Open Letter to President Barack Obama : An appeal to pursue during Indian Prime Minister’s visit


November 21, 2009

The Honorable Barack Obama,
President of the United States,
The White House,
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President,

First of all thank you for committing  to an  open and all  accessible administration structure in the history of America that has far-reaching  consequences in different parts of the globe wherever democratic  dysfunctionalities exist.  With this letter, we expect your enlightened interest in restoring, qualitatively, the human rights for Dalits  in forthcoming  US-India bilateral dialogues.

World sets into a hope for more peaceful world in times when you were honored with Nobel Peace Prize. Part of globe, especially, Indian sub-continent,  is still locked in malignant social suffering zone that delivers huge economic subjugation for 250 million Dalits.   Dalits are suffering since 3000 years due to evil Hindu caste based hierarchical social system.  By any scale,  they would form the fifth largest ‘Nation -body’ in the world, such is the magnitude of the injustice!

Leaving aside  the unaccounted incidences of apartheid crime in India, the Indian Government reports themselves (Crime in India) summarise the picture as followes
“Every hour two Dalits are assaulted,
Every day three Dalit women are raped,
Every day two Dalits are murdered 
& two Dalit houses are burnt in India.”

During modern times, the realm of social activism for uprooting caste system was intiated by  the most prominent civil rights leader in India, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar (the chief architect of Indian Constitution). It is worth noting that he had several communications with  WEB Du bois and many other world leaders to stand against the ghost of prejudices mainly against Blacks, Jews,  Dalits and minorities. Despite his hardships his fellowmen, Dalits, still remain at bay in social progression in 21st century.

On behalf of Dalit Community, we earnestly request you to address the issues of Dalit human rights violations in India. Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh will be the first leader to receive a ‘State Wellcome ‘at White House after you sworn in as President.  Recently Dr. Manmohan Singh has drawn a parallel between racial apartheid and untouchability in India. He also reiterated in emotional tone this “unique discrimination is a blot on humanity”.  However, State policy commitments of Indian Governments remained far off from actualising the promises and sentiments echoed by Dr. Singh.  Dalit stock is only seen as a political wedge and an emotinal scapegoat that can not rely successive Emotional Governments  to better its socio-economic and political conditions unless international body enforces rational indicators for Dalit betterment.  This is for all  inclusive development of the world where communities  seek equitable participation, there is less political about it.

USA has proud history of fighting against the racism and apartheid, and also shown commitment to fight similar human rights violation elsewhere in the world. India and also many other countries are proud of India for its largest democracy in the world, however in-spite of laws and speeches by leaders the situations of  Dalit/untouchables substantially remained unaltered after the 60 years of independent democracy.

While you dialogue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the White House on the issues of economic cooperation, science-technology partnership, we also expect that you will take this opportunity to directly communicate your concerns about human rights violations of Dalits in India.

We all appeal  with a deep sense of gratitude and fraternity that you to have a dialogue with Dr. Singh on possible steps to be taken on substantive improvements in the lives of “ex-untouchables” who are most vulnerable to indignity, hatred, hunger deaths, and human rights violations.



What Dalit humanity expect from US to show their commitment to follow their promises

  • Engaging US delegation in India to support for common cause of equality and justice and if there is violation of human rights of Dalit they should jointly take up stands and do act against ‘untouchability’ and caste related human rights violations.
  • The US House con. Resolution no. 139 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, World Bank, 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.
  • Support for non-discriminatory policies towards ‘Dalits’ or ‘untouchables’ at international human rights and development institutions and agencies.
  • Encouraging US corporate in India to introduce non-discriminatory and equal opportunity policies for Dalits.
  • Push for Indian governments’ better performance on US annual reports on Human Rights, Freedom to Religion and most important Trafficking in Person (India is put at Tier II watch list for many years) specifically address the issue of untouchability as major cause of trafficking, and human rights violations.
  • TIP-2007 Report. Pg. 213 “There is a group of people in India numbering about 250 million that has been oppressed for 3000 years. These people, the dalits, who are traditionally knows as “outcastes” or “untouchables,” are barred from many activities and economic opportunities, and often end up in slave-like bonded labor. They are even forced to drink water from disposable clay cups and separate wells so that no upper caste person will risk contamination by a Dalit’s uncleanliness.”
  • According to a 2005 ILO report-“Caste and Slavery in South Asia”- the overwhelming majority of bonded laborers in India are from the lower castes/Dalits (Cited in TIP 2006 Report)
  • If your joint press conference reaffirm US-India commitment against untouchability in South Asia, such a joint declaration will send a strong signal to the world community to stand up to remove this blot on humanity and encourage to take substantial actions on abolition of untouchability.

Thank you so much !

Yours Sincerely,

All the members of  Ambedkar International Mission, USA
Ambedkar Association of North America, USA




What you can do-à
1.  Please  try putting comments/opinions on various blogs like Atrocitynews and also think put your comments on . You can mention the above link while putting up the comment.
2. Fax the letter to White house on your organization letter head -FAX: 202-456-2461

  What else you can also do is
a.  you may put messages or same page to as many congressman in USA as possible ex. Hilary Clinton, etc may write to various blogs,facebook, myspace and various groups those are supportive to Dalit cause . Comment on YouTube with Slideshare ,simultaneously, organizations can endorse this appeal and fax it to the Whitehouse.

29 Responses to “Open Letter to President Barack Obama : An appeal to pursue during Indian Prime Minister’s visit”

  1. 1 vikas

    President Obama must confirm to the promises USA made. I hope they will issue a joint declaration mentioning steps to be taken on abolition of Untouchability

  2. It is a need of the hour to bring international attention to the atrocities caused to the Dalits in India, which is the greatest human rights violation issue as also rightly identified by United Nations. It is similar to apartheid and we need collective efforts to abolish it. Caste System inherent to Hindu religion is a poison which spoils the international community wherever it reaches and the world as a whole.

  3. 3 Pardeep Attri

    It is shameful that even after 3000 years Dalits of India are suffering. People those believe in human dignity and equal rights from all over the world should come forward to remove practices like casteism and social segregation.

  4. 4 Adv. Rahul Gade

    Dear Mr. President Sir,

    The world looks up to USA especially after electing its 1st Black President. And now there is every reason to be proud of the constitution of USA which states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”

    Now is the time for the US President to address the issue of millions of Dalits suffering in India with no recourse to justice against the atrocities committed daily on them by the Upper Caste Hindus. The fundamental rights provided by the Indian Constitution similar to the USA constitution lacks the will of the Indian Government consisting of the Upper caste Hindus to be self evident. What is more horrifying is the fact that the Judiciary too lacks the will to protect the unalienable rights of the Dalits for life, liberty and equality. The Caste discrimination has infiltrated at every level unabated due to the hierarchy of the Upper Caste people ruling over every department of justice administration and implementation.

    For 1st time in history of Independent India, an acting Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh voiced the concern for suffering Dalits. Its very shameful that India who prides in its largest democracy and past great leaders had miserably failed to address the human rights violation of millions of Dalits for so long. The Indian intellectuals deliberately avoids the issue of Caste Untouchability or admit it openly at any national or international forum.

    Now the time is ripe for the US President Mr. Obama to address the Caste discrimination suffered by Dalits in India and make a Joint Statement with the Indian Prime Minster Dr. Manmohan Singh condemning the inhuman Caste practice prevalent in India. It would certainly justify the Noble Peace Prize honor bestowed on Mr. President at least in the eyes of 250 millions of Dalits in India.

    Pertinent to remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

  5. 5 Dr.laxmi N. Berwa, M.D., F.A.C.P,

    The Apartheid in South Africa is abolished but it continue to be a way of life in India for the “Untouchables/ Dalits of India for more than 3000 years in the name of religion/culture/ tradition, persecuting more than 250 million in the entire Soth Asia including the countries like Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.Inspite of the laws on the books to prevent the harsh persecution of Dalits, there does not seems to be a WILL on the part of the nation to address the multitudes of sufferings of dalits in that part of the world.Even International agencies like U.N Commission on Human Rights has express grave concern on this very subject but the Indian government and state governments have turned deaf ears.
    Thus, I ,personally and on behalf of the millions of dalits of entire South Asia , appeal to you Mr. President Obama to take this opportunity to discuss with the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh the issue of Indian Apartheid of which he himself has mentioned in one of his speeches in India.But making a speech in one thing and taking a stern action is another.America has been the leader in civil rights movement and a great role model for the rest of the world on Human Rights issue.
    Therefore Mr.President, I appeal to you NOT to miss this great opportunity to discuss the Dalit issue with the Indian prime Minister in a substantative manner, not merely a photo op.You are the next best hope the oppressed humanity.

  6. 6 Swati Chahande

    The Current atrocities going around the world especially in Afganistan, Iraq, Africa has been more highlighted by international media and United Nation Watch Dog.
    But the focus on atrocities against dalits in India from last 3000 years had never been brought forward by United Nation, which is based on Caste discrimination and it is always hidden by Local media in India.
    It’s still in Process by UN to recognise caste-based discrimination as a human rights violation for which Indian government has always opposing from last few decades.
    Caste based discrimination impacts the Dalits in Jobs, School, colleges, Justice, health benefits, basic needs and many more…
    Our Request to Nobel prize winner U.S. President Mr Barack Obama is to address the caste based discrimation suffered by millions of Dalits in India and Condemning the inhuman caste practice prevalent in India.

  7. 7 Lalit Khandare

    President Obama must take stand to confirm with US policies and voice out to protect the rights of “untouchable” masses in India.

  8. 8 Hanumant Chavan, Student

    Dear President Sir,

    Attrocites caused to Dalits in India is the worst form of terrorism on the earth where by millions of Dalits are made the victims of social isolation, emotional and physical torture, under the name of religion by Hindu Upper castes. Indian Government has constantly neglected their responsibility to understand the magnitude of the problem and to take the corrective measures that will bring to an end 3000 yrs of Untouchability.

  9. 9 swapnil moon

    Dalits are the most vulnerable people in Indian society. However, many people are aware about this fact but no one is willing to lead them on the path of liberation(except few people). Still dalits are trying to survive in the hell of the caste system, which is created by so called upper caste people in the Indian society. The monster like caste system has been creating problems for Dalits for their, social, political and economical development.
    There are many people who are facing racial, regional and cultural discrimination around the world which is harmful for the development of the people.
    This would be the great opportunity for the president obama to address the caste discrimination in the Indian society. I appreciate Mr. Obama because he is fighting for the cause of discrimination, and there are rare who devote their life for others.

  10. 10 ANUP VIMAL

    I would like request to the honorable Barak Obama to pay the attention on the caste atrocities in india . it is a inhuman practice which we cant find in the rest of the world but it is practices in india . the dalits has been facing last 3000 years ago becuse they are fighting agasist the caste sytem and hindu religion so thats what they are victimes of this inhuman and most discriminated religion in the world . indian villages are the home of the discrimation not the repubilic which said by Gandhi because they dont any place in india.
    the religion made them untouchable expect the Buddhism . th eanimals are the gods for the indians but not the dalits . they gives waters to animal but not to the dalit . you will not find this kind of discriminition anywhere in the world . today many religous groups prapogates the hindu religion in western but people from other contries dont the know the reality of this religion . here religion , politis , ecomony , market , universites are controlled by the upper caste in india .
    in rural area dalit not getting basic amenities like water , sanitation and primary education . dalits children are malnutriate and studying in varnacular school , but not provide the modern education .
    the foreigners had tried to finished this discrmination but made some littel changes in india . we the dalits has many hopes from America .


  11. 11 Shailaja Paik, PhD

    President Obama, the leader of a powerful and leading nation should discuss Human Right violations of Dalits on a day-to-day basis. These atrocities are committed every day and in many forms–physical, psychological, and symbolic. We request Mr. President to take this opportunity to discuss and if possible demand strict actions against caste discrimination in India which has spread like cancer to other parts of the world too.


    I dont think the US President have that much of power to interfear into any country about a matter relate to civil matter ie atrocity upon the Dalits in India. The US president can start a war by using military action against any country, but he can not interfear into a civil matter. It will be very dificult to him to solve the civil matter of all country in the world. This is the fact which can not be ignored. He is responsible only for US not for the world. He will not interfear until and unless develop a threat to US.

    1)Any Atrocity on dalits in india is a any threat to US ?

    This is the problum of India, and this can be solved by the Government of India, for the people of India,

    2)The Indian Government is not serious to solved the problum of Dalits. If they are serious, no body dare to promote Atrocity on dalits, which we are facing since last 52 years after independent of India.

    3)US president knows very well abut Atrocity upon Dalits in India, If he is serious, he can take the necessary steps much earlier. But this is the politics. See and forgate OR he is not in a position to interfear in the matter which is pertains to that country may be atrocity upon on Dalits. We are knowking wrong Dore. Do you think US president does not know about KHAIRANJI incident if yes then your are wrong. KHAIRANLANJI incident flash world wide. Just any body can able to tale what action has been taken by the US President, not even US President but No one leader who is represented to the world react on the KHAIRANJALI issue. I think know one.

    It is better, all the prominent person approch the Supreem Court of India directly under Artical 32, any High Court under Artical 226 and bring the Government of India before the court of Law, who is the right authoirty to interprite the constitution. Only Suprem court can compailed the Indian Governemt to follow the constitution of India. Our constitution who is drafted by father of the constitution Dr. BR Ambedkar who inserted the several clause to protect Dalits.

    Please file Public Interest litigation in the supreme court by the each and every organisation of the those society who claimed welwisher of the Dalit soiciety. Just think if every body start filing PIL into the supreme court. The Supreme court will issue notices to the Union Government, and in this situation the Government of India will compel to act to protect the Dalit. It is in the hand of People of India. The answer is within India, not inthe other country. This is my view…

  13. Caste system is worse than slavery, apartheid, or holocaust, (not to undermine any of them) if studied in depth and understand in right perspective. Dalits (ex-untouchables) are the most discriminated people of among all discriminated in the world. They have been subjected to this discrimination for more than 3,000 years for no fault of theirs except being born in a particular community. Atrocities committed on them are innumerous to count and various in form. Not even children, women, elderly are spared while committing these crimes on them by other so-called upper or middle castes. In almost all cases, government officers, politicians, police, and judiciary side with the perpetuators rather than the victims. In such a situation Dalits have no option but to blame their Karma (a deceitful theory to created to deceive the sufferers). Many tried to change their situation and failed. But for Dr Ambedkar, their savior, situation would have been much worse for them.
    Their situation is no better for them even in current day economically prosperous times of India. They lack proper education and economical opportunities while other are becoming more prosperous to keep them under clutches. Number of billionaires are doubling every year pushing Indian GDP to higher and higher every year giving an impression that all Indians are progressing in the present day India.
    Tragically this evil discrimination is being transported even to western countries where Indians are significant, if we follow the news articles around the world.
    International community is interested in studying every other form of discrimination in the world, but find no interest in the centuries old sufferings of Dalits. Sometimes, I wonder why they are silent about this issue? Is it due to lack of knowledge or fear of antagonizing India? Is it due to the self interested coterie they surrounded with or genuine ignorance?
    India is in forefront in all forms of discrimination in the world, but when it comes to its own backyard, it either keep quite or try to scuttle all efforts of those who raise caste issue at international level saying that it is an internal matter.
    How can anyone ignore when 260 millions of Dalits are being ill-treated every day? Is it not a blot on the entire humanity? Is it not concern for international community? It is not the responsibility of every international leader to study its nature and machinations?
    As a leader of the most powerful country in the world, I hope, president Mr Obama shows little concern about these helpless people that are being kicked from all sides in India – perpetuators, politicians, police, and judiciary. I know he is knowledgeable in the matters of India and a lover of India. At the same time, I hope, he finds time to know about these people and their problems and help to ease their pain while talking to Indian diplomats and through policy decisions.

    I wish president Obama takes his HOPE slogan to the doorsteps of DALITS as well. Let us see.


  14. Hi,
    I like this article but..
    Can someone tell me about Barack Obama?
    I know that he is a serious candidate for ’08, but I would like to know where he stands on the issues. I checked his site but nowhere can I find the info. i am looking for.
    so please tell me…

  15. Neither possible that Barack Obama could lack stand against uncivilised attitude of Castiest Groups who raise funds on US soil to spread the tentacles of caste based Institutions in the name of HINDU religion. Nor United State Of America afford to remain oblivious to the prejudices against Dalits. This is about will of the Statesman!

    If Dr Ambedkar alone could intiate project for equality in an India where he is still hated by Elite Hindu lot, Dr King could garner the support from masses despite opposition from the KKK, Malcom X could stand up for equal treatment till his death, why can’t Barack Obama root Civic sense of Equal opportunity among world democracies! It needs a small advice to Congress!

    Yes He can!
    If he can’t, who else?

  16. 16 Felix Elango Stanislaus

    Dear Mr. President,

    According to the law Untouchability is abolished, but the truth remains the same. The attrocities on Dalits and Tribals in India still continues. Tey are discriminated in work place, churches, temples and other public places too. Though the constitution ensures the right of the individuals, still the Dalits and Tribals are not given their due. there is no doubt about india’s growth but whose is the issue. We would requset you to take this matter seriously and ensure that the indian government acts upon abolishing caste system in Inida as USA did with Racism

  17. The Dalits, also called the “untouchables,” “outcastes,” and most recently “slumdogs,” comprise nearly one quarter of India’s society, with population estimates of 250 million people.

    Mr. President,
    The term “Dalit” means “those who have been broken and ground down deliberately by those above them in the social hierarchy.” Dalits live at risk of discrimination, dehumanization, violence, and enslavement through human trafficking every day.

    By all global research and reports, the Dalits constitute the largest number of people categorized as victims of modern-day slavery.
    While the caste system has been abolished under the Indian Constitution, there is still discrimination against Dalits in India. Since Indian independence, there is not much steps are taken to provide opportunities in jobs and education

    Mr. President , we need your help to raise this issue with Indian president to give some chance to look into Dalit issues in India.

  18. 18 sachin

    I doubt that how much this letter will attract the attention of honourable Mr. Obama
    But still we should show our unity that Dr. Babasaheb told us.
    But other thing we should not forget that Dr. babasaheb Ambedkar told us that we ourself has to uplift our lives no one will come.
    As all of us are well aware about the system of India and history as well.
    Therefore, I doubt that how much this system will allow honourable Mr Obama to interfere in our issue cast discrimination which is worst and worst then any other discrimination of the world and Hon. president of US as well must know it.
    but we can only hope and send him appeal and look forward what to see what are their action plane an how it will execute.

    We know he can do it but Indian system won’t allow.
    Thank you.

  19. Leaders like Mahatma Phule and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in Maharashtra, who brought forth the issues of Dalits through their works and writings. Dalits are still discriminated against in all aspect of life in India’s 650,000 villages, despite laws specifically outlawing such acts.
    Dalits are the victims of economic embargos, denial of basic human rights such as access to drinking water, use of public facilities and education and even entry to Hindu temples.
    We request Mr. President to take this opportunity to discuss and if possible demand strict actions against caste discrimination in India.

  20. 20 Surendra Wankhede

    Just ask : What will he do if he gets treatment like animal even though he born as human ? Will he try change the life of original Indians SC/ST of India ? Or …….

  21. 21 Sandip Patil

    Due to caste based discrimination in India the Dalits are not allowed to drink water from the same wells, they are not allowed to attend the same temples, wear shoes in the presence of an upper caste, or drink from the same cups in tea stalls. They parade naked, beaten and raped as a part of punishment by upper-caste Hindus. Even in some area by walking nearby region of upper-caste is life-threatening for him.

    Every hour two Dalits are assaulted, every day three Dalit women are raped, two Dalits are murdered, and two Dalit homes are torched.

    Indian government support this act as they think that it is based on the religious teachings of Hinduism.
    There have been large-scale abuses by the police, acting in collusion with upper castes, including raids, beatings in custody, failure to charge offenders or investigate reported crimes

    In some cases upper castes people parade Dalits naked through the streets, force them to eat feces, take away their land, foul their water, interfere with their right to vote, and burn down their homes.

    Hindus believe a person is born into one of four castes based on karma and “purity”- how he or she lived their past lives. Those born as Brahmans are priests and teachers; Kshatriyas are rulers and soldiers; Vaisyas are merchants and traders; and Sudras are laborers. Within the four castes, there are thousands of sub-castes, defined by profession, region, dialect, and other factors.

    Untouchables are literally outcastes; a fifth group that is so unworthy it doesn’t fall within the caste system.

    Although based on religious principles practiced for some 1,500 years, the system persists today for economic as much as religious reasons.

    Untouchables perform jobs that are traditionally considered “unclean” or exceedingly menial, and for very little pay. One million Dalits work as manual scavengers, cleaning latrines and sewers by hand and clearing away dead animals. Millions more are agricultural workers trapped in an inescapable cycle of extreme poverty, illiteracy, and oppression. The 90% Dalits are very poor and illiterate in India.

    Dalit women are frequently raped or beaten. Thousands of pre-teen Dalit girls are forced into prostitution under cover of a religious practice known as devadasis, which means “female servant of god.” The girls are dedicated or “married” to a deity or a temple.

    In some area groups of Hindu people have conducted raids on villages, burning homes, raping, and massacring the Dalit people.

    We are requesting to Mr. President to look into this matter. This is against Human Rights.

    Thank You

  22. 22 Kamlesh

    Dear President,

    Please do take efforts and remove the farce of Congress,Gandhi and RSS. Please suggest Indian Prime Minister to take strong steps to protect civil rights of Dalits who are suffering at the cost Hindu pride. Otherwise history will not forgive peacemakers of today !

    • 23 Sameer Ujwala Vishram

      The caste system rooted in India in every mind of Indian. Hence, Dalits of India still suffering from the caste discrimination at every level. They are victims of Indian politics. Indian Government does not have strong education policy for Dalits. They do not have sufficient representation in Bureaucracy and politics. The Indian Government is not willing to implement “Scheduled Caste Sub Plan” effectively hence Dalits are deprived from the such benefits of Government. Indian Government does not have proper Government System to implement such schemes for Dalits. Please suggest Indian Prime Minister to take strong steps towards forming strong policies for Dalits in education and implement those effectively.

  23. 24 Milind

    Dear Sir,

    We are from that community which is debarred from society since thousands of years.
    At present we have constitutional equality but still social equality is far away. Still there are some people statying inside the village , some outskirts of villages and they dont have rights to enter and some more people are still staying forest in premitive style.

    Here people of upper caste still extensively trying to find our roots, means from which caste we are belonging. After they used diffrent technique to punish us.
    like they are are not denying our rights but at the same time time they dont give us.

    We know atleat you can listen us, because we really fill you are brother for us who can atleast listen. We want to raise this topic in United Nations but nobody is listening to us.

    During India’s prime minister Mr. Manmohan Singh please raise this point and help us to create world of peace, rational thinking, democratic.


    • 25 Mohinder Mahi

      Dear President,
      Dalits are suffering from Hindus cruelty and massive crime. Please raise this point to PM Mr. Singh.

  24. 26 Sun Rise

    Dear President Sir,

    In India, Caste based discrimination and ATROCITIES on DALITS by so called upper caste Hindu people are still exist that too in 21st Century.

    Please discuss on this with Prime-Minister of India.

  25. 27 Kumarpushp

    To, Mr President, Please help the dalits who are being raped ,killed ,their houses are being burnt by hindus and their hindu led government .dalits are slaves in India please libtate the dalits from holocaust.Please force the hindu led government in India to give seprate electorate and seprate settlement for dalits so they can stay away from barbaric hindus.

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