Skip to main content

Why is there no reservation for Dalit Muslims, Christians, wonders US State Dept's India Human Rights report

By Our Representative
Ignoring Government of India taking strong exception to a United Nations (UN) special rapporteur (SR) report on caste-based discrimination, the United States (US) State Department’s “India 2015 Human Rights Report” has gone ahead and noted “significant discrimination against Dalits in access to services, such as health care, education, temple attendance, and marriage.”
Released two days ago, even as referring to numerous cases of caste-based violence against Dalits in India, the US report has pointed towards a new discrimination: It says, though “some Christians and Muslims were identified as Dalits”, the Government of India has preferred to limit “reservations for Dalits to Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains.”
India’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, Ajit Kumar had reportedly described the UN special rapporteur’s report “a breach of the SR’s mandate”. Rita Izs├ík-Ndiaye’s report came as a surprise to Government of India: It was released amidst heightened political tension over the suicide of Hyderabad University Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula.
Kumar especially said that the justification of “minority-like characteristics” in SR’s report was not convincing, as it could cover almost every group in society.
The new US report says, although the law protects Dalits, those among them “who asserted their rights were often victims of attacks, especially in rural areas”, adding, “Most bonded laborers were Dalits. Dalits reportedly often worked without monetary remuneration.”
Referring to “systematic abuse of Dalits, including extrajudicial killings and sexual violence against Dalit women”, the report says, “Crimes committed against Dalits often went unpunished, either because authorities failed to prosecute perpetrators or because victims did not report crimes due to fear of retaliation.”
It refers to what it calls “widespread discrimination, including prohibiting Dalits from walking on public pathways, wearing footwear, accessing water from public taps in upper-caste neighborhoods, participating in some temple festivals, bathing in public pools, or using certain cremation grounds.”
It says, “Dalit students were sometimes denied admission to certain schools because of their... There were reports that school officials barred Dalit children from morning prayers, asked Dalit children to sit in the back of the class, or forced them to clean school toilets while denying them access to the same facilities.”
“There were also reports that teachers refused to correct the homework of Dalit children, refused to provide midday meals to Dalit children, and asked Dalit children to sit separately from children of upper-caste families”, the US report adds.
Especially referring to manual scavenging forced upon Valmiki Dalits, the report states, “The removal of animal or human waste by Dalits continued in spite of its legal prohibition” continues. It adds “Elected village councils employed a majority of manual scavengers and belonged to Other Backward Classes and Dalit populations.”
“The law prohibits the employment of scavengers or the construction of dry (nonflush) latrines, and penalties range from imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of 2,000 rupees ($30), or both. Nonetheless, Indian Railways often violated the laws without consequence”, the report points out.
“Maharashtra led the country with 63,713 households engaged in manual scavenging, based on Socio-Economic Caste Census data”, the report says, adding, despite the Supreme Court order to enforcement of the 2013 law banning manual scavenging, the authorities “rarely implemented” it, adding, there were “at least 700 deaths in manholes across the country every year.”
“National crime statistics indicated that, compared with other caste affiliations, assailants most often perpetrated rape against Dalit women”, the report says, adding, “lower caste” women were “reportedly pressured to have hysterectomies or other forms of sterilization because of the payment structures for health workers and insurance payments for private facilities.”
“Discrimination based on caste remained prevalent particularly in rural areas”, referring to the Indian National Council of Applied Economic Research survey which said that “27 percent of Indian households practice caste-based untouchability, with the highest untouchability practices found in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh.”
---
Download full report HERE

Comments

Anonymous said…
There is a living legislation in India namely "Caste Disabilities Removal Act, 1850". This enactment can protect the status of SC to the convert from Hinduism/Buddhism/Sikhism to Christianity/Islam till his life time. The child born to such convert after conversion will not get the SC status. This Act has been ignored completely by concerned authorities implementing the Constitution. Hindu Succession Act, 1956, has provisions in consonance with the above said law to protect rights of succession only to the convert from Hinduism, but not to his descendants. These provision will enable converts to get SC status.
Raju Charles said…
WOW & Woe!
USA must uphold International Religious Freedom Act of 1998!Period.
India's Secular hypocrisy and American double standard mut end!
USA back India for UNSC in spite of Human Rights violation and Social injustice!
Christian and Muslim rights are human rights just as Hind and Jews!
God save America!
Sabbath Shalom!
Raju Charles said…
Woe to evil lawmakers! USA must do justice to Native Dalit Christians of India!
Social Justice and Freedom of Religion for all!

TRENDING

'Enough evidence' in Indian tradition to support legal basis for same-sex marriage

By Iyce Malhotra, Joseph Mathai, Sandeep Chachra*  The ongoing hearing in the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage provides space for much-needed conversations on issues that have hitherto remained “invisible” or engaged with patriarchal locker room humour. We must recognize that people with diverse sexualities and complex gender identities have faced discrimination, stigma and decades of oppression. Their issues have mainly remained buried in dominant social discourse, and many view them with deep insecurities.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Victim of communal violence, Christians in Manipur want Church leadership to speak up

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  The first eleven days of May 2023 have, in many ways, been a defining period of Indian history! Plenty has happened in a rapid-fire stream of events. Ironically, each one of them are indicators of how crimes and the criminalisation of society has become the ‘new norm’; these include, the May Day rallies with a focus on the four labour codes which are patently against the rights of workers; the U S Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its Annual Report on 1 May stating that conditions for religious freedom in India “continued to worsen in 2022”; the continued protest by the Indian women wrestlers at Jantar Mantar for the expulsion of the chief of the Indian Wrestlers Federation on very serious allegations; the Elections in Karnataka on 10 May (with communalism and corruption as the mainstay); the release of the fake, derogative and insensitive film ‘The Kerala Story’; the release of World Free Press Index on 3 May which places India

Delhi HC rules in favour of retired Air Force officer 'overcharged' for Covid treatment

By Rosamma Thomas*  In a decision of May 22, 2023, the Delhi High Court ruled in favour of petitioner Group Captain Suresh Khanna who was under treatment at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, between April 28 and May 5, 2021, for a period of eight days, for Covid-19 pneumonia. The petitioner had to pay Rs 3,55,286 as treatment costs, but the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) only reimbursed him for Rs 1,83,748, on the basis of government-approved rates. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

India joining US sponsored trade pillar to hurt Indian farmers, 'promote' GM seeds, food

Counterview Desk  As many as 32 civil society organisations (CSOs), in a letter to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and India joining the trade pillar, have said that its provisions will allow the US to ensure a more favourable regulatory regime “for enhancing its exports of genetically modified (GM) seeds and GM food”, underlining, it will “significantly hurt the livelihoods of Indian farmers.”

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Undermining law, breastfeeding? Businesses 'using' celebrities to promote baby food

By Rajiv Shah  A report prepared by the top child welfare NGO, Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI), has identified as many as 15 offenders allegedly violating the Indian baby food law, the Infant Milk Substitutes Feeding Bottles, and Infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act 1992, and Amendment Act 2003 (IMS Act), stating, compliance with the law “seems to be dwindling by the day.”