‘Where are Dalits’ rights in statute?’


Constituent assembly members from the Dalit community have questioned: ‘Where are Dalits’ rights in the constitution?’

Speaking at a programme in the capital city on Wednesday, Dalit CA members from different political parties warned of agitation both — from the streets and the assembly — saying that the draft constitution failed to guarantee Dalit community’s rights.

Man Bahadur Bishwokarma of the Nepali Congress said that the draft constitution failed to incorporate Dalit rights addressed by both the first and second CAs.

“Forty Dalit CA members will unite and launch a joint agitation,” he said, adding none could curtail their rights.

“I’m ready to resign as CA member to struggle for the rights of Dalits,” said Min Bahadur Bishwokarma, also from the NC, adding that it was high time Dalit leaders from across the party lines launched a joint movement.

Jitu Gautam of the CPN-UML said the Dalits were made untouchable by formulating laws. Time has come now to ensure Dalits’ representation in every state mechanism, he said.

Similarly, Gopal Dahit of Rastriya Tharuhat Party demanded that Dalit rights mentioned under the fundamental rights needed clear interpretation.

He said it was worrisome that the draft constitution had come in such a way that Dalits would always remain Dalits.