This refers to the report that India has rejected appeals by civil society activists and parliamentarians not to oppose the inclusion of caste in a new set of standards on non-discrimination being considered by the United Nations. India's stand is discouraging. Discrimination by birth, graded inequalities and the horrendous practice of untouchability are the evil manifestations of the caste system, unique to India. Even after 60 years of Independence, caste prejudice and caste-related crimes continue to exist across India. How long can we hoodwink the international community saying we have eliminated caste-based discrimination and cite some constitutional provisions to substantiate our claim?

There is a Telugu saying amma pettaa pettadu, adukku thinaa nivvadu (the mother neither feeds you nor allows you to beg). When we are unable to solve the problem of casteism, what is wrong in availing ourselves of world wisdom? Human rights and human values are universal. Casteism is definitely akin to racial bias.

D.G. Rama Rau,

Hyderabad

I fail to understand the logic behind New Delhi's opposition to the inclusion of caste-based discrimination in the U.N. norms. Is it against the interest of the nation to let a shameful practice come under the purview of international attention?

Or, do the officials want to project that the scale of caste-based discrimination is not serious enough and it can be better handled domestically in the manner it has been all these years, so that the curse may continue for another couple of centuries?

Saumya Roy,

New Delhi

Keywords: United Nationscaste

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