Tuesday, November 29, 2011

System of Untouchability

More than 160 million people in India are considered Untouchable – people tainted by their birth into a caste system that deems them impure and less than human.

Indian caste system is a system of social stratification in which communities are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups called jatis. The values and ethics are strongly held by the people belonging to the castes. Their life chances, context, choices and social status in the society largely depended on their caste. There are 5 different levels of the Indian caste system followed over years:-

The untouchables or dalit faced non prejudiced discrimination and were not considered as citizens. Historically, they were associated to odd jobs such as butchering, removal of waste and animal carcasses. They were called untouchable as they were not allowed to come in contact with the other castes. This system has worked in Indian history. But present-day India forbids discriminating and practicing untouchability. Along with this law the government allows positive discrimination of the depressed classes in India. But positive discrimination have created new problems in the Indian society.

The video below is a brief description on the prejudice and discrimination faced by the dalits. The video gives us examples of movements held to destroy the system of untouchability.

Indians have become more flexible in their caste customs. In urban India, the people are less strict about the caste system than the rural. The biggest challenge in India is to overcome the violent clashes connected to caste tensions in remote villages. This will be a big leap to a more developed India.

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