KATHMANDU: Kabiram Kami of Dailekh Bhagawatimai Rural Municipality-3, Meheltoli has turned 62 years now. But he is still actively fighting against the state’s discrimination and disgrace.
A citizenship certificate, in general, means easy access to the rights of citizens on the state resources but for Kabiram it has been a curse instead. He has been living a life like a hell for the last 33 years ever since he received his citizenship certificate in 1990 from Dailekh.
People become happy when they get a citizenship certificate but Kabiram brought pain and suffering along with the document. He was given ‘dog’ as his name –Kukur Kami by the government authorities in his Citizenship certificate which was later revealed through social media. He was sad not only because he had to face disgrace and discrimination from society but also because his children had to suffer just because of his disgraceful name in his citizenship.
This is not only the problem of Kabiram but a common problem of all the people of the Dalit community. Many people from Dalit communities have been given disgraceful names by the government authorities which are revealed by the media. The government has recently issued a direction to correct them.
With disgraceful names on their citizenship certificates issued by government authorities, a large number of Dalits have been living facing double discrimination–one being Dalit and the other due to the name they are given by the state. Given their new identity created by the state they have not been able to make their presence in the public.
Lawmaker Parbati Bishunkhe said not only the persons who have been given such names but their children have also been bearing the brunt of such inhumane behavior of the government authorities. CPN-UML lawmaker Binda Pandey said a lasting solution should be found to end such discrimination and disgrace to Dalits. They are forced to accept whatever document is given by the so-called upper caste civil servants. Even after the country turned into a federal democratic republic, such problems of having disgraceful names through citizenship certificates have been issued.
Mainstream media and people in social media have been opposing the inhumane acts of civil servants. Member of National Assembly Bhuwan Bahadur Bishwokarma said stern action must be taken against those who issued such citizenship certificates. The state and society-sponsored disgrace and discrimination against a whole community can never be ignored and undermined.
Such a grave crime cannot be excusable just by correcting their names in their citizenship. Even the administrators who were responsible for issuing such citizenship must be brought to the book for action. National Dalit Commission has expressed serious objection over such disgraceful names because that not only seriously affects the person but also their generations. Therefore, Dalit rights activists have demanded that the authorities issuing such citizenship must be punished.
Due to the extreme pressure from different sections of society, the government has issued a notice to correct such names in the citizenship certificates. According to Phanindra Mani Pokharel, spokesperson of the ministry, the Home Ministry has issued a circular to its District Administration Offices to make necessary arrangements to correct such names.