Dec 5: International Day of Dalits’ Struggle
5th December 2004: Ram Lila Grounds, New Delhi
You may be aware of the fact that the Social Movements International Network/ World Assembly of Social Movements, in association dalit movements and mass organisations in India, has given a worldwide call to observe 5 December 2004 as International Day of Dalits’ Struggle and World Dignity Day.
On this day there is going to be worldwide demonstrative upsurge in London (UK), Berlin (Germany), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Katmandu (Nepal), and many other countries by social movements and action groups who would like to express their support and solidarity to dalit struggle as well as to the broader struggle against all forms of discrimination and exclusion through candle light procession, solidarity marches, human chains and media campaigns. This will be a historic day after the Durban World Conference against Racism.
In India, a Peoples’ Dignity Rally has been planned at Ram Lila Grounds in Delhi in which more than 50,000 dalits of all religious and sub-caste backgrounds, minorities, forest people, unorganised workers and women from all over India will participate. This rally will be organised by the wider civil society comprising of mass organizations of dalits, adivasis, women, minorities, unorganized workers and other marginal groups. Apart from this, a range of programmes from 4th to 6th December 2004 has been conceived to address the collective and sovereign concerns of these groups.
The Peoples' Dignity Rally on 5 December and allied events between 4 to 6 December 2004 could be seen as a collective aspiration to deepen democracy, challenge the roots of discrimination, exclusion and conflict, and strengthen the demand for dignity as an ‘inherent and non-negotiable’ right. The cross-sectoral alliance emerging between diverse mass organisations, working with different sectoral issues and groups in different regions, seeks to transform the International Solidarity Call into a dense process that interconnects the concerns for life, livelihood, participation, security, peace and dignity.
Various organisations have already initiated countrywide mobilisation through regional processes. You will appreciate that such a programme with a broad objective and a huge participation of the Indian society can only be made posssible if individuals and organisations working in the spirit of democracy come forward to support this joint endeavour and own this process. Keeping this in view, we invite you and your organisation to become part of this mobilisation process.
To emphasize the intellectual and organisational relevance/ responsibility of rooting a ‘dignity discourse’ , to create a genuine civil society ownership of this international call, to share the progress of preparation of 5th December Dignity Rally, National Conference of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR) and World Dignity Forum are organising a People’s Launch in Delhi on 16th October 2004 at Gandhi Peace Foundation.
We cordially invite your organisation to be part of the Delhi Peoples’ Launch of the Peoples’ Dignity Rally and its process. The agenda for the same is herewith enclosed. We hope you and your organisation will join this programme to express your solidarity and support to the worldwide call to observe 5 December as International Day of Dalits’ Struggle and World Dignity Day.
Dr. Ramanath Nayak Ph.D.
For Peoples’ Launch of International Day of Dalits’ Struggle - World Dignity Day
246, Top Floor, Haqeeqat Nagar,
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
Invitation to Peoples’ Launch
of Peoples’ Dignity Rally
Date and Time
Saturday, October 2004 at 3.30 p.m.
Gandhi Peace Foundation (GPF)
221-223, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg
Near ITO Crossing
New Delhi 110 001
Telephone: 23237491 & 23237493
3.30 PM – 4.30 PM
Plenary: Dignity as a Global Concern
4.30 PM – 5.30 PM
Discussion: World Dignity Day – International Day of Dalits’ Struggle
5.30PM – 6.30 PM
Strategies for Mobilisation for Peoples’ Dignity Rally
6.30 PM – 6.35 PM
Vote of Thanks
Call for Worldwide Action on 5 December 2004
The International Day of Dalits’ Struggle
A Day of Mobilisation for Dignity and Social Inclusion
The social movements and mass organizations of the world assembled in the World Social Forum 2004, Mumbai, India. They supported the efforts of mass movements and popular organizations in India and Asia which promote the struggle for justice, equality and human rights, especially that of the Dalits, Adivasis, and the most oppressed and repressed sectors of society. They held that the neoliberal policy of the Indian government aggravated the marginalization and social oppression which the Dalits have suffered historically.
‘For all these reasons we support the struggle of all the marginalized throughout the world, and urge everyone worldwide to join the call of the Dalits for a day of mobilization for social inclusion’, they called.
After the World Social Forum; the Dalit organizations, organizations of workers, women, Adivasis, Muslims, other marginals and mass movements of India came together to discuss strategies and plans of action against social exclusion, neo-liberal policies and religious fundamentalism. The World Dignity Forum, a forum against casteism, racism, other forms of discriminations and exclusions that roots itself in Indian Dalits and Dalit organizations and was officially launched in the World Social Forum 2004, channelised this process. All elaborated a common action agenda. The 5th of December, the Day of a Peoples’ Dignity Rally in Delhi, the capital of India, is an important part of this common agenda. Therefore, we call everybody, worldwide, to action on this day as the World Dignity Day – International Day of Dalits’ Struggle.
We call to focus mobilizations on four key issues:
December 5th is International Day of Dalits’ Struggle – the World Dignity Day. We believe that it will be a day of diverse, demonstrative activities that contribute to strengthen the dreams and aspirations, hopes and struggles of Indian Dalits, Adivasis, workers, along with Africans, Latin Americans, Afro-Americans, Palestinians, religious minorities and indigenous populations, physically challenged and HIV and AIDS victims.
We appeal to all movements and call mass organisations to organise different programmes to mark solidarity with Indian Dalits, Adivasis, unorganized workers, women, minorities and other marginalised and present their memorandums to Indian Government through its diplomatic missions in their countries to end Indian Apartheid – the caste based discrimination, to end the attack on peoples natural resources and social security.
Let’s join the Peoples’ Dignity Rally on 5th December at Ram Lila Grounds, New Delhi, India.
Let’s make this day a day of International Struggle for Social Inclusion and Dignity.
Let’s Globalize the Struggle! Let’s Globalize Dignity!
- Dignity should be a universal human concern. In terms of the individual or the collective it assigns equal worth to all, without any distinction of colour, race, caste, gender, ethnicity, ability/disability, or language. It is intrinsically valuable and hence non-negotiable. Various forces challenge the basic dignity of the people all over the world and crush them under the burden of obligation, patronage, charity, piety, mockery and coercion. Neo-liberal globalization plays a significant role in destroying sources of dignity like autonomy, opportunity and rationality, by ruining the livelihood resources of a large number of people, impairing their social support base, by marginalizing the welfare state. Thus, we oppose neo-liberal globalization and its manifestations.
- Dalit movements and mass organisations of India and South Asia call for action against all forms of discrimination and exclusion based on caste, religion, colour, race, gender, ethnicity, ability/disability, or language on this international day of mobilization. We believe that there cannot be equity, justice and dignity in a world in which oppression of millions of Indians, Africans, Latin Americans, Afro-Americans, Palestinians, religious minorities, indigenous populations, HIV and AIDS sufferers is the principle of social, political and economic relationships. Social justice, peace and dignity can only exist when all are free to live with dignity; free from the hunger, violence and insecurity inflicted upon them and in their homes and work places; and are free from patriarchy and gender inequality.
- Right to work, right to livelihood, right to food, right to health and education, right to affirmative action in public and private sectors for dalits, women’s right to agricultural land, protection of the interests of the unorganized workers, comprehensive land and agrarian reforms and peoples’ rights and ownership over natural resources are central in achieving dignity, social justice and social inclusion for the Dalits, Adivasis, minorities women, and other oppressed and repressed populations of the world.
- Fighting the political and ideological forces which promote sectarian violence, exclusion, aggression and nationalism based on religion and ethnicity, is the key to the struggle of Dalits, Adivasis, minorities, women and labouring classes as these forces threaten to rupture the fabric of society and their politics promotes ‘clash of civilisations’, declares war against minority religious communities, scorns legal and democratic norms.
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