The caste system in India is the paradigmatic ethnographic example of caste. It has origins in ancient India , and was transformed by various ruling elites in medieval, early-modern, and modern India, especially the Mughal Empire and the British Raj. The caste system as it exists today is thought to be the result of developments during the collapse of the Mughal era and the rise of the British colonial regime in India. In , negative discrimination on the basis of caste was banned by law and further enshrined in the Indian constitution; however, the system continues to be practiced in India with devastating social effects. Caste-based differences have also been practised in other regions and religions in the Indian subcontinent like Nepalese Buddhism,  Christianity , Islam , Judaism and Sikhism. New developments took place after India achieved independence, when the policy of caste-based reservation of jobs was formalised with lists of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
What Does Being An ‘Elite Dalit’ Woman Mean?
The victim had not been identified in the lawsuit. News agency Reuters, which first reported the case, had named the managers, who were named as the defendants along with Cisco. They both appeared to be Indian Americans, going by their names. They were no longer with the company. Caste-based discrimination does not appear to be rare in the United States. It could not be immediately ascertained if this was the first lawsuit about caste-based workplace discrimination in the United States.
From a treatise dating back to on purity and social organisation, to the abundance of caste elites in contemporary leadership positions in.
Well researched and informative, but readable and accessible, this is a book for those interested in sociological studies as much as for the lay reader. There is also a steady stream of discourse dedicated to how Indian women are gaining sexual agency, in that they are no longer hesitant when it comes to casual sex, being with married men, or having an open relationship. Hook-ups and casual dating, via an app or otherwise, are perceived to be creating a sex-positive culture for Indian women who may otherwise be inhibited from experiencing unbridled sexual pleasure inside or outside of a relationship.
Not all Dalit women cisgender, heterosexual, urban, and educated , who consider dating as a possible route to finding romantic partners, necessarily share the same experience. At the heart of a good, intimate relationship is the understanding that those involved, in sustaining that bond, are of value. But, how is this value determined and who in the relationship determines it?
The highest value, as defined by Hinduism, has traditionally been ascribed to the Brahmin woman, followed by the Kshatriya, the Vaishya, and the Shudra. The modern-day ideal is also a savarna or a savarna-passing woman, who is typically light-skinned and able-bodied, belonging to a family that has the monetary and social capital, and embodying qualities considered to be feminine.
The farther one is from this ideal, the more undervalued she is perceived to be. Dalit women who carry the double burden of gender and caste, and are one of the most socially undervalued in India, are therefore under constant pressure to project an acceptable version that mimics the savarna ideal. In a romantic pursuit or a partnership, we are expected to operate along with a behavioural band that is far narrower than what is required of a non-Dalit woman. And the price that is asked of us, in return for a semblance of normalcy, is our safety, dignity, and mental health.
Dalit women are repeatedly stereotyped as:. Not only does this make us seem unattractive, especially in the context of dating where confidence is generally regarded as an attractive trait, but it also has further implications in an actual romantic or sexual relationship.
Swipe Me Left, I’m Dalit
There is also a steady stream of discourse dedicated to how Indian women are gaining sexual agency, in that they are no longer hesitant when it comes to casual sex, being with married men, or having an open relationship. Hook-ups and casual dating, via an app or otherwise, are perceived to be creating a sex-positive culture for Indian women who may otherwise be inhibited from experiencing unbridled sexual pleasure inside or outside of a relationship.
Not all Dalit women cisgender, heterosexual, urban, and educated , who consider dating as a possible route to finding romantic partners, necessarily share the same experience. At the heart of a good, intimate relationship is the understanding that those involved in sustaining that bond are of value. But how is this value determined and who in the relationship determines it?
For a Dalit woman, even in this day and age, this is a question that has been clear throughout history, even dating back to ancient Rome.
We ourselves live in a pretty sick society that seems incapable of feelings of sisterhood, brotherhood, solidarity. DC: How do we support the movement in the US and how does one show solidarity with people protesting in India? I would say that the best way of supporting that movement is to understand where it comes from, first of all. The history of slavery, racism, the civil rights movement—its successes and failures.
And to understand the role that the majority of the Indian community in the US has played in all of this. Who has it traditionally aligned itself with? The answers will tell us a lot about our own society. We can only support that really grand show of rage across cultures and communities that is happening there, if we address our own values and actions with some degree of honesty.
We ourselves live in a pretty sick society that seems incapable of feelings of sisterhood, brotherhood, solidarity…. Of course there are similarities. The difference is that the Ku Klux Klan had a somewhat different sense of theatre when they conducted their killings. Its members had penetrated all public institutions including the police and the judiciary.
California state sues Cisco for caste-based workplace bias
Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?
Jump to navigation. If Tinder came late to some homes, it didn’t come to mine at all. My cousins and extended family found it supremely normal to ignore because we are still learning how to negotiate love-marriage discussions with our Dalit parents. Girls in my immediate world continue to have sari-related troubles with love and relationships more than anything else.
Her embarrassed parents and his slightly angry ones spent the next 30 minutes nursing their teacups and smiling painfully at each other. A week later when they met again, my cousin wore a beautiful silk sari and said “no, thank you”. It is a strange position to be in: the young women in these instances had an odd power to say no differently but they continue to be trapped in a world they cannot entirely say no to.
This year, after decades of being solidly against love marriage, my mother took me aside at a family function and whispered, “We will accept a Muslim or a Christian boy also. For the urban Dalit parent, this decade has been harsh and enigmatic in equal measure. When they moved to cities in the previous decade, they only had to prepare young Dalit adults to be competitive in school and college and then at work. But when they were saddled with the task of dealing with these adults as thinking individuals, who feel desire and fall in love, they were caught unawares.
Nor were we prepared to deal with what was to come next. Negotiating with Dalit parents who are growing old in a Savarna world is challenging at various levels.
The Plight of Untouchable Christians in India Today
I almost nodded in agreement, instantly realising how furious it made me. Yes for a Dalit woman, I live a very privileged life but what does my privilege exactly include? As far as I know, I am just a regular working class educated woman living an independent life.
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This book is unique in many ways. First, it is written by a former RSS member who has become a radical critique of the organisation and who explains why in detail. Till date, few ex-swayamsevaks had narrated what had been their experience in the Sangh and presented the reasons why they had left it. I know only three other such testimonies. The oldest one was published by Secular democracy in , the most recent one came out almost two decades later and — probably — sometimes in between Ram Lall Dhooria published I was a Swayamsevak an undated text.
Few people leave RSS and when they do, they do not necessarily write their memoirs. In this preface, I will focus on this second dimension of the book which makes it most valuable. Hedgewar longed for. The shakhas were supposed to welcome youngsters from all social origins, including Dalits, and that was one of the reasons why it was so important that all the participants should wear the same uniform, in order to erase socio-economic distinctions.
In fact, the RSS was partly a reaction to the rise of Dalit politics under the aegis of Ambedkar whose first anti-caste mobilisations including the Mahad satyagraha and temple entry movements also took place in what is today Maharashtra. For the RSS, to include members of the Depressed Classes as the Scheduled Castes were known in the s , was a good way to defuse anti-Brahminism and to maintain social hierarchies. Indeed, the RSS has never explicitly denounced the caste system but attempted to reform it in order to preserve its basic structure.
In , for instance, in We or our nationhood defined, M. Deendayal Upadhyaya defended the original varna vyavastha even more explicitly, in Integral Humanism, a text that is still considered as its ideological charter by the Sangh parivar.
Untouchable no more: the Dalit bridegroom rejecting class prejudice
They say casteism is the bigger virus and truly so, a case emerged recently from Telangana where an year-old Dalit boy was brutally assaulted with belts and sticks, stripped, made to lie down on a hot stone and was forced to drink urine when he cried for water. All this shocking treatment after being found dating a year from the community of the accused.
On May 17, the victim from Mala community of Schedule Caste was reportedly attacked after his friend was traced giving him food and water while he hid with his lover at a temple in Jannaram village outskirts. The years-old girl from the Goud community which is categorized as a Backward Caste, eloped with the Dalit boy after allegedly calling him at the temple to meet.
Posted: Mar 28,
The Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia delivers this meme-friendly one-liner in the seventh episode of the hit Netflix series Indian Matchmaking. But she departs from this well-worn model in her attention to one extra characteristic: caste. This silent shadow hangs over every luxurious living room she leads viewers into. She lumps an entire social system, which assigns people to a fixed place in a hierarchy from birth, together with anodyne physical preferences.
This prejudiced treatment includes, but is hardly limited to, workplace discrimination in the United States. For example, the state of California sued the tech company Cisco in June for allegedly failing to protect a Dalit employee from discrimination by his higher-caste Brahmin managers. When a popular show like Indian Matchmaking neglects this alarming fact of the Indian American experience, it quietly normalizes caste for a global audience.
Contrary to what some viewers might think, the caste system is an active form of discrimination that persists in India and within the Indian American diaspora.