‘Global initiative of Dalits in India, African-Americans in U.S. needed’

Updated - July 10, 2015 05:42 am IST

Published - July 10, 2015 12:00 am IST - Bengaluru:

Through common experiences of oppression and the struggle against it, there should be a global initiative of Dalits in India and African-Americans in the U.S. against discriminatory practices, said a cross-section of social researchers here on Thursday.

The seminar, ‘Dalits and African-Americans in 21st century: Learning from Cross-Cultural Experiences’, organised by the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), saw prominent American and Indian researchers deliberating on the need to define and provide solutions to continuing discrimination against the communities.

Sukhadeo Thorat, chairperson, Indian Council for Social Science Research, said though discrimination had reduced in public spaces, such as fair price shops, police stations, among others, it continued to remain unchanged in private spaces — in homes and religious practices — of rural India. He further warned:“Affirmative action suffers in privatisation. Though reservation is voluntary for the private sector, less than 12 per cent of a commerce body had consented to it,” said Prof. Thorat.

Kevin D. Brown, American author and academic, who has researched race-based discrimination, believed the deep-entrenched caste system could only be tackled by targeting the belief that still upholds caste hierarchy: the belief in reincarnation.

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