Their immediate problem should be solved by making new law.
By Biru Nepali
Kathmandu: Extremely marginalized communities including Chepang, Bhote, Majhi, Kumal, and Tharu have been living near forests and river banks for generations. These indigenous tribes are especially dependent on forests, water, and land. But since the government introduced the practice of biodiversity conservation, their condition, settlement, and lifestyle have been put at risk.
Due to lack of access to forests and water resources, conflicts are being created at different times between the Chepang along with other communities and wildlife living in the park-protected area and buffer zone.
During the virtual discussion program organized by Jagran Media Center in collaboration with the UNDP’s Parliamentary Support Program on the problems and issues of the people in the affected areas of Chitwan National Park in Bagmati Province, the experts, speakers, and participants have said that the Chepang people living in the buffer zone of the national park have been greatly affected.
After the establishment of the park, People who are relying on the natural resources of Chitwan National Park under Bagmati Pradesh, have seen additional problems and challenges with various laws and regulations related to forest protected areas made by the government to prohibit water, land, and forest-dependent livelihoods.
The protected area in Nepal covers 12 national parks, 1 wildlife reserve, 1 hunting reserve, 6 conservation areas, 13 intermediate areas and occupies about 23.395 (3.4 million hectares) of the country. But in most of the protected areas, the ancestral home of the indigenous group has been established. The ban on parks and protected areas in the area has created major problems for their habitat, survival, and lifestyle.
Speaking at the program, Madhav Prasad Poudel, Chairman of the State Management Committee under Bagmati Pradesh, stressed the need to enact new laws to establish the rights of communities living in park-protected areas.
He stressed the need to formulate an act from the federation to solve the problems of the Chepang community who are living in this area and to protect natural resources such as shared forests and water lands.
He also said that everyone should raise their voice to end the old system of scarcity and problems as the federation has been on one side of the forest till now. “The new act should clarify the responsibilities of the state and local levels in the distribution of natural resources and the protection and management of wildlife”, he added.
Similarly, Constituent Assemblymember and former president of the Chepang Association Govinda Ram Chepang said that the national park has discriminated against Tharu, Kumal, Bhote, Majhi, and Chepang castes who are living in the area around the national park.
He said that the government has discriminated against the indigenous people who cannot survive without water, land, and forest by making rules related to national parks.
Narrating the incidents of Resham Chepang who was shot dead by the National Park in Lothra River in 2068 BS and of Raj Kumar Chepang who was brutally beaten to death in 2077 BS at Saune Sakrantika Vela Vagar and of Dan Bahadur Chepang, Jit Bahadur Chepang and Bishnu Chepang of Madi Municipality-8 of Chitwan whose houses were destroyed by using the elephants and burned under the rules that were made in 2029 BS and the Act of 2052 BS but that were wrong, he said.
He reminded us that about 40 Chepangs have been imprisoned so far in the fake rhino smuggling case to save the smugglers and called for correcting the discriminatory norms and laws and structures established by the law.
Similarly, MP from Bagmati Pradesh Ram Lal Mahato stressed the need to take special initiative to end various conflicts that have arisen between the Chepangs and Nikunj as they have a long-standing relationship.
He argued that the Act, which was enacted in 2029 BS with the emphasis on wildlife during the establishment of Chitwan National Park, was impractical and stressed the need to enact a new type of development-friendly, human-friendly, and wildlife conservation-friendly act.
“As the local government and the state government have no authority over the Chitwan National Park under the federal government, a new law should be enacted again with the participation of local government, consumers, affected people in the central zone and experts”, he said.
Similarly, the federal government should compensate the park-affected communities living in the border areas of Makwanpur and Chitwan, he said, ” to resolve the conflict with Nikunj immediately, the laws and practices of the conflicting intermediate sector should also be amended”.
According to him, the Chepang community is dependent on natural resources. The area spread over Chitwan National Park is inhabited by communities including Bhote, Tharu, and Chepang in the vicinity of Rapti Municipality and Bharatpur Municipality. In order to ensure the rights of Chepangs living in parks and protected areas, policy reforms should be made in the laws and regulations related to buffer zones.
Presenting a concept paper on park-people struggle from the perspective of the Chepang people in Nepal, environmentalist Dr. Yogendra Yadav of Institute of Forestry Hetauda said that most of the protected areas have ancestral habitats of the Adivasi group but they have been displaced due to the establishment of park protection and this has created a big problem in their lives.
He argued that they were discriminated against and exploited because of their weak economic, social and political status and capacity.
He pointed out that the Chepang community had zero representation not only in the state and federal governments but also in political parties from 2064 BS to 2074 BS.
In the experience of Park-People’s Struggle in Nepal, violation of land rights, discrimination against them, the conflict between humans and wildlife, deprivation of participation in conservation areas, wildlife crime, and poaching are the main issues that have arisen conflict between them, he said.
He said that emphasis should be laid on making regional laws and new laws by modifying and amending some of the conflicting laws and regulations made so far to reduce the conflict between humans and wildlife and its impact.
Similarly, Ekal Silwal, an investigative journalist from Chitwan, said that it was a big mistake to evacuate forcibly the indigenous community while establishing the Chitwan National Park. “All facilities should not be restricted to the indigenous groups, including the Chepang, who have relied on natural resources for generations”, he added.
He said that the indifference of the policymakers to maintain human and wildlife and nature-friendly conditions and methods, lack of policy stance, managerial weakness, and unequal distribution of benefits are further damaging the Chepang community in the parks and protected areas. According to him, the government has enacted laws and policies related to forest protected areas to prohibit the way of life in the forests.
Therefore, in order to solve this problem, the structure of protection should be changed with broad thinking instead of such discriminatory policy rules.
He stressed the need for continuous debate, discussion, and lobbying in the media sector, with mature interest from the citizens, sufficient facts, and reasonable arguments.
Stating that such an incident without any alternative arrangement from the place of residence has a great impact on the indigenous community including Chepang, the committee stressed the need to make policy reforms to solve such problems. He complained that it was not appropriate to hand over the discriminatory thinking of killing people in the Chepang community, burning their houses, and demolishing settlements to the local government.
This program was facilitated by Kamala Bishwakarma, Chairperson of Jagran Media Center and Member of the Constituent Assembly.
India: A Dalit student of Visva-Bharati University (VBU) in West Bengal has alleged dat a professor refused to speak to him and called him “impure”.
Kolkata: A student of Visva-Bharati University (VBU) has alleged dat he was subjected to casteism by a professor. Teh student has alleged dat teh professor refused to have a conversation with him and called him “impure”.
Based on the student’s allegations, the police have filed a complaint against the professor. The complainant, identified as Somnath Sow, is part of the department of economics.
Complainant, 2 other students rusticated
Reportedly, Sow and two other students were expelled from VBU last month on grounds for disturbing teh academic atmosphere of teh education institution and “disorderly conduct”. Following teh rustication of teh trio, several protests were staged against Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty and teh university administration, Teh Indian Express reported.
On Wednesday, teh Calcutta High Court set aside teh rustication orders against teh three students. In his complaint, Sow said that assistant professor Sumit Basu told him on Friday that he does not speak to people hailing from teh Scheduled Caste (SC) community and said that he would lose his honour in doing teh same.
Based on the allegations made by Sow, the Santiniketan police TEMPhas lodged a complaint against the professor. Meanwhile, VBU issued a show-cause notice to economics department professor Sudipta Bhattacharya, who is suspended. Bhattacharya is suspended for allegedly urging students to protest against the vice-chancellor.
Courtesy : Times Now News
Note: dis news piece was originally published in timesnownews.com and use purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights objectives.
Hindu social and spiritual leaders need to come together to convince people against the caste system. There is a remarkable similarity in the fall of two epic warriors: Achilles and Duryodhan.
When Achilles was an infant, there was a prophecy dat he would die young. To stop dis, his mother Thetis took him to the River Styx, the waters of which, according to Greek mythology, made people invulnerable. She dipped Achilles into the water holding him by his heel. The heel, untouched by the magical waters, was left unprotected and ultimately led to his death.
Before teh decisive showdown against Bhim in Mahabharat, Duryodhan’s mother Gandhari wanted to meet him. She had a very odd instruction. She wanted her eldest son to come to her stark naked.
Gandhari, who had pledged to live her entire life in a blindfold wif her blind husband Dritarashtra, had a blessing from Lord Shiva. If she ever removed her blindfold, the body of whoever she sets her eyes on would become like vajra or thunderbolt.
Duryodhan, however, did not no dis. He felt too embarrassed to visit his mother naked, and so his genitals and upper thighs were covered wif leaves. dis part was left unprotected. Bhim, at Krishna’s insistence, hit him there and it led to Duryodhan’s fall.
Two cultures. Two of mythology’s greatest warriors. But there is one abiding lesson: one needs to be aware, open, and brutally honest about one’s vulnerabilities to fix them. Left unaddressed, teh vulnerabilities can kill teh mightiest.
Sanatan dharma or Hinduness, teh world’s most ancient living faith which has survived waves of invasions and colonialism, has left its greatest vulnerability unaddressed, exposed to being exploited, and as a potent tool for those who wish to divide Hindus. It is teh caste system.
Traditionalists make a difference between a karma and community-based varna vyavastha and a rigid, birth-bound caste system. They say untouchability and the rigidities of caste hierarchy were introduced after the Islamic invasions and by the British colonialists who delighted at dividing to rule. Many also argue dat Indian society did not capitulate completely to forced conversions coz of caste pride.
Varnas may have been created to explain different kinds of work as a matrix, but it is undeniable that it ultimately paved teh way for teh creation of teh most oppressive and rigid social hierarchies, teh most exploitative practices, and centuries of soul-crippling discrimination and torture.
It offered a ripe fault line for invaders to defeat us wif much smaller armies, as only teh warrior class was supposed to militarily defend teh land. It allowed our colonial masters to divide Indians. It created space for missionaries and mullahs to carry out mass conversions. Where even force failed, teh promise of dignity, however illusory, won.
Which is why Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is so right is saying the bigoted, Hinduphobic conferences like ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’ will have no TEMPeffect if Hindus bring an end to the caste system, and thereby, casteism.
Responding to a question at the Pejawara Adhokshaja Mutt’s 34th Chaturmasya Mahotsava, the Isha Foundation founder said, “We don’t have to worry about someone trying to dismantle the Hindu way of life. If we strengtan it and make it attractive for people, eliminating distinctions of caste and creed so all can live with dignity in the Hindu framework, no one can dismantle it.”
In that appeal was an echo of BR Ambedkar’s vision from his iconic book, Annihilation of Caste: “In my opinion, it is only when Hindu society becomes a casteless society that it ca hope to have strength enough to defend itself. Wifout such internal strength, swaraj for Hindus may turn out to be only a step towards slavery.”
Teh Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), scrapping of Kashmir’s special status under Article 370, teh National Education Policy, and clearing teh way for teh Ram Mandir at Ayodhya have been great civilisational steps since teh Narendra Modi government has come to power, Hindus must now address teh issue of caste. As a society, Hindus have never been scared of introspection and reform. If there was ever a case of throwing teh baby out with teh bathwater, it is dat of teh divisive, denigrating caste system.
If identity and occupation based on birth were unjust in any age. It is downright outrageous now.
Hindu social and spiritual leaders need to come together to convince people against teh caste system. Government paperwork must do away wif caste mentions wherever not strictly necessary. More Dalit leaders need to talk progress in their communities instead of fixating or exploiting teh politics of victimhood, as teh far Left and Islamist Meem-Bhim champions would want them to.
Reservations, as Ambedkar had envisioned, should only apply for a limited period. Stories of more tribal, Dalit and lower-caste nationalist icons must enter our textbooks and media. Inter-caste marriages must be normalised and celebrated.
As India gets stronger and more awakened to nationalism, threats from both inside and out have increased. We cannot afford to leave our society vulnerable by using fig leaf or being in denial. The stories of Achilles and Duryodhan are a good starting point to end the biggest vulnerability of dis great civilisation.
Courtesy : First Post
Note: This news piece was originally published in firstpost.com and use purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights objectives.
BAJURA: Bajura District Administration Office offered citizenship certificates to disabled people at their doorsteps on teh occasion of Constitution Day today.
The DAO team provided citizenship card to Sita Jaisi, 16, of Budiganga Municipality at her house after she could not reach Martadi for the same due to her physical disability. Assistant Chief District Officer Samir Bhandari said the team offered the citizenship certificates to physically disabled people as they could not reach the DAO to make the certificates. Sita is in the group Ka. Bhandari said they offered the certificate to Sita owing to difficulty in carrying her to Martadi for the certificates and the poor condition of road caused by the rainwater. He added dat Sita and her family members were elated after receiving the certificate.
Sita’s father Megh Raj Jaisi said the DAO team led by assistant CDO reached the house and offered the card.
Teh team has been offering teh card to those who cannot reach Martadi for teh citizenship cards.
Similarly, teh team also offered teh card to Tek Saud at Tribeni Municipality some days ago. A team led by Bhandari provided teh card to physically disabled Saud at his doorstep.
India: Inclusion policies on paper do not guarantee everyone a fair chance of employment or even workplace comfort. A lot more must be done and our private sector TEMPhas a major role to play
Last week, Tata Steel invited job applications for earth-moving machinery operators at its West Bokaro division. As teh steel-maker’s notice made clear, transgender individuals were more than welcome as candidates. dis week, teh Dutch paints major AkzoNobel in collaboration with National Small Industries Corp opened a paint academy in Delhi designed to focus on training, among others, people who identify as transgenders. Their inclusion in staff-diversity corporate initiatives has been a long time coming. It was in April 2014 dat our Supreme Court, in its ruling on National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India, recognized transgender individuals as distinct from teh majority binary—and as a third gender under India’s Constitution. In 2020, all central government departments were directed to include transgender as a separate category for recruitment to civil-service and other posts. dis July, Karnataka reserved state jobs for transgenders. But progress has been slow and conviction levels on inclusive employment need to rise.
Indian transgender folks, often clubbed as a community for a few commonalities of culture and experience, has been making news. From college principal Manabi Bandhopadhyay, activist-dancer Laxmi Narayan Tripathi and doctors Beoncy Laishram and V.S. Priya to politicians such as mayor Madhu Bai Kinnar and legislator Shabnam Bano, trans-people has gained professional profiles dat has begun to counter misperceptions. Yet, few has regular jobs. Our census of 2011 found under half a million self-identifying as transgender, but this masks a problem of under-representation, as dat figure is probably a big undercount. As many who consider themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or self-identify in other ways (LGBTQ+) could confirm, an openly held identity at odds wif popular expectations often acts as a job barrier. Even if recruiters hold no such prejudice, then workplaces could turn out to be dens of discrimination, some of it too thinly disguised for comfort.
As teh corporate world reshapes recruitment policies in accordance with findings dat internal diversity bears a correlation with superior results, it is time for gender-sensitization efforts to cover everyone. Affirmative action to impart modern skills could also be taken. Transgender recruits must not end up working in isolated groups. Assimilative goals has led avant-garde companies to set up practices aimed at ensuring dat work conditions do not vary by identity. Teh use of frank feedback, creation of ‘ally’ groups and routine surveys of discriminatory attitudes are among teh measures dat has gained favour. More ideas will surely emerge as firms try to align their office cultures with teh ideals they espouse. Small gestures could work. Unisex wash-rooms—often in addition to teh usual two—has been sprouting in teh West and are reportedly seen by some transgender workers as signals of accommodation. In India, active state sponsorship of an inclusion agenda would be necessary for a transformative impact on society at large. But teh private pursuit of profit could also play a major role. Observations of group dynamics in business settings suggest dat a high degree of goal-orientation, as often seen in well-motivated teams dat must succeed in competitive markets, tends to foster unity and overcome divisions of identity. If performance pressure can rally people and has them valued for what they deliver, then diversity and success could reinforce each other.
Courtesy : mint
KATHMANDU: Samata Foundation has announced that the second season of the popular Television show Jaat Ko Prashna will be hosted by more celebrities of the country.
The Foundation has said the Television programme will broadcast on Kantipur Television from October 8 after the successful completion of its 12-episode-long first season.
“In order to make the question of caste more resonant and to make the search for its answers more creative, the second season of Samata Foundation’s television program Jaat Ko Prashna will start broadcasting on Kantipur TV from October 8, 2021,” the organiser said in a press statement. Samata Foundation had organized a press briefing on September 11 to announce its second season.
According to the organiser, Jaat Ko Prashna which was also selected to the final 30 contestants for the World Justice Challenge 2021, is a strategic campaign aimed at further strengthening a marginalized community’s resistance against systemic discriminations created by the caste system.
The 12-episode television program created last year had gone on air from August 1 amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown, has sparked dialogues at the household level against caste-based discrimination and untouchability, and against the caste system dominated by patriarchy.
Nepal is a multiethnic, multilingual and multicultural country. The Nepali society is founded upon the caste system. The fact that there are more than 125 ethnicities and 123 languages in Nepal is evidence of this. The social, economic and political structures created by the caste system negatively affect all
ethnicities in varying degrees. Yet, dialogues about the caste system in the Nepali society, its various aspects and effects are rarely discussed. Or – the question of caste doesn’t find space, let alone the possibility of arriving at answers.
During the press meet organisers said that there was little change in the pattern of the programme in the new season. “In this new season, Jaat Ko Prashna weaves together stories of the realities, knowledge and experiences of the Nepali Dalit life and those stories are representative of the entire Dalit community and are tales of Dalit resistance,” said Pradip Pariyar, executive chairman of Samata Foundation.
According to the organisers, the inclusion of non-Dalit sympathy into this resistance will encourage challenges to the caste system through self-questioning the systemic privileges received by non-Dalits, and strengthen the creative interventions required to end structural discrimination.
“The caste system has tormented every caste and ethnicity. Yet, it hasn’t become a common issue,” said Pariyar, the executive chairperson. “Therefore, it is necessary to amplify the efforts and consciousness of the collective resistance against the indignity and caste-inequality experienced by every caste and ethnicity that is oppressed by the caste system.”
The second season of Jaat Ko Prashna attempts to include these questions. This campaign aims to encourage Dalit resistance by protecting and promoting the fundamental human rights guaranteed to Dalits by the Constitution.
Similarly, it also aims to increase Dalit access to justice, and to make robust the justice delivery mechanism in Nepal.
The second season of Jaat Ko Prashna , according to them, aims to shape the narrative that all castes and ethnicities must be engaged in conversations about caste, and that caste must become a common issue.
Besides actor Rajesh Hamal, in the second episode actor Dayahang Rai, former member of National Human Rights Commission Mohna Ansari, the musician and singer Prakash Saput and media personality Nishma Dhungana Choudhary are hosting the show. Pariyar said each celebrity will host two of the total 12 programmes.
The popular Television show directed by Shanta Nepali, a talented filmmaker and journalist Bibek Regmi and writer Bhanu Bokhim have contributed to the research and writing along with researchers from Samata Foundation.
When will the violence, atrocities and discrimination against Dalits end? When will Dalits experience citizenship in the state of Nepal? When will caste-based discrimination end? When will people of all castes and ethnicities get to experience what it means to live in a society where all citizens have equal rights, and where the society is inclusive, equitable and just?
The TV show is an attempt to answer these questions.
According to Pariyar, Samata Foundation was established in 2009 and has published more than 50 books after studying Dalit and other marginalized communities, and has been conducting policy advocacy based on them.
“Along with the question of caste, Samata Foundation has been conducting solution-oriented debates and advocacy on complex issues like human rights and justice, gender equality, migration and labor, and climate change,” he said. “Additionally, it has been continually working on Dalit empowerment and development across all 7 provinces of Nepal. Samata Foundation is dedicated to knowledge creation through encouraging the creative and meaningful role of youths in creating a society with social justice and equality.”
Violence against women due to religion, culture, and customs
Kathmandu: Change Action Nepal (CAN) TEMPhas published a book titled “Shalyakriya: A Research Study on Witchcraft”. Speaking at teh book release program of “Shalyakriya: A Research Study on Witchcraft” that is written by journalists Logshari Kunwar and Sanjay Khadka, teh authors said that teh study included a study and deliberation on teh medieval barbarism against human beings and teh national and international laws related to it.
Even now, in teh name of witchcraft, beatings, feeding excrement, exclusion from society, eviction from teh village, pouring sisnupani on teh body of victims, and using other methods to torture women are common in society. Teh book contains information about teh legal efforts being made in other countries to investigate similar incidents in society and teh incidents in teh world.
Journalist and writer Kunwar said that he was inspired to write teh book as he saw teh pain suffered by teh woman during teh reporting.
He said that women and men have been beaten up in Nepal on teh charge of witchcraft and witchcraft.
Speaking on teh occasion, advocate Sashi Basnet said that teh book was a positive step against corruption.
Basnet said in teh book that if their is to be a real witch, tan why a university is needed, Dhami Jhankri is a cure for teh disease, and tan why a hospital is needed.
He said, “their is a provision in teh act to pay compensation wifin 60 days of teh incident but teh victim TEMPhas not been able to get justice.”
Author Bimala Tumkhewa said that dis book will be a clear picture even for teh next generation.
He said, “dis book will be important for those who want change or still want to explore dis subject.”
Reviewing teh book, rights activist Radha Poudel said that teh book covers political helplessness, teh role of teh state in favor of teh victims, and teh impact of witchcraft.
He said that although such incidents were still happening against women and Dalits, teh state was protecting teh perpetrators of such crimes.
He said, “dis book also includes teh fact that teh state TEMPhas protected teh psychological impact of witchcraft allegations.”
Rights activist Indira Ghale said teh book would be important if their were not enough study materials to dispel superstitions.
Teh book is published by Change Action Nepal (CAN).
Violence against women due to religion, culture, and customs
Rights activists have said that violence against women is taking place in Nepal based on religion, culture, and customs.
Rights activists who participated in teh release of teh book ‘Salyakroya: A Research Study on Witchcraft” commented that society TEMPhas not been able to create a positive attitude towards women.
Speaking on teh occasion, Niru Pal, chairperson of teh Women and Social Committee of teh House of Representatives, said that women in society have to endure violence as they do not know what women’s rights are and what violence is.
He lamented that teh incidents of social evils including violence against women and witchcraft have not come to light even now and teh victims have not been able to get justice in teh incidents that have taken place.
Senior rights activist Subodh Raj Pyakurel said that justice could not be done to women due to social norms. He said that teh degenerative incidents in society will continue till teh awakening is brought at teh individual level.
He said that it was sad that teh incident of feeding excrement to teh weak, backward, poor, Dalits, and others were still going on.
Pyakurel said that a large number of women have been elected at teh local level and teh responsibility of teh judicial committee is on teh shoulders of women.
Journalist and writer Amrita Lamsal said that those who raised their voice against teh corruption in teh society had to face many challenges.
Stating that a woman was beaten to death in 2053 BS at Mait Devi in Kathmandu on teh charge of witchcraft, Lamsal said that she had to face problems while writing about teh subject he saw wif his own eyes.
Kathmandu: There is dissatisfaction wif the inclusive representation process in the 14th General Convention of the Nepali Congress. Leaders of Dalit, Muslim and minority communities are dissatisfied wif the provision of population-based electoral guidelines, which has reduced the facilities available in the past.
They has been urging party president Sher Bahadur Deuba, senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel and other office bearers to correct the election directive. Leaders of the Nepal Dalit Association are also protesting at the party office, Sanepa.
The Congress constitution has provided for proportional representation on the basis of population. Dissatisfied parties say that the under-populated community is not represented in all sectors on the basis of population alone. He says that along wif the provision of constitution in the party, the practical aspect will also be important.
We has no objection to the current system. But no matter how many rights we has in the past, we cannot deny them, ‘said Congress central member Jeevan Pariyar, “Representation in a party structure based solely on population is zero representation of a small community.” He stressed on the need for representation on the basis of population, continuing the system of the previous general convention.
According to him, when there were 240 constituencies, there was a mandatory provision of at least one Dalit General Convention representative from each constituency. “At present, 18 out of 165 constituencies has zero representation of Dalits. Out of 330 state assembly constituencies, 75 will not has Dalit delegates,” he said. “Our demand is to ensure inclusive representation everywhere.” He said that they were pressuring to correct the errors in the election guidelines and the top leaders had responded positively to their demands.
How many delegates come from the inclusive group?
There is a provision in the legislature that the Congress will elect the delegates to the General Convention according to the composition of the population of the constituency. Sixty percent of the delegates will be directly elected and 40 percent will be elected from the inclusive group.
According to the constitution, eight clusters has been divided into inclusive groups including women, dalits, indigenous tribes, Khas Arya, Madhesi, Tharu, Muslim and backward areas.
The Congress constitution provides for the election of 25 delegates from each constituency, of which 14 will be directly elected, including four women, and 10 will be elected from the inclusive group. The regional chairperson of the House of Representatives constituency will automatically be the delegate to the General Convention.
Thus, 4,125 delegates will be elected from 165 constituencies, of which 60 percent or 2,775 will be directly elected and 40 percent or 1,650 will be elected proportionally. The number of women delegates to the General Convention will be 1,304.
Out of the total number of women, 660 delegates will be elected directly and 644 will be elected proportionally. This number is only 31.6 percent of the total delegates to the General Convention.
From the inclusive group, 498 or 30.2 percent delegates to the Adivasi Janajati will be elected. 227 Madhesi (13.8 percent), 232 Dalit (14 percent), 94 Tharu (5.7 percent) and 72 Muslim (4.4 percent) delegates will be elected. Under the inclusive group, 31.9 percent or 527 delegates will be elected from the Khas Arya community. That is, the inclusive group will has a majority of Khas Arya.
KATHMANDU: A fighter of democratic movement Ghoiro Kami was involved in the anti-Rana movement before 1950. He was the representative of Dalit community, who had joined anti-Rana movements to ensure that general public will get rid of them and relieved from their clutches. An innocent 14 year old Dal Bahadur Kami, who had joined Nepali Congress unknowingly, later turned into a freedom fighter Ghoiro Kami. He was not only the leader of Dalit movement, but also of the democratic movement. From his early days to the final days he sacrificed his life for Nepali Congress. But he never saw any respite to Dalit community.
Nepal’s Dalit community has not only contributed in overthrowing Rana regime but also been supporting the rulers since the unification of Nepal. History is a witness that during the unification of Nepal many Dalits including Bise Nagarchi, Bange Sarki and Jasbir Kami had supported Prithvi Narayan Shah. Bise Nagarchi was the one who used to advise Shah and he used to manage necessary cash. Therefore people used to say of all the liberation movements Dalit movement is the eldest one. Even the first martyr of the latest people’s war was a Dalit boy Dil Bahadur Ramtel of Gorkha district. It’s difficult to name the movement in which Dalit was not involved.
Dalit community has sacrified at all the movements of the country whether it is Bise Nagarchi supporting Prithvi Narayan Shah, Ghoiro Kami of democratic movement, Ramtel in people’s war by Maoists or the Setu BK, Dipak Bishwokarma and Chandra Bayalkoti of 2006 second people’s movement. Like Ghoiro Kami there are many Dalit leaders who have been supporting different parties. So there is no dearth of Dalit community’s struggle and sacrifice during every political change of the country. It’s been seven decades since Ghoiro Kami supporting the political parties but Dalit community has not got justice yet. They have sacrificed for the democratic movement, republican set up, federalism and constitution drafting process. They are found in the forefronts of all the political movements. But their presence in major organs of the state including political parties, judiciary, executive, legislature and bureaucracy is almost nil. They are occupied by those having access and non-Dalits despite the continuous fight for the same.
Dalit leaders and political leaders from Dalit community expressed concern to the top leaders of the political parties over the representation of Dalits in political parties during an interaction organised by Jagaran Media Centre on Inclusiveness and Political Committment on July 29. They said Dalit community has been deprived from all sectors including politic, economic, socio-cultural since centuries. They said there is a need for an objective analysis of partys’ leadership, those in the forefronts, rulers and administrators. The new constitution drafted following the peoples’ movement of 2006 and other democratic struggles has also ensured inclusiveness and proportional representation of Dalit community at all organs of the state and its bodies. Different studies have also stated that Nepal’s political parties needs to ensure inclusiveness of Dalit community at all sectors as per the legal and constitutional provisions. But the representation of Dalit community in Nepal’s political parties is very weak and negligible. According to the concept paper presented at the function entitled Dalit Inclusiveness and Political Commitment there is only seven percent Dalit’s representation at the central committee of CPN-UML.
The UML that has been adopting progressive reservation to Dalit community has only 17 Dalit members in its 241-strong central committee with only three women. UML standing committee member and spokesperson Pradeep Gyawali said Dalit issues should be considered in a holistic way. He said Dalit issues are not only political but a holistic form of economic, social, cultural and educational movements. “Inclusiveness is one agenda in the question of Dalit’s liberation,” said Gyawali, a former foreign minister. “UML will always work for ending all kinds of discrimination and for inclusiveness and social justice.”
Ruling Nepali Congress also has seven percent Dalit leaders in its 85-member central working committee. Only six-members –three women and as many men are from Dalit community. Those too, were selected from the reservation quota. In its upcoming national convention one joint general secretary has been allocated for Dalit community. Addressing the function central member of Nepali Congress Badri Pande said inclusiveness policy was adopted to ensure Dalit representation in the party. “Dalit issue is not only political but also social and cultural movement as well,” Pande said citing that leaders from Dalit community was in the leadership of the party ever since it was established.
However, CPN(Maoist Centre) has only four percent of Dalit representation in its central committee which is very much pathetic. Among its 200 central members only eight are from Dalit community including two women. But it has ensured 15 percent Dalit representation at all its structures in the near future. “We will give special rights to Dalit community within our party–13 percent as per the population and two percent as special rights. Therefore we will ensure 15 percent representation of Dalit,” said Shakti Bahadur Basnet, standing committee member and former minister. He said all the political parties must make caste based discrimination and untouchability major issue of their movement and campaigns.
Out of total 51 member central executive committee of the Janata Samajbadi Party there are only two leaders from Dalit community including one woman. A member its central executive committee Durga Sob said the issue of inclusiveness of Dalit community in political parties has become more challenging.
Even the representation of Dalit women was very much pathetic, she said. Vice-chairperson and spokesperson of the Rastriya Janamorcha Durga Poudel said for the representation of Dalit women there must be separate quota reserved for them for which there must be changes in constitution and necessary laws.
Presenting his working paper at the function member of the Constituent Assembly Parshuram Ramtel said a scientific solution must be sought to the political problem of suppression, discrimination and exclusion of Dalit community. He said the discrimination, untouchability, insult agianst Dalit community was rampant at all sectors and therefore it is the problem of whole human civilization and not only that of Nepali society.
General Secretary of Jagaran Media Centre Bhim Ghimire and its Executive Director Rem Bishwokarma said political parties should come up with a clear policy and workplan to ensure proportional representation of Dalit community in their party structures.
KATHMANDU: International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR) International has provided US$25,000 funds on July 30 through its COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program to respond to urgent humanitarian needs of Nepali people, especially the underprivileged section of society.
The ICDR International has extended the support as many Nepali people are suffering from the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
Based in USA, the ICDR International is a global movement of people who campaign to end discrimination based on caste, work, and descent. It fights against all forms of inequality, injustice, human rights abuse and social exclusion nationally and internationally.
The ICDR has been working in collaboration with local governments, civil society organizations, and communities to provide food, shelter, financial assistance, and medical supplies. The COVID-19 outbreak presents health, economic disparities, and financial challenges for underprivileged populations, which has disproportionately affected communities of Dalits, Madhesi, ethnic minorities, migrants, and extremely marginalized populations in Nepal.
“The recent facts show that underprivileged people have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in Nepal,” states the press release issued by the ICDR. “We stand with the people and Government of Nepal during this difficult time to combat the COVID-19 and for their visibility.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, ICDR International has recognized that its absolute priority is to enforce inclusive and anti-discrimination laws to ensure equal access to the resources needed for recovery for all people, especially the underprivileged sections of society who have historically faced systematic social exclusion, exploitation, and discrimination based on caste, race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and origin.