Give Dalits their due | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 23, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:30 PM, March 23, 2018

Give Dalits their due

Isn't it their Constitutional right?

It's unthinkable that even after 47 years of independence, a section of the people should have to ask, or rather beg, for equal rights and opportunities, especially when the Constitution has expressly guaranteed equal rights and protection for all citizens. The Dalits, who suffer from serious discrimination, social exclusion, and human rights violations, are an example of how miserably we have failed to uphold our Constitution. Despite a surge of late in social activism and growing awareness about the rights of vulnerable and excluded communities, the fate of Dalits, a broad term used to mean people who are looked down on because of their “lowly” professions and lower castes, remain unchanged. Public events marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination have once again brought to the fore the plight of these people who expressed their grievances and put forth a number of demands, all deserving of appropriate attention.

Dalits play a very important role in our life, performing tasks for which they deserve as much legal, social and professional recognition as anyone across the labour market spectrum. People doing menial jobs are not often treated with dignity. Dalits have historically suffered from discrimination and prejudices. It's pathetic that they continue to do so even today. No one should be excluded socially, and those who are require special attention and privileges so that they are on a par with other citizens. But this will not be possible without appropriate interventions by the government and the society at large. The Dalits' demands for greater access to education and employment are rightful, which he government should seriously consider and take immediate steps to address.

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