Adivasi are the natives of India since the beginning of documented history. They were here before the British, Mughals, and Aryans. There was a time when they had excelled in Math, Administration, Trade, Culture, and Arts, but after the intrusion of Aryans, they were fed with mythical stories and folklore of great Gods and Kings. Centuries of systematic caste separation and varna based oppression, with the help of alleged holy texts like “Manu Sastra”, has pushed the indigenous people to the bottom of society.[1 a,b] People who were once the rulers of this wonderful land are now prevented from even studying in the same institutions schooling the high caste people.

This post discusses the challenges faced by Dalits & Tribes (Adivasi aka low caste) living in the Tamil Nadu state of India, despite the vast and strict Governmental measures to diminish casteism from the Indian society.

Honor killings

Recently a number of documented and undocumented murders terrified the lovers living in India. Love does not know borders, color, clan, and creed but the Indian caste system certainly does. Christians and Muslims are just as caste conscious as the Hindus. A few examples from the dedicated ‘honor killing’ section of a famous Indian news journal.

  1. Nadhish (25, Dalit) from Tamil Nadu was killed for loving Swathi (high caste). [2]
  2. An inter-caste couple was beaten to death in Rajasthan. [3]
  3. Saraswati murder attempt, another honor killing case filed by the Chattisgarh police. [4]

Separated schools [5][6][7]

Indian rural and some urban areas are still divided based on caste. Almost every village in India has a dedicated Dalit Settlement.

Public places like temples, churches, schools, libraries, tea-shops, grocery shops, and even administrative offices are established separately for the high caste and low caste people in India.

Employment [8][9]

“Untouchability” is still practiced in modern India. A rich household has servants, drivers, maids, and other assisting people who are prohibited from touching, playing, utilizing the same utensils, or dining with the members of the same household.

Role of SHAPE in fighting Casteism

Poverty, lack of awareness, and unemployment are the prime reasons for the prevailing caste discrimination in the country. The primary goal of all our projects is fighting the above-stated problems.

E.g. our child and women projects do not discriminate the beneficiaries based on their caste. All of the beneficiaries are served from the same project centers. Children of all castes learn life values under the same roof. Similarly, women of all castes are given entrepreneurship training in one center. Our projects treat everyone equally as we are well aware of the fact that no nation can hope to prosper as long as it does not rid itself of its deep-rooted discrimination and prejudice.

References:

  1. a. https://theprint.in/opinion/why-i-converted-to-islam-and-buried-my-hindu-identity-dalit-camera-founder/359849/ b. https://study.com/academy/lesson/hindu-castes-and-the-laws-of-manu.html
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/couple-falls-victim-to-honour-killing/article25521088.ece
  3. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/rajasthan-mother-uncle-held-for-honour-killing-of-16-year-old-girl-831731.html
  4. https://www.news18.com/news/india/woman-set-ablaze-by-boyfriends-family-in-chhattisgarh-suffers-80-burns-2432665.html
  5. https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/dalit-only-schools-on-table/cid/1737273
  6. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/high-caste-temple-priests-cant-deny-religious-rights-of-lower-castes-uttarakhand-high-court/articleshow/64966295.cms
  7. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-foundation-india-caste/indian-temple-purified-after-low-caste-chief-minister-visits-idUSKCN0HP1DE20140930
  8. https://idsn.org/untouchability-still-rife-in-modern-india/
  9. https://feminisminindia.com/2017/03/22/caste-bias-private-sector/

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