This Question and Reply arise out of the unsatisfactory situation of the large Dalit minorityin India. These people used to be known as untouchables.

Lord Hylton

“What discussions Her Majesty’s government has had with the government of India with regard to (a) the legal system and remedies for domestic and personal violence, (b) the right to education for all, (c) the rehabilitation of prostitutes, and (d) police training, especially in relation to human trafficking.

The Rt Hon Lord Howel of Guildford replied for the Government:

The UK’s development cooperation with India provides a platform to discuss issues of governance, personal security and human development with the Government of India and individual state governments.

(a) The Department for International  Development (DFID) has recently discussed the legal system and remedies for domestic and personal violence with the State Government of Bihar, where high levels of violence against women have been reported.

(b) We are encouraged that the 2009 Right to Education Act came into effect in India in April 2010.  DFID maintains a regular dialogue with the Government of India and the States on implementing the Right to Education Act of 2009.  DFID is supporting the Act through a £50 million contribution to India’s flagship Education for All programme.

(c)  DFID is helping to protect the health and personal security of millions of sex workers across India by supporting India’s National AIDS Control Programme.

(d) Although we have not discussed police training in relation to human trafficking with the Government of India, we work closely with state governments on police training.  For example, DFID is currently in discussion  the Government of Bihar regarding the inclusion of police reform activities under the Bihar Governance Project.  The EU also funded a project from 2006-2010 which focused on assisting children vulnerable to or survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.  In addition, through the EU, we continue to encourage India to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime  and its Protocol on People Trafficking.

October 2010

6 comments for “This Question and Reply arise out of the unsatisfactory situation of the large Dalit minorityin India. These people used to be known as untouchables.

  1. Bedd Gelert
    06/11/2010 at 9:27 pm

    Without wishing to be glib on a serious topic, part of the problem is that certain old duffers on the Telegraph still seem to think it is ‘political correctness gawn mad’ that we cannot refer to these people as ‘Untouchables’ and anyway they would surely prefer to be English ?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherhowse/8095612/It-aint-what-you-say.-.-..html

    We still have some way to go here, I think..

  2. Senex
    07/11/2010 at 2:46 pm

    LoL. I suppose you have to be careful here. Are bloggers the ‘untouchables’ in a virtual reality? The Dalit fall under the Chandala caste system; the Indian constitution of 1950 bans caste-based discrimination but the practice continues. I wonder why?

    This makes me wonder whether any latter day Maharajah ever employed a ‘Groom of the Stool’ because if they did they would most certainly have been Chandala? The British experience is quite the opposite. Instead of pushing such individuals to the lowest strata of society they were elevated to the nobility, no more so than when the ‘Groom of the Stole’ became established in royal households.

    What happens in India is quite alien to us and I should imagine the Indians find this a threat. Gandhi was murdered because he wanted to allow caste mobility. The Indians are trapped by their own culture but are tolerant of change except when it comes to burying the dead, cleaning the sewers or anything that offends their sense of smell.

    During the time of the Raj the British attempt to equate the Indian caste system to their own class system disrupted and created further inequality by viewing caste as an indicator of occupation, social standing, and intellectual ability.

  3. Gareth Howell
    08/11/2010 at 3:12 pm

    Why worry about the Hindu Indian castes when we have the gentle people of Pakistan to consider?

  4. Senex
    08/11/2010 at 7:19 pm

    GH: There are two ways the Chandala can escape their Karma. They can die in the hope of being reincarnated at the bottom of British society or they can renounce the Hindu faith to become Muslims.

    The violence and bloodshed during the partition of India was down in part to the prejudicial belief that the people of Pakistan were Chandala. They were Hindus that had renounced their faith to become outcastes.

  5. Gareth Howell
    10/11/2010 at 8:22 am

    Senex.

    Thanks for that reminder of the history of the Sub-continent.

    They can die in the hope of being reincarnated at the bottom of British society or they can renounce the Hindu faith to become Muslims.

    Is this some kind of joke?!

    Telegraph article? Yes! It’s some kind of joke, a subtle one about racism in the UK.

  6. Senex
    10/11/2010 at 10:53 am

    GH: Under the Hindu faith system you may be reincarnated in any living form. From that perspective one may even have been a former Prime Minister or an amoeba but not a Klingon.

    What the Indian government is ignoring is that the Chandala despised as they are within Indian society cannot fall any further down the social ladder; they posses little but their dignity. If the people of India would remove this too then the Chandala will seek their dignity elsewhere perhaps in the embrace of Islam.

    Does India want to see what they also despise become a growing movement within the heart of India? One that can be radicalised by an Islam in crisis; as for subtle racism, racism in the UK is exactly that, a subtle denial of opportunity.

    Next time you drive past a road works on a motorway, visit a power station or an oil refinery count the number of swarthy looking individuals you see working there. Racism happens with the silent consent of people; legislation cannot change this.

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