Dalit community thanks govt

Published On: March 22, 2023 01:35 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 22: The Dalit community has thanked the current government for publishing a gazette to celebrate a day in June (Jestha 21 according to the  Nepali Calendar) as Untouchability Day.

A gathering of the Dalit representatives from the Koshi Province in Biratnagar welcomed the government move against untouchability. "The decision is highly welcoming," said the Dalit representatives who gathered in Biratnagar to mark the 58th International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination which is globally observed on March 21 each year. 

 According to Dalit activist Umesh Bishokarma, 21st Jeth commemorates the Day when Nepal was officially declared the untouchability free nation on 21st Jeth, 2063 BS (June 4, 2006) by the then interim parliament reinstated following the people’s movement in 2006. 

He said that he is very happy that the present government has decided to celebrate the National Untouchability Day and published it in the national gazette, saying that the state's silence for the liberation of Dalits, who have been oppressed for years, is protecting exploitation and oppression. He said, "The self-esteem of Dalits will increase after the state government starts celebrating Untouchability Day from June 21."

Buddhikumar Rajbhandari, Social Development Minister of Kosi Province, said that if the new generation discriminates, they should file a case and punish them according to the law, but it is not appropriate to blame the old generation. The former president of District Coordination Committee Jhapa, Somnath Portel, said that since the constitution and laws have made discrimination and untouchability punishable in all areas, not only in the public sector, it would be a violation of the law to exempt the discrimination done by the old generation.

Khem Nepali, a former member of the National Assembly, said that Dalits could not be liberated if they were not given equal social, cultural and political respect, as they still had access to the rule of the so-called upper castes. DB Shah Shankar, Central Vice President of Dalit Non-Governmental Organization Federation, said that Dalit rights can be established at the grassroots level only if the people's representatives are active and combative.

Gobinda Darnal, president of Nepal Dalit Association, Kosi Province, said that Dalit people's representatives still have to remain in a neglected state. Dalit Ekta Samaj Dhankuta coordinator Kopila Shankar emphasized that the Dalit community should be active to claim the rights granted by the constitution and law.



Leave A Comment