Cast Out Caste

Enora Haugmard France

India is a booming country, rich with diversities, but its territories haven’t developed equally everywhere. Indeed, some discrimination still exits  between Indian inhabitants. Hopefully, the situation is evolving positively.

In India, there is a system that makes it possible to classify the population a thousand heredity groups called “caste”. The caste system was developed many years ago and still survives today. We can notice 4 major castes : Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya, which are the upper class, and Sudra the lower one. It would be necessary to add the Untouchables (Dalits) which are left outside the other castes. Currently, the discrimination about caste is forbidden, however, it still continues to play a major role in Indian society.


Indeed, there is large-scale of abuses by the police, for example when some refused to fill a complaint or acting in collusion with the upper class. Upper class oppression lead to terrible actions, such as humiliation in public, paraded naked or raped with impunity. Dalits lives are very hard, in part of immoral actions that they have to face everyday; for example, their jobs which are unclean (cleaning latrines). Moreover, the Untouchables face lower wages and a terrible way of life.



But, the situation has been improving since XX century. An emergence of grassroots human right movements and organizations among Dalits has resulted.

People’s Watch organization by Henri Tiphagne was established on Dec. 10, 1995 in the state of Tamil Nadu. People’s Watch is at the heart of the human rights fight in India. The objective of this organization is to empower the victims of human rights violations, such as domestics violence, torture, child labor, harassment and of course, caste discrimination.



As Henri explain during an interview, People’s Watch is an association of volunteers that want to operate independently and without  outside resources. According to Henri, he would like to act step by step instead of working throughout the country, because he wouldn’t possess the skills and the capacities to be able to make an entire state accountable. Thanks to their work, they provided immediate relief to 20,000 families, mostly Dalits affected by a tsunami.


On the 17th of July 2017, a man from India’s lowest caste was elected president. Ram Nath Kovind is the second president who came from Dalits.ram-nath-kovind-ambedkar-jayanti-pti_650x400_81523727422 His election as president represents a support among the Dalits community. Although, the role of the president in India lacks any real executive authority, Ram Nath Kovind has a symbolic role. Traditionally viewed as “impure,” the group continues to grapple with persecution and exclusion.


So, even though discrimination against Dalits still prevails, the situation has been improving and we can hope that it will continue in this way. But, unfortunately, the Untouchability is an entrenched and its hard to remove it. India is riddled with discrimination and prejudices, and that provokes huge consequences towards the lower class. Perhaps, we will have wait for its economic development to notice a real social evolution.



Loes Aartsen,The Netherlands


This morning I saw a video of two women, who were in a fight with each other. One was a white woman from Holland and the other one was Muslim wearing a Hijab. The white woman was yelling to the other woman and she said very aggressive things about her Hijab. The Dutch woman wanted her to take her Hijab off. The Muslim woman asked why and the white lady became more and more aggressive. They got into a fight and in the end of the movie, you see how the Muslim is laying down on the ground without her Hijab. Why do people do these horrible things?

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Since a lot of centuries ago, we have always had the fear of change, not to mention ‘the unknown’. Long time ago a lot of species and groups developed in their own way. The groups were not in contact with each other and everything on the other side, for example their living place, was their enemy. As a result of this, it led to prejudice and racism.

Upbringing and the media are the two biggest causes of racism. Parents start very early with telling things like morals and standards to their children and it will be in their minds forever. Children are very vulnerable for this, because their parents are their great example and they will believe everything they say. Even if they have good contacts or start to change their mind about ‘another’, they will always have it in their mind. The media is also a big cause of racism. If you watch the news, you will hear people say ‘us’ and ‘them’. This causes some kind of feeling that will separate groups. Also in a lot of movies you have stereotypes like the white hero, the black gang or the black corrupt cops.

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These things are not good for the society. Everyone must see the other as equivalent. My opinion is that we can’t prejudice ‘other’ people. People who discriminate are just afraid and insecure, because they don’t know anything about it. When I meet people with these same kind of thoughts, I feel happy. Not everyone is a racist.

Loes Aartsen

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