Memo to Vajpayee from US Dalits

    Memo to Vajpayee from US Dalits


    While he was at the UN to participate in the UN’s Millennium Summit, a federation of dalits based in the US presented Prime Minister AB Vajpayee with a memorandum drawing his attention to the fact that justice eludes "20% of India’s population, 200 Million People, the Dalits or Scheduled
    Castes of India".

    Expressing concerning over the "many negative forces around you (Vajpayee)" who "are demanding extreme Hindu fundamentalism and are attempting to hijack secular India towards Hindu India", the memorandum added that Vajpayee’s "leadership to the nation, as a moderate politician from Bharatiya Janata Party, brings some hope that the interest of the minorities and marginalised sections of the Indian Society will not be forgotten".

    Among other things, the memorandum demanded the scrapping of the Constitution review committee appointed by the BJP–led government in New Delhi and with detailed statistics drew the PM’s attention to the fact that 50 years after the birth of the Indian republic, notwithstanding constitutional guarantees, the condition of the vast majority of dalits in India remains wretched.

    The memorandum also drew the PM’s attention to the fact that in the last five years various committees formed under different conventions of the United Nations had expressed serious concern at the denial of basic rights to dalits and passed specific resolutions asking for their redressal.
    These include the, Observations of CERD on India Report 1996 (Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination), Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee on India Report (International Convention on Civil and Political Rights), Committee on the Child Rights’ Concluding observations on the country report, India (Convention on the rights of the Child).

    The memorandum was submitted on September 8 on behalf of The Federation of Ambedkarites, Buddhists, Ravidasi & Valmiki organisations of North America (FABROVNA).

    Members of the federation are: Vision (USA), Ambedkar Centre for Justice and Peace, Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Trust of America, Indian Buddhist Council, Guru Ravidas Sabha (NewYork), Guru Ravidas Sabha (CA), Valmiki Sabha (CA), International Bahujan Organisation (CA), Guru Ravidas Mahasabha, Vancouver, Canada, Dalit International Organisation (NA), International Dalit Support Group (LA) and Dalit e-Forum.

    (Co-ordinator: Yogesh Varhade, 218 Woodcrest
    Drive, Tunkhannock, PA,18657, USA,
    Tel: (570)836-3979, Fax:(570)836-7053,
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    News & Views on Dalits.

    Archived from Communalism Combat, September 2000. Year 8, No. 62, Breaking Barriers 2