The Economic Social and Cultural Rights national network of Civil Society Organization submitted a Recommendation Report on the budget of FY 2080/81 to a member of the National Planning Commission Dr. Jayakant Raut. Behalf of network delegates of JURI and Jagaran Media Centre were present while submitting the report. Dr. Raut praised that receiving the report on behalf of the intellectual network certainly bears importance which assists to formulate policy and budgets conducive to Dalit and marginalized communities.
The report has recommended resolving the gap between private and public education systems, acknowledging the role of civil society through policy and program, hastening the process of transitional justice, controlling price hiking, ensuring good governance, involvement of citizens in the planning process, and allotment of budget in three tiers of government considering the gender and social inclusion aspects.
While presenting the report to Dr. Raut, delegates emphasized executing the planned gender-responsive budget, formulating and amending the necessary legal parameters to regard the rights of marginalized sections, instructing local levels for arranging budget for adverse climatic results, and formulation of plans at the local level that contributes for human development.
While citing the report delegates said that the goals, objectives, and principles of sustainable development goal 2030 should be achieved reflecting in the budget of 2080-81 focusing on economic prosperity, and ending discrimination, inequality, and extreme poverty. Further, they underlined the importance of good governance, effective public service delivery, supporting social entrepreneurship and social accountability in the business sector, adopting steps to avoid economic losses, and tackling adverse social changes.
May 3, 2023-Kathmandu,
Government authorities; Police and Forest Division Office Dhangadi, Kailali dismantled over 535 houses including 35 houses of Badi community at Chowkidanda of Godavari Municipality-3 which were built on both sides of the Mahendra Highway.
The police and forest division office Dhangadhi used bulldozers to destroy the houses of halves not which is stated as inhuman deeds of government by stakeholders. The residents had rare options to settle in alternative areas but the displaced were forced to relocate when dozers demolished their homes without warning. As a result; patients, dwellers, pregnant women, and students were unable to save their belongings rather victims were forced to be in tarpaulins around the same location and freeze in continuous rain and cold.
The government has provisioned to offer land to landless Dalits once in the constitution for what it has formed National Land Commission. The commission is collecting the information and verifies the actual landless houses. Meanwhile, forcibly displacing landless citizens with no alternatives is a serious violation of the spirit of the Constitution, law, and human rights.
The National Network of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights has taken the action seriously and drawn the attention of those concerned to resolve the issue swiftly to protect the human rights of victims. Mr. Shyamalal Bishwokarma (ESCR Coordinator) stated that the serial eviction on behalf of governments around the nation must be stopped immediately, the victims of the incident must be rehabilitated, and their right to live with dignity must be respected. Furthermore, the network strongly demanded to regard the provisions of the constitution and solve the problem of landless adopting sustainable measures.
KATHMANDU, APRIL 29
Human Rights and Peace Society has decided to honor Mithaidevi Bishwokarma with the “Karmayogi Badri Pahadi Social Service Award -2079BS” for her outstanding contribution to the society.
The award, including a purse of Rs 110,000, will be conferred to Bishwokarma after seven months for her contribution to social justice for more than seven decades.
In 2011 BS, she led the Dalit movement protesting against the fact that “dogs and untouchables“ are prohibited from entering the Pashupatinath temple.
Later in 2012 BS, she also contributed to the education of the Dalit children by opening a school in the Dalit slums of Kathmandu. She also helped the Dalit community’s women being more aware of their rights.
She has already received the Ambedkar international award as well as ten other honors and medals. Establishing Mother’s Care School, she played a significant role in setting up the Social Development Hostel for educating needy students from the Dalit community.
In addition, Biswokarma has worked as an editor for weekly and monthly magazines such as “Nepali Nariko Awastha”– meaning the status of Nepali women, in 2061 BS and among many others.
Bishwokarma was born in 1993 BS in Indra Chowk of Kathmandu and is the first Nepali woman from the Dalit community to pass a bachelor’s degree.
Major victory for the caste oppressed in the US: California Senate Judiciary Committee backs anti-caste bill unanimously
According to America Against Caste Discrimination (AACD) officials, the AACD will host a public meeting on Sunday, May 7th, at 12:00 PM at 24989 Santa Clara St, Hayward, with Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant to discuss the lessons from the historic victory in Seattle, the first jurisdiction in the US to ban caste discrimination, and the next steps for the movement in California.
Bir Bdr Nepali
KATHMANDU, APRIL 27: America Against Caste Discrimination (AACD), a coalition of Indian-American civil and human rights organizations, applauds the California Senate Judiciary Committee for its decision to pass Senate Bill 403 (SB403) which will officially designate caste as a protected category in the state of California.
The Bill will now be introduced in the Senate and the assembly for discussion and its endorsement. If enacted as legislation, California will become the first US state to have anti-caste legislation in place.
The bill SB403 adds caste as a protected category to an existing law, the Unruh Civil Rights Act, which provides that all people in the State of California are free and equal, and are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments.
Caste is the oldest and most extensive form of discrimination. It remains prevalent in South Asian diaspora groups throughout the world, including in the United States. California specifically has seen a number of high-profile caste discrimination cases in the hiring and promotional practices of Silicon Valley’s tech giants and beyond, including at Cisco and within the California State University system.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s decision is only the latest victory for the movement to designate caste as a protected category. It follows the legislation to ban caste discrimination passed by the Seattle City Council earlier this year, as well as resolutions to designate caste as a protected category passed by institutions like the California Democratic Party, the California State University system, the Alphabet Workers Union, and corporations like Apple and Cisco.
“This vote to ban caste discrimination gives hope to the oppressed that legal protection is now within reach,” said Karthikeyan Shanmugam, Secretary of Ambedkar King Study Circle. “An end to the fear of being outed, excluded, harassed or discriminated against, in employment, housing and at all businesses, is in sight for caste oppressed Californians.
He said the hundreds of caste-oppressed people who showed up on Tuesday to support the bill and their experiences speak to the inordinate amount of power that caste has had on their lives and how clear and present the reality of caste discrimination is.
“The American people now have the opportunity to see through the clear lens of justice, through the obfuscations, and learn about how caste operates among the South Asian diaspora across the globe today,” he added. “We hope this first step towards our ultimate victory will energise all in favour of justice to stand in solidarity with our movement for equality, say yes to SB403, and end caste discrimination in California.”
“It is great to see the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passing the bill. If the bipartisan support in the Committee is any indication, this bill is destined to pass in both the California Senate and House,” said Anil Wagde, an activist with Ambedkar International Center. “This bill is not about who shows up in bigger numbers, but about what is the right thing to do. The US should be a discrimination-free country, and as such, America Against Caste Discrimination (AACD) will leave no stone unturned to ensure the passage of this bill.”
“As an elected representative of working people, I congratulate activists and working people for today’s unanimous vote on SB403, legislation to ban caste discrimination, at the California Senate Judiciary Committee,” said Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, whose office brought forward the Seattle legislation. “The California bill has been announced following the historic victory won by a grassroots movement alongside my socialist Council office on February 21st, which defeated the Hindu right-wing and made Seattle the world’s first jurisdiction outside South Asia to ban caste discrimination.”
“We are overjoyed to see that the California Senate Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly supports SB403 and understands the critical need to expand California’s civil rights law to protect our caste-oppressed brethren,” said Ria Chakrabarty, Policy Director at Hindus for Human Rights. “We hope the rest of the California legislature will carry the charge forward and ensure this bill becomes the nation’s first state-level law to ban caste discrimination.”
According to Chakrabarty, this bill will improve the lives of countless people, including countless Hindu Americans, who have experienced the scourge of casteism in California.
Officials of America Against Caste Discrimination (AACD) said the AACD will host a public meeting on Sunday, May 7th, at 12:00 PM at 24989 Santa Clara St, Hayward, with Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant to discuss the lessons from the historic victory in Seattle, the first jurisdiction in the US to ban caste discrimination, and the next steps for the movement in California.
“Caste discrimination has no place in the United States and the rest of the world, and we are glad to see that the state of California is joining Seattle in recognizing that,” said Rasheed Ahmed, Executive Director of Indian American Muslim Council. “IAMC and the Muslim community stand in solidarity with our Dalit brothers and sisters in this fight against the dangerously widespread reality of caste discrimination.”
Ambedkar International Mission (AIM) USA congratulated Senator Aisha Wahab, the California State Judiciary Committee, AACD, and all ground activists for this success, saying, ‘This victory affirms our collective strength as a united group on the AACD platform and strengthens our resolve to continue our struggle to fight social, economic, and gender discrimination and oppression, which will pave the path of equality and justice for our future generations as well as to other parts of the world where caste discrimination needs redressing!’
Roja Singh, Co-founder of Dalit Solidarity Forum in the USA commented, “It is time to root out this transplanted disease of caste hierarchy and practice. It is a shame that we have to wrestle this oppression by its horns here in the USA which was founded on the principles of liberation. We commend the dedication of those who believe in human dignity in California.”
The 8-0 passing of SB-403, a bill introduced by Senator Wahab in the California State Senate to add caste as a protected category in already existing nondiscrimination laws heralds a new beginning of millions of people who are being oppressed, and discriminated against under the derogatory Caste system. Boston Study Group, the Ambedkarite Organization from New England and constituent of the ‘America Against Caste Discrimination’ coalition also commends and congratulates courageous Senator Wahab on this victory.
The relentless work of all the Ambedkarites organizations and all socially conscious organizations in the USA helped generate awareness and public support for the historic bill from Americans and various South Asian groups.
AACD officials said it calls on the rest of the United States to follow the lead of California and Seattle and pass the legislation banning caste discrimination in all forms and settings in order to create a safer and more equal America for all.
Kathmandu, 22 march
The speakers of a program organized by Sahayatra Canada underlined the need for the campaign on behalf of the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) to universalize the problem. They further chanted for the role of each non-native Nepalese in aboard as advocate for social reforms. The event was organized to mark the 58th International Day for eliminating racial and caste-based discrimination. The participants worried on the transfer of malpractices like gender and caste-based discrimination with the migration of Nepalese people. Chief guest Mr. Bhrigu Dhungana, ambassador to Canada declared that caste prejudice is wrong and no one should be treated differently on the ground of caste. Institutions, regulations, and procedures are in place to respond disparities but defined entities are reluctant for its effective implementation.
Dr.Dorna Rasali mentioned that any incidents of caste-based discrimination occurred in Nepal makes them unhappy though they are outside. Outlining the data on the backwardness of the Dalit community in each sector, he urged action to improve their economic, educational, social, and cultural standard. He worried that in spite of the significant contributions of Dalit community to address humanitarian needs, the state is disregarding their contribution. The dalit community is enshrined with engineering, skills, arts, talents, and abilities, so we have initiated a campaign to open a university to promote the traditional skills, professions, and arts that possess to community for larger communication and penetrate in formal education.
In the similar vein, Dr. Nirmal Kumar Bishwokarma, most recent Nepalese ambassador to South Africa, highlighted that the Dalit community must secure its place in state power because power politics is excluding the reach of Dalit and creating deprivation in each spheres of their concern. He claimed that Dalit are unable to present in state power despite numerous policies, guidelines, legislation, campaigns and discussions for their empowerment. Rabina Thapa, President of Non-Resident Nepali Association saddened to talk on caste-based discrimination in modern era. She repeated that during the hurt, sorrow and agony of Nepalese, NRNA would support to get rid of pain and initiate the campaign against casted based disparities collaborating with Nepalese organizations.
The program’s speakers highlighted the need of bonding and raising voices together against caste discrimination. The event was moderated by Suman Paudel and chaired by Santosh Bishwokarma, president of Sahayatra Canada.
Bir Bdr Nepali
Kathmandu, 20 March.
On Monday, an interaction program on “State’s readiness and future course of action for ending racial discrimination” was organized in Kathmandu on the occasion of “58th International Day for the Elimination of Racial & Caste-based Discrimination by Jagran Media Center’’.
Senior advocate Mr. Mohan lal Acharya presented a working paper on “the legal provisions against caste-based discrimination and untouchability: achievements, challenges and opportunities”. While presenting the paper, Advocate Acharya emphasized that all roles of the state must be effective in ending the centuries-old caste-based discrimination and untouchability that prevailed in Nepal.
The chief guest of the event Mr. Devraj Bishwokarma (chairperson of the National Dalit Commission) said that laws have been set to ensure the rights of Dalits but implementation is not effective as expected and “Dalits are not receiving the rights due to the weakness of Dalit movement for what modality of movement should be reviewed.
Sanju Singh the treasurer of DNF, stated that the government should demonstrate its readiness to implement the laws to end untouchability and celebrate this day as a national festival.
Dr. Yam Kisan an inclusion expert and commentator of the event demanded that the province-level entities of the Dalit commission should be established as per the provision of the constitution with adequate resources. Further, he claimed that Dalits are unable to obtain justice as intended because the established Dalit desk in the police officers are unable to discharge the service due to low incapability of understanding the issue along with carelessness to the domination of the Dalit community.
Chairperson of Jagran Media Center and CA member Ms. Kamala Biswakarma said that it is unjustifiable to settle incidents of caste-based discrimination on agreements of parties rather than legal treatment. Bishwakarma also emphasized that both Dalits and non-Dalit should play effective roles in the elimination of all kinds of discrimination.
Manohar Biswokarma, central president of Jatiya Mukti samaj, said that a lot of movements have succeeded to ensure the rights of subordinated but it is challenging to institutionalize. The constitution has accepted the provision of proportional inclusion in each sphere of state but people have initiated to interpret their own way rather spirit of the constitution.
Deepak Soni, the Secretary of the Nepal Dalit Association, condemned for stating the Dalit Commission as other commissions beyond constitutional commission.
According to Deepak Thapa of the National Human Rights Commission, we need to improve our thinking and behavior in order to end caste-based discrimination and untouchability.
Late speakers stressed the importance of eliminating all forms of discrimination for ensuring the human right and dignity of the larger portion of the population.
The event was chaired by Kamala Bishwakarma, facilitated by Sushil Darnal, and welcomed by Bhim Bishwokarma (ED) of Jagaran media center.
Bir Bdr Nepali
KATHMANDU: Dalit journalists of South Asia have announced to celebrate January 31 as International Dalit Media Day every year.
Through its virtual meeting held on Tuesday, the International Dalit Journalists Network (IDJN) announced to celebrate the day resembling the day when Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar had started journalism to end discrimination against the Dalit community. On January 31, 1920, Dr Ambedkar started a fortnightly newspaper ‘Mooknayak’. In memory of the day, the IDJN has decided to officially recognize the day.
While announcing the day, the chairperson of the IDJN Mallepali Laxmaiah claimed that the media were biased on the issues of Dalits.
Saying that media is the mirror of society and a strong weapon, he said that he attempted to bring all the Dalit journalists of the world together to ensure the rights of the Dalit community and make the states responsible.
He also said the network will coordinate with all the rights activists, human rights fighters, journalists and responsible sections of the society together to the issues of Dalits. Laxmaiah had said this while welcoming all the guests to the function.
General secretary of the IDJN Rem Bahadur Bishwokarma said the network decided to declare the International Dalit Media Day just to respect the contribution of the Dr. Ambedkar-initiated media for the liberation of Dalits. He said the media can play a strong role in the liberation of Dalits and can also play a very important role to make society more responsible besides the transformation of the society.
Bishwokarma said the IDJN will celebrate January 31 as International Dalit Media Day with much fanfare every year.
The function organized to announce the International Dalit Media Day was attended by Dr Raj Shekhar Vundru, additional chief secretary of Haryana State; Milind Awasarmol, Board of Director of the Ambedkar International Mission; DB Sagar Bishwokarma, chair of the Dalit Rights International Commission; Bina Pallikal, chair Asian Dalit Rights Forum; Arun Khote of Justice News Lucknow India among others.
Ambedkar’s ‘Mooknayak’ was published for three years and later he initiated three other newspapers as well–namely Bahiskrit Bharat (1927-1929); Janata (1930-1956) and Prabuddha Bharat (1956). Among them, he was directly involved in the editorial management of Bahiskrit Bharat besides Mooknayak
The representation of Dalit community in the newly elected legislature—5.81 percent— is the lowest since the 2008 Constituent Assembly. Post Illustration
The current Dalit representation in the legislature is lowest since the 2008 Constituent Assembly. In 2017, three Dalits were directly elected while 16 came from the proportional representation category.
This time, however, only Chhabilal Bishwakarma of CPN-UML has been directly elected from Rupandehi-1. And a total of 15 Dalit candidates have been picked for the House of Representatives under the proportional representation category.
The scenario at the provincial assemblies is similar.
Only three Dalit leaders have made it to the provincial assemblies directly this time, down from four in the 2017 provincial elections. As many as 28 Dalit candidates have been picked to the provincial assemblies under the PR category. The number was 29 in 2017.
Observers said since the political parties decided to provide tickets to only a few Dalit leaders under the FPTP system, the community’s poor representation in legislatures was a foregone conclusion.
Pradip Pariyar, executive chairperson of the Samata Foundation, an NGO working towards social justice, said the leaders of the old parties have been defying the constitution’s spirit to ensure proportional inclusion.
While providing tickets for direct elections, he added, “the political parties blatantly ignored the Dalits.”
JB Bishwokarma, a researcher and Dalit rights activist, argues along the same line. He said political parties should field Dalit candidates for FPTP seats and give them the chance to lead electioneering as leaders of their constituencies. “Unfortunately, that could not happen,” he said.
“Directly elected candidates are deemed more powerful and their ouster from the parties is not easy,” added Bishwokarma. “With the heat of the movement that ensured the proportional representation system waning, the parties have also been gradually ignoring the Dalits.”
The three major parties—the Nepali Congress, the UML, the CPN (Maoist Centre) and the CPN (Unified Socialist)—fielded only a paltry number of candidates from the Dalit community under FPTP system. The Nepali Congress did not field a single Dalit candidate. The Maoist Centre had two—Anjana Bishankhe from Kathmandu-10 and Maheshwar Gahatraj from Banke-1—while the UML fielded its secretary Chhabilal Bishwakarma in Rupandehi-1 and Chakra Prasad Snehi in Dadeldhura for the federal polls.
And even the new forces appeared no different than the traditional parties, said Rita Pariyar, a Dalit rights activist. “The new forces also did not bother to proportionally field the Dalit candidates under the first-past-the-post system. Instead, they chose a proportional representation category to elect Dalits,” she said. “New parties also don’t differ from the old ones as their office bearers have failed to incorporate Dalits based on the principle of proportional inclusion.”
In the recently-concluded polls, she added, even though very few Dalit independent aspirants contested, they could not secure victories given their weak economic background. Analysts have been saying Nepal’s elections are getting increasingly expensive, with candidates openly admitting they spend way more than the expenditure ceiling set by the Election Commission.
Another strain in the Dalit’s continued marginalisation is that the Dalit leaders in parties and the elected lawmakers from the community often remain silent about their community’s poor representation, leading to a vicious cycle of their ostracisation in elections, say activists.
“The situation is worsening as Dalit lawmakers and leaders have not been accountable to their voters and have not raised their voices to ensure fair representation of Dalits in the legislature,” Pariyar, from the Samata Foundation, said.
Rita Pariyar, the Dalit Rights activist, said, “Elected Dalit lawmakers—most often the trusted lietenants of top leaders—never stand against the party’s leadership to speak up for fair Dalits’ political representation.”
Problems also lie in legal provisions, according to observers.
Unlike for women’s representation, there lacks a mandatory provision that ensures the population-based inclusive Dalit representation, said Pariyar, the executive chairperson of Samata Foundation.
He also sees the need to amend the Election Act, as it mentions the inclusion principle without stating that it should be based on population. “A compulsory legal provision is as necessary as the 33 percent provision for women,” he said.
Bishwokarma, meanwhile, said allocating seats to Khas-Arya in reservation is itself faulty. According to him, the problem of proportional representation and reservation surfaced since the parties allocated certain seats to Khas-Arya—the dominant ethnic group.
“Proportional representation should be meant for the marginalised groups. But the concept has been overshadowed by the allocation of seats to Khas-Arya,” Bishwokarma told the Post. “Until this provision is rectified, marginalised groups like Dalits won’t be fairly represented.”
The representation of Dalit and other marginalized communities has been shrinking in the House of Representatives and Provincial Assemblies. Stakeholders have expressed serious concern over the decrease in their representation in the law-making bodies of the country. With the constant decrease in their representation, the issues of Dalits and marginalized communities would gradually be ignored in federal democratic Nepal. Participants of an interaction on ‘Representation of Dalit, Women and Marginalised communities in House of Representatives and Provincial Assemblies’ organised by Jagaran Media Centre on Friday commented that the issues of those groups would be ignored with the significant decrease in their representation. From the First Past The Post election system only one member has been elected from the Dalit community which comprised 13 percent of total population of the country while only one marginalized Himali indigenous group has managed to make it to the House of Representatives while no one from the Muslim community having four percent of the total population was elected from FPTP election system. Among the 165 total members elected through the FPTP system, 94 represent Khas-Arya community, around 57 percent. This data shows that Brahmin Chhetri dominates the FPTP wins. Rights activists, who have been lobbying for the strengthening of Dalit and marginalized communities, have been worried by the results of the November 20 federal and provincial polls. Naresh Sob, Project Manager of the Feminist Dalit Organisation (FEDO), said Dalits are forced to remain in the lower positions as members due to the social structure. “Due to the reluctance of all the sections of the society to bring them to the leadership, Dalits have been suffering at the lowest positions,” Sob said. “We can see the effect now in the Parliament.” Executive Director of Jagaran Media Centre Bhim Bahadur Bishwokarma said it is essential to study why
KATHMANDU, AUGUST 17.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has formed the first Asian Affairs Advisory Council for the mayor including dignitaries from various backgrounds including a representative of the Nepali community. The New York City government has nominated 21 members from diverse backgrounds including Nabaraj KC, a Nepali-origin businessman, and a realtor. The Council was established to advise the mayor’s office regarding the welfare of the Asian community.
“The very first Asian Affairs Advisory Council for Mayor Eric Adams will serve as a bridge between city government and Asian American & Pacific Islander communities across the five boroughs,” said the Office of NYC Mayor Eric Adams. “The council plans to focus on three priority issues in its first year: public safety, economic recovery, and education.”
According to the Office of the NYC Mayor, Adams will work with the advisory council to identify issues in AAPI communities, find solutions, and showcase results. The council will also facilitate communications with AAPI businesses in NYC, cultivate young AAPI student leaders, and organize educational programs for underserved communities.
KC, who has been living in Queen’s College Point, New York, with his wife and two children, will represent the Nepali community to the Council. He is also working to connect the Nepali community with American politics and politicians.