Monday, May 31, 2010

Guest post: On the Indian caste system and Dalits

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This is a guest post by my friend Gene Burmington. Obligatory disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in the guest post are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect my own. [Minor spelling edits.]

Indian Dalit children
Indian Dalit children
[via The My Hero Project | click for full size]

Mahatma Gandhi was a man who could move mountains and mobilize a country for peaceful anarchy, but even he could not move the stone of the Caste system in India.

To be more specific, the caste system was loosely comparable to Feudalism in Europe, in that everyone was born into a specific role in the system whether they liked it or not.

The caste system is heavily tied to Hinduism and reincarnation, in that people are reincarnated into higher or lower life forms depending on their deeds and conduct in their previous life.

With regard to this, Dalits are considered the people who were either upgraded from a dog or pig, or seriously fucked up in their life as a member higher in the infrastructure.

In either case, Dalits are considered to have so much sin and bad vibes around them (that's karma, baby) that nobody wants to touch or associate with them for fear of being polluted by whatever has been stuck to them in their previous life on the wheel of reincarnation.

If it ended at that, things would be fine.

However, everyone in India has to be a huge bullying douche and do to Dalits what the rest of us grade school assholes outgrew.

Persecution, inequality, and even things as simple as "no dalits allowed" or "no dalit bathrooms". Basically, Hindus took a simple idea of untouchable and turned it into a full blown case of hypocrisy called "your the funny smelling retarded kid in class, so I'm going to bother you".

Funny retarded kid in class being the Dalit at India high. Brahmins are the teachers and principle in the school, the Kshatriyas are the popular kids and jocks, the Vaishas are the people into Pokémon or Yugioh, the Shudras are the nerds, and the Dalits are everyone else who isn't good enough to fit in and get their lockers filled with carcasses, spit on, punched, and harassed.

Now after reading this, you tell me if you want to be that unpopular group of kids that nobody likes-especially when the teachers and principals could care less about what happens to you.

Of course, don't forget school shootings.

One Dalit gets pissed off and goes to school trying to join a different group or better himself in life, the next day everyone freaks the fuck out and packs guns to cap every Dalit they can find.

Congratulations for mixing grade school immaturity with adult violence, India.