BASA resolves ‘declaration on inclusion’

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The Bhutanese Association in South Australia (BASA) has passed a resolution on “Declaration on Inclusion” with an aim to strengthen and deepen the values and principles of inclusion in the Bhutanese community in South Australia.

Issuing a press statement Wednesday, the organization said a recent meeting of its constitutional bodies and community representatives resolved to adopt the declaration at the backdrop of several cases of social exclusions prevalent in the Bhutanese community living in Adelaide.

The statement mentioned that at the meeting, BASA’s Chairperson Jogen Gazmere presented a paper that highlighted the international and national human rights laws and Vedic basis of the oneness of all creations against the current practice of caste and race apartheid by those preaching the ‘doctrine of superiority’.

It said, “The meeting unanimously consented on the formation of the eleven members Special Committee (SC) chaired by the Chairperson of Ombudspersons, Gopal Ghimirey.”

The SC is mandated to investigate the cases where the attempts of social segregation and threat of social sanction have occurred by seeking written statement from both the victims and the inciter, informed BASA’s statement.

It further wrote that the SC would submit the report to the thirteen member Board of Inclusion Chaired by Ichha Poudel which will then take the matter to the community and the broader Australian society, including the government bodies, in the process of addressing them.

“Through the social and legal approaches, BASA is attempting to shift the social paradigm from the vile foundation of exclusion to that of inclusion and break away from the imposed divisive values and tradition,” Gazmere told BNS.

BASA has also requested all its community members to cooperate in its mission of providing service and security for the progress and prosperity of the community by supporting the creation of a united, cultured and harmonious Bhutanese community in South Australia.

Bhutanese SGP team with ARA CEO Peter Laintoll/Picture courtesy : BASA

In July, the association was granted AUD 77,053.00 for Settlement Grant Project (SGP) to help in their process of transition and integration in South Australia.

The SGP is funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for a year and is managed by the Australian Refugee Association in collaboration with BASA.

The association’s official site mentioned that Bikram Adhikari and Sushil Niroula from the community have been observed as the project officers to deliver the services to the community.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Jogen daju, Applying grant and advocating for the wellfare of Bhutanese community is one thing, However dont you think ” sunden imposed changed” by some of you there will bring more “devastation” in the minds of our community people than reformed you are trying to advocates for. Give condiration for social-phychological condition too.

    My comments would be that you need to focus for ” Gross Bhutanese Education GBE”, giving guidances to younger generation helping them to enroll in colleges and Universities. This will help your mission in the long run. I think this is more strategic then sudden big-bang in our cultural sensitive communities.

    Your Bhai Mr. X, USA

  2. Many thanks to Mr. Xavier for the comment.
    Sorry to say this, but you are being very irresponsible and uncourageous to intentionally choose to hide in the dark (concealing your identity) and hurl comment on such a significant issue. When you hide your identity, we do not know whether your are a person of concern to us or whether you are writing from America or from Adelaide. Amongst Bhutanese, lets make a culture to communicate to those who come openly with true identity to have sensible discussion on the issue. On this particular issue, we should resolve to make this response as first and final to any one choosing to “hide their identity” and talk irresponsibly on serious and sensitive issue. Please note that this particular issue has been hurting many hearts believing in the principle of inclusion and genuine amity and unity amongst Bhutanese in South Australia.

    In your comment, though you use phrases like “socio-psychological condition” and “culturally sensitive communities”, you appear as insensitive as the Royal regime in Bhutan, who is only sensitive about the protection and preservation of Drukpa Kajyagpa values and tradition and not the values and culture belonging to southern and eastern Bhutanese. Such selfish attitude only breeds discord, disharmony and disunity. In South Australia we are striving to overcome some selfish and narrow-minded forces and establish a Bhutanese community that is holistically happy, harmonious and united – In true sense of term.

    If your are really living in America, please read the history of Martin Luther King and the Ku Klux Klan. When Martin Luther King was calling for racial equality and an end to discrimination in USA through his historical speech, “I Have a Dream”, the Ku Klux Klan was busy spreading hatred by advocating for white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-immigration, etc. For the Ku Klux Klan that campaign for change was some sort of “imposed change” – But to those believing in humanity and human equality and dignity, it was imperative and inevitable. So, in our present campaign for constructive change, it is up to you, whether you want to be seen as Martin Luther King or as Ku Klux Klan.
    Thank you.

  3. I have a question for BASA members, if my grandparents refuse to eat the food cooked or served by a person of lower caste, what would you call it ? would you call it dissemination and take action against them ? how about their rights to chose what food they want to eat ,cooked and served by whom and who they would like to allow in their house.

    Now, if people start to impose the change overnight there will be resistance which is not a good trait for the evolution of the society. The change has to be gradual, it is bound to change with more and more people coming up with open mind.

    Last but not the least, who gives authority to BASA to investigate cases of discrimination ?

  4. Meera: If your grandparents refuse to eat the food cooked by anyone, that is their absolute right. If your grandparents refuse to allow anyone to enter their house, that is their right. If your parents decide to stay away from everyone or anyone that is their absolute right. However, there are certain situations and public events where things become less clear. For instance, if your grandparents are unhappy to sit together with anyone in a public event and eat witht them, they have the right to leave – they DO NOT have the right to demand that they be treated differently than anybody else. In the privacy of their homes, you and your grandparents have absolute freedom about what you do. When you step into the wider world, you should keep your ideas of your own superiority at home. Everyone is equal, in every way – caste, creed, religion and what have you.

    When you want to reserve the right to choose who you allow to enter your house, remember that others may also use the same rights against you. If you do not allow a ‘person of lower caste’ to enter your house, I may not allow YOU, no mater what your caste, to enter MY house. So on and so forth.

    It does not look like BASA is imposing any change. Nor does it look like they are ‘investigating’ anything. What BASA and any member of the community has the righ to do is bring a suit of discrimination against discriminators on prohibited grounds against anyone who indulges in blatant discrimination. I am sure Australia has those laws in place. This attempt by BASA seems to be an effort to make sure such suits do not come up and that our community solves those issues by doing away with discriminatory practices. BASA has no right to investigate anyone (and nor does it seem to claim to do so), but BASA as an organization as well BASA members as individuals have the absolute right to use the laws of the country they are in to prevent/investigate/punish discriminatory practices.

  5. Dai Bhotangey is absolutely right.

    We should not judge and categorize people on the basis of caste, rather the grading should be based on people’s character. The brahimins with no moral values and character should be placed below the Shudras in the hierarchy of caste, and the lower caste people with a pure heart, positive attitude, and good deeds should be placed a notch above the Brahimins.

  6. An additional food for thought for Meeraji: If we should worry about the sentiments of elderly Brahmins whose discriminatory practices impact others, should we also not worry equally about every other elderly person? The elderly gentleman being barred from entering a home just because of his caste is also someone’s grandpa – a living breathing human being making tangible contributions to society, with dreams, aspirations, dignity and a sense of self-respect like any other. Those who are designated as the “lower caste” have been enduring this patronizing, discriminatory treatment for centuries. Should we not think on how they have lived through and digested this? Those who have been oppressed thus are more deserving of the concerns of the society at large than those whose sense of ‘I-am-better-than-you’ we often seem to cite when we are afraid of change.

    Some changes evolve. Some are forced. Many of us have forced changes our own way in our personal and family lives. Only the speaking out part has remained. That should happen whenever an opportunity presents itself.

    BASA’s declaration is perhaps such an opportunity.

    than worrying about how the easily perturbed sense of superiority of your grandparents, you perhaps should worry about the

  7. We must understand that it is not going to be an overnight change and I believe nobody is looking for it. It is a long transitional process. We all know it is simply a blind belief and an outcome of illiteracy in our society. It takes generations for our society to adopt to its complete change. Besides caste system, there are also many other practises which has pushed our society back.These evil practices have deep roots in to the reasons of Conversion of religion in our society which has become a threat to peace and harmony in the community.

    We need to continue with the healthy practises dropping the evil ones and also we should pick good ones from other’s cultural heritage.

    However,for now,I justify BASA’s initiative as our generation also bear the moral responsibility to contribute for the change. We can not remain mere spectators and look forward for changes coming by itself.

    we should not enforce, but at the same time we should not be reluctant in speaking our genuine convictions for the upliftment and welfare of our community.

  8. By reading the above comments and earlier the Gopal Ghimire’s article, I felt the issue is something else and we discuss other things.

    We are not blaming all BRAHIMINS but by far very few who try to preach evil practice which is against the Australian and Western law and oour own community at large.

    So there is no blame to all so called high caste fellows where I belong to and hate to be born as such but fortunate to be humanbeing. Here I don’t mean I am aganist higher or lower castes but the stigma I carry pains me a lot when I see myself from others point of view.

    We are not blaming religion of any kind, there is no risks to any religions and culture from the article above, it is only our assumption who are trying to be defensive.

    The problem is we pretend not to understand what is reality. For example, if one of us tell our grandparents that in the community, we can pretend eating the local food cooked by our fellows or can sit with different caste (one site Mike Ryan, the premier and other side bhutanese community member) and drink juice or fruit, they will probably try to listen to you. Here I am not talking of imposing but reality that has to be displayed.

    It is our attitude that matters a lot. We will never be able to make or break the norms that has come from thousands of years but will break the racial dicsrimination and we must break this, and for this there are only few, for those, we have to chase them hard (here I am not talking of older granies who will not harm much but some middle age cruel community destroyer who call themselves suprme).

    Please do not misread me, I am not talking of religion and tradition but henious crime in the name of practice and culture which is written no where in any religious documents but made by thutay experts.

    I think many in south Australia cannot deny the demise of late Mon Maya may have link to this ill practice. I for one very clearly say there was a some correlation.

    If anyone commenting for me, Please write your name and address first, otherwise your artilce has no meaning and I will think you are from the cruel discriminatory team and coward.
    Thank you,
    Parsu
    Melbourne Victoria

  9. We have seen things change all the time. It will & perhaps anyone who is unhappy will try to change a sick and filthy system. Some like to sit on the fence and watch.

    As far investigation of the cases in South Australia is ncerned, investigation by BASA as a community org is very much possible and it is so easy to authenticate the process by complaining to the police or by even talking to the Government Human Rights Commission.
    paper by paper we can produce records, we can establish witnesses and so on.

    Plenty of things to do. And the law suit may begin. People can be fined quite heavily and in the West the community as a whole will obviously spit on those who hate others . This all sounds like a perfect plan for justice.

  10. Congratulations BASA for your brave initiative in South Australia. Unless someone dont come forward with such initiatives such evils and discriminations in our community goes on and on and our people continues sufferings. Community organizations around the resettling countries must learn from BASA and should start their own initiatives to eradicate caste related evils in our communities once and for all. I know almost all the developed world forbids such discriminations and have the most stringent punishment to those who pratices such uncivilised discriminations. Thus if our community organizations dont starts such campaign in time as BASA did in SA I can rightly say that in days to come many of our people certainly lands in various prisons around the world for practising such evils.

    Therefore i appeal all our people who are resettled around the world to starts practising good things of our cultures and leave the bad things like caste systems etc. etc. back in Nepal once and for all. We are now in developed world and let us behave in developed manner as we everybody knows that all human beings are equal and caste was made by man.

  11. What BASA rather should aspire is not to look into diverting caste ideologies because by birth everybody is ignorant which means sudra but to develop a sense of community bond, love and care to everyone. For the worst than the caste consciousness like some one’s grand parents not going to eat food served by a sudra, is a personal rights and freedoms, not necessarily hate, be aware that some affluent people who landed in the west are politically conscious and they try to put down anyone who is not supporting their political parties. Segregating people on such differences is even worst that caste segregation because its done more due to hate than following social norms. This tendency must be left back in Nepal for ever but its not done by the very person who is suggesting to do that.

  12. So Mr. rb singh what you are suggesting is to respect the personal right of practising untouchability of the elderly should be the duty of everyone, including Shudras.
    Bhotangey has quite correctly pointed out earlier that why should we be only thinking about the elderly of Brahmins? Don’t we have elderly people in every caste. And the nature of incidents have been public and not private. So obviously we will try to enforce public duties of the Brahmin elderly than think of their personal rights.

    And you argue that we are trying to destroy the unity of Bhutanese people. Let me make this clear to you, for thousands of years the caste system divided our society, it created inequality and injustice. It has been a source of disunity my friend not unity.
    That is why it must destroyed at best. If we remove this disease the unity we havent had for a long long time will obviously grow back. If you don’t have the courage to change, obviously you either like the superior feeling you derive from all of this or you simply are a coward. Orgs like BASA will give examples to remove your superior feeling as well as make you brave for the next time.