Category Archives: Kanshi Ram

“DALIT RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS”: WORKING WITH THE NCDHR


“DALIT RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS”: WORKING WITH THE NCDHR

A banner flashing the words ”Dalit Rights are Human Rights” caught my eye as I walked through the maple doors into the Central Secretariat of the National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) that is located in an area of Delhi called South Patel Nagar. Immediately next to the banner I could spot a large portrait of B.R. Ambedkar, the famous drafter of the Indian constitution, who had himself been a member of the so-called ‘untouchable’ community in India and coined the term Dalit (broken, suppressed) to refer to those who belonged to it.  Today, fifty years after his death, Ambedkar is still the incontrovertible hero of the ‘untouchable’ community and the champion of Dalit rights.  His photograph remains as ubiquitous in Dalit political institutions as the pictures of Gandhi elsewhere in India.
In fact, many contemporary NGOs, activist groups and even Think Tanks specialising in issues of Dalit discrimination and marginalisation, such as NCDHR or the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS), continue to draw much of their inspiration, as well as specific strategies from Ambedkar’s writings.  Yet, there is also an increasing acknowledgment of the fact that new historical circumstances, the changing political and economic face of India, and processes of globalisation call for a more time-tailored type of Dalit activism; a kind of activism that can successfully tap into popular discourses and utilize new linguistic and conceptual tools. One notion that becomes particularly important and useful in this context is the idea of human rights.
This September I spent six weeks with the National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights in Delhi, conducting fieldwork for my Masters thesis. Despite the fact that I had done a fair amount of background research on both Dalit activism and on the organisation itself, I was unsure what to expect. Working with academics, activists and policy makers alike NCDHR did not clearly fall into any institutional category, notably successful in its national but especially international advocacy efforts NCDHR is a registered NGO that uniquely combines elements of grassroots community organisation, policy lobbying on the state, as well as the national level and an awareness raising campaign.
The central office in Delhi coordinates four separate and clearly targeted sub-campaigns: The National Dalit Movement for Justice, the Campaign for Dalit Economic Rights, The Movement for Dalit Women’s Rights, and a disaster management initiative called National Dalit Watch. Each of these specialized sub-campaigns collaborates with state-level Dalit NGO’s, which in turn provide resources and capacity building to community advocates. In this way skills, as well as financial assets filter down to the grassroots, while, simultaneously, important insights from the community level are translated up the chain to the central office. There regular staff members, many of which hold Masters degrees or even PhDs integrate this information into their recommendations to Indian policy makers or their reports to international bodies, such as the UNDP.
During my initial days at NCDHR I focused much of my time and energy on the attempt to understand the precise institutional character of the organisation. Yet I soon realised that maybe I was asking the wrong question altogether. As I began to interview the campaign administrators in the central secretariat, attended meetings with grassroots activists and participated in debates on current issues of marginalisation it became clear to me that what NCDHR’s members were truly concerned with was contributing strategic innovation to an ancient struggle.
Over tea one day, Abhay Xaxa, the programme coordinator for the Dalit Movement for Economic Rights (Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan), frankly informed me that he thought I was missing the point. “You keep trying to figure out in what ways NCDHR is an activist campaign or a research organisation,” he said shaking his head. “We are all those things, but that’s not what’s important. What is important is how we differ. We try to beat politicians at their own game.  We are the new activists.”
Now we can all agree that self-assessment is a tricky thing, and even more so when it comes to an organisation with a clear mission in the fight against injustice.  Therefore, whether or not NCHDR’s work actually represents a uniquely new approach is questionable.  However it is undeniable that the organisation’s line of attack lives from the mobilisation of distinctly modern discourses, such as that of economic analysis and Human Rights. Mr. Xaxa’s campaign has set itself the task of addressing the issue government funding for Dalits and other marginalised groups like tribals (politically referred to as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively) by performing a meticulous investigation into the patterns of money allocation revealed in annual budget reports.
What is important is how we differ. We try to beat the politicians at their own game. We are the new activists.
Paul Diwarkar, the General Secretary of NCDHR summarised this strategy for me during a team meeting one day. “People tend to think about Dalit activism merely in terms of identity politics. You know, people demonstrating, talking about everyday untouchability and discrimination. While all these things are crucial we realise that many people across India prefer to be blind to the continued discrimination we face. Therefore we need to convince them with numbers and charts and reports. We need to present them with tools they are familiar with and believe in.”
It is for precisely this reason that NCDHR has chosen to frame its demands in terms of human rights. Although as an anthropologist I can confirm that there continues to be much discussion about the universal applicability or the ideal formulation of human rights, the idea that we need general moral guidelines of this kind has become widely accepted.  Through the ratification of various UN charters countries around the globe have made human rights their responsibility.  “By saying that Dalit Rights are human rights, we are making this everyone’s issue, and everyone’s responsibility,“ Beena Pallical, the National Convener for NCDHR told me. “It’s all about the way you frame it.”
It is difficult to assess the extent of NCDHR’s success as a human rights organization or even an awareness raising campaign after the brief time I spent working there this summer.  NCDHR is a young initiative, merely 20 years old and evaluating its work would require a close look at its achievements on the local community level, as well as in national and international advocacy over an extended period. Yet I am convinced that NCDHR has managed to tap into a crucial insight: even if certain demands for justice remain constant they need to be articulated in the political and linguistic tools of their time to be heard.
Making people see and acknowledge discrimination is not simply a matter of pointing it out but a question of how one points it out. In this sense activism is and always needs to be new.

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Wake up Dalit-Bahujans! Wake UP!


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Daily Words of the Buddha




Daily Words of the Buddha 

Attadīpā viharatha,
attasaraṇā;
anaññasaraṇā.
Dhammadīpā,
dhammasaraṇā;
anaññasaraṇā.
Listen: http://host.pariyatti.org/dwob/digha_nikaya_2_165.mp3

Make an island of yourself,
make yourself your refuge;
there is no other refuge.
Make Dhamma your island,
make Dhamma your refuge;
there is no other refuge.

Dīgha Nikāya 2.165
http://tipitaka.org/romn/cscd/s0102m.mul2.xml#para165

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Dalit News



Dalit family of 3 brutally murdered in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra



Dalit’s attempt to ply auto invites wrath of caste Hindus



Dalit family of three hacked to death

India: Triple murder of Dalit family in apparent caste violence in Maharashtra

Mystery shrouds murder of Dalit couple, son


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डॉ. अम्बेडकर की 22 प्रसिद्ध प्रतिज्ञाएँ


 डॉ. अम्बेडकर की 22 प्रतिज्ञाएँ 

डा बी.आर. अम्बेडकर ने दीक्षा भूमि, नागपुर, भारत में ऐतिहासिक बौद्ध धर्मं में परिवर्तन के अवसर पर,15 अक्टूबर 1956 को अपने अनुयायियों के लिए 22 प्रतिज्ञाएँ निर्धारित कीं.800000 लोगों का बौद्ध धर्म में रूपांतरण ऐतिहासिक था क्योंकि यह विश्व का सबसे बड़ा धार्मिक रूपांतरण था.उन्होंने इन शपथों को निर्धारित किया ताकि हिंदू धर्म के बंधनों को पूरी तरह पृथक किया जा सके.ये 22 प्रतिज्ञाएँ हिंदू मान्यताओं और पद्धतियों की जड़ों पर गहरा आघात करती हैं. ये एक सेतु के रूप में बौद्ध धर्मं की हिन्दू धर्म में व्याप्त भ्रम और विरोधाभासों से रक्षा करने में सहायक हो सकती हैं.इन प्रतिज्ञाओं से हिन्दू धर्म,जिसमें केवल हिंदुओं की ऊंची जातियों के संवर्धन के लिए मार्ग प्रशस्त किया गया, में व्याप्त अंधविश्वासों, व्यर्थ और अर्थहीन रस्मों, से धर्मान्तरित होते समय स्वतंत्र रहा जा सकता है. प्रसिद्ध 22 प्रतिज्ञाएँ निम्न हैं:
१. मैं, ब्रम्हा, विष्णू और महेश इनको भगवान नहीं मानूंगा तथा इनकी उपासना नहीं करुंगा।
२. मैं, राम और कृष्ण इनको भगवान नही मानूंगा तथा इनकी उपासना नहीं करुंगा।
३. मैं, गौरी, गणपती आदि हिंदूधर्म की किसी भी देवी या देवताओं को नहीं मानूंगा तथा इनकी उपासना नहीं करुंगा।
४. मैं, भगवान ने कभी अवतार लिया इस पर मैं विश्वास नहीं रखता।
५. बुद्ध यह विष्णू का अवतार है इस पर मेरा विश्वास नही है, यह जान-बुझकर किया गया झुठा प्रचार है ऐसा मैं मानता हुँ।
६. मैं, श्राद्ध पक्ष नही करुंगा तथा पिंड-दान नही करुंगा।
७. मैं, बुद्ध के तत्वों और शिक्षा का भंग हो ऐसा आचरण नहीं करुंगा।
८. मैं, ब्राम्हणों द्वारा किए जाने वाले किसी भी धर्मानुष्ठान को अनुमति नही दूंगा।
९. मैं, मानव की समानता में विश्वास रखुंगा।
१०. मैं, समता प्रस्थापित करने में प्रयत्न करुंगा।
११. मैं, बुद्ध के “आर्य अष्टांगिक मार्ग” का पालन करुंगा।
१२. मैं, बुद्ध द्वारा बतायी गई “पारमिताओं” का पालन करुंगा।
१३. मैं, सभी सजीवों पर करुणा तथा दया करुंगा और उनकी रक्षा करुंगा।
१४. मैं चोरी नहीं करुंगा।
१५. मैं झुठ नहीं बोलुंगा।
१६. मैं, व्यभिचार नहीं करुंगा।
१७. मैं, शराब, मादक पेय जैसे नशीले द्रव्यों का सेवन नहीं करुंगा।
१८. मैं बौद्धधर्म के प्रज्ञा, शील तथा करुणा इन तीन तत्वों को अपनाकर अपना जीवन यापन करुंगा।
१९. मैं, हिंदूधर्म का परित्याग करता हुँ, जो असमानता पर आधारित होने के कारण मानवता के लिए हानिकारक और मानव की उन्नति और विकास में बाधक है, और अपने धर्म के रुप में बुद्ध धर्म का स्वीकार करता हुँ।
२०. केवल बुद्ध का धम्म ही सत्य धर्म है ऐसा मेरा दृढ़ विश्वास है।
२१. यह (धर्मांतरण से) मेरा पुनर्जन्म हो रहा है ऐसा मैं मानता हूँ।
२२. मैं विधिवत् तथा दृढ़तापूर्वक यह घोषणा करता हुँ कि मैं इसके बाद मेरा जीवन बुद्ध और उनके धम्म के तत्वों तथा शिक्षा के अनुसार बिताऊंगा।

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Dr. Ambedkar and more books – Read in Hindi Now…


Now Read in Hindi from these link…

दलितों का गौरवमयी इतिहास

बुद्ध और उनका धम्म – डॉ. बी आर अम्बेडकर

डॉ. बी आर अम्बेडकर द्वारा 22 प्रतिज्ञाएँ

सुत्तसार [पाली त्रिपिटक (तिपिटक) से]

त्रिपिटक सम्बन्धी विपश्यना रिसर्च इंस्टिट्यूट द्वारा हिंदी प्रकाशन

बुद्धं शरणम गच्छामि ! धम्मं शरणम गच्छामि ! संघम शरणम गच्छामि !
जय भीम ! जय बुद्ध ! जय भारत !
Liberty, Equality and Fraternity !
Educate, Agitate and Organize !

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BSP chief Mayawati slams Centre, UP government over law and order situation


BSP chief Mayawati slams Centre, UP government over law and order situation

BSP President Mayawati on Friday charged the BJP government at the Centre and Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh of failing to provide a peaceful atmosphere to the people.
“At the national stage, the BJP government and in the state, the Samajwadi Party government have totally failed to provide a peaceful, harmonious and just atmosphere to the people,” Mayawati was quoted as saying at a BSP meet in a release here.
“There appears to be a competition going on between Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre and SP government in the state as to who can mislead the people by making tall claims.
“Both governments led by BJP and SP appear to be completely passive and lax about the welfare of crores of dalits, backwards, minorities especially Muslims and poor among the upper castes which is not in national interest,” she said.
Mayawati who was addressing a meeting of senior party leaders and office bearers of Uttar Pradesh andUttarakhand units, which had been overhauled recently, said that now the main opposition parties as well as the common people are agreeing to what the BSP had been saying about prevailing “jungle raj” and dismal law and order under the SP government.
“The constitutional traditions and law are being flouted …Crime control and law and order is very bad, officials are locking horns with each other, corruption is rampant and common people are being harassed,” she said, adding that power crisis has made things more difficult for the people.
Reiterating her party’s demand, Mayawati said that Governor Ram Naik has himself aired his views on the bad state of affairs in the state several times but this is not the real remedy of the problems.
“Therefore, the BSP makes a renewed demand from the Governor to make the Centre aware of the ground situation in the state in writing, recommending President’s rule to fulfil his constitutional duty,” she said, adding that otherwise BJP would be equally responsible alongwith the SP in the eyes of the suffering people.
Mayawati who also issued directives to the leaders of both the states for increasing party’s support base among the sarv samaj and organisational matters, said that the situation in Uttarakhand with regard to law and order and development under the Congress government also does not appear to be any better.

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BSP to start Punjab Bachao Abhiyaan from November 1


BSP to start Punjab Bachao Abhiyaan from November 1 – 

In a state-level protest march by the BSP under the leadership of their state president Avtar Singh Karimpuri, it was announced on Friday that the party would start ‘Punjab Bachao Abhiyaan’ from November 1, and drug addiction in the state would be the main issue.
The rally was taken out from Dana Mandi, Jalandhar Bypass. Later, the BSP leaders went to the DC office to give  a memorandum addressed to the Punjab Governor.
Karimpuri said that the main issue was rising atrocities against Dalits. He raised the suicide case of Dr Supriya, who was a PG resident at DMCH, and the killing of brothers in Jamalpur. He added that complaints had also come from Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Sangrur, Phagwara and many other areas.
He expressed his concern over conversion of 125 seats of MBBS in ST quota into general category. Prominent among other leaders were Balwinder Kumar and Balwinder Bitta. 

See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ludhiana/bsp-to-start-punjab-bachao-abhiyaan-from-november-1/#sthash.eiFkrV4J.dpuf

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