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editorial : WE INDIANS CAN BUILD A STRONG INDIA BY 2020
As Indians we must have one motto: “One People! One Nation ! One India!” Now, let us look back at the Indian society. In villages where 81% of Indians live untouchability is practiced. Do untouchables get drinking water? Do they socialize like others? Have their Human Rights violations- rapes, beatings, and cold blooded murders stopped? Will they get justice in their lifetime?
The fact is that although a Dalit has made it to the post of the President of India Mr. K. R.Narayannan (1997-2002), but the condition of Dalits remains unchanged. The scourge of untouchbility prevails in India. (60 Minuties the CBS story was anchored By Christine Amanpour in 1999.)
No matter how many Lok –Sabha seats (122 SCs and STs) are reserved, it doesn’t do much good if a Dalit cannot drink from public water taps and is condemned to live in the outer fringes of society. It is with a heart full of love, gratitude, and trust that I take up my pen to write for the Dalit cause. The Indian National Congress Party and Bhartiya Janata Party – led by National Democratic Alliance( NDA) is toying with the idea of job reservation in the private Sector for SCs/ STs’. I believe that for SCs/STs’ jobs are the only route to socio-economic empowerment as they do not own any means of production, like land! President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said, “Our greatest enemy is poverty and not human beings, and if we want progress, we will have to fight poverty.” Eradicating poverty, illiteracy, and reducing inequalities within upper caste and Dalits is the challenge we must face as a nation.
It is crying shame that after 60 years of the Independence, 350 Millions of our people live in poverty. The UNDP Report shows that in India 23crore and 30 lakh people live in starvation. I am sorry to state that after India gained Independence we have no social justice, social security, health care, sanitation, education, infrastructure, drinking water, food, and socio-economic empowerment of all its citizens. We have less cars in on the road but more accident. Train accidents have become more frequent and also India Air Force MIG 21 crashes. Is anyone thinking about it?
India stands highest in the world for blind people, HIV positive, and illiteracy and poverty. As Indians become more educated we will be more productive. Mostly, Indians also lack sense of humor. Our strength, however, lies in our family values.
In India politicians, such as M.Ps’ M.L.As, Ministers, Governors, and Civil Servants from services like IPS, IAS, IFS, and IRS and several other officials of the country consider themselves above the law. Corruption is deeply rooted each and every department of public service and Ministries. Corruption has become the way of life in India and people have learned to respect it. Many top public servants are under CBI investigation after being arrested on the charge of corruption.
Our Politicians must think about health care, education, and infrastructure development. Our politicians must have vision, courage and ideology to make a real difference. Dr. BabaSaheb Ambedkar wanted to do more for his country, but in the existing set-up, he observed, it was difficult to maintain one’s interest in its affairs when the people were not prepared to give a hearing to any view, which did not agree with that of the Prime Minister of India. “It is Sin,” he sighed,” To take birth in such a country whose people are so prejudiced. Anyhow I have done a lot in spite of the words of abuse hurled at me from all sides. I will continue to do so till my death.”
We have been living in this country for thousands of years, in a hopeless system, which lacks enthusiasm. So long as the present system continues, there is no scope for progress. Under the Hindu religion, which is founded on inequality and injustice, we can achieve nothing. Manusmriti describes the chaturvarna.
Chaturvarna is disastrous for the progress of mankind. Under this system, shudras are restricted to perform menial jobs only. They have nothing to do with education. Who would be Interested in ameliorating their lot? Brahmins, Kshatriyas and vaishyas benefit alike from the slavish condition of shudras. The shudras have nothing but slavery to share. Chaturvarna cannot just be blown away. It is not only a part of tradition; it has become a religion.
There is no equality in Hinduism. Narrating an incident that happened with Gandhi, Dr. Ambedkar said, ” I once went to see Gandhiji. Gandhiji told me that he believed in chaturvarna. ‘What kind of chaturvarna’? I enquired, pointing towards my hand with the little finger in the bottom and thumb on the top or this way – with the palm lying flat on the surface of the table and fingers lying side by side. What do you mean? By the Chaturvarna? Where does it begin and where does it end?’ I asked Gandhiji. Gandhiji could not reply.”
Commenting on the contribution of the so-called lower castes, Ambedkar further stated, “The Hindus wanted the Vedas and they sent for Vyasa, who was not a caste Hindu. The Hindus wanted an epic and they sent of Valmiki who was an untouchable. The Hindus wanted a Constitution, and they sent for me.”
I hope all political parties must think big. Otherwise there is no future left for future generations. All leaders must forego their egos and work together for the development of India. It is my hope and prayer that we will always live a happy, and peaceful life based on non-violence, truth, equality, love, and compassion as taught to us by Buddha.
India has the men and women to rise to the challenge and ensure a future of racial harmony. A clever person cannot achieve self-realization, which comes only to a wise person. Wisdom and compassion is the way forward. Jai hind . vande mataram.
AN APPEAL TO HONOURABLE CHIEF MINISTER OF UTTAR PRADESH INDIA
Dear Madam ,
INDIA: Please take immediate action to release Mr. Pahalu Musahar from the illegal custody of Cholapur police in Varanasi district
Name of the victim: Pahalu Musahar, son of Ms Chanda Musahar, residing at Atensa Block, Harauwa, Varanasi district, Uttar Pradesh
Alleged perpetrators: Mr. Ravindrabushan Maurya, Station Officer, Cholapur Police station and his subordinate officers
Date and place of incident: From May 21, 2007 at Haruwa, Varanasi district
I am writing to you to express my concern about the illegal and arbitrary detention of Mr. Pahalu Musahar, son of Ms Chanda Musahar, residing at Atensa Block, Harauwa, Varanasi district, Uttar Pradesh. It is alleged that Pahalu is illegally detained by the Cholapur police since May 21, 2007 for no reason other than for obtaining information regarding his allegedly absconding brother Mr. Umesh. I am informed that neither Pahalu nor his family is informed why Pahalu is detained and where is been kept and under what charges.
I am aware that such a detention is against the domestic law in India. I am also informed that Pahalu’s mother had approached several police stations in Varanasi district enquiring about her son for which she has not been provided any credible or satisfactory information. I am also informed that Pahalu has committed no crime whatsoever still a charge is fabricated and filed against him to justify the police action.
I am also informed that Pahalu is being tortured in custody to obtain information regarding the whereabouts of his brother Umesh about which Pahalu has no information at all. I am worried about Pahalu’s safety and the possibility of his being charged and forced to defend a case for which he is no way responsible. I therefore urge you to immediately intervene in this case and take all necessary actions so that Pahalu is released from custody forthwith.
I also urge you to take appropriate actions so that the entire incident is investigated and the Station Officer Mr. Ravindrabhusan Maurya, currently stationed at Cholapur Police Station in Varanasi district, is punished for official misconduct and breach of law.
I also urge you to take appropriate actions so that Pahalu is produced before a court without any delay and that he is examined by a medical officer to verify whether he has been subjected to custodial torture. If the medical examination reveals that Pahalu has been tortured the officers responsible must be charge sheeted and put to trial for causing injury to a detainee while in custody.
AN APPEAL TO GOVERNMENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA , EMBASSY OF USA IN INDIA
Dear Mr.David Mulford,
I am writing to express my concern about 39 terrorism suspects believed to have been held in secret US custody and whose current whereabouts remain unknown.
These men are victims of enforced disappearance as defined by international law. Secret detention and enforced disappearance are violations of the USA’s treaty obligations.
I believe that lasting security and real justice for the victims of terrorism cannot be achieved by placing people in secret locations deprived of the most basic legal safeguards for any detainee. Governments must protect their people from acts of terrorism, but the US programme of secret detention, acknowledged by President George W. Bush on September 2006, is not the way to do this.
The US government must end the use of secret detention, clarify the fate and whereabouts of all people who have been secretly detained, allow them access to their families and to an adequate legal process.
I recall President Bush’s repeated assertions that the USA remains committed to the “non-negotiable demands of human dignity”, including the rule of law. I urge you to relay my concern to the US administration and to do all in your power to make respect for human rights and the rule of law a reality for all those in US custody and their families.
AN APPEAL TO U.S SENATE GOVERNMENT OF USA
I urge you to cosponsor and pass the “Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007,” S. 185 / H.R. 1416. Habeas corpus has been the bedrock of the US justice system for centuries, and is one of the most critical protections against arbitrary detention and other human rights abuses.
In the fall of 2006, Congress passed “The Military Commissions Act” (MCA), which included a provision that reversed a centuries-old right and stripped certain detainees in U.S. custody of fundamental habeas corpus rights. Just recently, a federal court dismissed dozens of habeas cases, stating that under the MCA federal courts no longer have jurisdiction to hear certain cases.
Without habeas rights, detainees who have spent more than five years in Guantanamo without charge are denied the opportunity to challenge the lawfulness of their detention through a fair hearing in federal court. Without habeas rights, detainees facing unfair trials have no opportunity to challenge the validity of those tribunals in an independent court. Without habeas rights, the government is left free to imprison people indefinitely without charge or trial or other fair hearings, no matter how prolonged or inhumane the conditions of confinement or treatment of the detainees may be. Such a policy not only contravenes US and international law, it also undermines the America I believe in, which would lead the world on human rights.
Congress has an important opportunity to reverse the regretful step it took when codifying the Military Commissions Act. I ask that you take immediate action by supporting the “Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007.”
AN APPEAL TO H.E.PRESIDET OF BANGLADESH , REPUBLIC OF BANGLADESH
My deep concern for the health and safety of the UN special rapporteur Sigma Huda compels me to demand that she be given immediate medical attention and contact with her family. Reports of her grave condition and the prison’s refusal to grant her medical access are appalling. Please do not allow Sigma Huda to die in your custody!
Sigma Huda is a prominent lawyer, head of the human rights group Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights in addition to serving as the UN special rapporteur on human trafficking. She suffers from coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus and a chronic kidney failure. She was under treatment at the time of her arrest and arrived to court by ambulance on a stretcher. It is clear that Sigma Huda was in no state to endure the stresses of imprisonment especially without medical support. However, she has been repeatedly denied access to her family and the necessary specialized medical attention that her condition requires.
A senior consultant cardiologist who treated Sigma Huda before her arrest warns that negligence on this matter could lead to the deterioration of Sigma Huda’s health and even her death. I urge you to end this mistreatment and give this servant to the Bangladeshi people access to her family and the care that her medical state requires. Please ensure that conditions improve before it is too late.
AN APPEAL TO HONOURABLE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE GOVERNMENT OF TURKEY
Dear sir ,
I am highly alarmed by reports that conscientious objector Osman Murat Ülke has been ordered to present himself to the office of the military prosecutor in Eskisehir to serve a 17.5 month prison term. If Mr. Ülke is jailed again, I and many others would consider him to be a prisoner of conscience imprisoned solely for his conscientiously-held beliefs.
Osman Murat Ülke became the first conscientious objector in Turkey to be jailed when he was imprisoned for his beliefs in January 1997. From then until November 1998, he was convicted eight additional times for refusal to wear military uniform and for desertion. It is a deeply unjust practice to repeatedly try the same person for the same crime, which is what Mr. Ülke has suffered for the past ten years. Even the European Court of Human Rights noted that this repeated prosecution for “repeated disobedience” is a violation of human rights conventions recognized by the European governing body. To continue this violation by allowing Mr. Ülke to be incarcerated once again following the military prosecutor’s most recent decision, would be deplorable.
Osman Murat Ülke has a right to his ethics and should not be punished for his conscientious objection to military service. Please keep in mind that the fate of Mr. Ülke is of great importance to many people. Speaking for myself and those who respect Mr. Ülke’s right to his conscionable opinion, I urge you to use your authority to ensure that Mr. Ülke will not be punished for it.
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