Caste

caste

India’s caste system is one of the world’s oldest forms of social stratification. Its most egregious manifestation is untouchability, which deems certain people “impure” and forces them into a life apart. Despite the fact that caste discrimination has been illegal in India since 1950, untouchability is still a part of modern Indian society.  

Since 2010, Video Volunteers has been documenting untouchability across the length and breadth of the country.  Correspondents have reported extensively on caste discrimination and caste violence There are reports on ‘manual scavenging,’ the inhumane caste-based occupation of cleaning and handling human excreta from dry latrines and sewers. There are testimonies of Dalit farmers whose crops or homes are burnt simply because of their caste; of tribal leaders killed for protesting their rights; young students forced to do maintenance jobs in schools because of their Dalit background.

These reports form the basis of a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court, filed by the Human Rights Law Network, which demands that the government take proactive steps to implement the constitutional prohibition of untouchability. VV’s reports are a unique record, in part because untouchability itself is often hidden from public view, and thus can only be captured by someone from the community.

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Manual Scavenging in India: Illegal, yet in Practise

 
/ October 17, 2019

In India, we continue to practice manual scavenging, a derogatory practice, confined to people belonging to lower castes and resulting in their deaths.

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Extreme Caste Discrimination Leaves Puri’s Dalits Threatened and Looted

 
/ July 5, 2019

One of India’s biggest religious hubs, Puri, is also a hub for atrocities against Dalits by upper caste individuals.

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Caste Discrimination Took Precedence Over Humanity During Cyclone Fani

 
/ May 29, 2019

While Odisha is trying to gather pieces after Cyclone Fani, Dalit community in the Puri, are facing caste discrimination in the wake of catastrophe.

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UP’s Khushinagar Tea Stall Practices Untouchability Against Dalits Even Today

 
/ May 20, 2019

Even though the Constitution of India abolished the practice of Untouchability, a tea stall in Uttar Pradesh, Kushinagar, serves tea in the different cup to Dalits.

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Not ‘Honour’ Killings, but Murders to Exert Power

 
/ August 14, 2018

‘Honour’ killings aren’t about honour at all - they are murders carried out by the apparently powerful to maintain status quo of caste, power, and property.

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Labour Day: The Invisible and Dispensable Lives behind Swachh Bharat

 
/ May 1, 2018

Sanitation workers often resort to consuming alcohol to become numb to the stench of drains. All they get in return? Delayed wages and stigma. Reena Ramteke reports on the scenes behind Swachh Bharat hoardings and songs.

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Dalit Children Stopped from Singing Song Dedicated to Ambedkar

 
/ April 15, 2018

Though the children’s parents had taken permission from the school authorities, Marathas from the village asked the school to end the Republic Day event early and to not sing the song as it was not 'part of their tradition'.

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Ambedkar Jayanti: Keeping Ambedkar’s dream relevant

 
/ April 14, 2018

As statues of B.R. Ambedkar get vandalised across the country, Video Volunteers asks people across India if the architect of the Indian constitution is still relevant.