The tragic truth about India’s caste system

posted by
January 24, 2012
by Shikha Dalmia  
Posted in Commentary

"My American friends frequently ask me why India’s caste system, a pre-feudalistic division of labor that assigns one’s line of work at birth, has persisted into the 21st century in defiance of every civilized notion of justice and equality. I thought I knew the answer: The need of the privileged upper castes for cheap labor to do their dirty work. But there is an even more tragic explanation that I discovered during a recent visit to New Delhi while talking to Maya, the dalit or untouchable -- the lowest of the four castes -- who has serviced my family for 35 years. Maya herself clings to her caste because it offers her the best possible life, even in modern India." (01/24/12)  


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