Sunday, October 21, 2012

PVCHR: A tale of two villages:a story of Economist

PVCHR: A tale of two villages:a story of Economist: Malnutrition in the area persists, says Lenin Raghuvanshi of a non-governmental organisation in eastern Uttar Pradesh. from the report...

Malnutrition in the area persists, says Lenin Raghuvanshi of a non-governmental organisation in eastern Uttar Pradesh. from the report published in Economist titled Rural India: the story of two villages.

Photo of Shruti at a Musahar ghetto is also published.Please read:

Friday, October 12, 2012

PVCHR: Where is government or international player?

PVCHR: Where is government or international player?: Again the condition of Mandodari became critical so, after  Rajeev Kumar Singh  Manager PVCHR,  Pintugupta Sonebhadra , Model Block Co-ord...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

PVCHR: साम्प्रदायिक पुलिसिया अत्याचार के खिलाफ अलीगढ जन घ...

PVCHR: साम्प्रदायिक पुलिसिया अत्याचार के खिलाफ अलीगढ जन घ...: मानवाधिकार जननिगरानी समिति द्वारा यूरोपियन यूनियन के सहयोग से अलीगढ, मुरादाबाद, मेरठ और वाराणसी मे चल रहे परियोजना  ‘ भारत में मानवाधिकार ...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

PVCHR: The Saga of Torture in Kashmir

PVCHR: The Saga of Torture in Kashmir: The Kashmir issue has been fest...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Equality for Dalits: Does it exist? - Kashmir Times

Equality for Dalits: Does it exist? - Kashmir Times

Equality for Dalits: Does it exist?
Reviewed By Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander
Book Review
Justice, Liberty, Equality: Dalits in Independent India
Author: Lenin Raghuvanshi
Publisher: Frontpage Publications, London, U.K
Year of Publication: 2012
Price: Not Mentioned Pages: 135
ISBN: 9789381043042
Dalits in India have been suffering since time immemorial in India. Hinduism which believed in Varna system of caste coupled with the Aryan supremacy structured the prejudice, bias and exploitation against dalits. It was deemed to be God ordained commandment on the higher castes to demean, exploit and kill them with impunity. They were destined by God to suffer immortally, thus placed outside the Varna system. The upper castes by trampling their rights and perpetuating atrocities against them were fulfilling the God’s plan. This situation should have changed after the Independence of India in 1947. Indian State adopted secularism and democracy as its foundational pillars of constitution which guaranteed equal rights to all irrespective of religion, caste, color, class, gender, region and community. These constitutional guarantees and rights should have been translated into action, but alas this is not the case.
The present book under review by the versatile activist Lenin Raghuvanshi is a testimonial documentation of atrocities, exploitation and abuse of rights of Dalits in “free India’. In the Introduction of the book, Lenin depicts the police violence against Dalits, Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes, Crimes against their women and how the culture of impunity shields the guilty. This culture of impunity against the criminals is the biggest threat to the rule of law in India. Lenin woefully states about the Dalit women as, “Dalits are considered untouchables in Indian society yet rape of Dalit women is not considered a taboo by the upper castes. In fact, the latter uses rape as an instrument of continuous subjugation. Dalit women bear a triple burden: discrimination and exploitation based on caste, class and gender. Women are also victims of violence by security forces and armed opposition groups, traditional justice delivery system like ‘caste panchayat’ (illegal body of caste based system in villages) and cruel cultural practices like sati, honor killing and witch hunts. Discriminatory attitudes and lack of sensitization to the dynamics of crimes involving sexual or domestic violence leave victims without critical police aid or redress to which they are entitled”.
Talking about the state of impunity enjoyed by police and security forces Lenin states “In fact, almost every section of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc), 1973 provides some kind of impunity. For example, section 46 empowers the police to shoot to kill any accused charged with a crime punishable by death if that accused person attempts to escape from police custody. The police forces of Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have made extensive use of this section to cover up fake encounters, killing hundreds of hapless detainees”.
Lenin then goes on to describe south of every village as South Africa because it contains Dalits against whom invisible apartheid is still prevalent. The discrimination against Dalits is both intrinsic and external. The Dalits are illiterate hence they are not aware of their constitutional rights; hence fail to alleviate their status. Rest the caste system is embedded in the Indian society and it manifests itself in various forms. The state of impunity is reinforced by the caste considerations as police fails to bring the culprits of crimes against dalits to book either due to caste bias, influence or lure of money. Dalits many times are collectively punished by the upper castes for the crime or mistake of a single Dalit. These examples bring fore the sad fact that spread of literacy hasn’t helped people grow more empathic towards dalits. Also it unveils a gory reality that Indian State has failed to inculcate spirit and virtues of equality and harmony among its institutions.
Lenin then moves on to document the plight of Musahar community and their day to day woes. He laments at the post active attitude of the administration in curbing the starvation deaths in this community. The land that is allotted to the Dalits is taken away by upper caste people, and the upper caste Hindu money lenders keep them under perpetual bondage. In this age too there exist bonded laborers in the community. Lenin has worked for Musahars despite impediments by releasing many bonded laborers and establishing a community school, as previously most children were drop outs. He holds the public distribution system responsible for the starvation deaths, as it is corrupt. The medical facilities are lacking which add to the mortality rate. The police still operate on the colonial structure with a communal mindset. Lenin is of the firm opinion that Indian police learnt demoralization and community punishment from the practice of caste system. He then relates many stories of police torture victims. The role of police in fake encounters is also well known, and how they operate in communal riots reinforcing victimization of the minorities.
The police torture is widespread in India, and “The biggest problem in combating the State on the issues of torture in India has been the non availability of verifiable data” (P-48). In many cases false medical reports of torture victims are produced in league with medical doctors and sometimes reports are concocted by Police themselves. Lenin is aware of the Legal flaws, “The judiciary is hampered by lack of specific legislation to address cases of torture and human rights violations by the security forces as well due to delayed judicial processes. All these leave the poor victim lonelier, shattered and completely disintegrated, irrespective of economic status” (P-49). Lenin wants and desires, “India is yet to adopt any legislation recognizing the right to compensation for human rights violations. The government continues to maintain its reservation to Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which states that under the Indian legal system there is no enforceable right to compensation for persons claiming to be victims of unlawful arrest or detention against the State. The courts and National Human Rights institutions, however, have awarded compensation for human rights violations, including torture”. (P-49).
The chapter on Testimonial Therapy is the jewel of the book. It gives hope to the victims of torture to overcome the psychological trauma in post torture phase. But only a few pages are dedicated to explain the testimonial therapy. Lenin abruptly moves to the Shrinking Livelihood in India. He quotes as case studies, the decline in the production of world famous Benaras Silk, as a result of the rival Chinese silk. Lenin relates the diseases associated with the handlooms and the Tuberculosis being rampant among the handloom workers and weavers. Then he again states about the severe malnutrition in Uttar Pradesh, though it is not Somalia. Lenin continues with the child starvation deaths this time in Ghasias community, who are also victim of government apathy.
The last two chapters deal with Rule of Lords, Political Patronage & how caste, patriarchy and corruption help in perpetuation of the same. Lenin relates violence against women, in the form of infanticide, honor killings, domestic violence, child marriages, infant and maternal mortality rates. If certain women make it to the panchayats still their husbands control the affairs.
Lenin then goes on to track the record of victims of fake encounters, extra and custodial killings by the Police since 1960s, which rose to epidemic proportions in early 1990s when innocents were being targeted as Maoists, Sikh militants or Islamic Jihadi extremists. The incompetence of National Human Rights Commission to protect human rights of innocents has rendered it as a toothless tiger. The State also acts softly on Hindutva fascist cadres. To add insult to injury criminalization of politics is ruling roost.
Overall the book is a welcome read and must for everyone who wants to be aware of the underbelly of Indian State. But the scheme of chapters and selection of case studies at times betray the title of the book, the scope of the book is much wider than its title conveys. It covers a lot of ground, but thematically it appears to be jumbled in a hurry. Despite its flaws Lenin needs to be congratulated for his endeavor. This book is a testimony to the fact that there are serious problems and grave issues with the project of ‘Shining India’.
(The author is Writer-Activist based in Srinagar, Kashmir and can be reached at

Friday, June 22, 2012

PVCHR: It is honor of Shraman culture(culture of inclusiv...

PVCHR: It is honor of Shraman culture(culture of inclusiv...: It is honor of Shraman culture(culture of inclusiveness). Teaching of Baba saheb and Budhha converted Lenin Raghuvanshi from upper c...

"To get in touch with the many problems, still existing in Indian society, this Brochure should be a Symbol to “feel” and don’t forget, what’s still worth to fighting for – the beauty and variety of India and its people. Don’t leave them behind!" – Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi, CEO PVCHR

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Age of the Elephant: The Politics of Caste in Uttar Pradesh 

The Yale Globalist 

The Age of the Elephant: The Politics of Caste in Uttar Pradesh

— May 3, 2012 at 12:44 am | 0 comments


by Marissa Dearing:

Amidst the swarming crowds of Uttar Pradesh tower are hundreds upon hundreds of colossal stone and bronze elephants. Although the sheer scale and spread of this super-sized herd might suggest elephants here enjoy ceremonial reverence, the statues are neither sacred nor traditional. They are political mascots for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), a lower-caste party whose winning 2007 campaign slogans included "If you don't vote for elephant, you will be history!" and "Upper castes must be humiliated!"

olitical parties in India engage in constant information war to gain votes. (Courtesy Lenin Raghuvanshi)

The elephants are not alone. BSP's leader, Mayawati, who is so famous she goes by a single name, is a Dalit, a member of the "Untouchable" caste. Historically the pariah caste of Indian society, Dalits are prohibited from marrying, living, eating, walking, touching, and even making eye contact with those of higher castes and physically barred from temples, public wells, upper-caste neighborhoods, and other public areas. They have faced discrimination in nearly every sphere of daily life. Before losing power in last February's state elections, Mayawati strove to overcome this corrosive legacy, using millions of dollars' worth of state funds to build statues of Dalit heroes throughout Uttar Pradesh (UP), many in her own image. India's largest and most populous state is as notorious for its extreme poverty as it is for its caste violence, and Mayawati's flamboyant tenure generated immense controversy. From channeling state funds to extravagant projects promoting lower-caste interests to sporting outsized necklaces made of rupee notes worth between $400,000 and $2,000,000, Mayawati seemed to continually contradict the political interests she championed.

Last February, Mayawait's elephants disappeared under endless sheets of pink and orange plastic by order of UP's Election Commission, which feared the imposing symbols might inappropriately influence voters' decisions in the upcoming state elections. The controversy surrounding caste and corruption, far from unique to Mayawati or UP, has been raging across India for the past decade. The multi-colored elephants of Uttar Pradesh seem to be just the latest red flags in the future of the world's largest democracy.

Not all are convinced, however, that such zeal for a caste-specific party is so ominous. "It is not grotesque. It is not abnormal. It is not absurd to see that Indians are still voting on caste lines," said Professor Priyankar Upadhyaya, the UNESCO Chair for Peace and Intercultural Understanding, and long-time resident of UP. Upadhyaya believes recent caste parties like the BSP in Uttar Pradesh have done much to give lower-caste groups a voice and dignity long denied them. Despite the constitutional prohibition of lower-caste discrimination decades ago, as recently as 1999, killing squads in the neighboring state of Bihar took hundreds of Dalit lives. Smaller-scale caste violence has persisted even today, often involving police, judicial, and official complicity decried by rural and urban Indians alike. Pervasive discrimination continues, denying Dalits access to adequate education, jobs, and social services, not to mention political representation.

But in recent years, caste parties have actually been a way for many of India's underrepresented and severely underprivileged to force the state to listen to their concerns and improve their daily lives. Upadhyaya, for one, believes that Mayawati transformed Dalit identity in the UP.

"Dalits who, ten years back, would not easily display their identity as Dalit—now they come forward and say that they are Dalits," said Upadhyaya. Such a transformation is in part attributable to the very programs for which Mayawati is so maligned in the Indian press: as Upadhyaya affirmed, prominent Dalit symbols in public places have helped establish equality as a new societal norm. Mayawati also worked to solidify her constituency's protection through laws that make it much more difficult to exploit rural Dalits for their land or publicly abuse lower-castes without facing a weighty punishment.

In the last round of UP elections, however, the BSP was soundly defeated, in part due to the uproar surrounding Mayawati's flashy opportunism, according to Lenin Raghuvanshi, a Dalit rights activist, participant in UP's 2012 Election Watch, and cofounder of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights.

Though BSP's loss could signal the decline of caste-driven politics, many remain unconvinced. But caste will likely continue to play a major role in determining how Indians vote. Caste is deeply ingrained in Indian society, and has been a basis of political identity. Many voters assume elected members of their own caste, a sort of "extended family" as Upadhyaya termed it, are most likely to help them get into schools, find adequate jobs, and receive the social services they need. "People [just] go back to their caste shell," said Upadhyaya.

Many, like Raghuvanshi, hold caste responsible for India's rampant corruption; voters often support candidates of their own caste despite blatant corruption or incompetence because they believe that once in office, co-caste representatives will reward them with benefits like jobs or college admission. The resulting impunity pervades Indian politics: in UP, almost half of all members of the legislative assembly have criminal cases declared against them, and the state's newly elected chief minister has strong familial ties to political power in the region.

Despite a continuing corrupt political system, UP's elections suggest times are changing in India. Reports on election returns indicate some Dalits chose to vote against their lower-caste champion Mayawati to protest her corruption and extravagance, and there is reason to believe such shifts away from purely caste-based voting may run deeper than this election in this state this year.

"Caste took a little bit of a back seat," said Gaurav Saigal, a principal correspondent for the Hindustan Times. Saigal believes this switch is due in part to the strengthening of Indian civil society.

In a country where everything from a driver's license to a restaurant permit to avoiding wrongful arrest requires a bribe, Indians' greater capacity to organize, inform, and participate through social media like Facebook, Twitter, and personal blogs has resulted in widespread insistence on government transparency and accountability.

"Civil society…made the issue of corruption a grassroots issue," Saigal said. "85 percent of the electorate could understand that [corruption] is a word that affects them in their daily lives."

Indians are demanding more than the transactional status quo from their governments, and Upadhyaya believes that eventually, real evidence of good governance may eventually draw people away from electoral caste lines (as has happened in the state of Bihar under Nitish Kumar). Pressure for fundamental change in India is mounting.

Activist Raghuvanshi sees that change taking a radical form in UP: "a new Dalit revolution." In villages and cities across UP, Indians are now rising up against the caste system and joining a new Dalit movement, a revolution not restricted to Untouchables, but open to all opposed to the caste system.

"Without eliminating [caste] in this country, how are you going to eliminate corruption in the society?" Raghuvanshi asked. "It is the most corrupt system in the world."

Increasingly, activists from higher castes, like Raghuvanshi, have been going into villages to wash Dalits' feet, eat with them, and raise awareness of political and social issues in hopes of erasing caste divisions

and decades of marginalization (largely uncovered by the Indian press, he added). Even over his lifetime, Raghuvanshi has already seen a great deal of change.

"When I was a kid… in an upper caste family, I never [saw] Dalits coming to our marriages [or] to eat with us, but now [it's] happening all the time," he said.

At the same time, the lower-caste poor are working to transform and empower themselves through modernization. According to Raghuvanshi, the younger generation is now increasingly relying on the Internet to stay informed and build communication networks. Dalits in rural villages and urban slums have used radio, television, and SMS text messaging to learn about and discuss events beyond the immediate locale; some have used SMS networks to broadcast news of local human rights abuses to activists like Raghuvanshi. "They've changed themselves very dramatically," he said.

For Raghuvanshi, this new, inclusive, and unified Dalit revolution represents the best hope for the future of Indian democracy, calling it "the force [that's] going to change the feudal system of India and [help India] join the real global democracy."

After decades of politics rooted in caste divisions, the foundations of Indian democracy are shifting. In the aftermath of the recent state elections, leaders of several major parties in UP have acknowledged that the caste system has been the root of rampant discrimination and corruption in India, and increasingly, the political consensus is that its divisions must be ended. Perhaps UP's notorious elephants are not stony omens about the rising tyranny of caste but milestones marking how far democracy in India has come.

Marissa Dearing '14 is a Political Science and Humanities double major in Berkeley College. Contact her at

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shraman(Dalit) culture of producer is only hope in India:Ram Kuamr

Brahminism(libertarian value of cheating on name of egalitarianism) is enemy of development. Shraman culture(dalit culture) of producers (dalit) is main force of food sovereignty in India.So if India want development of all ,then India should be adopt the culture of Shraman(Dalit) which is based on egalitarianism,justice,fraternity, rule of law,secularism,human dignity and participatory democracy based on non-violence.By Mr.Ram Kumar,a born dalit,dalit activist and ideologue,Founder of DAG at PVCHR office

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Peace with out Justice is culture of silence of impunity

Survivors of violence during emerge of two nations India and Pakistan need reconciliation by both Government.Dalit, tribal,Minority,People of North east and Kashmir need reconciliation by state,upper caste, communities involved in historical exclusion and violence. Because peace with out Justice is culture of silence of impunity.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Women Folk School on neo-dalit 

Women Folk School on neo-dalit campaign against politics of division,exploitation and hatred with an alternative of unity of broken masses on base of reconciliation, democracy, secularism and non violence

Neodalit campaign that inculcated from synergetic culture of Varanasi reached from the villages of Varanasi to the other side of the world in Peru to observe March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. People lit up candle to support the campaign. At first candle was lighted by Deewai Rodriguez of Philippines and Elias Schmidt of Germany. Among the supporters of the Neodalits were working president of the World Buddha Association Rajbodh Kaul, dalit politician Uditraj, tribal leader Dayamani Barla, photographer Alessio Mammo, freelance filmmaker Joy Guha along with the people from the different communities.Marian Dass an NRI living in London has said we will observe in London. Congratulations for the launch of Neo Dalits movement. How secular & inclusive & a common platform for our people scattered and shattered in various faiths or no faith, various languages, regions etc.
700 people in 5 different blocks of Varanasi, at 70 places across India and in ten other countries people came out to support the neodalit campaign by participating in the programme.
In this context the PVCHR and Savitri Bai Phule Mahila Panchayat organized a debate on Neo-dalit campaign in context of gender perspective at the Pararkar Bhavan of Varanasi district on March 22. During the programme women folk school passed the Banaras declaration on Neo dalit Movement.
The programme started with the garlanding of the portrait of Savitri Bai Phule the first female teacher of India and lightening of the lamp by the chief guest Bindu singh and special guest Nasreen Fatima. At first in the programme poster against child marriage and sticker for violence free home and office were launched. During the programme Shirin Shabana Khan, Dr Lenin and Katyayini Singh spoke on the topics. The programme was convened by Shruti and Bindu Singh was the chief guest.

Speaking in the programme Shruti said that the society has been following the caste based and patriarchal system and even today it runs on the derivative of the same in shape of injustice or delayed justice (impunity). There are marginalized people in the villages who are victim of silence. These erroneous customs have been utilized by the powerful elite and un-accountable corporate now days to capture the culture, art, natural resources and even labour of the marginalized. Those who use influence to grab the rights of people employ religion and caste as tool to engage victims in to false fight and thereby establish their supremacy. There is only one alternative against politics of division based on hatred and that is unity of broken people.

What will be our strategy against politics of hatred, violence and exploitation? First unity is unity against caste system, a historical system of exclusion i.e. unity among the lower castes people that have been suppressed since centuries with the progressive anti-caste people born in upper caste. This will be first of its kind unity, which will not be against any person born in to upper caste communities neither against any religion.

Shirin Shabana Khan said that second unity is unity among minorities who suffered with communal fascism, those who believe in communal harmony and people with secular values against neo-fascism. Unity of all poor from all communities against the suffering with neo-liberal policy is the third kind of unity. Since those broken with different kinds of suppression and exclusion means dalit therefore these three kinds of unities is base of impart the neodalit movement.

Head of Gramya organization Bindu Singh said that this initiative will not be on the front of a political party but on a social level which will induce political parties to work for the people as neo dalit agenda.

Nasreen Fatima from Lucknow said that women are making an appeal today that all progressive people with Dalit and OBCs should unity against caste system, secular people and Minorities should unite against communal fascism and poor should unite and participate in the neo-dalit Movement. They should take people from the path of justice, fraternity, rule of law and non-violence to a people's movement only then will the society specially the women will be free from torture and atrocities.

Without the participation of the women there can be no sustainable stand against injustice, exploitation, atrocity, inhuman acts and communalism. The Banaras declaration in support of Neo-dalit movement was translated in to several languages and programme for debate and support were organized.
Neo dalit concept in brief(hindi):
Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.
--The Buddha
"We are what we think. With our thoughts we make our world." - Buddha

Aligarh Press News about candle light march on 21 March 2012:UN anti-racism Day

In the support of Neo dalit Movement