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Caste System Indias caste system is perhaps the worlds longest surviving social hierarchy. Caste encompasses a complex ordering of social groups on the.

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Presentation on theme: "Caste System Indias caste system is perhaps the worlds longest surviving social hierarchy. Caste encompasses a complex ordering of social groups on the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Caste System Indias caste system is perhaps the worlds longest surviving social hierarchy. Caste encompasses a complex ordering of social groups on the basis of religious purity & determined by birth!

2 Oppressive Caste System

3 Remember there are over 30,000 caste & sub castes!

4 No Social Mobility Born into you caste You cannot change your caste. Hindus believe that your caste level is a result of your karma in a previous life.

5 Untouchables / Dalits Cannot: possess any wealth get an education enter a Hindu temple drink from public wells/water systems Marry outside their caste Touch anyone from a higher caste!! Argue or disobey upper caste demands.

6 Untouchables of India National Geographic, June 2003

7 Untouchable Woman A veiled woman of the Untouchable caste pauses for a photo while sweeping outside her home. India's constitution forbids caste discrimination and specifically abolishes Untouchability, but the hierarchies and social codes of Hinduism perpetuate the system.

8 Entrenched Irony Members of the Untouchable Dhobi caste beat the impurities out of clothes on the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi. Life's "unclean" tasks, such as cleaning latrines and digging graves fall to those born into one of the hundreds of Untouchable castes. They face a lifetime of discrimination and brutality, prejudice that endures even though Untouchability is officially banned by the Indian constitution.

9 Laundry Yard Her fate scripted by Hindu law, an Untouchable girl can imagine little else than working along the Yamuna River in Delhi as a Dhobi. Members of this clothes-washing caste handle items 'polluted' by blood or human waste.

10 Untouchable Tanner Upper caste aversion to killing cattle, eating beef, and handling animal hides gives Untouchables a monopoly in the tanning business. At a rural tannery, a member of the Chamar leatherworking caste softens water buffalo skin.

11 Planting Rice Women from India's so-called Untouchable caste plant rice in a large field. Consigned by birth to the lowest social strata, Untouchables number some 160 million, about 15 percent of India's people. Considered impure by Hindu law, they are generally permitted to perform only the most menial jobs.

12 Crushing Work Hour after hour Untouchtables break rocks to repair a railbed in Rajasthan. They will earn one or two dollars a day. Because of their huge numbers, many have had to leave their villages to seek work beyond their traditional caste occupations.

13 Brick Workers For two dollars a day, Untouchable women load thousands of bricks at a dust-choked kiln in Rajasthan. This job, while not restricted to unclean castes, goes largely to Untouchables, their low status condemning them to the most menial work.

14 So Close and So Unreachable A luxury high-rise in Mumbai stands aloof from a decaying housing complex occupied by Untouchables. Almost the only way an Untouchable can rise in Indian society is to land a government job or university scholarship, available to a few under a federal quota system.

15 Separate and Unequal Across a narrow alley children on a stairway seek a stray breeze and freedom from one-room apartments in a battered housing project for Untouchables in Bangalore, in southern India. Jobs and the prospect of fewer public humiliations at the hands of upper caste Indians bring many Untouchables to the cities.

16 Water Rights Across India members of upper castes often refuse to share water with Untouchables, convinced that any liquid will become polluted if it comes in contact with an Untouchable. In the countryside Untouchables are often forbidden to use the same wells and ponds as upper caste villagers.

17 Chicken Scraps Discarded chicken scraps bought from a restaurant barely make a meal for Untouchables in Bihar, one of India's poorest states. These villagers belong to the Musahar, or rat-eaters, caste, its members known for hunting rodents. Musahar women, many of whom work as field hands, have begun to agitate for better living conditions.

18 No Choice At age nine Kariamma was dedicated by her family to become a devadasi, or "servant of God." At puberty, like most devadasis in India, she was offered sexually to upper caste patrons. Now, at age 30, Kariamma has given birth to five children, uncertain of whom the fathers are. An activist exclaimed, "These women are Untouchable by day, but touchable by night. "

19 Private Army Outraged by the wage and land-reform demands of Untouchables, the Ranvir Sena, a militia led by landowners, has been implicated in the massacres of more than 500 Untouchables. The attackers have gone largely unpunished. Activists fear that the recent surge in violent incidents across India will only intensify as more Untouchables try to break the chains of caste.

20 Disfigurement It's hard to believe that something good could come out of the horror that left Ramprasad, an Untouchable, left, with such disfiguring scars, the result of a mob dousing him and his friend Ramlakhan with acid for fishing in a pond used by upper caste villagers in Uttar Pradesh, India. But the kindness of strangers raising money for Ramprasad's reconstructive surgery will eventually give him a new face to present to the world.

21 Enlightenment Untouchable women meeting in southern India focus on such issues as literacy, malnourishment, and employment. An organization called Janodaya, run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, educates women on how to press for better government services in areas such as health and education, and how to start small businesses.

22 Kasturba Balika School Uplifted by song, Sneha, an Untouchable eighth grader, leads classmates in a hand-clapping rehearsal of a patriotic anthem to be performed at a concert celebrating India's Republic Day. Kasturba Balika School in New Delhi provides education to some 700 underprivileged girls, most of them Untouchables. It is named for the wife of Mahatma Gandhi, the man who fought and failed to end the practice of Untouchability.

23 Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Overcoming numerous social and financial obstacles, Ambedkar became one of the first untouchable to obtain a college education. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar spent his whole life fighting against social discrimination of the caste system.

24 Poverty in India- directly relates lower levels of caste

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