Mr. Speaker, recently the issue of the treatment of the Dalit people of India was raised in the House. Untouchability has been a social evil for centuries in India. However, since independence, India has seen its leaders make great progress in fighting this evil.
Last week on Parliament Hill, there was a celebration of the 632nd birth anniversary of Shri Guru Ravidas, the religious leader who fought for Dalit rights.
Today, India has taken affirmative action that reserves seats for Dalits in all government institutions, including parliament. A Dalit has occupied the highest office of the president of India. The present chief justice of India is a Dalit. Finally, it is a criminal offence to discriminate against Dalits.
Although great progress has been made worldwide in confronting discrimination, still there is much to be accomplished.