Tuesday, December 8, 2009

[ZESTCaste] Massive Dalit rally demands separate electorate for Dalits


Massive Dalit rally demands separate electorate for Dalits
Submitted by admin4 on 8 December 2009 - 2:04pm.
Indian Muslim
By Mumtaz Alam Falahi, TwoCircles.net,

New Delhi: The National Confederation of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR),
which has about 1200 Dalit groups under its umbrella, has demanded the
Central Government to introduce separate electorate for Dalits,
Adivasis and women to ensure their real representation in Lok Sabha.

At a massive rally organized in New Delhi on December 5 NACDOR also
demanded constitutional amendment "to introduce reservation in Rajya
Sabha and make this mandatory to elect members of Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes as per their share in population in the state."

At the end of the daylong rally at Jantar Mantar, the group presented
a charter of demands to the Prime Minister.

Some major demands in the charter include 15% and 7.5% quota for SCs
and STs respectively in public sector undertakings, corporate and
private sectors; establishment of monitoring and vigilance committee
in each district to ensure proper implementation of Scheduled Castes
and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989); publication
of annual report by NHRC on violation of human rights of SCs and STs;
establishment of grain banks for food security in all Dalit and
adivasi villages; special housing scheme for Dalits all across the
country and representation of Dalits in Radio, TV and print media
through modifications in HR policies.

The NACDOR opposed restrictions on conversion and demanded religious
freedom to Dalits as well as all citizens of the country. "Religious
freedom is the corner stone of India's constitution and citizens are
free to choose any religion as and when they like. This fundamental
right of the people must be protected and all laws made to nullify
this freedom by different states must be repealed."

Another major demand of the group is proper compensation to SCs and
STs affected by climate change including changing patterns and
reduction of rainfalls, floods, droughts etc.

Mashkoor Alam, a youth from a Dalit Muslim community in Bihar and
attached with NACDOR for years, talks to TCN about his views on Dalit

"We are here to demand rights for Dalit communities in India
irrespective of their religion," says Mashkoor at the rally.

Asked if as a member of a Dalit Muslim community he demands
reservation for only Dalit Muslims or for the entire Muslim community,
Mashkoor says: The Sachar Report has already pointed out that the
whole Muslim community is marginalized but it is also true that a
section of the community has developed themselves. So what we are
demanding is that Dalit Muslims who have same profession as Dalit
Hindus, should also be given the status of Scheduled Castes – the
status enjoyed by Dalit, Sikh and Buddhist Dalits.


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