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Dalits Call for the Quick Enactment of the Anti Discrimination Law

On July the 16, the Bangladesh Dalit Parishad supported by Parittran,
organised a seminar in the premises of Prothom Alo, the Bangla daily
with the widest circulation in Bangladesh, to demand the quick enactment
of the anti discrimination law to be soon discussed in the Bangladeshi

The round table discussion was attended among others by the
chariman of the National Human Rights Commission Dr. Mizanur Rahaman and
by Dr. M. Sha Alom, member of the parliamentary Law Commission. Everybody
sustained the necessity to enact such a law to protect Dalits and their
citizenships’rights. However some of the participants, among whom Sahin
Anom, executive director of Manusher Jonno Faundation, remarked the
necessity for a law to protect not only dalits  but also all sorts of
minorities. While the proposal could not but find the support of Dalits,
it was however vented that an excessive extension of the proposed law to
cover all sorts of discrimination would run the risk of being watered
down, becoming eventually useless not only to Dalits but to anybody.

Bangladesh Dalit Parisad demanded a strong provision against the
discrimination of Dalits while stressing that such discrimination is
born out of caste distinctions. The enactment of such a law would make
Bangladeshi dalits feel that they are fully citizens of the country. In
this perspective the proposal of Sonjib Drong (the general secretary of
the Bangladesh Adibashi Forum) to mention the history of dalits in the
law’s preamble was higly appreciated by the dalit leadership present at
the discussion.