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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dalit Human Rights

Dalit Human Rights

The Indian society is made up of different layers in a so-called caste system.

In 1949 the Constitution of India banned all forms of discrimination against people imposed by belonging to a particular caste. This should protect the human rights and the freedom of all people in India – including the rights of the Dalits

Unfortunately until today the Dalits are still regarded as “untouchables” by the members of higher castes in India – and as a population, which is automatically excluded by all criteria that justify human rights. There have been many efforts to change this terrible situation and to help the Dalits to find their way into a normal decent lifestyle. But they still have to fear for their safety, their future and their live. Crimes against the Dalits, which range from physical violence to the violent expropriation of their land and expulsion of the owners without regard for the families and their property are still often without any consequence for the perpetrators.

The foundation of the NCDHR (National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights) in October / November 1998 should be the first step in the right direction in a life of the Dalits without physical and mental anguish.

For this goal and for the human rights of the Dalits, human rights organizations, academics, activists of the human rights movement and the representatives of the existing Dalit organizations met each other for to determine together the next steps of the NCDHR.

The work of this association is difficult and requires a high degree of courage, strength and fighting spirit. Perhaps it will be necessary to make a break with old traditions that hinder the enforcement of human rights for all people in India. But since the establishment of the NCDHR, the Dalit can live with the knowledge that there are strong, intelligent and trustworthy people, who have the courage to fight for the human rights of the Dalit in India.

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