Monday, March 26, 2007

Semantics of Race, Caste and Class

Dear Bahujan Samaj Members,

I have been reading about a UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) Report, that has called upon the Indian government to ensure an immediate end to the violence on Dalits and a repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

Please note, this UN Committee, is headed by Linos Alexander Sicilianos, a Greek European. Apparently, CERD held two sittings in Geneva on February 23 and 26. The CERD issued its report soon thereafter, from Geneva this month.

The report has found that the 1. "de facto segregation of Dalits persists" and highlighted 2. systematic abuse against Dalits, including torture and extra-judicial killings, 3. an "alarming" extent of sexual violence against Dalit women, and 4. caste discrimination in post-tsunami relief.

I found it interesting that the report highlights a discrepancy between the statement of Indian Prime Minister ManMohan Singh and the official Indian UN dleegation. While the committee hands out kudos to the Prime Minister, it has thought fit to criticize Indian UN bureaucrats for their so called, "arrogant rejection of well documented abuses against Dalits in India".

It has also referred to a mysterious European terminology complaining that "the Indian delegation has resorted to a semantic debate on the difference between caste and race. "

Very interesting. Please feel free to comment.

The story is at :,0008.htm

Warm Regards,


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