Public hearing on Untouchability Practices in India

07May07

 Following is an invitation from civil-society to civil-society for a public hearing program on Untouchability issues in India. Atrocitynews team is happy to share it with readers!!
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On behalf of Indian People’s Tribunal on Untouchability, we are pleased to invite you to be part of panel of Jurists for the public hearing on the Untouchability Practices Within the Country.

Forty six organizations from across the country and nine national networks working for Dalit Rights are holding
The People’s Tribunal on Untouchability On 12 and 13 May 2007 In the Indian Social Institute, Lodhi Road, New Delhi to expose the inhuman practices of untouchability that Dalits, who forms a quarter of population in the country, have to face everyday in their life.

The tribunal will hear depositions of 40 personal experiences of untouchability from across India. Two parallel sessions for hearing the cases will be held in two days and a panel of fifteen prominent citizens will look into the issue.

Untouchability practices are a reality that the Dalits have to face everyday in almost every sphere of life. It has become imprinted in the deeper social psyche of the Indian society, in that it stands more or less ignored or is being treated as quite natural. We believe that the opening up of the issue will highlight how the integrated belief system of casteism still perpetuates practices similar to racism within the country. Also, the fact is that it is perpetuated in connivance with the administration and government, and it is hardly treated as a crime within the country. We should be able to bring into national and international attention that despite enacting many legal protective measures within the country, the
state has desperately failed to curb this inhuman practice. Any resistance to this practice has resulted in the most inhuman atrocities against the community. Incidents of extreme humiliation, brutalization, maiming, arson, rape, killing, and acts of torture by the community amongst whom they live are quite common.

The tribunal will look into the following issues:-
access to public places, discrimination in common services and criminal justice system; traditional practices like jogini system and devadasi system; discrimination and ghettoisation in housing, access to religious religious places, common natural resources, educational and governmental institutions and work places; implementation of special component plan; manual scavenging; judiciary and judgments on caste related issues.

At the end of the tribunal, the groups involved will be meeting the President, the Prime Minister, the National Human Rights Commission, Scheduled Caste Commission and the leaders of major national parties to brief them on the outcome of the Tribunal. The group involved envisages that the Tribunal will act as a catalyst for influencing the Government policies and programmes, and hopes to see that the Government would evolve with newer approaches to address the issue.

The tribunal will be an indicator for civil society to rethink of a new set of strategies, to compel the State for immediate intervention to address the issue.

Thanking You
With high regards,
On behalf of the tribunal
Human Rights Law Network (+91.98.1061.5811)
National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights(+91.93.5018.3849)

“An educated man without character and humility was more dangerous than a beast. If his education was detrimental to the welfare of poor, he was a curse to society”
-Babasaheb Dr B.R. Ambedkar,.Bharath Rathna.



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