Caste debate is valid

Sir,- Mr. Rajeev Dhavan in `India's apartheid' (Aug. 24) was right in saying that if casteism was not the same as racism, it must be deemed to be similar. If casteism is centuries old and India's internal problem then why does it still exist after 54 years of Independence? It is very unfortunate that India being the champion of the fight against apartheid is now opposed to the raising of the casteism issue at the Durban summit.

Every year millions of Dalits suffer from beatings, rapes, ostracism, land grabbing and deprivation. Articles 1, 3 and 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights say that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the right to life, liberty and security of person and no one shall be subjected to torture or inhuman treatment or punishment. Has not the UDHR been openly violated for years in the world's largest democracy?

Deepak Yadav,

Kanavani, U.P.