Archive for the ‘Dalits’ Category


Dr Ambedkar submitting the first draft of the Indian constitution to Dr. Rajendra Prasad in February 1948

By Kancha Ilaiah*

The Constitution of India was adopted on January 26, 1950. The life of the Indian Constitution is 65 years. I am two years younger than the constitutional life of India. In other words my entire life has been spent under the modern democratic constitutional system of India. But there are several other living Indians who were born before India adopted the modern constitution and they lived through the British legal system and also under the Hindu Manudharma. During British rule the Manudharma was surviving in various ways, and the rules of caste inequality, untouchability and women’s oppression were part of Indian life. The British did not interfere, preferring to interpret these inequities as part of Hindu customary life. (more…)

Ambedkar House in London

Ambedkar House in London

By Santosh Dass MBE*

Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar remains a paramount champion for social reform both in India and beyond. In his Constitution, he far-sightedly incorporated principles of equality and human dignity by outlawing the perniciousness of Untouchablity which remains a scourge in India and the diaspora, Britain included. In it he framed a set of fundamental rights to equality, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and personal liberty. His work in the 1950s championing the liberation of women in India will continue to inspire people around the globe for generations.



The Nepalese delegation, during its visit to Ahmedabad

By Kanti Parmar*

While the discrimination of Dalits in Nepal is a well-known fact, it particularly became a topic of discussion in media more recently after the devastating earthquake shook Nepal in April 25, 2015. Soon after the earthquake, complaints began piling up, suggesting that Dalits communities, traditionally excluded and subjected to several forms of inhuman treatments due to caste-based stigma, suffered from extreme forms of the socio‐economic vulnerabilities in the distribution of relief and rehabilitation, carried out the government.

More recently, a study, titled “Waiting for Justice”, was released jointly by the Dalit Civil Society: Massive Earthquake Victim Support and Coordination Committee, Asian Dalit Rights Forum, National Dalit Watch, and the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, India. It said that, during 65 focus group discussions, held with the affected communities, more than 70 per cent of the respondents unanimously shared the view that, although the destruction of mud houses was massive, there was a willful negligence in providing evacuation services to severely-damaged houses of Dalits. (more…)

finance1United Nation’s Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) is taking place from July 13 to July 16, 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As an outcome of the second conference in May, a revised zero draft of FfD was circulated. At the civil society consultations at Addis Ababa on July 11-12, Paul Divakar, General Secretary of National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), ensured the following insertion into the civil society’s advanced draft submitted to the FfD: “Special measures are needed to address caste and analogous systems of inherited status that perpetuate exclusion and inequalities in the access to economic resources and the benefits of growth” (click HERE to read civil society draft).

A Wada Na Todo Abhiyan response to the FfD’s zero draft:  


dalit householdBy Rajiv Shah

The latest Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) released recently by the Government of India suggests what is by now a well-known fact, reiterated over and over again by different survey — that there are more landless among the Dalits (scheduled castes or SCs) and Adivasis (scheduled tribes or STs) in India’s rural areas than those identified as “Others”, consisting of upper caste Hindus, other backward castes (OBCs) and minorities. Coming to Gujarat, which is touted as a developed state, the charts below, prepared on the basis of the SECC data, further suggest,  there are more landless among the state’s Dalits in the rural areas  compared to most of the 21 major states selected for the sake of analysis. In fact, an analysis of the data suggests that there are 63.24 per cent Dalit landless households dependent on casual manual labour to earn livelihood, as against 35.62 per cent Adivasis and 35.04 per cent Others. The charts below are self-explanatory: (more…)

dalitBy N Paul Divakar and Durga Sob*

Dalits from all over Asia and Dalit Diaspora from all over the globe are demanding that caste-based discrimination should be recognized as the major discriminatory or exclusionary factor in development. Thus the importance of elimination of caste based exclusion should be included as one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals that are being negotiated in the UN, at its New York HQ. For the SDGs to be transformational to 260 million Dalits across the world. It is essential that the goals, targets and the Outcome document takes into account the current realities in many parts of the world and include caste and descent and work based discrimination. (more…)

south asiaA report released by UNICEF and UNESCO (click HERE to download) on out of school children in India has highlighted that Dalit girls have the highest primary school exclusion rate in India. The report also finds that half of the pre-school age Dalit children are not attending school. The report cites compounding factors such as ingrained social inequalities and poverty among Dalits, to be contributing to higher rates of exclusion. It states, “Humiliation, harassment and abuse by upper caste teachers towards children from Scheduled Castes have been shown to undermine their motivation to stay in school.”

Child labour is identified as a key hindrance to children attending school. It says, “According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), India has the highest number of working children in the world … Most of these children belong to the poorest, most marginalized communities, including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.” Another deterrent factor identified in the report is that discrimination in the labour market contributes to low labour market aspirations for Dalit children and therefore reduces the perceived benefits of schooling. (more…)