Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

INDIAS DALIT, OR UNTOUCHABLE CASTE, DEMAND INCLUSION AT UN CONFERENCE TARGETS OF RACISM

September 05, 2001
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

Guests

Chung-Wha Hong

Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

One of the largest NGO delegations present in Durban are some 200 Dalit Indians. Dalits are the lowest caste in the Hindu religion, the so called "untouchables" of society. Dalits number around 250 million. For many years, Dalit people have been subject to daily abuses of their human rights, they are not allowed to drink water from public government water sources, they cannot enter temples, they cannot even wear their shoes in the streets of temple villages. And Dalit people are also victims of vicious hate crimes. Last week a 24 year old Dalit man was burnt alive in a hay stack by upper-caste villagers where he lived. Dalit people are in Durban demanding that Indias oppressive caste system be put on the official UN conference agenda, and also in the final declaration against racism. The Indian government argues that a racism forum is not the place to debate issues of religion. The Dalits say the discrimination they face because of their caste in India is the equivalent of racism and apartheid.

GUEST:

- PAUL DIVAKAR, National Advocacy Convenor for the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights.

GUEST:

- SUDHA VARGHESE Dalit woman, and rape councilor in a Dalit community in Bihar, India. CONTACT: www.dalit.org
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.