21st June, 2014 will be remembered as a historic day in the Dalit history when, for the first time, NRIs settled in various countries came on streets simultaneously to protest against the caste based discrimination and ill treatment being given to them on the basis of their birth. In solidarity with Dalit organisations across the World, on 21st June 2014, a demonstration against caste discrimination took place in front of the 10, Downing Street, London, UK, the official residence of the British Prime Minister. This was a second demonstration by Dalits held in the month of June, 2014. It was organised by the Anti Caste discrimination Alliance UK and supported by a number of organisations including Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations UK, Ambedkar Mission Society, Southall Black Sisters, Indian Workers Association, Sri Guru Ravidass and Bhagwan Valmik Sabhas UK and several other organisations. The purpose of the protest was to raise awareness with UK Government, policy -makers, Parliamentarians and the Press about the key issues that impact on socially excluded groups like Dalits, atrocities against them including the rape and violence against women and girls in India. It also intended to promote the draft ‘UN Principles and
Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of Discrimination based on Work and Descent’ established by the UN Human Rights Council.
A petition, including a joint statement signed by numerous Dalit and Non-Dalit organisations, demanding the government to implement without further delay the law agreed by Parliament to outlaw Caste-based discrimination in the UK, was handed over to the Prime Minister. The protesters also asked the British Government to use their clout to stop atrocities against Dalits especially caste based rapes and violence against women in India.
The call for Global action against caste based discrimination was given by the US based organisation, International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR) and joined by many cross faith Dalit and non-Dalit organisations (including those representing Ambedkarites, Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Ravidassia and Valmikis.
At the same time, the protest events also took place in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles in USA and Toronto in Canada and raised the voice against human rights abuses in India and abroad.
Published in Issue VI, May 2015