. . . . . . "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

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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

Wednesday, June 14, 2006  
Dalits face social boycott in Udaipur

June 13, 2006

Caste polarisation continued in Udaipur after a Dalit bridegroom was forced to dismount by upper castes because he dared to ride a horse to his wedding.Two months after the incident, Dalits of Amarpura village are still facing a social boycott for daring to file an FIR on the issue.

The caste divide has deepened further as other Dalits from neighbouring villages have come out in support of the members of their community in Amarpura.The supporters are also facing opposition and a boycott in their respective villages, but the administration says there is little they can do except to ask the communities to get together and resolve the issue through dialogue.

Protest march
After being denied rations from village shops and water from tubewells, the Dalits were forced to march to Udaipur against the social ostracism they have been facing."We continue to be threatened. They say they will attack us, this despite a police presence in the village," said Ramlal, a villager. "They don't have any transactions with us. We can't buy rations from the kirana store, we can't even buy a bidi or a match-box," said Shyam Lal Meghwal, another villager.

The FIR identified 20 people who attacked the wedding procession and forced the groom to dismount in Amarpura. But till now only three people have been arrested for atrocities under the SC/ST Act.

"If both sides adopt a confrontationist attitude, then nothing can be done. Elders in the community should come forward for a compromise," said Shikhar Agarwal, Collector, Udaipur.

But the growing caste polarisation in these villages has led to a simmering caste tension in the area. And unless the administration rectifies the situation at the earliest, it could escalate into a law and order problem in future.
Link to the article

9:41 AM

Tuesday, June 13, 2006  
Majority of Indians want quota

11 June 2006

New Delhi: The anti-quota protests dominated news headlines for weeks, but were they the representative of the real mood of the nation? A CNN-IBN and The Indian Express survey conducted by A C Nielsen on the issue has come up with some startling facts. nielsen

The findings of the survey show that majority of Indians support reservations and feel that quotas in higher education will lead to equal opportunities.

According to the survey, 57 per cent Indians favour the Government's decision on 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher education. Only 37 per cent feel otherwise.

Majority of the respondents feel that reservations in higher education are a key to social justice. As many as 63 per cent of the respondents said that reservations in higher education will lead to equal opportunity as against 34 per cent who felt that it will lead to loss of quality.

The survey was done among 776 people in five metros in both rural and urban areas.
The sample for the survey was unique. It had 40 per cent OBCs, 25 per cent SC and ST; 10 per cent Muslims and 25 per cent from general category, a representation of the Indian population.
But there are many surprises as well. While supporting the reservations, the respondents were dismissive of the present system of quota. As many as 57 per cent of the respondents want a changed and improved reservation system for the SC/STs, while 26 per cent want no change.
But, 15 per cent of the respondents want reservations to be scrapped. But the real surprise—53 per cent OBCs want improved reservation policy while for SC/ST the number stands at 61 per cent.

Link to the article

12:17 PM

Monday, June 12, 2006  
House okays proposal against untouchability

The Rising Nepal
5 June 2006

RSSKATHMANDU, June 4: The meeting today of the House of Representatives approved a proposal unanimously, giving the Nepali society liberation from untouchability and discrimination.

The proposal of public importance was tabled by whip of CPN-UML Parshuram Meghi Gurung and it called for declaring the nation free of untouchability and discrimination along with special economic programmes for the education, health and employment of the oppressed Dalits community living under the poverty line.

The proposal was the only issue of the parliament's daily agenda today that also called for the equal representation of the Dalits in the constitution of the election assembly and drafting of the constitution, so as to built an equitable society after incorporating the community in the mainstream of the nation.

Tabling the proposal, MP Gurung said the country's 16 per cent population has not been given a humane status and so it was essential to put an end to such ill traditions.

Seconding the proposal, Hari Acharya of Janamorcha Nepal stressed on the need to follow-up the declaration by formulating and implementing relevant laws and regulations.

Likewise, expressing their support to the proposal, MPs Ram Hari Dhungel, Tanka Rai, Govinda Bikram Shah, Lilamani Pokharel, Tarasam Yangya, Janak Raj Giri, Yadav Bahadur Rayamajhi and Bhakta Bahadur Balayar expressed the view that Dalits also have an important contribution to building the nation and pointed out the need to bring special programmes as well as strict enforcement of relevant laws to bring them to the mainstream of the nation.

Responding to issues raised in regard to the proposal, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Narendra Bikram Nemwang said the government's attention was drawn towards the rights and well-being of the Dalits and their participation in various bodies. He also disclosed that works were being carried out to make special arrangement for the Dalits in education and employment. He also said that the Ministry was working to enforce the HoR Declaration in connection with the Dalits and making the discriminatory activities more punishable.

Link to the article

9:29 AM

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