Source: The Hindu
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, August 10, 2001: With the backing of China, South Korea and some other countries, India frustrated the attempts of non-government organizations to get the issue of caste discrimination included on the agenda for the coming conference on racism. Despite consistent efforts by the Human Rights Watch and several NGOs, the issue of caste-based discrimination failed to get the support of the member-countries at the meeting of the U.N. subcommission of human rights. Countries such as Britain were inclined to have a debate on the issue. But Mauritius lauded the Indian Government for taking measures to safeguard the rights of Dalits and poor sections. It also referred to safeguards provided by the Indian Constitution which enabled a person from the lower caste to hold the highest constitutional post in the country. India's permanent representative to the U.N. office, Ms. Savitri Kunadi, said the Indian Government had taken a number of steps and provided constitutional safeguards to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and weaker sections.