Linked with Nishikant Waghmare – India.
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From: Nishikant Waghmare
Nishikant Waghmare wrote on October 25th, 2007, as a comment to an emission on ‘BBC World’ about Dalits of 14th of October 2006:
There is greater awareness among the Dalits today.
“Prime Minister Singh has rightly compared ‘untouchability’ to apartheid, and he should now turn his words into action to protect the rights of Dalits,” said Professor Smita Narula, faculty director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at New York University School of Law, and co-author of the report. “The Indian government can no longer deny its collusion in maintaining a system of entrenched social and economic segregation.”
Dalits endure segregation in housing, schools, and access to public services. They are denied access to land, forced to work in degrading conditions, and routinely abused at the hands of the police and upper-caste community members who enjoy the state’s protection. Entrenched discrimination violates Dalits’ rights to education, health, housing, property, freedom of religion, free choice of employment, and equal treatment before the law. Dalits also suffer routine violations of their right to life and security of person through state-sponsored or -sanctioned acts of violence, including torture.
Caste-motivated killings, rapes, and other abuses are a daily occurrence in India. Between 2001 and 2002 close to 58,000 cases were registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act – legislation that criminalizes particularly egregious abuses against Dalits and tribal community members. A 2005 government report states that a crime is committed against a Dalit every 20 minutes.
Poverty is the cruse to mankind. It is a black spot on forehead and blot on Humanity. The first sitting Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to openly acknowledge the parallel between the practice of “Untouchability” and the Crime of Apartheid you described. “Untouchability is not just Social Discrimination; it is a Blot on Humanity.” Our greatest enemy is poverty and not human beings if we want to progress, we will have to fight poverty. There is a need for people to understand that poverty is their common enemy and not another human. Our enemy is poverty! It is the root cause of our problems and it should be the object of our fight. We must eradicate poverty and illiteracy and reduce inequality within upper- castes and Untouchables.
“Our greatest enemy is poverty and not human beings. If we want to progress, we will have to fight poverty. There is a need for people to understand that poverty is their common enemy and not another human. Our enemy is poverty! It is the root cause of our problems and it should be the object of our fight. We must eradicate poverty and illiteracy and reduce inequality within upper- castes and Untouchables of India. Promote world peace through prayer. “May Peace Prevail on Earth”!
Nishikant waghmare, Mumbai India, October 25, 2007.