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7.03 Minority Rights: Honors
Transcript of 7.03 Minority Rights: Honors
Untouchables in India
Key People & Organizations
UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD) approved a resolution condemning caste or descent-based discrimination. Groups that are trying to help Dalits become equal and not face horrid discrimination continue to make laws banning this to continue to these innocent people. The issue that still lies ahead is the enforcement of these rules. The national level of India chose to not enforce these rules, so mistreatment towards Dalits continue and worsens. Although the situation still persists and seems like nothing is effectively working, organizations like Dalit Freedom Network and NACDOR continue to help address and spread awareness of the issues of Dalits to bring justice to them.
Methods & Strategies
Some Dalits retaliate to get equal rights by committing horrible crimes to upper-caste villagers like they do to them. Organizations that are active to helping Dalits get equality go through education, peaceful protest, etc. to help Dalits gain their civil rights.
"India's "Untouchables" Face Violence, Discrimination." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 17 May 2014. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/202003/06/0602_030602_untouchables.html
"7 Dalits burnt alive in caste clash"; "5 Dalits lynched in Haryana"; "Dalit woman gang-raped, paraded naked" ("India's "Untouchables" Face Violence, Discrimination,pg.1) These are the headlines that mainstream Indian newspapers have when they are published. What are Dalits and why are they treated so horribly? In India, Dalits, also known as ‘untouchables’ are people who are considered impure and less than human due to a caste system they are put in during birth. This also comes with the religion of Hinduism. Hindus believe there are four castes based on karma and "purity. This all depends on how that person lived in their past life. The four castes you can be born into are Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras. Dalits are considered a fifth group that is so worthless they don’t fall into any of the four castes groups. More than 160 million people in India are considered Dalits and 90 percent of all poor Indians are Dalits. The caste system is still very effective today because they use it for economic and religious reasons in India. The principals of untouchability and purity command what Dalits are and are not allowed to do, where they are and are not allowed to live, go, or sit, who they can and cannot give water to, eat with, or marry,etc. Dalits, also known as untouchables, are considered the lowest of low in India to the eyes of Hindus.
What ideas could they borrow from the American movements that could make them more successful?
Dalits and organizations that are taking action to help Dalits get equality already use the majority of methods American movements did. Some Dalits use violence and some of their organizations use non-violence. That is what happened in American movements. Some actions they could try is marches, sit-ins, etc. Dalit’s and their organizations need to find a way to appeal to a high power figure. With appealing this issue to someone with much power, that person could make giving equality to Dalits truly effective (like how the woman’s movement made there issues appeal to the president during that time, which made the president favor what change they wanted).
Based on what you know of civil rights movements and the actions these groups are taking, do you believe they will be successful, why or why not?
I believe the Dalits and the organizations that are taking actions to try to help Dalits obtain civil rights and equality will not be successful. I say this because in India, under the religion of Hinduism, the caste system and how it works is a certain way they live; you can’t tell someone to live. The caste system is like Americas upper, middle, and low class system. Without the caste system it would throw off much of how India works there economy. Along with that, the caste system is a part of a religion. A religion is something people believe in, and if part of Hindus religion was attempted to be changed, there not going to follow the alteration because it’s their RELIGION; there way of life; what they live for. It’s something that has been followed for decades and there is no way that can be changed or altered successfully. I also feel like this will not be successful because rules and laws are not being enforced by authority figures in India. Without authority abiding to the change, no villager in India will. Unfortunately, this is why I believe the Dalits and the organizations that are taking actions to try to help Dalits obtain civil rights and equality will not be successful.
United States History
"India's Untouchables | Cultural Survival." India's Untouchables | Cultural Survival. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2014. <http://www.culturalsurvival.org/ourpublications/csq/article/indias-untouchables>.