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India's Dalits: Fighting for justice

The alleged rape and death of a 19-year-old woman has sparked a debate about caste.

The alleged rape and subsequent death of a 19-year-old woman in India has again shone a spotlight on caste-based violence against the Dalit community – formerly known as “untouchables”. According to official figures, men from India's upper castes rape ten Dalit women a day. Although the northern state of Uttar Pradesh records the highest number of such cases, caste-based violence and discrimination is prevalent throughout the country and in Indian communities around the world. Dalits make up nearly twenty percent of India's population and were given equal protection under the constitution after independence from Britain. But rights groups say while many Dalits have been able to take advantage of quota systems to move up the economic ladder, violence and discrimination against the community is worsening. The current racial justice movement in the United States is inspiring Dalit activists to be move assertive in speaking up for their rights – but what gains can Dalits expect to make? What is at the core of the discrimination and prejudice against them? And why are Dalit women especially targeted for sexual violence? Ritula Shah and guests discuss the future of Dalits in India.

Available now

53 minutes

Last on

Sat 10 Oct 2020 03:06GMT

Contributors

Thenmozhi Soundararajan - Black and Dalit rights activist and Executive Director of 'Equality Labs' in New York

Beena Pallical - General Secretary of Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan, a Dalit rights group in Delhi

Yashica Dutt - An Indian journalist and author of Coming out as Dalit

Roja Singh - St John Fisher College, New York; author of Spotted Goddess: Dalit Women's Agency-Narratives on Caste and Gender Violence

 

 

Photo

A woman protesting violence against Dalit women in India. Credit: EPA

Broadcasts

  • Fri 9 Oct 2020 09:06GMT
  • Fri 9 Oct 2020 23:06GMT
  • Sat 10 Oct 2020 03:06GMT

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