Low-caste boy killed ‘because he had the same name as high-caste man’ ;4% of govt purchases will have to be from dalit, tribal-run firms ;  Dalit Inc gets leg up from Milind KambleCaste: a turbulent history; Villupuram records highest number of atrocities against Dalits: study; Assaulted for protesting against ‘made snana’ ; Instant help for lovers in distress; Protest against diversion of SC, ST funds; The private sector’s turn to deliver ; Dalit’s house torched in Kanpur, four children hospitalized ; Dalit couple ‘beaten’ by panch, threatens suicide ; Dalit activists complain of delay in investigation – The Hindu; Racial Discrimination Against Migrants From North East India ;Economics Journal: Are India’s Poorest Catching Up? ; ‘Witch’ stripped, beaten in Balasore ; Anti Dalit Ritual – Video;  ‘Police responsible for Dalit woman’s murder’; ‘Where do we takeour dead and go?’;5000000 North East Indian Migrations Expected in 5 Years ; India: Government Continuously Fails To Provide Remedies ; India ‘caste meal’ activist beaten at Karnataka temple ; Dalits ‘forced out’ of rented house; Caste discrimination continues in Tamil Nadu ; In India, Caste Discrimination Still Plagues University Campus


Lower caste man killed for touching stove ; South Asia conference tackles discrimination ; Fiscal arrangements in federal Nepal For the poorest of the poor


The struggles of Pakistan’s Christian Sweepers ; PDSN observes anniversary of Dr. Bhimaro Ambedkar in Pakistan ; Flood-hit Dalits facing hunger and prejudice; Effective communication is key to social change ;


Unite to establish rights; Launch social movement to end disparity – Speakers urge HR activists at three-day human rights fair in Dhaka, Bangladesh


Scores convicted of Dalit torture (BBC – South Asia): A court in southern India has convicted 269 police and forest officials of torturing and abusing more than 100 low-caste people in a raid in 1992. This article recounts a victim’s account of what she has gone through.

17 officials in southern India convicted of gang raping tribal villagers(Washington Post): Another 100 police and forest officials were found guilty of brutally beating dozens of people from the village of Dalits. Because of India’s notoriously slow judicial system, some of the defendants have died while waiting for their judgement. This news was also featured in the New York Times and AFP

Protest against Killing of Dalits by Police at Paramakudi  (Truth Dive): After a shooting conducted by Tamil Nadu police force on unarmed Dalit protesters at Paramakudi, the May 17 movement and Thamizhar Munnetrak Kazahgam ( TMK) organized a protest, outraged by the fact that the protest was only a law and order problem which warranted no shooting.

“Mishandling of agitation led to Paramakudi deaths”   (The Hindu)

Latha Priyakumar, Member, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) claimed that the mishandling of the protest in Paramakudi had claimed innocent lives. Severe allegations were voiced over the fact that police had shot protesters above the waist.

Lessons from Paramakudi  (The Hindu): For decades, certain rural areas in southern Tamil Nadu have been the battleground for ‘caste clashes’ in which Dalits have been targeted. The key lesson from the Paramakudi tragedy is that it was wholly avoidable. The law enforcers need to be re-educated to change their ways of handling public agitations.

Slumdog star highlights generational sex slavery  (DFN/ CNN)

Anil Kapoor, star of the Oscar-winning film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ has partnered with CNN’s Freedom Project to expose one Indian region’s secret tradition of trafficking. The result is a new documentary which also highlights temple prostitution in India where Dalit Girls are sold to temples as ‘Devadasis’.

Dalits Remain ‘Untouchables’ (Huffington Post): A critique focusing on the United Nations’ reluctance to address the issue of caste discrimination. It is argued that the system fails to guarantee fairness to all and tends to follow popular and “sexy” causes, even in the human rights arena.

Untouchability Declassified  ( Discrimination is a dynamic industry in India. A survey made by the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front recorded astonishing 80-odd practices of untouchability in addition to recorded 22 atrocities committed against Dalits.

41 held for persons including women held for communal clash in Madurai   (The Times of India): Police have arrested 41 persons, including 22 women after a clash broke out between the Dalits and caste Hindus in Uthapuram village. The village had hit the headlines due to the ‘untouchability’ wall that prevented dalits from accessing arterial streets that led to their dwellings.

25 of 29 failed students were Dalits, admits college   ( Three students from the Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College attempted suicide after having failed an examination. The reason for their act was their conviction that they had been failed because they were from a “lower caste”. The College had to admit that “25 out of the 29 failed students belong to Dalit community”.

Suicide by Dalit students in 4 years  (The Hindu)

The documentary film, ‘Death of Merit,’ talks about suicides of Dalit students studying in reputed institutions of higher education across India. In fact, eighteen Dalit students committed suicide in the past four years after they underwent traumatic experiences of being victims of caste-based discrimination.

Grassroot democracy still eludes Dalits  (The Hindu): Almost three decades into the enactment of the amendment, which instituted a policy of political reservation in local government for historically disadvantaged social groups, an analytical perspective on the functioning of grassroots democracy in and around Madurai reveals effects of such democratic governance have failed in most cases to serve the purpose.

In Perali village, Dalits can’t cycle in upper caste areas  (The Hindu): After several years of struggle and agitation, the Dalits of Perali villages in Perambalur district continue to face discrimination. The article depicts some manifestations of this discrimination, such as the ban on riding a bicycle on streets where upper caste members reside.

The claim that sparked a row  ( Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Rural development says India’s very approach of estimating poverty needs a re-look. The article contains the Open letter from the Right to Food campaign to the Planning Commission, addressing the issue of the latter’s statement that Rs 32 in urban areas, and Rs 25 in rural areas is adequate to meet expenditure towards ‘food, health and education’.

Conviction low under SC/ST Act   (Deccan Chronicle): Rights activist have expressed anguish over the low conviction rate in Tamil Nadu. “Though SC/STs (POA) Act, 1989 is one of the most powerful pieces of legislation, it implementation remains largely unsatisfactory as the government and police do not show keen interest in it,” says the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front convenor.

Police reluctant to register complaints, say Dalit activists  (The Hindu): The issue of police ignoring and refusing to register complaints given by Dalits dominated the monthly meeting organised by the district police on Sunday. The article reports several individual complaints.


PAKISTAN: Floods in Sindh-the ‘untouchables’ waiting to get a touch of relief effort (Ahmadiyya Times): After weeks of monsoon rains, which caused the recent history’s worst ever catastrophic disaster, Dalit communities are denied to get in to relief camps because of their caste. Dalits are forced to live in open sky and what is worse, NGOs and international donors are for security reasons forbidden to work in these areas.  Fizza Hassan collects victims’ testimonies.

Flood-hit Dalits facing hunger and prejudice (International – The News): 3.8 million peasants affected by rains and flood belong to low-caste Hindu families. They are not being treated equally, they maintain. “While traveling from Hyderabad to Badin”, the author notes, “there were tents, makeshift shelters and water everywhere.”

Flood relief for minorities: Zardari seeks report from Sindh over discrimination (The Express Tribune): President Asif Ali Zardari has demanded a report from the Sindh government into news reports that scheduled caste Hindus (Dalits) affected by floods were being denied humanitarian assistance. The article reports how Dalits have not only been denied help but have also not been allowed to enter relief camps for being ‘untouchables’.

Please see a collection of additional press clippings on caste discrimination in flood relief efforts here >>


Dalits demand Housing  (The Daily Star): The Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM) demanded actions to resolve the housing problems of Dalit Communities in Bangladesh. They urged the government to act, as Dalit members are prevented from renting a house, because of their caste.

Call to resolve Dalits’ housing problem (The News Today): Around 5.5 million of Dalit people have been living in shanties in the country. The government was urged to announce a housing policy to resolve the housing problem of the community.


Nepal launches campaign to end racial discrimination  (MSN India): The 100-day campaign to end racial discrimination and untouchability was launched in Nepal. Jyoti Sanghera, Head of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) Nepal welcomed the recent promulgation of the Caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability Offense and Punishment Act (May 24, 2011) and reminded that “[t]he promulgation of the act is not enough, its strong implementation is also equally important.”

100-day campaign to end untouchability launched (The Himalayan Times): President Ram Baran Yadav, as well as other representatives of the government, expressed solidarity with the 100-day campaign to end ‘untouchability’.

The challenge of keeping Nepalese girls in school  (The Guardian): The article is written by Emma Reynolds, a UK MP for Wolverhampton North East, who spent time in Nepal and addresses in her article how the improvement of education is hindered by fire-fighting political problems. She identifies breaking the current political deadlock as a major key for a better future for the marginalised and the poor, such as Dalit girls.

Nepal must improve conditions of former indentured labourers, UN says (UN News Centre): Most of the bonded labourers in the Haliya System are Dalits, often considered ‘untouchables’, as well as tribals. The lack of access to alternative livelihoods, as promised in the agreement in 2008, has compelled many Haliyas to continue as bonded labourers with their former landlords.


Laws/ Implementation/ politics:

NCCI delegation called on the Vice–President of India (South Asia Mail)
The delegates also presented a memorandum to the Vice–President regarding the demand of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims for Scheduled Caste Status and Rights, equal to those enjoyed by the Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh Dalits.

Over 1,600 SC/ST atrocities cases pending (IBN Live)- The cases have been pending for several months in the police stations across the state. Sarvajana Satta, an affiliate of Lok Satta party representing weaker sections, complained to the SC/ST Commission to resolve the pending cases.

Sub-Classification Of Dalits: Law And Politics (CounterCurrents) By Sanjay Kumar Chaudhary – Dalit unity is one the pre-conditions for any kind of collective action for making democratic and just claims in order to achieve the realization of basic human rights and dignity for the Dalits.

Why Dalits are not enthusiastic about Anna Hazare’s movement (Bhanwar Megwanshi) At the same time as the media is busy projecting Anna and his anti-corruption movement, a vast section of India´s population-the country´s Dalits, Adivasis and religious minorities, who are at the bottom of India´s social pyramid and who suffer the most at the hands of the corrupt system that Anna and his supporters are supposedly denouncing-have maintained a studied distance from this movement. Read the latest press clippings from Google News on Anna Hazare and India’s Dalits here >>

4,311 cases pending in SC/ST police stations in Bihar– Samay Live

Suspended ‘Dalit-killer’ cops escape  (The Times Of India)

Indian Constitution Violates Itself (

SC/ST women to get more seats in Panchayats (The Hindustan Times)

MP to be Indias first state to have special courts for SC-ST families (Central Chronicle)

Making a difference: Born to fight (The Hindu) Rev. Dr. P. Antony Raj shares stories of his struggle as a Dalit activist

A new law for an old problem (The Hindustan Times)- In this country, women, men and children have too often been attacked because of their identity as Dalits or tribals, religious or linguistic minorities. A recurring feature of such brutal hate crimes and mass violence is that elected and selected public officials fail to uphold their Constitutional duty: to secure equal protection to every citizen, regardless of their caste, faith or linguistic identity.

State told to abolish untouchability  (The Times of India)

Though illegal, manual scavenging continues (

Atrocities/ Untouchability:

At last, the ‘wall of shame’ falls in Salem (The Hindu)
To the delight of Dalits and rights activists, the ‘Untouchability wall of Salem,’ which stood for nearly two decades as a symbol of discrimination on Gandhi Mahan Street at Raman Colony here, was pulled down.

Uttar Pradesh: Dalit woman raped, stabbed (NDTV)

Indian Christians march on parliament, denmand end to discrimination – Nearly 10,000 Christians joined four dozen bishops in a march on India’s parliament on July 28, demanding an end to legal discrimination against Christian dalits.

Dalits separated by wall at colony (The Hindu)

Punjab: Atrocities against SCs; NCSC hits out (Zee News)

Not good enough to be effective (Hindustan Times)
Rape compensation, as in the many cases of Dalit women being raped, in India, is tied up in processes that assume the impartiality of authorities dealing with the crime — the police and the district boards tasked with determining injuries. Compensation demands ‘proof’ of injury for which the victim has to undergo medical examination under police supervision. If medical examination is delayed, the evidence of rape is gone.

Private Sector:

From ‘untouchable’ to business mogul (Radio Netherlands)

The unexpected rise of dalit millionaires: Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar(Economic Times)

Vardhman project leaves SC/ST farmers landless (Business Standard)

Rise of the Dalits: Harsh Bhasker, a rare entrepreneur to have built a knowledge business with Kota Tutorials (The Economic Times)

India’s Dalits now have a growing role in business (BBC News)
Nidhi Dutt found entrepreneurs from this community who are turning from job seekers into job providers.


With Tech, Caste Bias Has Acquired New Forms (Express Buzz)
Speaking at the North Chennai District Committee conference in Chennai, Sampath said, “As an organisation, we identified 85 different forms of discrimination suffered by dalits in various walks of life. In this age of technology, even discrimination is …

Is India capable of playing regional role? (The Nation, Pakistan)
India is ignoring that its 200 million Dalits or untouchables still suffer from deplorable caste discrimination and are deprived of even basic rights such as right to life and security.

A Dalit autodrivers one-woman crusade  (Deccan Herald)

Controversy has arisen over new Bollywood film ‘Arakshan’  dealing with caste discrimination and India’s reservation policies – Read the latest press clippings on this from Goggle News here >>


Dalits complain against discrimination (Daily Times) – Pakistan’s scheduled caste minorities or Dalits have expressed serious concern over social and economic discrimination against them, including organised attempts to reduce their share in the overall population of Pakistan in the house counting and forthcoming census.

Dalit activists decry socio-economic discrimination (Pakistan Today)- Scheduled caste minorities have expressed concern over the social and economic discrimination against them including organised attempts to reduce their share in the population of Pakistan in the census, forced labour, abduction of Dalit girls and then their forced conversion to Islam and illegal occupation of their places of worship.

Social, economic discrimination against Dalits decried (The Nation) – Scheduled Caste representatives demand protection

Damned twice over (Times of India)- The country’s caste Hindus do not much care about their dalit brethren while the state and society do not differentiate between the two. The story of dalits in Pakistan is as old as the country itself.

Minority rights: Dalits want greater share in census over upper caste Hindus(The Express Tribune) Dalit representatives spoke at a meeting of the Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network held at the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler). Dr Sono Khangharani from the Thardeep Rural Development Programme, Karamat Ali and Zulfiqar Shah from Piler, Avinash Hari from the Upgrade Minorities for Integrated Development, chairman of the Scheduled Caste Rights Movement Pakistan Ramesh Jaipal and other dalit organisation leaders participated.

Slavery in the ‘Land of the Pure’: Pakistan’s Two Million Dalits (Part 1) By Yoginder Sikand

Slavery in the ‘Land of the Pure’: Pakistan’s Two Million Dalits (Part 2) By Yoginder Sikand


Dutch parliament urges end to caste discrimination (Radio Netherlands)
It has urged Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal to work with South Asian governments to improve the position and life of the 250 million ‘Dalits’. Dalits are the victims of violations of fundamental human rights, says the Dalits Netherlands Network.

Martin Luther King’s nonviolent civil rights efforts still inspire around the world(Washington Post)
In India, Dalits, who were formerly known as “untouchables” and who rank lowest in the country’s caste system, have modelled their freedom struggle after King. They particularly found power in his “I Have a Dream” speech.


Dalits unable to access government disaster relief programmes  (Minority Voices Newsroom) Prejudice against Dalits seeps into government-run programmess, including disaster relief. Lee Macqueen Paul, documented the impact on Dalit communities during heavy flooding last year. The report was commissioned by National Dalit Watch, an initiative of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights. In this interview with Minority Voices Newsroom, Lee speaks about the project. There is also a photo reportage available for download.

No Care For Vulnerable Dalits In Health Centres  (Video from Video Volunteers – India Unheard) Anganwadi health centers in Maharashtra malfunction due to corruption and caste discrimination.

Combating Caste Bias in the Private Sector (India Journal) There is no denying that India’s rapid economic growth and increase in urbanization have opened new economic and social opportunities for Dalits, who fall at the lowest end of the caste spectrum. Even so, the sad reality is that caste-based discrimination and outright violence against lower castes is still a reality.

Over 200 women fly to Varanasi to fight untouchability  (

Dalit girls enter Orissa temple, whole village is punished (NDTV)
Outside a temple for the Goddess Kali -an icon of empowerment and Shakti -a sign asks Dalits to stop. The boundary was created after three school girls entered the temple to offer “prasad.” Now, their whole village is being punished – upper caste farmers are refusing to hire them to help cultivate their fields.

More than 500 slaves rescued from brick kilns (CNN Freedom Project Video) * Note that those employed in bonded labour in Brick Kilns in India are typically Dalits * – Beaten with rods, belts and subjected to other forms of abuse, the bonded labourers toiled away in a tiny brick kiln in southern India day after day with little hope of freedom and escape. But on a tip, officials from the government of Tamil Nadu state in India raided the kiln. What they found shocked them.


Nepal Police has established an Untouchability Surveillance Centre (USC) (Himalayan Times) at the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office, Ranipokhari, to create a just and equitable society by eliminating caste-based discrimination through tight vigil.

Home Ministry Centre being established to fight caste discriminationHome Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara has said a centre will be established at the Home Ministry to deal with cases of caste-based discrimination, including untouchability.

Dalit NGO body launches census drive (Himalayan Times)
A campaign has been launched by Dalit NGO Federation to make the Dalit community active during Census 2011.
The federation has formed national and district level monitoring committees to ensure that the exact population of Dalit people is counted during the census process.

The government has appointed office-bearers and members of Marginalised, Deprived and Dalit Class Upliftment Development Committee

Discriminated Dalits in Nepal seek hope in education and employment(

Dalit inclusive team planning to climb Mt. Everest (Nepal Dalit Info)

Badi women of Nepal are trapped in a life of degradation (Los Angeles Times) These luminaries from higher castes take advantage of her, she said, while shunning her in public, never once using their social position to counter the discrimination underpinning her fate.

Nepal’s Badi women seek respite from prostitution and poverty( Impoverished Dalit women in Nepal don’t know life beyond prostitution, thanks to an insensitive society. Despite government rhetoric about welfare schemes for the community, the women await programmes that address their issues.

Despite Government Decree, Bonded Labour Tradition Continues Kamala Bhul, 15, is in Kathmandu, the nation’s capital, for the first time. She is bewildered to see the lights that bedazzle the city, the streets and the stentch of vehicular traffic, which she had previously only heard of.


New report on the status of religious minorities in Pakistan highlights caste discrimination
Jinnah Institute, a think tank working on minority issues, just released a report stressing caste discrimination in Pakistan. Eighty per cent of the Hindus in Pakistan live in Sindh, and “are victims of caste and wider religious discrimination,” said the report. They do not own lands and work on daily wages, a consequence of them not having any permanent settlement. The report said, “One day, they are with one landlord, the next day with another. And this is how they spend a life of debt, with no accountability or education.” Their castes have translated into daily life. For instance, Hindus from a lower caste might be restricted to separate water wells in school, “from which also Muslims will not drink”. Read the full report here>>

Dalit sanitation workers swept into societal gutter ‘Sweeper’ leader faces suspension, criminal charges and the threat of murder, as a result of being discriminated against as ‘untouchable’ by the director of Lahore’s Solid Waste Management (SWM)

Minority within a minority: Scheduled Caste Hindus seek equal rights(The Express Tribune)
“Lower caste” Hindus in Pakistan are officially known as the “scheduled casts” and frequently described as “achhoots” or untouchables. They face dual discrimination, as a minority in a Muslim country and as member of a “lower caste” among fellow Hindus.


UN MDG report stresses that support for marginalised and excluded groups is essential in order to reach 2015 targets

Impact of report ‘Captured by Cotton’ Politicians and the business community see the need to tackle the clothing industry. The report ‘Captured by Cotton’ by SOMO and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) that was recently published and covered in the May IDSN newsletter, looks at South Indian girls and young women who are making our clothing in wretched conditions. This has evoked responses from businesses and politicians, and was given a great deal of media coverage. Read more about the follow-up of the report here >>  The report itself and a number of articles published on it (including in The Hindu) in India major newspapers can be found here>>


Caste Watch UK and DSN-UK lobbies government to tackle ‘forgotten issue’ of caste

New documentary video on Caste Discrimination in the UK >>

Sri Lanka

Debate on Caste Discrimination in Sri Lanka – This month has seen Caste Discrimination in Sri Lanka, particularly in Jaffna, covered and debated in the Sri Lanka Guardian, follow the debate here >>


PM seeks end to untouchability  Himalayan Times: Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal on saturday called for concerted efforts to put an end to untouchability. In a press statement issued on the occasion of Untouchability Eradication Day, the PM said the state is committed to bringing an end to untouchability and all forms of discrimination. Referring to the June 1 Cabinet decision to mark the day, Khanal termed the decision ‘one of the major political steps’. He said the government has endorsed the Caste Discrimination and Untouchability (Crime and Punishment) Act-2011

Nepal takes first step towards banning caste-based discrimination (ABC – Radio Australia – 26 May) – Radio Interview featuring Ganesh Kaliraj, vice president, Dalit Welfare Organisation, Nepal; Rikke Nohrlind, coordinator, International Dalit Solidarity Network, Norway; Katia Chirizzi, coordinator Anti-discrimination, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nepal. Description: The United Nations and rights advocates in Nepal have welcomed the passing of a draft bill in parliament that outlaws caste-based discrimination.It’s a milestone for Nepal, where for centuries the Dalit minority, once known as ‘untouchables’ have faced poverty and abuse.n Reporter: Bo Hill

´Racial description still prevalent´   Himalayan Times: Speaking at a programme organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Dalit Development Foundation here on Saturday, the speakers said the Caste based Discrimination and Untouchability (Crime and Punishment) Act- 2063 BS was not implemented yet

Organisations welcome passage of bill  Himalayan Times: Various organisations and stakeholders have welcomed the passage of the Caste Discrimination and Practice of Untouchability (Crime and Punishment) Bill, 2011 by the Legislature-Parliament. The National Dalit Commission and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)-Nepal have welcomed the move saying that the endorsement of the bill under the consideration of the Legislature-Parliament over the last two years will provide relief to the Dalit community

Dalit bodies call for implementation of untouchability act Himalayan Times: Dalit stakeholders have demanded that the Caste Discrimination and untouchability (Crime and Punishment) Act 2068 endorsed by the Parliament recently be immediately implemented

Nepal: UN welcomes new law on caste-based discrimination UN News Centre

House approves money laundering prevention bill  Himalayan Times:The meeting of the Legislature-Parliament on Tuesday approved the bill on money laundering prevention and bill on caste-based discrimination and untouchability

Ban untouchability in private places too: Dalits  Himalayan Times: The alliance of seven Dalit organisations has said that the new constitution must ban untouchability. Joint Political Dalit Struggle Committee has called for amendment of the Interim Constitution

Make untouchability Act stricter´  Himalayan Times: Dalit rights activists have called for the need to make the Act related to untouchability stricter saying that the declaration of untouchability-free country didn’t implement in practice

National Equality Day marked today Himalayan Times: National Equality Day was observed on Tuesday making an appeal to end untouchability and discrimination forever. Nepal Dalit Association organised a function to mark the day

Sob elected president of Dalit women´s body Himalayan Times: The Third National General Convention of the Dalit Women’s Association has elected a new working committee under the chairmanship of Mrs Durga Sob


For the untouchables of Johi, it is an irony when Muslims start living in their temple  The Express Tribune: In Pakistan, strength is in numbers. Thus, if you are a Hindu and your mandir is taken over by influential Muslims, you don’t say anything. You write a few letters to the authorities, who don’t respond, and then you start going to the mandir in the next town.


Atrocities/ Untouchability

‘Animals here are better off than human beings in this cursed, holy region’  Irish Times: “These Maha Dalits are the poorest among Bihar’s socially marginalised people and have learnt to live with starvation,” said Rupesh, who uses only one name and heads Koshish Trust, a non-governmental organisation (NGO)

Man killed for having food with Dalits in Uttar Pradesh Deccan Herald: In a shocking incident, an old man was strangled to death allegedly by the members of his community for having food at a feast organised by a Dalit family at a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur district

MP: Dalits beaten up for not standing up to show respect  Zee News

Mob goes on the rampage, sets vehicles on fire in Gujarat’s Sanand  Daily News & Analysis: What started as a minor quarrel over a minor issue took the form of a riot as more than a thousand Dalits and Darbars came face to face in Sanand late on Thursday

Dalits thrashed  Calcutta Telegraph: A group of upper-caste men allegedly beat up Dalit people at a wedding in Raura in Madhya Pradesh yesterday for not showing respect to them, police said. Three upper-caste men took offence when the Dalit people did not stand

Probe ordered into Villur caste  Times of India: The caste Hindus, for years, allegedly oppressed Dalits by preventing them from riding motorcycles on Kaliamman Koil street in Villur. Caste Hindus had also issued a diktat that Dalits should not walk with footwear

TN: Tense Villoor under security blanket   Express Buzz

FIR registered against 14 people for torching Dalit’s house  Indian Express: An FIR has been lodged against 14 people, including a policeman and three revenue department staff, for their alleged involvement in torching a Dalit’s house in Mohamadabad Gohana area, police said here. On a directive of National Commission for SC/ST

Play on Khairlanji atrocity poses discomfiting questions  The Hindu: It reveals how the jealousy of the dominant castes over the awakening of the Dalits and their subsequent assertion of rights was the true reason behind the atrocity

Law/ Government

Reservation for backward Muslims must for the progress of the nation  TimesWireService: The foremost question that comes to mind is whether all Muslims can be provided reservation or not? To get the answer we should consult the constitution because without having the basic understanding of the constitution it will be meaning less to talk about the reservation for all the Muslims. Our constitution prohibits providing reservation on the basis of religion because the spirit of the constitution is secular is secular

Indian Caste Census-2011: How will it affect the Muslims? In case of Muslims there is an inherent complication; in spite of the presence of dalit type identity (being converts from erstwhile Hindu dalits) and their desire to report as such, the census enumerators may not recognize such reporting

Committee on SC/ST sub-plans to be revamped  Express Buzz

Food Security Act hits selection criteria hurdle  Times of India: The Congress chief’s poser that the inability of the poor, particularly tribals and dalits, to access below poverty line cards needed to tap official welfare schemes will defeat the very objective of a law providing 35 kg food grain a month to the widest array of recipients

17 judges sacked. Was it because of their caste?  Tehelka’: Fighting discrimination, can be a lifelong struggle for those born on the ‘wrong’ side of the caste divide — even if they have served as judges for 20 years. When 17 Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe judges were ordered to take compulsory retirement by the Chhattisgarh government on 26 March, they naturally wondered if they were victims of personal or casteist vendetta

Civil society submits wish list to Planning Commission  The Hindu: Over 600 social activists, representing Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, people living with HIV, those with disability, the youth, the transgender population and the elderly, in a report “Approaching Equity: Civil Society Inputs for the Approach Paper – 12th Five Year Plan”

Business/ Labour Standards/ Economy

Delhi’s Dalits await their rights  Jayati Ghosh (Frontline): Behind the facade of a thriving city are the abandoned scheduled caste population of Delhi. Columnist Jayati Ghosh raises a voice against the maneuvering of public resources earmarked for the socio-economic rights of Dalits who continue to live a life of deprivation and extreme poverty in India’s capital.

250000 farmers have committed suicide and chemical-intensive methods have devastated the land Now India’s poorest women are growing a quiet revolution Seeds of Hope  Herald Scotland: Without agitprop, without holding placards, the dalit women started to take control Satheesh points out that as many as 100000 of the farmer suicides have been in Punjab, which is the centre of industrialised agriculture in India

Industry moves to duck enforced job reservation – Business Today: The CII has – ” chalked out a roadmap to provide job-oriented training to 50,000 people from the SC/ST category this year and arrange employment for them in different categories this year itself.” ..
“The CII has asked all member companies to take this up on a priority basis. CII will provide training to the people at different centres in India. The companies will directly recruit them and a CII team would monitor this on a continuous basis. This is a marked change as CII has been acting as a lobbyist for the corporate sector for over 115 years. In the past five years, the focus is changing to improving the quality of life of the community as a whole. The voluntary job offer for the disadvantaged is in line with this. “This year we have decided to intensify efforts on affirmative action by our member companies, which includes providing 50,000 jobs to members of the SC/STs. The other two focus areas are skill development and corporate governance,” said B. Muthuraman, president, CII.”


Prejudice in India’s Top Colleges Leading to Dalit Suicides  Christian Post: Dalits, comprising the lowest rung of India’s highly stratified society, can hardly reach professional colleges and the few who do are often harassed by “upper caste” professors and peers

Privilege, opportunities and ‘merit’  The Hindu: The success of our policies of reservation should be judged not by their focus on provision of opportunity but on whether they deliver equality of outcomes

A police training school where recruits made ‘pregnant’  TwoCircles: She alleged, “Senior officers are involved and my husband is entrapped because he is a dalit.” Babant Kaka Sawant, President Bahujan Dalit Mahasangh also shared this allegation.

Events/ Conferences

World Council of Churches organize conference on caste and religion  Cath News India

Ecumenical calls for peace – Independent Catholic News
“Today hundreds of young girls are sexually abused by the dominant castemen,” she said. The caste system is considered by many to be the largest systemic human rights violation anywhere in the world today. “It results in discrimination and exclusion,” …

Violence against Dalits:

Re-open cases of Dalit atrocities: SC commission tells Punjab Police (Indian Express )The state Scheduled Caste Commission directed the local police to re-open all cases where alleged atrocities have been committed on Dalits and forcible compromises executed by the police.

Supreme Court cracks down on tradition of “honour killings” (Reuters India – Nita Bhalla)
“We are of the opinion that this is wholly illegal and has to be ruthlessly stamped out,” said the two judges who were hearing a case of caste discrimination

SC holds administration accountable for caste atrocities  (InfoChange – Human Rights)
The most significant part of a recent Supreme Court judgment hearing a case of caste discrimination is that it directs state governments to hold administrative and police officials accountable for caste discrimination of all kinds, and recommends their prosecution

Security situation satisfying: PM
India’s Primem minister said there was no room for relaxation of vigil and that effectively dealing with atrocities on Dalits
and tribals would “continue to be our priorities”. …

Crime against Dalits high in land of khap panchyats (Indian Express)

Save our daughters  (Express Buzz – Swati Sharma) – Shocking tales of sexual harassment of Dalit women and girl child and the devadasi practice.

BSP condemns atrocities on dalits in Haryana (Times of India)

Houses of Dalits set on fire in Bihar, 40 injured (IBN Live)

Rally by Dalits against girl’s kidnapping (Times of India)

Congress vows justice to dalits (Times of India)


Dalit kids: ‘Untouchables’ and uneducated too (Times of India)
Several students and their parents complained that they were victims of caste discrimination
by the school staff since long. The final straw, however, was when teachers refused to serve mid-day meals to the children.

Supreme Court asks Tamil Nadu to get rid of 2-tumbler system (DNA – Daily News & Analysis)

Calling a dalit by his caste an offence: Supreme Court verdict (Deccan Herald)
The Supreme Court Bench said ” “A large section of Indian society still regards a section of their own countrymen as inferior. This mental attitude is simply unacceptable in the modern age, and it is one of the main causes holding up the country’s progress.”

Gujarat Dalits Thumb Nose at upper castes (Mail Today – D.P. Bhattacharya)- In a village in Gujarat Dalits  are asserting  their rights. Rampar is one of the villages where Navsarjan undertook their study on Untouchability practices in Gujarat.

In Vibrant Gujarat, Dalits still outcasts (DNA)

Reservation for Dalit Muslims (Milli Gazette)
It recommends that ‘Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes
) Order 1950 should be wholly deleted by appropriate action so as to completely de-link the Scheduled Caste status from religion’.

SCs/STs form half of India’s poor: Survey (Times of India)
The findings reiterate the long-held hypothesis that dalits
are the most-underprivileged sections of population and the easiest marker of poverty. The pilot survey is significant given that results have come from the representative sample of 166 …

Retired dalit officer”s room ”cleansed” using cowdung water (IBN Live)

Orissa: Dalit children refused to take immunisation by health workers (Orrissa Diary – Amarnath Parida))After Balikuda MID day meal untouchability issue, another untouhablity issue has come to notice in Naugaon block area while health workers refused to give immunization to dalit children as they are considered ‘untouchables’

Private Sector:

Capitalism in India, especially its globally integrated variant, has used modes of social discrimination and exclusion to advance itself (Frontline – Jayati Ghosh)

India’s untouchables make millions (Global Post – Jason Overdorf)

India’s Untouchable Millionaire: Entrepreneur who escaped the rigid caste system warns that it is becoming more divisive as India grows richer (The Guardian/ Observer – Amelia Gentleman ):

New millionaires hope to serve as role models for India’s lower caste (The Washington Post – Rama Lakshmi)

CII survey says India Inc. Employs 18% Dalits (The Hindu – Divya Trivedi) – But CII President comments that Dalits are primarily employed in low grade jobs.

Ambedkars Birthday:

People remember Ambedkar’s contributions to society (Times of India)

Rallies, contests mark Ambedkar Jayanti (Times of India)


Somalia’s forgotten minorities seek recognition (AFP – Jean-Marc Mojon)


Hindus demand their right to register marriages (The Express Tribune)Calling for an end to institutionalised discrimination going back 62 years, the Scheduled Caste Rights Movement of Pakistan (SCRM) demanded quick passage of a law pertaining to Hindu marriage registration. In a press conference held here on Thursday…

MDGs, EFA & Nepal’s prospects – Republica: ‘Nepal Human Development Report 2010’ says only 17.2 percent female and 48.5 percent male of Tarai Dalits are literate. Just 5.2 and 19.2 percent of them have acquired secondary or the higher education. Likewise, 26.5 and 61.8 percent Muslim female…

Taking safety into their own hands -The Guardian
Dalits, formerly known as “untouchables”, are among the poorest people in India. Although the caste system has officially been abolished, prejudice against Dalits is still very common. The Guardian has also produced a video on the impact of natural disasters on Dalits in association with Christian Aid – the video The video an be viewed here >>

A Nation’s Lowest Women Work Under Severe Degradation – Women News Network: Placed on the bottom of the list in India’s legislation, women manual scavengers are trapped by Indian society and caste discrimination.

Dalits remain highly deprived – Milli Gazette: Kolkata – A national seminar on “Dalit households in village economies” sheds light on the poor plight of Dalits in the rural areas.

From cradle to grave – Frontline: In Tamil Nadu, untouchability is so deep-rooted that there are separate burial spaces for Dalits and upper castes even in some urban pockets

Muslim and Christian Dalits victims of religious apartheid sanctioned by the state – Daily Times: This patently anti-secular and grossly anti-democratic order was stiffly resisted by non-Hindu Dalits.

Dalit houses burnt in UP village for celebrating Holi – India Today: At least nine houses belonging to Dalits were set on fire in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh district on Sunday, leaving more than two dozen injured. More than a dozen Dalits have been admitted to SRN Hospital in Allahabad with serious burn injuries. …

Gambia: Response to Mr. Jobe in regards to the Gambian caste system -Freedom Newspaper: I am confident that such discrimination will eventually fade because the younger generation is constantly fighting it through their insistences to marry whoever they fall in love with, irrespective of their caste. My concerns are with the older …

Minor dalit girl raped, burnt alive near Khairlanji – Hindustan Times;Mirchpur: Court puts 98 on trial – Indian Express; Communal riots in Rajasthan force Dalits to migrate – Milli Gazette; Rise in GDP rate not helping poor: Experts – The Tribune; Moving backwards – The Times of India;  Injustice Gets Nastier – Water Water  scarcity  accentuates discrimination  against  Dalits – by Richard Mahapatra

UN human rights office urges Nepal to end all forms of discrimination UN News Centre – ‎Mar 21, 2011: The United Nations human rights office and the national commission on caste-based discrimination in Nepal have urged the Government to fulfil its stated commitment to end all forms of discrimination, saying the problem was widespread …

NEPAL: The caste-related UPR commitments must be made reality Asian Human Rights Commission News (press release) – ‎Mar 20, 2011‎ “Overcoming racism compels us to address public policies and private attitudes that perpetuate it.” Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, on the occasion of the 2011 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. …

Caste discrimination: stop talking, action now! New Europe – Peter van Dalen – ‎Mar 20, 2011‎: The EU needs to take a much more robust stand on caste discrimination, severely affecting the human rights of 260 million people globally. We must take action through our External Action Service – they need to make caste discrimination a priority….

Appeal to uproot discrimination  Himalayan Times – ‎Mar 20, 2011‎: Kathmandu: The National Dalit Commission (NDC) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) have asked the government to live up to its commitment and end all forms of discrimination, including caste-based …

India press clippings: Supreme court to look into quotas for Dalit Muslims and Christians (The Times of India) Dalits missing in private sector jobs (Financial Express) Government sets deadline on manual scavenging (Indian Express) Mirchpur killings ( A list of news sources on the killings and demonstrations)  Caste system  (Daily News and Analysis) Caste gene vs. upbringing defines Dalit dilemma  (Times of India)  Three Dalits paraded naked for stealing  (Indian Express) 3000 dalits arrested for entering temple near Madurai  (Mumbai Mirror )

International Coverage:  Dalit women’s aspirations brought home impact of ‘double discrimination’ (The Guardian) Caste of millions ( Financial Times)Devadasis are a cursed community – The Guardian; Documentary on the situation of Davadasis in India, Sex, death and the Gods, aired on BBC 4 TV Channel; The first article of a series by well known journalist and media campaigner Mari Marcel Thekaekara on the situation of Dalits, and Dalit women and girls in particular has been released. The article is in Dutch and is about the success of the national campaign on manual scavenging –  Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA) – read more here. Ms Thekaekara has also launched a blog where she writes about Dalit issues. Read her article ‘Not so hopeless after all’

Another day, another rape (Mari Marcel Thekaekara)
Every day three Dalit women are raped. I read this statistic for the first time when I was on my way to the Durban Racism conference in 2001, writing articles for the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights. It is hard to absorb, even harder to internalize, because it seems so utterly impossible that something so outrageous could be true. When I incorporated this statistic into articles, people challenged me. Where did you find that figure? Statistics are easy to manipulate, you should get your facts right. >>

Mob burns Dalit sisters to death (Outlook India)

A village in a million A correspondent for the Economist newspaper has spent a week in a village in Uttar Pradesh. The result is a remarkable article on life in India’s languishing countryside – including the caste divide, corruption and erosion of ancient customs.

Urban rules of untouchability In India, it is often said that discrimination against Dalits only exists in rural areas. A very interesting cover story in Media Voice Magazine dispelsthis myth and examines various examples of caste discrimination in urban India, e.g. when looking for a home, sharing a meal or seeking promotion in the workplace.

A historical battle for dignity for India’s balmikis (Mari Marcel Thekaekara)
The best news of 2010 was that one million balmiki women threw down their brooms after a decade long campaign declaring “We will never clean shit again”. Balmikis or safai karmacharis are at the bottom of the Indian caste ladder. Balmikis are the only community, ordained by the caste structure, to clean toilets. >>

More India Press clippings: Dalit tsunami victims still not rehabilitated – Deccan Herald; Beyond the rat race (Times of India) Dalit families evicted, houses razed –(The Hindu) Controversial wall demolished ( Times of India) How Bollywood is starting to deal with India’s caste system –(The Guardian) Dalits still untouchable, deprived in India –(Daily Bhaskar) Court demands explanation on allegation of social discrimination (Law et al news)Dalits denied pattas, driven out (ExpressBuzz) Problems facing Dalits discussed at ‘sansad’ ( Times of India) Wild flowers and morning has broken–(Hardnews)

Nepal Press clippings: Destitute Dalit family living in cave (Himalayan Times) Dalit discrimination at political level  (Ekantipur) Minister: Statute possible in five months ( Himalayan Times)