Historic act: US congress passes resolution on Untouchability

24Jul07
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!

Sincerely,
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.

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Historic American Resolution

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One Response to “Historic act: US congress passes resolution on Untouchability”

  1. The concurrent resolution of the US Congress on the discrimination and un-touchability practiced in India is historic in single word. It should have, by now over a year, infused a sense of hope in the minds of millions who suffer the myriad caste abuses in their homeland inflicted by their own co-religionists on fictitious grounds propounded by scriptures of doubtful quality and integrity. The illiteracy of the masses is the most intractable problem for them even to know that US has passed a resolution by demonstrating great sense of concern and sympathy for their uplift. The Government of India has shown hitherto since the resolution no urgency, lot less determination, to act on the resolution for elimination of the bane of discrimination, caste abuses and inequality. These vices can be addressed and uprooted alone by education to one and all. That education has to be equitable and of quality for the dalits one line with their tormentors, who are upper caste Hindus, who want to perpetuate the social division and discrimination for self-gain.
    Even, we have not seen any American efforts, official and/or private, whatsoever, to reach out to the outcasts who are to liberated from social thraldom. Voices, in this behalf, should be raised and be visible too in US as well as in India.
    Else we see no wind of change as of now.
    I am keenly willing to join in such efforts.
    Dr. A. K. Biswas


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