Amjad Nazeer

Roehampton University, London (U.K) (April 16, 2010)


There have been many Mahatmas in India whose sole objective was to remove untouchability but everyone of them has failed. Mahatmas have come and Mahatmas have gone but untouchables have remained 1 untouchables. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar .

The Enigma of Identity: Caste has been described as a unique phenomenon of social organization in South Asia. It is a system of rigidly classifying people into various strata determined by one’s birth, descent or occupation. Inter-caste mobility or switch-over is conventionally difficult. Its origin is discovered to be rooted in the Aryan invasion of India (about 1500 BC)2 and the creation of and Hindu dharma – the religious code of conduct. According to Vedas (the ancient sacred scriptures), human society is divided into four Varnas – castes or colours i.e. Brahamins - the priestly class, Kushatryas - the rulers and defenders of the land, Vaishyas - the traders and merchants, and Shudras - the artisans and agricultural labourers. There is another class that falls outside the ambit of four Varnas that is known as Achutyas or untouchables, the ritually impure people mostly engaged in servile occupations. Karma (good or bad deeds that cause effects) and reincarnation (the cycle of birth and death) are held responsible to punish or reward a person to be born in a dignified or degraded caste. Traditionally, it is the caste that determines one’s vocation too3.To our dismay, around 144 forms of untouchability are found in India4. The so called untouchables themselves are further divided into scores of sub-castes and categories known as jatis. The deeper one goes, the wider and complicated it becomes. Several jatis themselves might be unaware where do they belong to in the mythical ideology of Vedic Varnas5. Achutyas or Maleechas was their religio-cultural identity, heavily stigmatized and loaded with indignity and almost always abhorred by the subjugated castes and classes themselves. The British colonial rulers identified them as ‘depressed classes’ and while specifying certain legal rights for them, they were recognized as Scheduled Castes (SCs). ‘Harijans, ‘the Children of God’ was a euphemistic attribution attached to them by Mohandas Gandhi. Rejecting all nomenclatures as either innately biased or paternalistic, they would now prefer themselves to be identified as Dalits. Dalit is a Sanskrit word that means ‘crushed’, ‘broken’ or ‘oppressed people’, used for the first time by a lower-caste reformer, Jotyba Phule, the founder of Satyashodhak Samaj, an oppressed class movement, in the mid 19th century in India. Apart from some journalistic currency in the 1930s, the term was owned and frequently used by the great Dalit leader, Dr. B. R. Amebdkar, himself a Dalit too. Come 1972, the rise of Dalit Panther Movement and Dalit manifesto, the word gradually become the symbol of honour, hope and resistance for the oppressed and discriminated classes all over South Asia. Dalit Panther manifesto defines Dalits as, “members of scheduled caste or tribes, the NeoBhuddists, the working people, the landless and poor peasants, oppressed women and all those who are being exploited politically, economically and in the name of religion. To the noted Dalit scholar Gangadhar Pantawane, “Dalit is the symbol of change and revolution. He believes in humanism and rejects the existence of God, rebirth, soul and sacred books that preach discrimination, karma, reincarnation, fate and heaven to keep him enslaved”6. The worst form of Brahiminic ideal is discernible in the treatment of women, where untouchability, patriarchy and subservience all unite for the ordeal a lower caste woman. Simultaneously, caste is the sign of dismal poverty, oppression, discrimination, domination and exclusion embedded in south 2

Asian societies - a subject of national shame and perhaps a barrier towards the development and modernization, social justice and democracy7.Dalit population of India is estimated to stand around 169 million (16%) according to the 2001 census, largely living in rural areas (80%) with a small proportion (20%) settled in towns and big cities Around 90 million more across South Asia who fall in this category8. Scope of the problem: ‘Beyond the religious sanctions of ritual purity and impurity, the present form of caste and castebased-discrimination is the creation of western colonial governance, as is communalism’, believe Nickolas Dirk and Gyanendra Pandey. ‘It is, off course, unbelievable to say that the caste was invented by the British but its contemporary form is the outcome of socio-political encounter between the colonial rulers and the Indian masses, they argue. It was under the British dominance that ‘the caste’ was systematically used to define and organize bewildering diversity of South Asia through an ideological canon. Manufacturing ‘the caste’ as a fundamental structure and a widelypervasive, holistic and totalitarian religio-social order was the product of a British strategy. Precisely, colonialism constituted ‘caste’ the way it is functioning today. Though, the phenomenon is still mystified in the interpretations of orientalists, British administrators, missionaries, political actors, thinkers and Indian reformers but the British did play tier part. Modernization, too simplistic a justification for colonialism, was never an end but to thrive on underlying frictions and fault-lines of the colonized societies. Although ‘caste’ does not exhaust all forms of social organization of the subcontinent and its foundations were always there but it was the too clever British who used it to serve and sustain their colonial power and maintain a social order in tier favour. Its’ new forms were entrenched and appropriated by the colonial masters9. Though politically less pronounced, caste concerns are equally serious in Pakistan and Nepal, other than India. Out of 3 million Hindus, as per official statistics, more than 80% could be classified as Dalits in Pakistan. Official circles and statistics either deny or undermine the size of their population in Pakistan. Dalits’ figure is told to be around 300,000 out of the total population in the most recent 1998 census in Pakistan. However NGOs and Dalit activists, along with the minority political representatives, estimate their population close to 2 million. One of the reasons of underestimation by the government, perhaps is, to not to take any responsibility to come up with the special programmes for their development10. Most of the Dalits who chose to stay back in Pakistan after the partition live in the province of Balochistan, Sindh and Siraiki region. Like their Indian counter parts they are largely poor and eke out their livelihood from agricultural labour, artisanary work and other menial services. Dalits engaged in agricultural labour are landless and completely dependent on the landlords for their survival, mostly languishing under the debt bondage. Incidences of intimidation, harassment, abduction, assault, rape, forced marriages and forced conversions keeping happening, frequently. They are not allowed to use the same pots and hearths that the privileged classes have specified for themselves. Mingling into the social gatherings and ceremonies, other than their own, is a privilege rarely heard off. Most of them have internalized a lower self-image and are chronically sick and malnourished11. Majority of Hindus do not hold National Identity Cards (NIC) and births, deaths and wed-locks are not registered. Absence of NIC and lack of valid proof for their marriages sometimes cause severe problems, especially in casting vote, forced marriages and travel or stay outside their own town etc12. Revengeful response for a maltreatment of Indian Muslims is a supplementary trouble they keep suffering from time to time. Tit for tat reprisals on Hindu minorities in reaction to the demolition of Babri Mosque (1992) and Muslim massacre in Gujarat (2002) are two of the worst cases. Their children are either not accepted by the school administration or made to quit soon after they join, through an insulting behaviour. Unfortunately, what multiplies their vows is their internal 3

subdivision, each considering itself as a superior genre. So much so that one cannot worship another’s gods13. Although the Constitutions of Pakistan prohibits any discrimination in its article 27 (1) in the words that ‘no citizen, otherwise qualified for appointment in the services of Pakistan, shall be discriminated against in respect of any such appointment on the ground only of race, religion, caste, sex, residence or place of birth14.But there is no specific provision categorically prohibiting violations against the rights of the Scheduled Castes or recommending affirmative action’s for them. In reality, social and economic discrimination with the Scheduled Castes is quite common in all spheres of life. Though, some measures have been taken to enact the ‘Bonded Labour Abolitions Act 1992’ but no serious effort has ever been made. Bonded labour, one of the contemporary forms of slavery, is spectacularly present in Pakistan. The 1996 report of ‘Anti-Slavery International’ describes that Pakistan is one the few countries in the world where slavery still exists in the form of bonded labour. Approximately 1.7 million numbers of men, women and children are working in slave like conditions in exchange of so called debt. It is a sheer failure of the government of Pakistan to implement its National Policy and Plan of Action (2001) to abolish bonded labour and rehabilitate the freed labourers, majority of which come from Dalit Community. Labourers released with the effort of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and other NGOs continue living in inhuman conditions in the outskirts of the big cities .The 6% employment quota reserved for Scheduled Caste is hardly ever used by them15. Official statistics place Dalit population in Nepal around 13% while unofficial sources believe it to be around 21% (4.5 million) of the Nepalese population. The periodic reports of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discriminations (CERD) reassert the continuation of discrimination and oppression of Dalit minorities in Nepal. Constitutional and legal prohibitions against certain discriminations are frequently contravened due to poor implementation measures by the government. Nepalese Dalit Activist, Kamla Hamachuri remarks that “We have received many promises and assurances from legislators in the past, but there were never any deliveries. It takes more than promises to change the thinking and attitude of society.” Stark discrimination is obvious in all public facilities and services such as the provision of water, sanitation and electricity or may it be health, education or employment. Meagre income, menial work and make shift settlements are a mark of their presence16. Day to day, inter-caste frictions lead to major conflicts usually causing severe harms to the lower caste communities. Just a touch is enough to invoke the wrath and fury of an upper caste man or woman. Pulling an oak of water from an upper caste tap or spring might result in public insult, severe beating or torture of the victim and his or her family. An impurity attached to the lower caste person is believed to contaminate food and water, if they touch it. Even if the animals belonging to the lower caste eat grass or drink the same water as do the animals of upper caste people, the revenge would not be any softer. Dalits of Nepal are compelled to opt for menial tasks like sweeping, cleaning, removing animals’ and human excreta and might face severe retaliation, should they refuse to do so. The new constitution, promulgated in 1990, prohibits caste-and-work-based discrimination but the fact falls contrary to the constitutional provisions. Any incidence of violence, abuse or crime committed against Dliats in Nepal is rarely investigated or punished. Police force, public officials, respective authorities and law enforcing agencies either participate or condone such contraventions17.

Sociological Failure in Constituting Caste Discrimination as a Human Rights Issue:


Traditionally, sociologists have assumed caste to be the defining feature of Indian social organization, in other words a sign of Indian society, religion and culture, regardless of the harms it may cause to the society. Sociological romance with social organization and inter societal relations has barred it see things from a humanitarian rights perspectives. For them, caste has been a matter of functional give and take. Therefore, it has been offering limited insights and little remedies for number of social evils that are presently acknowledged as human-rights violence or abuse to human dignity. Cast-and-decent-based-discrimination is one such case upon which sociologists have spilt much ink on its’ structural and functional utility than posing the question of its elimination or transformation. It was, rather, supposed to be one of the several ways of organizing a society. But such an approach triggers several questions. Is it the limitation of sociological scope or inability of sociological theory that has constrained this discipline to approach certain problems from human rights perspective? Before moving towards the growing sociological theory of human rights, It is pertinent here to briefly describe how the way caste has been, conventionally, seen by the discipline of sociology. Caste is supposed to be ever-present all throughout the south Asian history. Even the history of India has been narrated as a structural-functional process of task-distributions and caste-configuration. Understanding caste was thought to be pivotal in understanding India or to understand Hindu religion or culture. Caste grouping and classification was contemplated to be a part of South Asian world view by the western individualistic mind. Louis Dumont’s famous book Homo Hierarchicus (1996) describes caste hierarchy as a central phenomenon of Indian society and caste ascendency in the lower caste as an emulation process of upper-caste. Dumont argues that western atomistic mind confuses ideal with the real. Function of Sociology is to bridge the lacuna of individualist mind failing to see human persons as an abstraction of gregarious humanity. Therefore the foundation stone of Dumont’s sociological study of India was the systematic fabric of caste relations in the society. In his view, a sect cannot exist in India without befitting itself in a caste hierarchy. While criticising western individualism and aligning himself with de-Tocquevillian’s associationalism, he seems admiring casteladen society of India, though not in a categorical manner18. Another sociologist, A.M. Hocart opinionated quite comfortably that an under-caste tiller enjoys the privileges of a prince. He thinks, the washer-man, the cobbler, the weaver and the drummer all are analogous there. All are priests. All are kings19.Actually, he is denying that tension ever existed between the caste hierarchies. Commenting on Sociologists’ inappropriate understanding of the caste as a Vedic and scriptural vision of the society, Heesterman and Raheja argue for the inexplicability of similar hierarchies and discriminations in the Muslim and Christian societies. Caste system, they further argue, as a structural-functional system depicted in the textbooks is an invention of Sociologists and Anthropologists who were trying to make sense of the mind boggling complexity of Indian society. Fourfold model of Varnas and mutual interdependence was understandable to the functionalist comprehension of sociologists. To Dumont, castes are separate but interdependent groups of occupations, ascribed by hereditary customs. The principle of Vedic purity-impurity postulates their mutual division and dependence apart. Each Jati declines the privilege of marital exchange to the other, keeping the assimilation of ritual impurity out. But reality disapproves Dumont’s theory, as boundaries of caste are well present in non-Hindu societies as well20. In short, Sociological theory has failed to offer any solution to the problem, other than extending its own interpretation. Apart from sociology, as firmly believed by Dr. Ambedkar, elitist nationalism, and so called republicanism and modernism all have failed to offer any solution to the dilemma of contagious casteism. To him the solution lied in Buddhism, the only religion that evolved out of a struggle against caste-based social organization. Buddha did not believe in God, soul, karma and the process of reincarnation. He created Sanghas (communes) of his followers as a model of an egalitarian society21. Each man is an equally respectable human and a potential Buddha, if he 5

succeeds to overcome desires and his false self. Ambedkar, rejects the view that Hinduism could ever be cured form the disease of caste. He was of the view, that caste hierarchies are incorrigibly permeated in Hindu Dharma. His vow to not to die as a Hindu and his public conversion to Buddhism in 1956, with thousands of his followers is an emblem of his revulsion from Hinduism. Gandhi, on contrary believed that caste hierarchies are a perversion of Hinduism and it can be purged from. Reforming Hindu society was the way out. A famous row between M.K. Gnadhi and Ambedkar in 1930s over the rights of Dalits demonstrates their opposing position. Gandhi went on a prolonged hunger strike protesting against the separate electorate for Dalits proposed in Poona Pact in 1933. Fearing violance if Gandhi died Dr. Ambedkar eventually gave in and compromised on the reservation of few seats for Scheduled Castes in national legislature of 1936, much to his remorse later22. After independence (1947), Indian Government passed numerous laws and constitutional amendments in favour of the depressed classes. Despite significant constitutional measures and favourable policies, majority of India’s untouchables continue to facing disadvantages, discrimination and violence23. Nevertheless, soft or stringent, less or more, economic or social, colonial or pre-colonial, sanctioned by religion or not, no one can deny the ubiquitous nature of caste-based discriminations in South Asia. It is only a human-rights approach and respective remedies that can help eliminate the problem. Cast and Descent Based Discriminations Are Human Rights Abuses: Recent resonance of the issues is evidence that cast-based discrimination has always been a human rights issue24. Cruel, degrading and in-human treatment to a huge population of India is a racist tradition. It is a form of modern segregation and apartheid. According to an estimate in India, everyday 2 Dalit houses are set on fire, 2 Dalits are murdered, 3 Dalit women are raped and 2 Dalits are assaulted every-hour and several other abuses are just a matter of routine25. It is the largest detriment towards the political, economic and social emancipation of millions of people26. Contrary to the past, state-driven National Commissions in India and Nepal now accept many of the excesses reported by NGOs and Newspapers. Accepting it rather meekly, Dalits have long been struggling against this evil custom. Reform movements initiated by Jyotiba Phule (1860-1890), Mohandas Gandhi (1915-1948), B.R. Ambedkar (1930 - 1956) and several other anonymous efforts have been instrumental for that. Mass conversions to Islam, Christianity and Buddhism also served a similar purpose. Caste question has been important during partition, sometimes resounding even today. But quite recently, it is being expressed into a language of human-rights, the most suitable vehicle to address the issue27. The very first article of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) challenges caste-based discrimination in the following words: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood28”. The UN Committee’s (on racial discrimination) interests in caste issue in 1996 was a milestone for Dalit struggle observing that “the situation of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes” is covered under the treaty’s “descent” term, and “it does not solely refer only to race”. The Committee criticized India for not providing sufficient information on the implementation of the country’s measures to improve the condition of scheduled castes. Article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination29 (ICERD) says that "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, and national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life”30.Indian government has been denying that ICERD includes caste-based-discrimination31 while the Government of Pakistan 6

even denies the existence of caste in a Muslim society and trivialises the sufferings of a smaller Hindu population, there. Smita Narula’s report, “Broken People: Caste Violence against India’s Untouchables (1999)” attracted international attention and gave impetus to the movement within India and abroad too. Likewise the “Black Paper on the Status of Dalit Human Rights” produced by National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), based on Indian official statistics and Commission reports, generated added interest in the concerned circles in 2003. Another ‘petition’ submitted to the UN demanding freedom of millions of people in Asia built pressure on Indian government to implement its Constitutional Act (Article 15 & 17) of abolishing caste-discrimination. ‘The petition’ also called on UN to encompass caste-based-discrimination into ICERD and to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the problem of untouchability. Dalit activists also organized the world’s first ever Dalit Convention in October 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Meeting the prime minister of India, Dalit activists presented him “the petition,” the “Black Paper” and 2.5 million signatures of protest32. On August 2000 Human Rights’ expert R.K.W. Goonesekere presented his working paper to the ‘Subcommission on Human Rights’ on work-and-descent-based discrimination in its’ 53rd session. Arguing against caste-discriminations he said that in such discriminations “victims are singled out, not because of a difference in physical appearance or race, but rather by their membership in an endogamous social group, isolated socially and occupationally from other groups in society....It also held that there is “no doubt that social institutions in respect of which the term ‘caste’ is applicable” are covered by the term “descent”, and therefore that discrimination arising from constitutes racial discrimination under CERD....In its’ General Recommendation XXIX, it “strongly condemned descentbased discrimination as a violation of the convention”. For the severity of the problem in there, he confined his report on South Asia only. Subsequently the U.N. Sub-commission on the ‘Promotion and Protection of Human Rights’ unanimously adopted the resolution against discrimination based on work and descent on April 2001. The resolution addressed the issue of caste and reiterated that work-and-descent-based-discrimination is prohibited under international human rights law33. World Conference against Racial Discrimination (WCAR 2001) strongly recommended that “all governments, and in particular those whose citizens suffer from caste or descent-based discrimination and abuse, should ratify and fully implement the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. All governments should support efforts to implement the resolution on discrimination based on work and descent adopted by the U.N. Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in August 2000. Concerned governments should extend invitations to the Special Rapporteur on racism to investigate castebased and other forms of discrimination based on descent in their respective countries....All governments should ensure that caste-based and similar discriminations against marginalized populations is explicitly addressed in the declaration and programme of action of the WCAR, and any follow-up plan of action thereafter· Dalits in South Asia and other populations in similar situations should be explicitly acknowledged as groups of people who have been subject to perennial and persistent forms of discrimination and abuse on the basis of their descent34”. The WCAR’s allocation of 20 paragraphs to the issue of work-and-descent based-discrimination was another landmark success of Dalit rights movement. Transforming Social Behaviour and Bringing National and International Law into Action: It took years of Dalit activists to win the attention of United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other Influential NGOs and institutions. Scores of consultations, press conferences, conventions, seminars and rallies were organized by Dalits all over South Asia for Dalit consciousness and mobilization. Efforts to induce media and civil society were made with noticeable success. Indian Dalits have also filed law-suits in Superior Courts pressing for the need of judicial justice and 7

remedies. State and provincial legislators and the respective ‘Ministries of Human Rights and Minority Affairs’ were also approached to play their role in eliminating the evil. But it has long been observed by human rights experts that, it is easier to ignite a national and international action against discriminations-de-jure than the de-facto ones. It is particularly valid in the case of castebased-discrimination. The fact is that change in law is not a big deal. What is problematic, is the practice. Despite constitutional provision in all three of the countries mentioned, there is no substantial change on the ground35. The horrendous indignity afflicted to Dalits poses several questions. How can sociological understanding contribute towards the elimination rather than admiring its organizational attributes? Why some of the violations are quickly recognized as human rights violations while others not? How could marginalized groups and communities translate internationally recognized claims into social action? Why did International Conventions and International NGOs took so long to recognize untoucability as a human rights concern? If Caste is socially embedded and ideologically driven, what measures could be taken for social transformation. Is it only the strict implementation of international human rights law and constitutional measures that will halt such violations or something else too is required? I personally believe that social transformation is a must coupled with the effective implementation of constitutional and human rights law36. The impact of Dalits’ intensive lobbying at national and international level must not be overestimated. Despite significant progress since the beginning of Dalit campaigns in 1980s, occupation-and-caste-related discriminations are rampant in South Asian societies. Dalit struggle has succeeded to lobby with the national and international human rights bodies but failed in changing behaviours. International law holds limited powers in changing national legislation and domestic policies while changing behaviours is almost impossible for international law. Putting an end to untoucahability is the goal that does not appear any closer37. The question is how to look beyond law and how to address the issue from socio-political perspective. Not to conform to or offer sociological exegesis but to change. This is the challenge for emerging sociology of human rights. Another pertinent question is can law change behaviour or behaviour changes law. I believe that solution lies in the behavioural transformation through mass mobilization coupled with successful implementation of law. Although international human rights law provides enough avenues and legal provisions in which victim groups can also register complaints and grievances. Advocating removal of abuses becomes even difficult when relevant provisions are already available with the domestic constitutions38 as is the case with India, Nepal and Pakistan. But the richness of language and the provision of legal instruments is not sufficient. Punishing perpetrators for specific abuses and reforming institutions that perpetrate such crimes is a must if national governments are serious. Usually it is the states that cause difficulties through denial and trivialization. A colossal amount of work and institutional changes still remains ahead. Dalits and Dalits’ rights activists are doing their job. It is the national governments that need to act swiftly and effectively.



End Notes and References

The most prominent protagonist and the chief architect of India’s Constitution Dr. B.R Ambedkar’s dialogue with M.K. Gandhi around 1933 in the wake of Poona Pact proposing a separate electorate for the untouchable’s of India. The latter was opposed to the separate identity and political representation of Dalits while the latter favoured the proposition., Site hit on April 12, 2010, at 22:34 hrs. 2 The Aryans are said to have invaded the dark skinned original inhabitants India, occupied their territories and relegated their status to the lowest rung of society, later on ideologically justified in the ancient scriptures known as Vedas, see in: Fawley, David.

Origin of Castes: Division of the Caste,, hit on April 13, 2010, at 11:33 hrs.


As mentioned by Vincent Manoharan, General Secretary, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights on his talk to the European Parliament on ‘Caste Discrimination in South Asia’" held at the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels on April 6, 2008. See., hit on Apri 19, 2010 at 10:35 hrs.

Kak, Subhash. 1996. In ‘A note on caste. Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, vol. 77, p.1, here pp1, pp. 235-240. 6 Bharati, Sunita Reddy. October 19, 2002. "Dalit" A term asserting unity, EPW Discussion; Mendelsohn, Oliver & Vicziany, Marika. 1998. The Untouchables: Subordination, Poverty and the State in Modern India pp.2–5
7 8


Dirk, Nickolas, B. 2001. Caste of Mind, Princeton University Press Human Rights Watch: A global concern: August 2001, Vol 13, No. 3(G), p.6. 9 Dirks, Nickolas B. 2001, Ibid.

Aliani, Shahbano. (August 25, 2009) Caste in Pakistan: The Elephent in the Room, hit on April 12, 2010, at 18:55 hrs.

ActionAid–Pakistan 2010, Sanitary workers mobilise to end discrimination and unequal treatment, Waheed H. & Javeria M.,, hit on April 9, 2010, at 15.51 hrs.


Hindu Marriage Registration: An Unfulfilled promise, Javeria, M., hit on April 12, 2010. Quarterly,






Sikand, Yogender. May 2006. SikhSpectrum.Com




The Constitution of the Islamic republic of Pakistan., International Dalit Solidarity Network Working globally against the discrimination based on Work and descent, ,, Site hit on April 12, 2010, 2015 hrs 16 Human Rights Watch 2004. Discrimination against Dalits in Nepal,, Site hit on April 14, 2010, at 11:18 hrs 17 Bob, Clifford. 2007. Dalit rights are human rights: Caste discrimination, international activism and the construction of a new human rights issue, Human Rights Quarterly 29 (2007) 167–193, The Johns Hopkins University Press, USA. 18 Dirks, Nickolas B. Dr. Ibid. 19 A. M. Hocart 1968, On Caste: Religion and Power, Contributions to Indian Sociology pp. 45-63 20 Kak, Subhash. 1996. Ibid. 12 Felix Raj. S.J 2001, ibid.


22 22 23

Thomas C. Mountain March 17, 2006, Why do India's Dalits hate Gandhi? By, Online Journal Contributing. Bob, Clifford, 2007. P192. Ibid. 24 Bob, Clifford. 2007. Ibid. 25 Human Rights Watch, August 2001, Vol. 13, No. 3(G) Caste discrimination: a global concern A Report by Human Rights Watch for the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. Durban, South Africa, September 2001, p2-3. 26 Human Rights Watch, August 2001, p25. Ibid 27 Bob, Clifford. 2007. p.173, Ibid. 28 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Artilce 1,, Site hit on April 14, 2010 at 19:43 hrs. 29 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted 21 Dec. 1965, 660 U.N.T.S. 195 (entered into force 4 Jan. 1969), reprinted in 5 I.L.M. 352 (1966).

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, site hit on April 14, 2010, 22:03 hrs.
31 32

Bob, Clifford. 2007, Ibid. Ibid, p. 178 33 Human Rights Watch: August 2001 Vol. 13, No. 3(G)Caste discrimination: A Global Concern, Bob, Clifford, p. 182, Ibid 34 HRW 2001, p5 Ibid 35 Bob, Clifford. P.190, Ibid. 36 Ibid. 37 Bob, Clifford, 2007, p.184, OpCit. 38 Bob, Cifford 2007, p.193, ibid.


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