SOS e Clarion Of Dalit

November 15, 2007

dalit clarion issue.4

Filed under: dalit human rights — Tags: , , — Nagaraja M R @ 2:01 pm

DALIT’S CLARION – VOICE OF THE OPPRESSED

MONTHLY NEWSPAPER ON WEB

Editor : NAGARAJ.M.R. VOL.1 ISSUE.4 23rd JUNE 2006

EDITORIAL : PRACTICE OF UNTOUCHABILITY BY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN
INDIA
– VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS OF DALITS

In india , rich people belonging to forward castes
form educational trusts , proclaiming that they want to serve the
society by providing education to all irrespective of caste or creed.
By this declaration they get Civic Amenity sites from government
authorities at concessional rates. Further they get tax , duty
exemptions on materials , machines they import for the educational
institution. However , while admitting students they are purely
commercial minded , the highest bidder gets the seats.
IF AT ALL THE SOLE AIM OF THESE INSTITUTIONS IS
COMMERCIAL – LET THEM BE REGISTERED AS COMMERCIAL BODIES , ASK THEM TO
GET SITES AT COMMERCIAL MARKET RATES , ASK THEM TO PAY TAXES ON
MATERIALS , MACHINES & THEIR YEARLY INCOME. ENFORCE MINIMUM WAGES ACT
, GRATUITIES ACT , P.F & ESI ACT TO THESE INSTITUTIONS WHO ARE PAYING
A PITTANCE TO THEIR STAFF.
Some institutions like industrial training
institutes ( I.T.I) , polytechnics , engineering colleges & medical
colleges run by trusts floated by forward castes lack basic
infrastructure , to teach students properly , they only appoint staff
belonging to thier castes. Dalits , minorities , weaker section
people are not at all selected. They don’t publicly advertise for
vacancies. They fill all posts with thier own caste people & finally
even get government grant in aid. How ? These institutions are getting
affiliations , yearly approvals form the government , how ? actually
they should have been shut.
These trusts want government backing for tax
exemptions , lands at concessional rates ,monetary benefits , etc ,
however the same trusts are not willing to implement the social
welfare objectives of the government , by providing seats to weaker
sections , by providing appointments to dalits few posts in all
category of positions ( not just group D – dalits are also brilliant
& capable of performing all jobs, they have proved it ).
Hereby , we urge honourable prime minister of india ,
government of india & honourable chief minister of karnataka ,
government of karnataka to :

1. before giving lands at concessional rate , tax exemptions , to any
educational trusts the government must ensure that the trust must
adhere to the social welfare norms of the government from day one.
2. Before giving affiliations to educational institutions the govt
must ensure , are the institutions are providing sufficient
infrastructure to students ?
3. Before giving grant in aid to any institution , the government must
ensure have the management provided jobs to dalits , minorities , etc
as per norms from the day one . if not grant in aid should be
rejected. Here there is no meaning in giving reservation of jobs in
future appointments in those institutions , as all the posts are
presently filled with forward castes , there is no expansion projects.
So , dalits have to wait for another 30-40 years to get the vacancies
in those institutions after the retirement of forward caste employees
, which is not at all practical or realistic .
4. In karnataka state , numerous Industrial Training Institutes ( ITI)
have mushroomed , some don’t even have basic infrastructure. Still
they are running the show , how ? these ITIs run by forward caste
people have appointed only their caste people to all posts , not even
a single dalit is there. Still they have got government grant in aid ,
how ? we urge honourable chief minister of karnataka , to look into
this & in future to provide grant in aid in aid to only those I.T.Is
which have proper infrastructure & dalits , weaker section employees
on their pay-rolls.
5. To order all educational institutions to make public announcement
of vacancies in their institutions even though not covered under
grant in aid , as they have already taken sufficient monetary
benefits from the government.
6. To order all educational institutions , to admit students as per
government rates of fees. Some institutions are fleecing higher fees
from the students , but are giving receipts for lesser amount only.
7. If any educational institutions don’t agree with the government
norms , those institutions must be asked to be registered as
commercial bodies , no tax exemptions , lands at concessional rates ,
allotment of CA sites should be given to them by the government.

By these measures alone poor & weaker
section people will get justice . you are aware of merited but poor
students committing suicides year after year , CET fiasco – due to
their financial inability to join medical or engineering colleges.
Numerous similar cases are there with regard to admission to ITIs .
polytechnics. The greed & casteism of these educational institutions
is reigning high. In the positive hope that you will be kind enough to
put an end to this menace. Jai hind. Vande mataram. Thanking you.

Your’s sincerely,
Nagaraj.M.R.

Racism And Castiesm

“Racism and Castiesm discussed at the World Peace Forum” By Jai Birdi
Chair, Ending Racism Casteism Working Group for World Peace Forum and
Indira Prahst, Race and Ethnic Relations Instructor, Department of
Sociology, Langara College.

The World Peace Forum held recently at the University of British
Columbia in Vancouver provided an excellent opportunity to not only
raise and debate issues related to peace and social justice, but it
also provided a medium for diverse groups to come together, network,
find common grounds and build bridges for achieving greater equality.
One of the key plenary for the forum that attracted speakers and
delegates from all diverse backgrounds was on ending racism and
casteism not only on the Indian sub-continent, but also in countries
outside of India. Examples of such discriminatory practices within the
groups was highlighted by Judy Hanazawa who spoke about the practice
of casteism in Japan and the Burakumin people; by Yogesh Verhade of
the Ambedkar Center for Justice and Peace and Rajesh Angral of
National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights spoke about the caste-based
discrimination and Moussa Magassa of Africa working group spoke about
Africa.

Among some of the issues raised was how India continues to function as
a “democracy of a few, for a few, by a few”. A variety of cases were
presented to illustrate that India has done little to abolish human
rights issues. Article one on the elimination of discrimination based
on sex, religion, casteism and Article 45 where up to the age 14 every
child has a right to education have not been fully implemented. Also
discussed was the urgent need to stop the process of becoming a
“Devadasi” (sex worker) which is still prevalent as a profession and
continues to be “sanctioned” by religion. This practice robs girls
from leading future lives in dignity and has serious health
implications: reproductive track infections, sexually transmitted
diseases and some reports cite that 78% of women go through frequent
abortions or give birth to children who too will undergo the same
deplorable cycle as their mothers- facts which are often silenced.
Some disturbing figures of prostitution cited were: 10 million in
Bombay, 9 million in Calcutta, 7 million in Delhi and 3 million in
Agra. According to a World Bank report for 2005-2006, India has half
of the world’s child labour victims which represent one of the
seediest aspects of global stratification. These figures which are
reported in the mainstream media are presented without its proper
context of “human commodification”. The consequence of this is
“compassion fatigue” where we cast a blind eye and turn to the next
page. But the harsh conditions MUST be exposed to remind people of
these fierce violations of human rights to motivate more people to act
NOW not in the next Millennium! One of the speakers pointed out that
“the people in India are looking for a REAL democracy not a society in
which children and the impoverished continue to lose their rights to
be human”. By year 2015 the United Nations member’s states have
“pledged to meet the development goals”.

Other discussions brought awareness around the institutional
discrimination that exists in Canada in the policy on the Old Age
Pension program of Canada which benefits seniors migrating from the
European countries and discriminates against seniors from Asian and
other lower income countries that have to wait for ten years before
they are entitled to receive the benefit. The presentations on the
Chinese Head Tax, the Japanese Internship and the Komagata Maru
incident focused on the effect these institutional practices had on
the survivors and their descendents. Jas Toor (whose grandfather Mr
Puran Singh Janetpura was one of the passengers who was imprisoned
upon arrival in India from the Komagata Maru) and Jasminder Ghuman
also a descent from the families of the Komatamaru exposed some of the
facts involving the Komagata Maru tragedy of 1914. “Under the guns of
HMSC Rainbow, the Komagata Maru ship was forced to leave Canada and
all the passengers except the returning passengers were sent to the
torturous journey back to India by the Canadian government”. Toor
claims that this tragedy has been the “direct result of the
exclusionist racist immigration policy of the Canadian government of
that time, which contradicts the Canadian values that Canada proudly
portraits and champions globally today”. In a recent telephone
interview, Toor firmly said that “we are hopeful to receive a formal
apology from the government and redressing the situation to open
dialogue with the victims families and the community and to find out
from the community what they want in their memory be it in the form of
a monument and/ or part of the education curriculum “.This Canadian
immigration policy no doubt is a disturbing example of “racial
doctrines” and racist immigration in action where the
“Indo-Pakistanis” at the time were viewed as a threat to the Canadian
value system.
Other discussions focussed on “racial profiling” and exposure around
various forms of discrimination towards immigrants from the Middle
East and Asian on both personal and institutional levels as a result
of current global threats and acts of terrorism. It is here where the
introduction to Paul Dhillon’s upcoming film, My Sweet Amerika,
provided excellent visual stimuli to the aftermath of 9-11 where
Muslim and Sikhs were targeted for the crimes that they were not even
a part of. In a recent follow-up discussion with Dhillion about his
film he said, “the film adds to the whole subject of discrimination
and about the anti-immigrant feelings following 9/11. At the opening
of the film there is a dialogue about violence between a Muslim
newspaper publisher in conversation with the main character a Sikh
grocery person Bobby Singh. There is also direct reference to The Air
India Bombing when one of the characters says “your Sikh brothers have
also used violence in the past”. Dhillon says that “this dialogue
exposes some of serious issues we are facing in the world today
especially when violence is used for a religious or political cause
resulting in the religion getting tainted with that violence even
though it has nothing to do with it. Therefore, my goal was to also
bring out this Sikh man’s voice who denounces violence and who lives
by the spirit of Sikh faith”. The film is current and very relevant in
the geopolitical context of today following the recent Toronto arrests
of threats of terrorism. On that note, Dhillon makes an interesting
observation and says “the problem in Canada is that an outside look
has now been brought in and has more application since it has become
local”. The film “My Sweet Amerika” shows how stereotypes can
reinforce existing perspectives about cultural and religious groups
and the cumulative effect such errors in perception can have in
producing real consequences. This is a very effective means to convey
messages and spark dialogue about the subject of discrimination- an
upcoming film about anti-racism that is sure to be thought provoking.

The evening session of the plenary unfolded with a dinner sponsored by
Radio India and Guru Ravidass Sabha followed by showcasing casteism
and racism through the Cultural Arts: poems, songs, drums, and a short
play by the following individuals or groups: drums were played by
Steveston Youth Group; songs were sung by Ameena Mayer and Kamlesh
Ahir; poems were read by Sadhu Binning, Kagan Goh, Charlene Sayo, and
Alnoor Gova, and Imtiaz Popat. Ajmer Rode’s play Rebirth of Gandhi (a
short version) was played by Mark Embacher and Gurcharan Dhua. A
special surprise guest was the dynamic and humorous Anita Majumdar
performing a piece of her upcoming performance in July called “Fish
Eyes”. Upon asking her what message she wanted to convey through her
performance she said” I believe the message of my Fish Eyes
performance at the Forum was to illustrate the misconceptions we as
individuals have about one another based on skin colour. We see this
through the character of “Kalyani Aunty”, an older woman belonging to
“race” with brown skin and an Indian accent, but when you get to know
her, you see she’s a living, breathing individual who exists beyond
the confines of her stereotype”. In moving towards solutions to issues
of racism Anita says ” I think acknowledgement is a major step to
tackling racism”.

The forum was concluded with the recognition that we have more in
common than our differences and the need to continue to forge bonds
with diverse communities. Overall here was consensus that racism can
only be resolved by attacking at its source on the evel of the mind,
values and institutionally. This led to the passing of seven
resolutions so we can move forward towards a concrete action plan for
greater justice:

1. We reject systems of discrimination based on hate including racism
and casteism .

2. We advocate for a just redress for the Chinese Head tax and the
Komagata Maru.

3. In the post 9-11 climate, we strive for justice and civil liberties
for immigrants and refugees

4. We resolve to break the cycle of fear, ignorance, and internalized
racism and casteism that are reproduced by systemic and
institutionalized racism

5. We resolve to advocate for equal access to services such as health
care and pensions (Old Age Pension for all Canadians regardless of
race or what the country the senior has migrated from.

6. We advocate for greater monitoring of media, the music, and the
popular culture to ensure that the content to any cultural, racial, or
caste group is not derogatory and does not harm the dignity of
marginalized groups.

7. We resolve to build on the dialogue that is started at the plenary
and further develop strategies by organizing a national or
international forum focused on racial and internalized discrimination.

edited , printed , published & owned by NAGARAJ.M.R. @ : LIG-2 / 761 ,
HUDCO FIRST STAGE , OPP WATER WORKS OFFICE , LAKSHMIKANTANAGAR ,
HEBBAL , MYSORE – 570017 INDIA
cell : 9341820313 e-mail : nagarajhrw@hotmail.com , naghrw@yahoo.com
a member of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDIA

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