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!
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.