Caste system in India is a manifestation of the Hindu Brahmanical order which excludes certain communities as “outcastes” “impure” “untouchables”. These Untouchables, who called themselves as dalits- the broken people constitute 17% of the total population in India. Even after 60 years of India’s independence and the practice of untouchability had been abolished by the Constitution of India, dalits face discrimination and exclusion. They form the majority of the illiterate, landless, poor unorganized laborers in India. They not only suffer discrimination and untouchability but also face unbridled violence in the forms of physical assault, murder and rape while they try to assert themselves.
Though there are constitutional safeguards and legal protections against discrimination and atrocities, right to equality and human dignity is still a mirage for dalits.
Kathir the founder director, a dalit himself has witnessed and experienced caste based discrimination since his childhood which triggered him to become a fighter against this caste system and caste based atrocities against dalits. Kathir started his career as a writer cum poet addressing the life stories and experiences of the voiceless people of socially marginalized communities. Later he got motivated on direct interventions through legal and advocacy efforts against these social injustices. Kathir realized the need for new professional, scientific and strategic approaches rather than the same old approaches which failed to bring justice and equality to dalits. His realization came immediately after his participation in the UN conference against racism held in Durban in 2001. He saw the failure of the efforts taken by the human rights and dalit rights organizations in advocating the dalit cause at the international level, particularly due to the lack of evidences, proof, facts and figures to prove against the Indian government’s stand against caste discrimination. Hence with the tasks of
- Strengthening the victimized community by converting them in to a witness community
- Making the casteist society to realize the entrenched unequal caste system and the plight of the dalits
- Building the support and solidarity of the local, national and international Human rights community Kathir initiated EVIDENCE in 2005.