Harish Jharia

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22 September 2012

Social Discrimination: A Huge Population of Indian Citizens are Still Treated as Outcast Untouchables

Written on 1 August 2010


© Harish Jharia

Nearly 85-odd students of primary schools at Jasapur, Jhinjhak village, near Kanpur, refused to eat mid-day meal because the food was cooked by lower cast cooks. The students and their parents resorted to boycotting class as they did not tolerate dalit cooks appointed by the government. This protest continued until the cooks were removed from their jobs.

according to some press reports the UP Government paves way for upper caste candidates by relaxing conditions of compulsory recruitment of dalit candidates on these posts. 

After incidents of boycott of midday meals by upper caste students, prepared by so called lower-caste cooks, the UP government appears to have abruptly gone soft on its pro-dalit agenda. The authorities have changed the recruitment specifications for midday meal cooks by replacing “compulsory' appointment of SCs, STs and OBCs” with “preference should be given to members from these communities”. 

India boasts of being one of the most literate nations in the world and claims to be the next global super power. Yet, if the widespread rampant social discrimination based on casts is any indication, then this claim appears to be merely a hollow self appreciation. If social discrimination is prolonged for generations after generations that might result in mass movements and aggressive revolutions by the downtrodden and deprived citizens of the largest democracy on this planet.

Such revolutions usually end up in extremism and might go to the extent of social divides based on caste, creed and language. The trifurcation of British India into independent India, Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) at the time of transfer of power in the Indian subcontinent is a burning example of extreme religious intolerance and the worst kind of non-secular politics.

India is the largest democracy in the world and this fact has been accepted globally. Now we are accountable to the world community for convincing them that we are not ‘far’ the people… ‘off’ the people… and ‘bye’ the people. We will have to refine the social order prevailing in our country and prove to the world that we are the real democracy. 

Read about dalits converted to other religions: 
  1. Indian Dalits find no refuge from caste in Christianity
  2. Muslim Castes and Communities of India
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