I’m Dalit, how are you?

While we are still busy over very serious issues like old KBC versus new KBC, Big B versus King Khan, prediction of Cricket World Cup, Windows Vista, technology convergence etc. etc. some small little issues missed our urban radar!

Tinkerbell sent me this YouTube video – thanks Tinker!

From Wikipedia:

In the Indian caste system, a Dalit, often called an untouchable, is a person who does not have any varnas. Varna refers to the Hindu belief that most humans were created from different parts of the body of the divinity Purusha. The part from which a varna was created defines its social status for issues such as who they can marry and what jobs they can do. Dalits fall outside varnas system and have historically been prevented from doing any but the most menial jobs. They are also known as outcastes. Included are leather-workers (called chamar), poor farmers and landless laborers, scavengers (called bhangi or chura), street handicrafters, folk artists, clothes washers dhobi etc. Traditionally, they were treated as pariahs in South Asian society and isolated in their own communities, to the point that even their shadows were avoided by the upper castes. Discrimination against Dalits still exists in rural areas in the private sphere, in ritual matters such as access to eating places and water sources. It has largely disappeared, however, in urban areas and in the public sphere, in rights of movement and access to schools.


2 thoughts on “I’m Dalit, how are you?

  1. Hardly the stuff that makes news these days, is it not? And yet, these are the matters that should be hitting us hard every day on every damn channel (now that we have so many, that shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong!). And remind us that a progressive India will remain a pipe dream till cancers like untouchability, which will rot the nation to its core, are removed for good. It is not enough to console ourselves that this is a “rural problem” (as the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation segment shows, it’s just as alive in urban centres). With India being close to 60% rural, a “rural problem” is verily a national problem – a crisis even. But while everyone knows about it, very little is actually being done, even by those who claim to champion the cause of the Dalits. The issue has become so bedevilingly politicised that the very existence of several parties, politicians, bureaucrats, NGOs and even entire government departments, depends on the continuing practice of untouchability. For something so deep-seated to vanish forever, it is most essential to root out the concept from our minds, and hopefully this will happen in our generation.

  2. I guess that it is actually awareness program that is needed.. Forget about the rural areas, even in urban cities – people who are aged and belong to the so called upper caste see discrimination among people.. The case of dalits is even worser.. Let me give an example – I was talking to a women of 75 years old and suddenly she started speaking about discrimination and how people of lower castes should be treated etc.. I tried to convince her saying all are the same creations of super power – But I failed.. In orthodox families, people still see the discriminations.. Even after the government giving relaxations, it is people’s mind that needs to be altered.. Unless and until people change, this discrimination will definitely exist.. We were talking about racism and supported Shilpa Shetty in Big Brother where she was being attacked by her fellow contender.. And what are we doing? Arent we seeing the discrimination in our own county?? This is definitely an immediate problem that needs attention – Hope we can change the people..

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