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The caste factor

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A Dalit Women’s ‘Self Respect Yatra’ (procession) begins in Kurukshetra, in the state of Haryana at the feet of the statue of Dalit Rights icon Dr. Ambedkar. Credit: Thenmozhi Soundararajan

This year, Google decided to celebrate Dalit History Month by scheduling a talk in April by US-based Dalit rights activist and founder of Equality Labs, Thenmozhi Soundararajan. But, when the moment came, the tech giant pulled the plug.

The reason? Groups of upper-caste Google employees sent out mass emails to their bosses labelling Soundararajan ‘Hindu-phobic’ and ‘anti-Hindu’, and claiming their ‘lives were at risk’. Caste in America? Yup – and caste wherever Indians go.

A 2020 radio series on casteism in the US and Canada found that the caste system, with its treatment of Dalits as the lowest of the low, continues to haunt them even in their diaspora lives. A quarter of the immigrant Dalit respondents to a 2016 survey conducted by Equality Labs said they had… Full article

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