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AMBEDKAR & Other SAYING on Dalit


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The relationship between husband and wife should be one of closest friends. - B. R. Ambedkar

I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity. - B. R. Ambedkar

Cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence. - B. R. Ambedkar



Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man's life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.
                                                                                                                                         B. R. Ambedkar

Life should be great rather than long.                                                                              B. R. Ambedkar

The relationship between husband and wife should be one of closest friends.               B. R. Ambedkar

Men are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise both will wither and die.                                                                                  B. R. Ambedkar

Indians today are governed by two different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them.                                                                                                                   B. R. Ambedkar

Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy. What does social democracy mean? It means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life.                                                                                                             B. R. Ambedkar

Religion and slavery are incompatible.                                                                          B. R. Ambedkar

A great man is different from an eminent one in that he is ready to be the servant of the society. 
                                                                                                                                      B. R. Ambedkar

So long as you do not achieve social liberty, whatever freedom is provided by the law is of no avail to you.                                                                                                                               B. R. Ambedkar

The sovereignty of scriptures of all religions must come to an end if we want to have a united integrated modern India.                                                                                               B. R. Ambedkar

I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.
                                                                                                                                      B. R. Ambedkar

Law and order are the medicine of the body politic and when the body politic gets sick, medicine must be administered.                                                                                                           B. R. Ambedkar

One can quite understand vegetarianism. One can quite understand meat-eating. But it is difficult to understand why a person who is a flesh-eater should object to one kind of flesh, namely cow's flesh. This is an anomaly which call for explanation.                                                              B. R. Ambedkar

Generally speaking, the Smritikars never care to explain the why and the how of their dogmas.
                                                                                                                                      B. R. Ambedkar

An ideal society should be mobile, should be full of channels for conveying a change taking place in one part to other parts. In an ideal society, there should be many interests consciously communicated and shared.                                                                                                                   B. R. Ambedkar

Religion must mainly be a matter of principles only. It cannot be a matter of rules. The moment it degenerates into rules, it ceases to be a religion, as it kills responsibility which is an essence of the true religious act.                                                                                                                  B. R. Ambedkar

Caste is not a physical object like a wall of bricks or a line of barbed wire which prevents the Hindus from co-mingling and which has, therefore, to be pulled down. Caste is a notion; it is a state of the mind.                                                                                                                             B. R. Ambedkar

A people and their religion must be judged by social standards based on social ethics. No other standard would have any meaning if religion is held to be necessary good for the well-being of the people.                                                                                                                          B. R. Ambedkar

In Hinduism, conscience, reason and independent thinking have no scope for development. 
                                                                                                                                      B. R. Ambedkar

However good a Constitution may be, if those who are implementing it are not good, it will prove to be bad. However bad a Constitution may be, if those implementing it are good, it will prove to be good. 
                                                                                                                                      B. R. Ambedkar

Caste may be bad. Caste may lead to conduct so gross as to be called man's inhumanity to man. All the same, it must be recognized that the Hindus observe Caste not because they are inhuman or wrong-headed. They observe Caste because they are deeply religious                     . B. R. Ambedkar

Some men say that they should be satisfied with the abolition of untouchability only, leaving the caste system alone. The aim of abolition of untouchability alone without trying to abolish the inequalities inherent in the caste system is a rather low aim.                                                           B. R. Ambedkar

My social philosophy may be said to be enshrined in three words: liberty, equality and fraternity. Let no one, however, say that I have borrowed by philosophy from the French Revolution. I have not. My philosophy has roots in religion and not in political science. I have derived them from the teachings of my Master, the Buddha.                                                                                                B. R. Ambedkar

The reason why Broken Men only became Untouchables was because in addition to being Buddhists, they retained their habit of beef-eating, which gave additional ground for offence to the Brahmins to carry their new-found love and reverence to the cow to its logical conclusion.             B. R. Ambedkar

That the caste system must be abolished if the Hindu society is to be reconstructed on the basis of equality, goes without saying. Untouchability has its roots in the caste system. They cannot expect the Brahmins to rise in revolt against the caste system. Also we cannot rely upon the non-Brahmins and ask them to fight our battle.                                                                                          B. R. Ambedkar

No Hindu community, however low, will touch cow's flesh. On the other hand, there is no community which is really an Untouchable community which has not something to do with the dead cow. Some eat her flesh, some remove the skin, some manufacture articles out of her skin and bones.  
                                                                                                                                     B. R. Ambedkar

People are not wrong in observing Caste. In my view, what is wrong is their religion, which has inculcated this notion of Caste. If this is correct, then obviously the enemy, you must grapple with is not the people who observe Caste, but the Shastras which teach them this religion of Caste.  
                                                                                                                                     B. R. Ambedkar


The Romans had their slaves, the Spartans their helots, the Britishers their Villains, the Americans their Negroes, the Germans their Jews; so the Hindus their Untouchables. But none of these can be said to have called upon to face a fate which is worse than the fate which pursues the Untouchables. Slavery, Serfdom, Villeinage, all have vanished, but Untouchability still exists and bids fair to last as long as Hinduism will last.
                                                                                                                       B. R. Ambedkar
“If you want to destroy a society, destroy its history & the society will get destroyed automatically”                                                                                                B. R. Ambedkar

So long as you do not achieve social liberty, whatever freedom is provided by the law is of no avail to you.                                                                                                  B. R. Ambedkar

Men are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise both will wither and die.
B. R. Ambedkar
“Cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence.”                                                                                                                             B. R. Ambedkar

B. R. Ambedkar
“Religion must mainly be a matter of principles only. It cannot be a matter of rules. The moment it degenerates into rules, it ceases to be a religion, as it kills responsibility which is an essence of the true religious act.”

B. R. Ambedkar
“The question is not whether a community lives or dies, the question is on what plane does it live. There are different modes of survival. But all are not equally honorable. For an individual as well as a society, there is a gulf between merely living and living worthily. To fight in a battle and live in a glory is one mode. To beat a retreat to surrender and to live the life of a captive is also a mode of survival.”

B. R. Ambedkar
“History bears out the proposition that political revolutions have always been preceded by social and religious revolutions. Social reform in India has few friends and many critics.”
B. R. Ambedkar

B. R. Ambedkar
“Law and order are the medicine of the body politic and when the body politic gets sick, medicine must be administered.”
B. R. Ambedkar

B. R. Ambedkar
“Justice has always evoked ideas of equality, of proportion of compensation. Equity signifies equality. Rules and regulations, right and righteousness are concerned with equality in value. If all men are equal, then all men are of the same essence, and the common essence entitles them of the same fundamental rights and equal liberty... In short justice is another name of liberty, equality and fraternity.”

B. R. Ambedkar
“A great man is different from an eminent one in that he is ready to be the servant of the society.”






B. R. Ambedkar
“In Hinduism, conscience, reason and independent thinking have no scope for development.”


B. R. Ambedkar
“We want our own people, people who will fight tooth and nail for our interest and secure privilege for the under-privileged; people who will undo the wrongs done to our people ;people who will voice our grievances fearlessly; people who can think, lead and act; people with principles and character. Such people should be sent to the legislatures. We must send such people to Legislatures who will be slaves to none but remain free to their conscience and get our grievances redressed.”


B. R. Ambedkar
“Every man must have a philosophy of life, for everyone must have a standard by which to measure his conduct. And philosophy is nothing but a standard by which to measure.”


B. R. Ambedkar
“If you ask me, my ideal would be the society based on liberty, equality and fraternity. An ideal society should be mobile and full of channels of conveying a change taking place in one part to other parts.”
B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar
“We must begin by acknowledging that there is a complete absence of two things in Indian Society. One of these is equality. On the social plane we have an India based on the principles of graded inequality, which means elevation for some and degradation for others. On the economic plane we have a society in which there are some who have immense wealth as against many who live in abject poverty.”
B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar
“Equality may be a fiction but nonetheless one must accept it as a governing principle.”
B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar
“If I find the constitution being misused, I shall be the first to burn it.”
B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar
“Learn to live in this world with self-respect. You should always cherish some ambition of doing something in this world. But remember that the age of selflessness has ended. A new epoch is set in. All things are now possible because of your being able to participate in the politics and legislature of your country.”
B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar
“The basic idea underlying religion is to create an atmosphere for the spiritual development of the individual. This being the situation, it is clear that you cannot develop your personality at all in Hinduism.”
B. R. Ambedkar


“Our object in framing the Constitution is rally two-fold: (1) To lay down the form of political democracy, and (2) To lay down that our ideal is economic democracy and also to prescribe that every Government whatever is in power shall strive to bring about economic democracy. The directive principles have a great value, for they lay down that our ideal is economic democracy.”
B. R. Ambedkar










“These cond thing we are wanting in is the recognition of the principle of fraternity. What does fraternity mean? Fraternity means a sense of common brotherhood of all Indians, all Indians being one people. It is a principle that gives solidarity to social life. It is difficult thing to achieve. It seems to me that there lies a heavy duty to see that democracy does not vanish from the earth as a governing principle of human relationship. If we believe in it, we must both be true and loyal to it. We must not only be staunch in our faith in democracy but we must resolve to see that whatever we do, we do not help the enemies of democracy to uproot the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. It follows that we must strive along with other democratic countries to maintain the basis of democratic civilization. If democracy lives we are sure to reap the benefit of it. If democracy dies it will be our doom. On that there can be no doubt.”
                                                                                                                   B. R. Ambedkar


It is usual to hear all those who feel moved by the deplorable condition of the Untouchables unburden themselves by uttering the cry, ‘We must do something for the Untouchables.Â’ One seldom hears any of the persons interested in the problem saying, ‘Let us do something to change the Touchable Hindu.Â’ It is invariably assumed that the object to be reclaimed is the Untouchables. If there is to be a mission, it must be to the Untouchables and if the Untouchables can be cured, untouchability will vanish. Nothing requires to be done to the Touchable. He is sound in mind, manners and morals. He is whole, there is nothing wrong with him. Is this assumption correct? Whether correct or not, the Hindus like to cling to it. The assumption has the supreme merit of satisfying themselves that they are not responsible for the problem of the Untouchables.                 B. R. Ambedkar

I feel that the constitution is workable, it is flexible and it is strong enough to hold the country together both in peacetime and in wartime. Indeed, if I may say so, if things go wrong under the new Constitution, the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is that Man was vile.                                                                         B. R. Ambedkar

Life should be great rather than long.                                                                B. R. Ambedkar

My definition of democracy is - A form and a method of Government whereby revolutionary changes in the social life are brought about without bloodshed. That is the real test. It is perhaps the severest test. But when you are judging the quality of the material you must put it to the severest test.                                                                                               B. R. Ambedkar

The relationship between husband and wife should be one of closest friends.
                                                                                                                    B. R. Ambedkar
“History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them.”                                        B. R. Ambedkar
The teachings of Buddha are eternal, but even then Buddha did not proclaim them to be infallible. The religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality which no other religion can claim to have...Now what is the basis of Buddhism? If you study carefully, you will see that Buddhism is based on reason. There is an element of flexibility inherent in it, which is not found in any other religion.”                                       B. R. Ambedkar
A people and their religion must be judged by social standards based on social ethics. No other standard would have any meaning if religion is held to be necessary good for the well-being of the people.                                                                                                  B. R. Ambedkar
My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. Theattle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is battle for freedom. It is the battle of reclamation of human personality.                                                                                          B. R. Ambedkar
This is a Fractured Nation – split and scattered as separate, often antagonistic mutually suspicious and intolerant Castes.                                                                    B. R. Ambedkar

I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.                                                                                                            B. R. Ambedkar

For a successful revolution it is not enough that there is discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of the justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights.
                                                                                                                             B. R. Ambedkar
“For a successful revolution it is not enough that there is discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of the justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights.”                                                                                                   B. R. Ambedkar


“Man is mortal. Everyone has to die some day or the other. But one must resolve to lay down one's life in enriching the noble ideals of self-respect and in bettering one's human life. We are not slaves. Nothing is more disgraceful for a brave man than to live life devoid of self-respect.”
                                                                                                                   B. R. Ambedkar
Emerson has said that consistency is a virtue of an ass. No thinking human being can be tied down to a view once expressed in the name of consistency. More important than consistency is responsibility. A responsible person must learn to unlearn what he has learned. A responsible person must have the courage to rethink and change his thoughts. Of course there must be good and sufficient reason for unlearning what he has learned and for recasting his thoughts. There can be no finality in rethinking.”                                    B. R. Ambedkar
  • Political tyranny is nothing compared to the social tyranny and a reformer who defies society is a more courageous man than a politician who defies Government.”
  •                                                                                                               B. R. Ambedkar
    Why does a human body become deceased? The reason is that as long as the human body is not free from suffering, mind cannot be happy. If a man lacks enthusiasm, either his body or mind is in a deceased condition.... Now what saps the enthusiasm in man? If there is no enthusiasm, life becomes drudgery - a mere burden to be dragged. Nothing can be achieved if there is no enthusiasm. The main reason for this lack of enthusiasm on the part of a man is that an individual looses the hope of getting an opportunity to elevate himself. Hopelessness leads to lack of enthusiasm. The mind in such cases becomes deceased.... When is enthusiasm created? When one breaths an atmosphere where one is sure of getting the legitimate reward for one's labor, only then one feels enriched by enthusiasm and inspiration.”                                                  B. R. Ambedkar



“Every man who repeats the dogma of Mill that one country is no fit to rule another country must admit that one class is not fit to rule another class.”                              B. R. Ambedkar
What are we having this liberty for? We are having this liberty in order to reform our social system, which is full of inequality, discrimination and other things, which conflict with our fundamental rights.”                                                                                        B. R. Ambedkar
This condition obtains even where there is no slavery in the legal sense. It is found where as in caste system, some persons are forced to carry on the prescribed callings which are not their choice.”                                                                                                  B. R. Ambedkar

B. R. Ambedkar
“Positively, my social philosophy may be said to be enshrined in three words: liberty, equality and fraternity. Let no one however say that I have borrowed my philosophy from the French Revolution. I have not. My philosophy has its roots in religion and not in political science. I have derived them from the teachings of my master, the Buddha.”
B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar
“The sovereignty of scriptures of all religions must come to an end if we want to have a united integrated modern India.”
B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar
“Given the time and circumstances, nothing under the sun shall stop this country from becoming a super power.Being grateful has limitations, no man can be grateful at the cost of his dignity, no woman at the cost of her chastity and no country at the cost of its freedom.I hope that Mr. Gandhi will not drive me to the necessity of making a choice between his life and rights of my people, for I shall never consent to deliver my people bound hand and foot to the orthodox for generations to come.”
B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar
“Hero-worship in the sense of expressing our unbound admiration is one thing. To obey the hero is a totally different kind of worship. There is nothing wrong in the former while the latter is no doubt a most pernicious thing. The former is man's respect for which is noble and of which the great men are only an embodiment. The latter is the serf's fealty to his lord. The former is consistent with respect, but the latter is a sign of debasement. The former does not take away one's intelligence to think and independence to act. The latter makes one perfect fool. The former involves no disaster to the state. The latter is a source of positive danger to it.”                                                                                                                               B. R. Ambedkar

B. R. Ambedkar
“There can be no gain saying that political power in this country has too long been the monopoly of the few, and the many are not beasts of burden but also beasts of prey.”
B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar
“One cannot have any respect or regard for men who take the position of the reformer and then refuse to see the logical consequences of that position, let alone following them out in action.”
B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar
“It is not enough to be electors only. It is necessary to be law-makers; otherwise those who can be law-makers ill be the masters of those who can only be electors.”
B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar
“Law and religion are two forces which govern the conduct of men. At times they act as handmaids to each other. At other times they act as check and counter-check. Of the two forces, Law is personal while religion is impersonal. Law being personal it is capable of being unjust and iniquitous. But religion being impersonal, it can be impartial, it is capable of defeating the inequity committed by law. Religion is believed to ennoble man and not degrade him. Hinduism is an exception.”
B. R. Ambedkar



B. R. Ambedkar
“Indians today are governed by two different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them.”
B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar
“The basis of my politics lies in the proposition that the Untouchables are not a sub-division or sub-section of Hindus, and that they are a separate and distinct element in the national life of India.”


B. R. Ambedkar
“My religious conversion is not inspired by any material motive. This is hardly anything I cannot achieve even while remaining an Untouchable. There is no other feeling than that of a spiritual feeling underlying my religious conversion. Hinduism does not appeal to my conscience. My self-respect cannot assimilate Hinduism. In your case change of religion is imperative for worldly as well as spiritual ends. Do not care for the opinion of those who foolishly ridicule the idea of conversion for material ends. Why should you live under the fold of that religion which has deprived you of honor, money, food and shelter?”


“Majorities are of two sorts: (1) communal majority and (2) political majority. A political majority is changeable in its class composition. A political majority grows. A communal majority is born. The admission to a political majority is open. The door to a communal majority is closed. The politics of political majority are free to all to make and unmake. The politics of communal majority are made by its own members born in it.”
B. R. Ambedkar

“To open or not to open the temples is a question for you to consider and not for me to agitate. If u think it is bad manners not to believe in the sanctity of human beings, then throw open the doors and be a gentleman, but if you wish to remain a orthodox Hindu then shut the doors and damn  come.”                              B.R. Ambedkar
 If you cross the path of tyranny, or incipient tyranny, I believe there is a duty to Iffight it …. If you achieve a voice that will be heard, you should use it to speak up for the voiceless and oppressed. If you possess any power or authority, you must strive to use it to help and to empower the powerles.

                                                            Craig Murrayformer British Ambassador to        Uzbekistan

A number of public figures and organisations have expressed their opinion on caste discrimination. Please see a few of their quotes/statements below:
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, 2015
Millions of Dalits, Tribals and others still face discrimination, especially the women and girls.  In too many communities, religious minorities also suffer.  We must continue Gandhi’s battle for equality.
Saraswathi Menon, UN Women Policy Director
Legislation alone does not address structural discrimination. The UN has an important role to play and must step up to the plate to help stop caste-based violence against women.
Siddharth Kara, Director of the Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at Harvard University
Every single child labourer that I have documented comes from a highly impoverished family unit and belongs to a low-caste or minority community.
Navi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Our outrage is not enough. We must take real and focused action to mend our societies’ dramatic failure to support the rights of people of discriminated castes, particularly women and girls.
UN Women Policy Director, Saraswathi Menon
We want to capture that women are targeted for punitive violence when they transgress caste, by the community, and when seeking to organise and defend their rights and the rights of others.
Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Rashida Manjoo
The intergenerational nature of caste discrimination condemns women to a life of exclusion, marginalization and disadvantage in every sphere of life. Many of those women are denied an education and economic opportunities, and perform dangerous and unprotected work, including … modern forms of slavery.
Manisha Devi, a young Dalit activist who has been a leading figure in two month-long marches for Dalit women’s rights.
I will raise my voice against any injustice even at the expense of my own life.
Ramesh Nathan, general convener of the National Coalition for Strengthening of SC/ST PoA Act
If one uses common sense, the current Prevention of Atrocities Act is stringent and misused. But the government statistics and everyday incidents of brutal and subtle violence against Dalits and Adivasis prove that the Act is simply not working. Perpetrators use ambiguities and loopholes in the Act to evade punishment. An insensitive judiciary and police contribute in their own way to work around the Act.
Asha Kowtal, General Secretary of the National Dalit Women’s movement AIDMAM
Systems of justice meant to protect Dalit women at the national level are completely failing us. We are asking for immediate loud and clear global support in our struggle.
Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Indian National Human Rights Commission, CEDAW 2014 review of India.
There is no dearth of evidence to show that Dalit women elected representatives face severe barriers as they perform the role of leaders in governance … the SC/ST PoA Act is not implemented effectively. Culprits in serious cases like rape and murder are not punished. Caste abuses, stripping and parading of Dalit women in India is not rare.
UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, 2014 report on India.
While legislation has been adopted to eradicate bonded labour and manual scavenging, reports and interlocutors indicate that there is a consistent failure in the implementation of such laws and a tendency to minimize the significance of the problem.
India Exclusion Report 2014
Traditional caste rules mandate forced labour from certain communities. Caste is one of the foundations of the bonded labour system and remains a key feature of bondage even in non-agricultural industries today. The lack of access to their own land, combined with this expectation to perform free labour and the threat of violence and economic boycott against those who challenge their expected social roles, keeps many Dalit families in bondage and a perpetual state of poverty.
India Exclusion Report 2014
Caste remains a key determinant of a person’s future. This is perfectly reflected in India’s labour market, which is more governed by laws of social origin than by statutory legislation. Moreover, violation of caste rules by Dalits seeking to break caste-related employment barriers is prone to severe punishment from dominant castes, including economic boycotts and even physical violence.
Social sector policies need to recognize the caste and ethnic dimensions of human development. Clear and ongoing caste and ethnic inequalities are revealed in different educational achievements and earnings. This strengthens the argument for deliberate strategies to increase inclusiveness by providing educational and economic opportunities for disadvantaged ethnic and caste groups such as the Dalits and Muslims.
UN Women Representative and acting UN Resident Coordinator, Ziad Sheikh
When, for example, you are a Dalit woman, you face double discrimination leading to social, political and economic exclusion and often worse. As we know, this is a reality in Nepal.
UN minority Forum Statement of Pirbhu Lal Satyani, Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN)
A combined effect of low education levels, exclusion from family decision making processes and a lack of property rights make Dalit women vulnerable to labour exploitation and bondage. Rape of female bonded labourers is widespread and violent, and there is little legal recourse.
2014 Global Slavery Index by the Walk Free Foundation
A weak rule of law, widespread corruption, and poverty reinforce political, social, and economic structures of modern slavery in Pakistan. Underpinning this are culturally accepted practices that are tantamount to modern slavery… This reinforces perceptions that lower caste groups are not equal citizens and subsequently limits policy and service provisions tailored to their needs.
Veeru Kohli, Dalit woman and former bonded labourer, now working to help others escape.
My husband, my children and I were kept separate from each other… My daughter was dying of starvation because the landlord whose field I was working on was not paying me anything. When I confronted them, they beat me up.
Jony Das, resident in a Dalit colony
We do not like this lifestyle, but there is no option. Nobody will rent us houses in other areas.
Aidan McQaude, Director of Anti-Slavery International, speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Dalit Solidarity Network UK (DSN-UK)
The enforced silence around caste-based apartheid now extends as far as the UK … the trap of caste-based apartheid that has ensnared millions of people across the world still grips, and its grip threatens fundamentally the democracy of those states that tolerate it, not least the world’s largest democracy.
Baroness Northover, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development (DFID).
Statistics on caste discrimination show that these groups, particularly Dalit households, continue to perform worse than others. For example, mortality rates for Dalit children are 50% higher than those for children born in other families. Only one out of three Dalit girls completes five years of schooling compared to half in other communities.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon keynote address to the Indian Council of World Affairs 
“I was deeply moved by how they are conserving and teaching Gandhi’s letters and other precious artefacts.  And I reflected on our collective responsibility to conserve the spirit of Gandhi’s teachings. He confronted many forms of injustice, including against people who were then called “untouchables”.  His struggle led to the historic resolution banning discrimination based on caste. Today India has laws that not only enshrine equality, but also take positive steps to address past discrimination. But millions of Dalits, Tribals and others still face discrimination, especially the women and girls.  In too many communities, religious minorities also suffer.  We must continue Gandhi’s battle for equality.” UN press release, 12 January 2015
Human Rights Watch
The combination of caste and gender makes millions of Dalit women extremely vulnerable to discrimination and violence, including rape.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on a 2015 visit to Gujarat
“Indian society has an enduring exclusion that is based, among other things, on caste identities. This bias can impede shared prosperity, serving as a basis for discrimination in many spheres, including in employment and other markets, as well as in public services.”
The reply of an Indian court judge to a gang-raped Dalit woman, upon seeing a video of the rape filmed and distributed by the dominant caste rapists and presented by the woman in court as evidence of the rape
Great, now you have proof that you enjoyed yourself
Father of a Dalit child in a Government school in India
They don’t learn anything, must sit separately and are served food last when there is often nothing left
Stalin K speaking in Norway
The apartheid regime in South Africa provoked strong reactions from the international community – the struggle against caste discrimination deserves the same level of attention.
American Dalit woman filmmaker, thenmozhi soundararajan, who spoke at the Women in the World summit in new York about violence against Dalit women
Even if no one else recognizes us as human, we will shout it from the rooftops. … The shame is not on the women, the shame is on the world that allows this to happen
Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Finland
Anti-discrimination and stronger participation are central in the Finnish policy, and most vulnerable groups require special attention. There is every reason to include Dalits as a distinctive group.
Dr. Sono Khangharani, PDSN member
Unfortunately, the rape of a Dalit woman is considered an act “for granted” because of their inferior social status in Pakistani society, so hardly any action is taken against the influential and wealthy landlords. Scheduled castes are living miserable lives with no protection of their honour and property.
Hira Bishwakarma, team leader of a study on Dalit women
Dalit women are at the receiving end of violence, whether domestic or social, for two reasons: they are treated as the second sex and belong to the most oppressed social group.
Editorial, The Himalayan Times
That caste discrimination incidents are regularly reported are evidence that the implementation of the law against it is rather lax, and the perpetrators are not in any way brought to book due to their clout or power. It makes a mockery of our own constitution and the law.
Durga Sob, President, Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO)
Sadly, I don’t think our society is progressive enough when it comes to Dalits. If the educated masses working for human rights had been progressive, such an event, like what happened in Rautahat, would not have occurred in the first place.
Stalin K, filmmaker and human rights activist
As a society, when we hear about untouchability practices, we should feel outraged, as we would with other criminal acts like murder and rape. It’s time we accepted that the practice of untouchability is not the vestigial remains of some backward, social phenomenon or tradition: it’s a criminal offence. Let’s start calling it what it is.
Kumari Selja, Minister for Social Justice, India
Despite prohibition of manual scavenging, the practice is still prevalent… This dehumanising practice is inconsistent with the right to live with dignity.
Report from the National Tribunal on Dalit women
Various Dalit women campaigns across the country are regularly monitoring the cases of sexual violence against Dalit women, but unfortunately they always hit a dead end; the dominant caste threats, the inadequacy of the law enforcement agencies and the collusion between the two leaves no hope of justice.
Mari Marcel Thekaekara, Columnist, New Internationalist
I have had mail from Dalit and Adivasi friends asking why we, the feminist women and men of India, and our Prime Minister and high profile people… do not weep copiously or hold candlelight vigils when they, India’s Dalits and Adivasi people, are routinely raped, every single day in our country. I have no answer. I can only hang my head in shame.
 Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus and Nobel Prize Laureate
“You are a very stratified society, more so than most others, and the caste system is very entrenched. I do think Indian society needs to be challenged about the Dalits because it ends up affecting your humanity.
Juliette de Rivero, Human Rights Watch, at UN side event on Dalit women
New laws are useless unless implemented, as we have seen with previous efforts to ensure protection of Dalit rights.
Aidan McQuade, Director of Anti-Slavery International
Slavery emerges at the conjunction of individual vulnerability, social exclusion and failure of rule of law. So it should be no surprise that those countries that tolerate systemic and often institutional discrimination against their citizens on spurious grounds such as caste should also be the ones with the most extensive enslavement of their citizens. Slavery is one of the cruelest manifestations of caste discrimination.
Joint statement by seven UN human rights experts
“We will pay specific attention to the particularly vulnerable situation of people affected by caste-based discrimination… No one should be stigmatized; no one should be considered

‘untouchable’.”
Moni Rani Das, Dalit woman leader in Bangladesh
“If you are not considered human, human rights do not apply to you.”
Hanns Heinrich Schumacher, German Ambassadorr
When I was asked to address this meeting, the urgency, the dimension of the problem, the meaning of being “Dalit” and in particular a “Dalit woman”, was not known to me. When I gathered more information, I was shocked.
UNDP Country Director Mr Stefan Priesner on International Human Rights Day, 10 December
The Government of Bangladesh should be encouraged to enact a law against discriminatory practices and recognise them as a criminal offence. It would also be important to establish quota systems for Dalits in all public educational institutes, and promote adequate employment opportunities for Dalits in all sectors of the economy.
Asian Human Rights Commission
The failure to adopt a new constitution has meant that addressing the issues of the Dalit community has been put on the backburner once more.
Stalin K, filmmaker and human rights campaigner
If you have come across an Indian, not just in India but anywhere in the world, who have told you that the caste system and caste discrimination is a thing of the past, then that person was either fooling you or was downright ignorant. That person, I can guarantee you, must also belong to the privileged caste.
Manjula Pradeep, Director, Navsarjan Trust, in the Danish daily, Kristeligt Dagblad
At first, the media described us as animals, but then they realised that we made a difference, and they started to report positively about us. But there are still many politicians who try to prevent the media from writing about Dalits, because they prefer to hide the problems and make India appear modern and

democratic. So there is a long way to go.
Aamir Khan, Bollywood star and talk show host
If I think that I am higher than you because of birth, then I am mentally ill.
Kala bai Lavre, manual scavenger, in The Hindu newspaper
When people say it has been 60 years of India’s liberation, I find it difficult to believe, for we are still slaves, working for others, picking up human excreta with our bare hands.
Asha Kowtal, General Secretary, AIDMAM
Every time we go into the field, we have to deal with a case of a young 12-15 year-old girl who was raped by seven-eight men, and then you just start wondering: Are they human beings or are they animals? How could they do this to a girl – and a girl who is completely powerless because of her age, her size, her mind and her caste and everything?
Siddharth Kara, Bonded Labor, Columbia University Press 2012, p.6
Almost all bonded labourers in South Asia… belong to a minority ethnic group or caste… It is crucial to understand that there remains a stratum of human beings in South Asia who are deemed exploitable and expendable by society at large.
Mitro Repo, Finnish MEP
I am appalled that Dalits in India have not seen their situation improved. The violent actions recently have shown how little has been done. It is clear that dominant castes are organising violent acts against Dalits. Unfortunately, the Indian authorities do not take their human rights responsibilities seriously.
Peter van Dalen, Dutch MEP
One of the biggest problems is that people who have destroyed the houses of Dalits, treated them as slaves and forced them into prostitution, are not brought to justice. Even worse, every year hundreds, possibly even thousands, of Dalits are tortured by the police. The Dalits in India are virtually outlawed.”
Barbara Lochbihler, Chair of the EP Sub-Committee on Human Rights
India has legislated on certain levels, but with little success… We therefore strongly urge that the Indian government and authorities – from local to the highest state level – protect and defend the rights of Dalits, and where necessary, enact new legislation.
Gulnara Shahinian, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery.
Caste discrimination is one of the most pernicious forms of discrimination, as it condemns individuals from birth to a life of marginalisation. The links between caste, social hierarchy and slavery are strong.
Mari Marcel Thekaekara, columnist, Hindustan Times
We as a country took a moral stand on Nelson Mandela… for freedom from apartheid. This is why I now back the Dalit struggle for international support, though it irks me that our countrymen have to go to the West to seek justice. If we would get justice on our land, why would we wash our dirty linen in public?
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay:
“Caste is the very negation of the human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination”  Read the full opinion piece on caste discrimination by Navi Pillay here
Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Maxime Verhagen, at the UN Human Rights Council:
“In terms of issues, I think the Council’s agenda does not yet reflect  all the substantive issues that need to be addressed. Discrimination on the basis of descent or work, for example, is still missing from the non-discrimination agenda. There are approximately 260 million people in the world that suffer such discrimination. For these men and women, it is impossible to escape grinding poverty because the society

they grew up in does not allow them to take their fate into their own hands and improve themselves,”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
“In 2001, I noted that India was at the forefront of the struggle against apartheid and expressed the belief that the Indian people would want to end the scourge of caste discrimination. I still hope that this is so, and I strongly urge the Indian government and my own government to endorse international efforts to end the practice of „untouchability‟, which is a blot on humanity. Such support would be a boost to the struggle for Dalit rights, not only in India, but all over the world.”
Clive Baldwin, senior legal advisor, Human Rights Watch:
“Caste discrimination is a major global human rights issue that needs to be effectively dealt with at the international level.”
Human Rights Watch, Asia director, Brad Adams:
political will to end the scourge of caste discrimination is needed at all levels of government to alter traditional attitudes and turn well-meaning laws into reality.”
ISO 26000 – standard on social responsibility in the private sector:
Hundreds of millions of people are discriminated against because of their hereditary status or descent. This form of discrimination is based on a history of rights abuse justified by the wrongful notion that some people are considered unclean or less worthy because of the group into which they are born. An organization should avoid such practices and,

where feasible, seek to contribute to eliminating these prejudices.’’
UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Mr. Githu Muigai:
The legal framework on discrimination based on descent is unambiguous. Yet, it remains to be implemented properly. Robust action was required from Governments in order to advance in the fight against discrimination based on descent. The vital first step in addressing this issue was for States to recognize that discrimination on the grounds of descent constituted a form of racial discrimination prohibited by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination. In the absence of such recognition

it would not be possible to effectively address the serious human rights violations and discrimination suffered by individuals and groups on grounds of caste and other systems of inherited status.”
Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Ms. Yakin Ertürk:
“Dalit women are confronted with discrimination, exclusion and violence to a larger extent than men. Land and property issues in particular, tend to cause or be at the root of conflicts over which Dalit women have faced eviction, harassment, physical abuse and assault. Dalit women are often denied access to or are evicted from their land by dominant castes, especially if it borders land belonging to such castes. They are thus forced to live in the outskirts of villages, often on barren land. Reportedly, on many occasions, cases of violence against Dalit women are not registered, and adequate procedures are not taken by the police.”
Two UN independent experts on water and sanitation and on extreme poverty:
”They [Dalits of Bangladesh] are reportedly denied education because of social stigma, and their jobs are threatened. Although they work in sanitation all day long, they have no or inadequate access to water and sanitation in their own homes. The Government must end all forms of discrimination and adopt immediate measures to guarantee their human rights.”
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Ms. Gulnara Shahinian:
ILO research shows a clear link in Asian countries between forced labour and long-standing patterns of discrimination. In India, the overwhelming majority of bonded labour victims in agriculture, brick making,mining and other sectors are from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.”







Lack of reservation for Dalits in promotion in jobs is a 'big lacuna' in the legal framework.
                                                                                     -Politburo member Brinda Karat
  1. The feeling of being dehumanized, of having been demeaned is far greater for dalit women.                                                                           Rajat Mitra
    Whenever a dalit woman is raped, it gets connected to all other sufferings and discriminations. Dalits being in a disadvantaged position and there's no resilience, no bouncing back.                                                                                     Rajat Mitra 
 It is shocking that the conviction rate for cases of atrocities against SC/STs is less than 30% against the average of 42%.”                           Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India 

“We need a concerted effort to bring about a social change which can weaken these divisive forces, strengthen unity and accelerate our march for national progress”
                                   Meira Kumar, the Speaker of India’s Lower House (Lok Sabha):

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