, despite the fact that many Dalits do not report crimes for fear of reprisals by the dominant castes, official police statistics averaged over the past 5 years show that 13 Dalits are murdered every week, 5 Dalits’ homes or possessions are burnt every week, 6 Dalits are kidnapped or abducted every week, 3 Dalit women are raped every day, 11 Dalits are beaten every day and a crime is committed against a Dalit every 18 minutes1; D. whereas a recent study of untouchability in rural India2, covering 565 villages in 11 States, found that public health workers refused to visit Dalit homes in 33% of villages, Dalits were prevented from entering police stations in 27.6% of villages, Dalit children had to sit separately while eating in 37.8% of government schools, Dalits did not get mail delivered to their homes in 23.5% of villages, and Dalits were denied access to water sources in 48.4% of villages because of segregation and untouchability practices;
E. whereas half of India’s Dalit children are undernourished, 21% are ‘severelyunderweight’, and 12% die before their 5th birthday3;
F. whereas untouchability in schools has contributed to drop-out and illiteracy levels for Dalit children far beyond those of the general population, with the ‘literacy gap’ between Dalits and non-Dalits hardly changing since India’s independence and literacy rates for Dalit women remaining as low as 37.8% in rural India4;
G. whereas Dalit women, who alongside ‘Tribal’ women are the poorest of the poor in India, face double discrimination on the basis of caste and gender in all spheres of life; are subjected to gross violations of their physical integrity, including sexual abuse by dominant castes with impunity; are socially excluded and economically exploited;
H. whereas the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has observed substantial underallocation and under-expenditure of the allocation for Dalit welfare and development under the government’s Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes;
I. whereas Dalits are subjected to bonded and forced labour and discriminated against in a range of markets, including in the labour, housing, consumer, capital and credit markets; are paid lower wages and subjected to longer working hours, delayed wages and verbal or physical abuse;
2. Published as Untouchability in Rural India by Shah, Mander, Thorat, Deshpande and Baviskar, Sage Publications, India, 2006
3. National Family Health Survey, commissioned by the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 1998-99 (last survey available), p11, http://www.nfhsindia.org/data/india/indch6.pdf
4. 2001 Census of India
1. Welcomes the various provisions in the Constitution of India for the protection and promotion of the rights of Dalits, notes however that in spite of these provisions, implementation of laws protecting the rights of Dalits remains grossly inadequate, and that atrocities, untouchability, illiteracy, inequality of opportunity, manual scavenging, underpayment of wages, bonded labour, child labour and landlessness continue to blight the lives of India’s Dalits;
2. Expresses its concern at the low rate of conviction for the perpetrators of such crimes and calls on the Government of India to improve its criminal justice system in order to facilitate registration of charges against perpetrators of crimes against Dalits, to increase the conviction rate for such perpetrators, to significantly reduce the duration of court procedures; and to take special measures for the protection of Dalit women;
3. Welcomes the recent ban on the employment of children as domestic servants and workers in roadside eateries, restaurants, teashops etc. and urges the Indian Government to take further steps towards the complete ban of all forms of child labour;
4. Calls on the Government of India to take urgent steps to ensure equal access for Dalits to police stations and all other public institutions and facilities, including those related to its democratic structure such as panchayat buildings and polling booths;
5. Applauds the fiscal policy followed by the Planning Commission of India and the various Ministries in the provision of the budgetary allocations towards the welfare and development of Dalits and calls on the Government of India to ensure complete and timeboundimplementation of all policy and budgetary measures towards the welfare and development of Dalits, including full implementation of the Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes;
6. Urges the Government of India to engage further with relevant UN human rights bodies on the effective elimination of caste-based discrimination, including the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the UN Special Rapporteurs assigned to develop Principles and Guidelines for the Elimination of Discrimination based on Work and
7. Calls on the Government of India to ratify the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and to take preventive measures to reduce the risk of Dalits facing torture, to take legal measures to criminalise torture in India, to take punitive measures to prosecute police who commit torture, to consistently provide rehabilitation and compensation for torture victims and to put in place an independent complaints mechanism for victims of torture that is accessible to Dalits;
8. Notes with concern the lack of substantive EU engagement with the Indian government, notably within the EU-India Summits, on the vast problem of caste-based discrimination;
9. Urges the Council and the Commission to raise the issue of caste-based discrimination during EU-India Summits and other meetings as part of all political, human rights, civil society, development and trade dialogues and to inform the Committees concerned of the progress and outcome of such dialogues;
10. Urges the European members of the Joint Action Committee to develop dialogue on the RE\643081EN.doc 5 PE 382.385v01-00 EN problem of caste-based discrimination in terms of its discussions on democracy and human rights, social and employment policy and development cooperation;
11. Re-iterates its expectation that EU development programmes in India include specific measures to ensure that minorities such as Dalits and Adivasis and other marginalised communities, tribes and castes, are able to close the wide gap with the rest of the population regarding the attainment of the MDGs;
12. Recalls its demand that Council and Commission give priority to the promotion of equal opportunities in employment in private EU-based companies” and to encourage EU-based companies to implement the ‘Ambedkar Principles’
(Employment and Additional Principles on Economic and Social Exclusion Formulated to assist All Foreign Investors in South Asia to Address Caste Discrimination);
13. Welcomes the EU’s commitment for the development of Principles and Guidelines for the elimination of discrimination on the basis of work and descent by the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, and urges the Commission and the Council to continue this support;
14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments of the Member States, the President, Government and Parliament of India, the UN General-Secretary as well as the heads of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, the ILO and UNICEF, the World Bank and the IMF.
8 London takes it to road
Various individuals and organizations from UK forming the International Forum for Prevention of Atrocities Against Dalits (IFPAD) demonstrated against the brutal rape and massacre of 4 members of a Dalit family in Khairlanji village, Maharashtra, India, in front of the Indian Embassy, London on December 12, 2006 from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm. Mr. Dharam Paul, Nahar Convener, IFPAD & Chairman, Bhagwan Valmiki Trust UK, Mr. Eugene Culas, Director, Voice of Dalit International, Mr. Satpal Muman, CasteWatch-UK, Mr. Kofi Mauli Klu , Community Advocate and social Activist for Global Justice (Rendez vous Victory), Mrs. Esther Stanford, Executive Secretary, The Black Front Parliament in Europe, Rev. David Wise, Greenford Baptist Church and many others spoke. The event was enlivened with slogans from Mr. Raj Mohan Thampi and others and solidarity music from Mr. Andy Iverson & team from Sisu Music Band.
Pic1: Volenteers coming on roads for the humanitarian cause
It created considerable interest, support and solidarity from the general public. The representatives presented a Memorandum to the Indian High Commission, which was received by the Coordination Officer Mr. Sharma who assured that the anguish; anger, expectations and solidarity expressed by NRIs in the UK would be communicated to the Indian Government. Memorandum requested a written report on the massacre as a reply within a month’s time and an apology from the Indian Government for its failure to protect the lives of Dalit masses. It also requested the Indian Government, if needed, to seek the cooperation of international community to initiate educational programmes, to change the present mindset of Indian society. The programme ended with participants taking a pledge to be united in all future initiatives to promote and protect the rights of Dalits as human beings.
(Report –L .M. Doss, Hon. Coordinator, IFPAD)
Pic2: People group from all background joined the rally
Pic3: The activist lined up to condem the Kherlanji Buddhist Masscre
9. British Parliamentarian in Kherlanji
Today a team lead by Stefen Crab, Member of House of Commons, U.K., is in Kherlanji to take stock of the situation. Team includes David Griffith. Atrocitynews correspondant tell us that the team got shocked to hear the dastardly story of caste violance through Bhotmange, the only surviving father. They were even taken aback by the role of State Investigation Agency in a civilised world (?) where the whole village did not fear to commit such a bloody atrocity against an educated self-made Buddhist family.
Pic1: Stefen Crab, MP
The team will get shocks even of untolarable intesity if they travel little more in India; acknowledging such cases are not uncommon in a caste ridden society, India.
10. French Media on Kherlanji 03Mar07
It is learnt that National French Radio would air a special program on Kherlanji in the background of coming book fair to be held in Paris.
India is the chief guest in one of the most prestigious book fairs in the world to be held in France; naturally Indian literature will occupy major space in it. But, as usual, this time too there would be no space for Dalit literature there. The national radio having learnt this, made up a plan to introduce Dalit literature to french audience through a well researched documentary . The documentary is to provide vivid picture of dalit pain; in perticular the atrocities committed on Dalits in India. Therefore, Kherlanji Buddhist Massacre would be an essential part of this documentary.
For the same a French team is in India. They met Atrocitynews correspondant in Nagpur yesterday and discussed the brutal Buddhist Massacre in details.
Atrocitynews would let the readers know further developments in this regard. It will also inform when this show would be aired on french radio, till then keep writting to us!
11 Today french radio airs Khairlanji
Please click on the link below and listen to the Saga of Khairlanji in `french’ (partly in English). Just a one among many atrocity cases happening in India. The commonest of the common incidence like Kherlanji massacre got most needful attention from International community with due efforts on blgosphere. This has heralded a new dawn of alternative media in India in favour of oppressed who can`t went out their voices in mainstream media due to lack of resources and being from ‘that’ community.
Lets take a pledge to wipe out such a henonious caste system that disrespect, dishonours and at times kills humanity for the benefit of selected few!!
12 Lecture on Caste virus in Sweden 5Apr07
As a follow-up of the worldwide protest against caste discrimination, Indian students in Sweden have organised series of lectures in Stockholm. The topic for next-lecture is, though new to the audience, but is illuminating in many ways. The topic is related to burning issue: ‘caste virus’. Such series of lectures would go long way to unearth the unscrupulous social practices in contemporary civil society. They are in a sense sensitizers for people and help them explore creative ideas in protecting human values. And yeas, such sensitisation also helps in curtailing the roots of evils in future.
Topic: Caste discrimination in India and the atrocities against the untouchables.
Date: 12th April, 2007 ( Two days prior Birth Anniversary of Dr Ambedkar)
Time: 18:00 to 19:30,
Venue: Sociology Hogskolan Sweaplan,
Lecture by: A senior lecturer from Mumbai University (Nirmala Niketan)
Post lecture Event:
1. The lecture would be followed by a group discussion.
2. Screening of a Documentary on caste issue will be followed after the group discussion.
**At Atrocitynews, we request Readers to share the feelings with the audience there ( if only readers can make it to the event!)
13 Demonstrations in Sweden 05Apr07
Peaceful demonstrations are planned in Sweden against Caste discrimination and caste based atrocities in India. We must remember such protests worldwide do six things
1. They make Indian Public administration responsible for observing rule of law
2. Possible Worldwide sensitisation and help for suffering individuals
3. Educate global civil society on global human rights movement
4. Encourage global civil society act against such evil tendencies like caste
5. Prepare sane individual that promotes his diligent social behaviour
6. Bring people together on humanity basis for bringing peace, harmony and happiness in world
The Demonstration details:
Date: 14th of April, 2007 (On the day of 116 th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B R Ambedkar, Champion of Human rights and Chief architect of Indian constitution)
Place : Norrmalmstorg
The organisers: Student community in Sweden
The organisers (through Atrocitynews) would like to appeal you all for being there physically to express solidarity in abolishing the evil practices from this planet. For further details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The organisers of the event desire those who would like to join in Demonstartions may come prepared with anatomy of caste system and related issues. Organisers suggest helpful Statistical and scholarly information on caste can be available at:
14 Historic act: US congress passes resolution on Untouchability24Jul07
House of Representatives Passes Historic Resolution on Untouchability on July 23,2007. House Concurrent Resolution 139 is the First Official Statement on Untouchability by US Congress.
The House of Representatives today overwhelmingly passed HCR 139, “expressing the sense of the Congress that the United States should address the ongoing problem of untouchability in India,” by voice vote this afternoon.
The resolution is the first of its kind from the United States Congress. Sponsored by Congressman Trent Franks and Co-Sponsored by thirty-three leading human rights advocates in Congress including Congressman Tom Lantos, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the bill contains historic language on untouchability in India, including a lengthy findings section detailing the effects of untouchability and caste abuse on outcastes in India.
The resolution calls on the United States government to work with India to address the problem of untouchability by raising the issue of caste discrimination through diplomatic channels and encouraging US businesses, USAID, the State Department, and other US programs and organizations working in India to take every possible measure to ensure Dalits are included and are not discriminated against in their programming.
“We have seen history made in this resolution,” said Nanci Ricks, Executive Director of the Dalit Freedom Network. “This resolution should encourage all Dalits suffering under caste discrimination in India. The United State Congress has heard of the atrocities of caste and has responded. We hope that the United States Government and US businesses working in India will heed this statement by the House and will join with the Dalit Freedom Network in fighting the effects of caste across India.”
Dr. Joseph D’souza, President of the Dalit Freedom Network, praised the leadership of Congressman Franks and the many others whose active support of the Dalit cause made HCR 139 possible: “without the leadership of Members of Congress like Congressmen Franks, Wolf, Smith, Sali, Tancredo, Pitts, and Congresswoman Kilpatrick in sponsoring Dalit events, film screenings, and hearings and directing their staff to advocate on this issue with vigilance, this historic moment would have never happened. They and the many others who have worked to make this resolution a reality have earned the gratitude of millions of Dalits across India.”
The resolution will face a concurring vote from the Senate soon.
See attached copy of the Resolution below.
We appreciate all of your efforts on behalf of Dalit Freedom ~ Now and Forever!
Dalit Freedom Network
At Atrocitynews, we appreciate work of Dalit Freedom network (& also Manuski center, India). Without their able effort such resolution would not have seen the day. Lets catalyse everybody and unite people against all sort of human discriminations practiced in any part of the world. Caste system is a blot on humanity, lets fight tooth and nail against castiest-attitudes.
…………… Historic AmericanResolution…………..