. . . . . . "Dalit Solidarity News" is an information project run by the International Dalit Solidarity Network. News stories are extracts from online newsservices. Link to the full story is found at the end of each blog. Visit the International Dalit Solidarity Network at www.idsn.org


























 
Archives
<< current













 
Formed in 2000, the IDSN is a network of international organisations, national solidarity networks and affected country groups, campaigning against caste-based discrimination throughout the world, from the dalits of South Asia to the Osu of Nigeria and the Burakumin of Japan. Visit our website International Dalit Solidarity Network for more information. SUBMIT DALIT NEWS HERE



























DALIT SOLIDARITY NEWS
 
Thursday, November 27, 2003  
20 November 2003
Indian Bishops hear Pope condemn caste system

John Paul II has told a group of Indian bishops that the Church has the duty to foster conversion of hearts to overcome every form of racial, sexual or religious discrimination.

"Indifference and class struggle must be turned into brotherhood and committed service," the Pope said earlier this week. "Discrimination based on race, colour, creed, sex or ethnic origin must be rejected as totally incompatible with human dignity."

At the same time, the Holy Father firmly condemned the caste system when he met with the bishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of Madras-Mylapore, Madurai and Pondicherry-Cuddalore, at the conclusion of a series of five-yearly visits by the prelates of India.

"Like so many places in the world, India is beset by numerous social problems," the Pope observed. "In some ways, these challenges are exacerbated because of the unjust system of caste division which denies the human dignity of entire groups of people."

"Ignorance and prejudice must be replaced by tolerance and understanding," John Paul II said, repeating the words he expressed during a homily in Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi, on 2 February 1986.

"At all times, you must continue to make certain that special attention is given to those belonging to the lowest castes, especially the Dalits," he exhorted the bishops.

SOURCE
Indian Bishops Hear Pope Condemn Caste System (Catholic Bishops Conference of India/Zenit 17/11/03)




2:11 PM

 
The Weekly Telegraph, Kathmandu 26 November 2003

Combating Violence against Dalit Women of the Terai
By Dr. Hari Bansh Jha

Many of the Dalit organizations in Nepal believe that the population of the Dalits in the country's total population of 23,151,423 is 20 per cent. However, the census report 2001 shows that the population of the Dalits is only 14 per cent (3,241,199) of the country's total population. A breakdown of the Dalit population reveals that the Dalits of the Terai origin like Dom, Dusadh, Halkhor, Chamar, Tatma, Khatwe, Musahar and Bantar is only 36 per cent (1,166,831) against 64 per cent population of the hill-based Dalits like Damai, Kami, Sarki and Gaine (2,074,367)

Studies show that violence against women is rampant all over Nepal. As much as 95 per cent of the women in the country are victims of one or the other form of political, economic and domestic violence. Yet the problem of violence against Dalit women of the Terai is more serious in nature as compared to other communities.

Even after the restoration of multi-party democracy in Nepal in 1990, there has not been any remarkable change in the socio-economic status of the Terai Dalits. Worse among these people is the condition of the Dalit women, who are triply oppressed by the so-called high caste people, patriarchal social system and the Dalit males. Most of these women are tortured mentally, physically and sometimes even killed on one or the other ground.

The Dalit women of the Terai fail to safeguard their interests and make protest for their rights as they are weak. Because of the caste system, the Dalits are divided among themselves. Education among the Dalit women is only 6 per cent or so. In certain Dalit caste such as Musahar the literacy rate is as low as 4 per cent. Drop-out rates among the school-going children is maximum among the Dalit girls. Representation of these women in administration and political bodies is almost nill.

As the Dalit women of the Terai are voiceless, their plight is often overlooked. The I/NGOs, government and civil society are least concerned about their problems. With this view in mind, the Centre for Economic and Technical Studies (CETS) in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) conducted seminar on "Combating Violence against Dalit Women of the Terai" on October 28, 2003 at Janakpur to create awareness in the society to combat violence against the Dalit women. The seminar was a continuation of the support extended by FES to CETS for the Dalit cause in Nepal.

It was concluded in the seminar that the concerned agencies should take effective measures to provide employment opportunities to the Dalit women, apart from improving their traditional caste-based skills. For a fixed period of time, they should be given reservation in jobs, educational institutions and political bodies. Dalit women of the Terai should also be given due representation in various Dalit-based organizations and National Dalit Commission. A separate data-base should be prepared on the Dalit women of the Terai and they should be given due focus in Human Development Report or any report prepared nationally or internationally. Pressure groups should be formed to impress upon the government to execute the Dalit-related programs of the 9th and 10th Plan.


1:21 PM

 
This page is powered by Blogger.