Several progressive organisations have come under an umbrella to stage a dharna at Hemavati Statue Circle here on December 8, opposing made snana (the practice of rolling over plantain leaves containing leftovers of lunch served to Brahmins) untouchability and pankti bedha (separate seating arrangements for meals). In addition, they will pressure the State government to bring in an anti-superstition law.

More than 50 organisations have joined hands with the Dalit Hakkugala Samiti of the CPI(M) to stage the dharna, said Dharmesh, CPI(M) leader, in a press conference here on Friday. Many inhuman practices have been continued in the name of God, despite efforts by many progressive organisations to spread awareness against them.

An effective law is necessary to put an end to such practices, said Dharmesh. The protest would press for the passage of an effective Bill.

Noted intellectual J.H. Narayanaswamy and Nityananda Swamy, member of CPI(M) State council, would address protesters. “As part of the dharna, drawing and essay-writing competitions for students on the subjects of untouchability and caste system will be held,” he said.

When asked why such a law was required, as many similar laws had remained ineffective, Mr. Dharmesh said though law would not end an inhuman practice completely it would strengthen the struggle against such practices.

“If laws alone could bring change, untouchability or dowry harassment would have ended completely. However, the law has helped victims of such practices raise their voices against offenders,” he said.

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