Monday, September 5, 2011

[ZESTCaste] 40 Dalit groups to rally today for Lokpal concerns

40 Dalit groups to rally today for Lokpal concerns
TNN | Sep 5, 2011, 03.25AM IST

NEW DELHI: With Lokpal bill to be taken up by the parliamentary
standing committee, dalit groups have begun to pile pressure on
government with top intellectuals, activists and employees federations
deciding to march on Monday to press that their concerns be
accommodated in the proposed ombudsman.

Forty leading dalit rights organizations will march from Ambedkar
Bhawan to Jantar Mantar to impress their concerns upon the Parliament.
A good mobilization will underscore the estimates that the community
has reservations about the recent Lokpal agitation at Ramlila Maidan.

The marching outfits, organized under the banner of Social Justice
Forum on Lokpal, include Indian Social Institute, Common Concern which
is a group of intellectuals, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights,
National Confederation of Dalit Organistions and a host of outfits
from states. The campaign will culminate in a public meeting at Jantar

A statement issued by the forum said, "The public march will demand
that constitutional safeguards for dalits, adivasis, OBCs, religious
minorities and women should be respected and incorporated in the final
draft of any anti-corruption bill that is debated and finally put to
vote in Parliament. This bill should ensure proportional
representation of all marginalized communities and groups in the
selection committee as well as in the final authority that is formed."

It said corruption in the form of inequalities in power structure
should be recognized because marginalized communities bear the brunt
of corrupt practices which include discrimination, exclusion and
denial of rights. "But the current definition of corruption reflected
in all the prevalent versions of Lokpal bill does not address the real
forms of corruption which affect these communities on a day to day
basis," it said.

The group has demanded that Parliament and the standing committee
should not take any hasty decision on the nature of the bill which
could end up deepening inequalities in society.

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