Thousands of Dalits March to Parliament for Dignity and Historical Change
New Delhi, 3rd December. Tens of thousands of Dalits coming from all over India will march from Delhi’s Ambedkar Bhawan to the country’s Parliament on 5th December at 10 AM for their sustained campaign for the Dalit Dignity. After the march, thousands of Dalits arriving from different remote areas of the country and participating in the March to Parliament will convene into the Rashtriya Dalit Mahasabha (National Dalit Assembly) at the Parliament Street, New Delhi. This Rashtriya Dalit Mahasabha (National Dalit Assembly) being organised outside the Parliament will assess the extent of participation of the historically marginalized social sections in the social, economic, political and cultural processes and life of the country. It is likely to suggest ways and means to increase the level of participation of Dalits, Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Minorities i.e. the Bahujans, in the political power structures, army, judiciary, administration and organisations and institutions deciding the policies and trends for the nation. More than 10,000 Dalits, Adivasis, Workers, Minorities, Women and other social activists are expected to participate in this Dignity March and National Dalit Assembly.
( 5th December is the eve of the death anniversary of Dr B. R. Ambedkar – the father of the India’s Constitution. This day reminds us of the struggles launched by Dr Ambedkar for the Dignity of the Dalits and other socially marginalized sections. 5th December is now observed as the World Dignity Day – International Day of Socially Excluded. As the fundamentalists in the country demolished the Babri Mosque on 6th December in 1992, this day also reminds us the struggle for secularism and communal harmony.)
Associated with this main programme, a National Convention of Dalit Women is also being organized in the convention hall of Ambedkar Bhawan on 4th December, 2 PM -- 5 PM. More than 1000 women coming from different corners of the country will be participating in this convention.
On the evening of 4th December, ‘1000 Lights of Dignity’ will be lighted at Ambedkar Bhawan. On the same evening, there would be a cultural programme as well on the grounds of Ambedkar Bhawan.
On 6th December, there would be a programme as ‘Musahar Rights Day’ and Consultation on Peoples’ Dignity. Issues related to the most backward and marginalized communities within the Dalit fraternity will be discussed. Short term and Long term strategies for the development of these social sections will also be suggested.
Hundreds of Dalits will also participate in the Rozi Roti Satyagraha at Jantar Mantar on 6th December to demand for the universal Food Security for Dalits under the proposed Food Security Legislation.
After all these programmes, a Charter of Demands & Suggestions from the people will be submitted to the Prime Minister and other ministers/planning commission.
NACDOR campaigns for Dignity and against casteism, racism and all other forms of discrimination to establish an inclusive and enlightened society. Though, this platform is primarily a Dalit Initiative, but it has always been on the forefront for supporting other progressive, secular movements and communities struggling for justice through peaceful means. At international level, NACDOR has been in active solidarity with the religious minorities, adivasis and indigenous populations and their organisations from African, Latin American, Afro-American, Palestinian communities.
Major organisations supporting NACDOR’s initiative are Tehreek-e Pasmanda Muslim Samaj, Bundelkhand Dalit Mahasabha, NACDOR MNREGA Mazdoor Union, Village Dalit Education Committees, Rashtriya Dalit Mahila Andolan, SC/ST Employees Associations etc. Among other constituents of NACDOR, there are more than 1500 social, cultural, and voluntary Dalit organisations of non-government origin. Dalit Dignity March and National Dalit Assembly are getting overwhelming support from these organisations.
This Dignity March and National Dalit Assembly is being held in support of various demands of the marginalised sections, notable among them are:
- Reservation for SC/ST/OBCs in private sector, army and judiciary
- Control on price-rise
- Constitutional provision for food security guarantee to all
- National Urban Employment Guarantee Act
- Time bound promotions for employees of the reserved categories
- Control on escalating prices of land in cities and dignified housing guarantee (act) for the urban families
- Broad constitutional provisions for corruption free administration
- Strong action against hoarders, corrupt and individuals/agencies engaged in black money
- Total agricultural reforms in favour of poor peasants and allotment/control of land to the landless families
- Allocation of resources to various marginalised communities in the proposed 12th five year plan, at least in accordance with the their proportionate share in the total population.
- Total implementation of the Sachar Commitee recommendations without any delay
- 50% Reservation for women in the parliament and state assemblies with proportionate representation of women from SC/STs, OBCs and minorities
- Equal allocation for women and men in all the resources and plans.
- Additional reservation for the Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims
- Transfer of forest land to STs and other communities dependent on forests
- Cut in the direct and indirect subsidies provided to the corporate sector and provision of strong labour laws in favour of workers
Informing the press about these programmes, Chairman of NACDOR, Mr Ashok Bharti said, “ Dalit movement has been successful to some extent in raising the concerns and needs of the Dalit community. But it has strangled itself in the same power and social structures, to which it was expected to challenge right from its beginning. Unfortunately, the post-Ambedkar Dalit leadership indulged excessively itself on achieving political power. They (the Dalit leadership) thought that they would be able to improve the situation of Dalits through political power. But the current situation has proved that, unless the social, economic, cultural and other alternative institutions of the oppressed and the marginalised are established and strengthened, mere political power may not yield concrete results. NACDOR aims to broaden the agenda of the Dalit Movement. NACDOR is fully committed to the unity of all progressive and democratic movements and understands that the people’s unity can be ensured for the success of their rights-based struggles.”
National Confederation of Dalit Organisations ( NACDOR) is the national platform of more than 1500 grass root level Dalit organisations. This organisation is committed to struggle against the caste based injustice, communalism and neo-liberal globalisation in the light of Ambedkarian-thought. NACDOR is a strong supporter of democracy and seeks fundamental transformation in the thought process and in the lives of the Dalits. Maintaining an equal level of dialogue with all political parties, NACDOR strengthen the voice of Dalits in the democratic process. NACDOR Leadership comes from grass root level SC/ST/Muslims/SEBCs activists and it is the expression of their voice and strength in real sense. It played the pivotal role in establishing the World Dignity Forum and its launch in World Social Forum in 2004.Since its inception, NACDOR has been working as the ‘Dalit Voice’ in the civil society sector. It coordinates the Global Task Force on Social Exclusion of the global platform called ‘Global Call for Action Against Poverty’.
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"The Global Call to Action Against Poverty can take its place as a public movement alongside the movement to abolish slavery and the international solidarity against apartheid." ~ Nelson Mandela. GCAP honours Mandela's words as we fight for justice and commemorate Int'l Rural Women's Day, World Food Day and Int'l Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Watch Mandiba's famous Make Poverty History speech.
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