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Civil rights laws do not explicitly ban discrimination based on caste. It was not seen as an issue in America when those laws were written.

Until six months ago, I had never considered that Indian immigrants had imported the caste system to the United States. That was when a senior reporter at the public radio station where I work as a senior editor in Boston told me he wanted to do a series on caste in America. He cited a few examples of discrimination he’d heard about. I endorsed the proposed series as a fine idea. As African-Americans, we both see the clear parallels between race and caste.

Last week, that reporter and I were astonished to find ourselves at a forum, inside a church near Harvard University, where an activist group of Dalit Americans unveiled a survey titled, ‘Caste in the United States’. The reporter has yet to hear back about his grant proposal to fund his series, but he’s the kind of journalist who gathers string for ambitious stories. He was there with his microphone, recorder and questions.

The first of its kind, the survey found that the caste system had indeed penetrated south Asian life in America, appearing to confirm the reporter’s story idea. I was intrigued because caste was a theme of my coverage of India as a foreign correspondent two decades ago. But was the survey valid?

After I sat down in the room crowded mostly with young people of different races and devoured a couple of samosas, the first thing I did was review the methodology in an appendix to the 49-page report. The sample size was 1,200, more than sufficient for a national survey in the United States.

The venerable Gallup polls rely on national samples of 1,000, for instance. In India, a country four times as populous, samples need to be larger, but 1,200 was big enough for the United States.

The limitation on the Equity Labs survey conducted online is how the sample was drawn. It was not a random sample. The authors did broad outreach through their contacts and other south Asian organisations to obtain a sizeable but self-selected sample.

The authors appear to recognise the survey’s limitations; they do not report a margin of error. It would be prohibitively expensive, if not virtually impossible, to conduct a random survey of Dalits and low-caste south Asians in America, given their small percentage in the overall population of 300 million.

That said, the survey stands as a preliminary, impressionistic picture of casteism operating in the United States. A recurrent theme in the findings is the shunning of a people once called “untouchables” at workplaces, schools, romantic relationships and houses of worship.

Two-thirds of the Dalit respondents, for example, said they had experienced “caste discrimination” where they had worked —perpetrated by other people of south Asian descent. Not surprisingly, just over half the Dalits reported they were doing what African-Americans would call “passing”, hiding their caste identity.

Caste bias has survived in America, despite the country’s egalitarian creed, because immigrant communities of all kinds can and do retain some of their traditional practices. Civil rights laws do not explicitly ban discrimination based on caste. It was not seen as an issue in America when those laws were written.

Most specific examples cited in the report were about acts of personal prejudice, not the kind of institutional discrimination that would be vulnerable to a legal challenge under such laws. But other examples described the effects of a “hostile environment” at workplaces or schools, which would be covered under civil rights laws. And physical assaults mentioned in the report could be classified as “hate crimes”.

A couple of findings did surprise me. Nearly half the Dalits have postgraduate degrees, compared to about a quarter of Brahmins. I would have expected something like the reverse.

The reason appears to be related to India’s reservations: Three-quarters of Dalits said they had benefitted from affirmative action in their countries of origin. India’s leadership class might want to contemplate why so many Dalits were taking their reservation-enabled educations and leaving, perhaps never to return.

The survey report’s authors, Thenmozhi Soundararajan and Maari Zwick-Maitreyi, make modest recommendations that American institutions raise awareness about caste bias in their ranks. Colleges are asked to add caste to their anti-hazing and anti-bullying policies, and religious institutions are advised to establish reporting and monitoring procedures to root out caste prejudice.

A bolder approach would be to call for caste to be added to national and state civil rights laws that bar discrimination on specific grounds, along with race, sex, religion, colour, national origin and, in some cases, sexual orientation.

That addition would be harder to achieve and would require increased awareness of casteism as a first step anyway. The US Congress passed the seminal Civil Rights Act of 1964, after all, only once a media-savvy movement swayed public opinion.

Kenneth J. Cooper, a senior editor at WGBH in Boston, was south Asia bureau chief of The Washington Post from 1996 to 1999.

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102 COMMENTS

  1. Anybody can write this crap having no data to support. The very fact that the publishers shy away from talking about the margin of error reveals their intention behind the whole exercise – just rabble-rousing. I too can interview a couple of brahmins troubled by dalits in some remote corner of Jersey city and write an article crying foul. Big deal? Grow up guys and gals!

  2. Is this like the Muslims and their alleged import of Sharia?

    To clarify, in case my sarcasm is lost, this is another of those ridiculous allegations that always seem to find a warm reception in this country. Instigate, divide and conquer. Instigate, divide and conquer. All the way to the bank!

    From the article: ‘Last week, that reporter and I were astonished to find ourselves at a forum, inside a church near Harvard University, where an activist group of Dalit Americans unveiled a survey titled, ‘Caste in the United States’. ‘ – of course, where else but near Harvard U would this happen?

    The article has to be read to be believed. What exactly do these people expect? That immigrants will leave their biases and prejudices at home before they set sail for the U.S.? But do random instances of expression of such bias equate to “imported casteism”?

    More: ‘The authors appear to recognise the survey’s limitations; they do not report a margin of error.’ and ‘The survey report’s authors… make modest recommendations that American institutions raise awareness about caste bias in their ranks. Colleges are asked to add caste to their anti-hazing and anti-bullying policies, and religious institutions are advised to establish reporting and monitoring procedures to root out caste prejudice.’
    ***
    Interesting – Just googled the researchers:

    https://www.equalitylabs.org/staff/
    ‘Equality Labs is a South Asian organization that uses community research, socially engaged art, and technology to end the oppression of caste apartheid, Islamophobia, white supremacy, and religious intolerance.’

    ‘While we are homogenized through the process of racialization into the category “South Asian” (and therefore share many of the challenges of racism), the reality is that this label renders invisible the history of violence that caste and religion-oppressed immigrants have faced in our home countries (and continue to face here) because of of the structures of Hindu fundamentalism.

    We believe that all progressive South Asians must work towards the goals of ending white supremacy but crucially, also our internal hegemonies, such as that exemplified by caste. We also believe we must create spaces where women, femmes, gender non-binary, and trans leaders lead the way in identifying the problems and creating solutions.’

    some of the “rapid response” services they provide include ”
    – Emergency Support – Doxxing / Trolling
    – Emergency Support – Hack in Progress
    – Emergency Support – Request a Digital Security training
    – Emergency Support – Request a Security Audit

  3. Kerala Chirstian living in texas,

    there is so much of this caste based bullshit and nonsense that was imported from india to here.

    i dont whats wrong with these people they like to wear to addidas and nike on the outside of the body, but inside they are wearing the colors of castesm, proudly, everybody hates the one below them and jelous of the caste above them.

    even now marriages and other functions happens with that in major consideration, this stuff needs to go away.

  4. As an upper caste Hindu immigrant, I can attest to the bigotry of my people in the United States.

    They are fundamentalists who support Hindu fascism. White liberals who have no idea about Brahmins who created untouchables and oppressed them for millennia support my fellow Hindus, who are fascists.

    Shame on you and everyone who thinks this is an attack on Hinduism. There is no unified idea of Hinduism.

    I am glad the voices of Dalits is being given a mic. I dare my fellow Brahmins in this country to walk into a Dalit convention in the US and express your outrage.

    Brahmins are even worse than the KKK. Shame on us for not trying to address this.
    Even worse we all support the Democratic party.

    • Tell you what! Hate mongering rabble rousers like you spinning fake stories is the issue. As per the same author, the event organizers appeared to know the limitations of the survey but didn’t report margin of error. The clearly shows how sincere they are.

      If you want to succeed here in this country, you gotta work hard and earn it. Crying foul over brahmins would only end up revealing your racist instincts. Now, get back to work and finish your tasks, if you have any. “A brahmin oppressed a dalit in some God damned place and thats why I could not finish my tasks today” aint gonna sell.

  5. This rather impressive article doesn’t surprise me at all. Dr Ambedkar wrote/prophesied more than 7 decades back,-
    …He wrote” Caste is the bad breath of Hinduism. Hindus carry it where ever they go. ”

    Forget USA, if after a few decades man reaches Mars and starts establishing human habitations there, and brahmins also somehow reach there, they would carry their “BAD BREATH” there as well.

  6. I am an Indian Americans for over 33 years and now an American citizen (I.e. Those who migrated from India but abandoned their Indian Citizenship to become American Citizens!) like me than 1000 Indians living in India who never left their villages in India????????. I agree with what Chitra says about life in the USA for Indian immigrants. 1) There are less than 1% of Asian Indian immigrants ( about 2.8M) out of 310 M American population and could not make any dent politically, economically, culturally and even symbolically in the USA that is 3.5 time bigger than India in area with just 1/3 population of India. 2)The II generation former Indians born in the USA do not know,nor follow,norcare about the customs and traditions of India except as a joke till they are 14 years and ignore India and will never come to visit even to suffer the chaos there, let alone the caste and languages etc. 3) never hear of this journal with no names of the writer or the name of that so-called black writer, meeting some Indian Dalit in a Church (out of the 1% Indians Christian Indians may be 5% or less and who goes to Church in USA ????????, White or Black or Hispanic Church to go??) with zero examples of any discrimination event is laughable, ONLY an typicalIndian could write such an article like in India?!???????? 4) Civil Rights – Civil rights law refers to – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e and following) prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin (including membership in a Native American tribe). Note it is the law tobe followed by EMPLOYERS. Unlike in India where caste discrimination in University and Govt. jobs imandateded and made a law and that birth certificate and (may be passport?) designates one’s birth with caste and religion is imprinted toprove and be used for collegadmissionon and for Govt jobs, America/s Birtcertificatete or Passport does not have any space for “Religion, Caste or Ethnicityty or religion etc. like India has and hence I could notproveve I am a Christian,Brahmin or Dalit etc that this unknown,but ill-informed writer ascribes? 5) Apart from Jobs and college admissions,one can discriminate, any one for any reason, for wearing blue shirt totie or restaurants preventing Gandhiji entering the restaurant with no shirt & shoes, all are legal discrimination! Thus,each India could discriminate by not inviting other than his caste into his house, but hardly any one that I know of ever did it. Anyway,Jobs and Univ admissions do not have any discrimination like in India and that is why NO INDIAN including a Brahmin or Dalit ever returns to India unless thrown out? 6) On a lighter note, most Indian born parents wish their children married another Indian at least (caste no bar), but most American born Indians end up marrying non-Indians, (will get some statistics on this!) and whites for most part!!????????????

  7. Please read my novel, TOUCHED BY REDEEMING LOVE, just published in America in July 2018 about how a low caste “untouchable” boy was persecuted in India for being an Untouchable and for falling in love with a Brahmin girl. An American pastor redeems the Untouchable boy from persecution, poverty, and spiritual brokenness and loves this boy from a remote part of India like his own son. The pastor educates him in American and the Untouchable becomes a Christian pastor and rise to become the CEO of a religious organization and a business conglomerate.

    I was educated in America and lived here for over four decades. Yes, I have seen and experienced how Indians practice casteism even in America and put down and discriminate lower caste Indians. Some of those Indians who practice casteism are, unfortunately, the most BIGOTED people on earth. And they practice this bigotry shamelessly and with impunity. It has to be banned legislatively in America. Dr. Matthew Isaac, Author and Retired Associate Vice Chancellor, California

  8. Mr. Kenneth, to eradicate caste based discrimination you can have 100% reservation on the basis of catse in USA. In addition you can pass strict law to prevent discrimination, whereby without any inquiry the accused can be sent to jail if there is a complaint against him for discrimination on the basis of caste….These two measures will help USA to develop faster, the way in which some Asian countries developed.
    PS: let’s hope that after passing that law, your subordinate does not file a FALSE COMPLAINT’ against you for discrimination. Because then you will have tough time in getting bail

  9. Caste system in the United States?? Shame on those Indians who migrated to this country they thought was free of all prejudicdes. Have you been to Baltimore or any city in the United States? Who sit in the shops~~~~~? and who sit on the floor in corridors? It is a divided country from every angle: money, colour, class, gender. India is a paradise compared to the United States. Unfortunately it got enslaved by the Muslims and then the British; and now Indians are confused; whether they are Hindus, Muslims or Brown-British. Hope that in coming years they would srecognise that they are all Indians, Hindians also called Bharat. So try to find out why! Explore your own past; the glorious one; not that under Muslim or British rule.

  10. This article no substance in it. It is just another attempt to make such allegations on Hinduism, it is clearly a conversion missionary’s act.

  11. “We pigeon holed everyone by caste and if we could not find a true caste for them, labelled them with the name of hereditary occupation. We deplore the caste system and its effect on social and economic problems, but we are largely responsible for the system we deplore.” wrote by Mr M L Middleton, ICS, Superintendant of the Government of India, in the census 1911.

    This is what I read in an article recentely.

  12. As a proud Practicing Brahmin Hindu, I am amazed at how beautifully the world can separate good muslims from bad muslims who are terrorists, but they will never be able to separate good Brahmins from bad Brahmins. Are there Hindus who have Brahmin ancestry who are discriminatory, I am sure there are. But, with my own family’s personal experience, because of Periyar (E.V. Ramaswany) in South of India, my granddad did not get his pension and benefits after a life-long governement job because of Brahmin hatred. So, my mother then had to work for 15 years to support her family and got married pretty late in life, which is unusual for any Indian family girl of the 1940’s and 50’s. So, this is the reality of being a Brahmin in South. There are many Brahmins who are ill-treated, abused, and killed by the “lower-caste” because of their hatred of the “upper caste”. Our lands are taken, our homes are threatened. But, a Brahmin will not report this because by nature they are made to feel like a villain for being born into a family they had no choice over.
    The reality is Hinduism does not have a concept of lower caste/upper caste. If so Lord Rama was lower caste as was Lord Krishna – Kshatriya and Vaishya. Nandanar the famous saint -devotee was an “untouchable” as were hundreds of others. Speaking of untouchability, I don’t let anybody touch me till I finish my morning prayers and worship. And on certain auspicious days, these prayers can go on for a long time. This is true even of my kids. I might let them touch me if they are sick, but ideally I would not let anybody touch me including my spouse. Does this mean they are untouchables to me? This is done because I take that time to leave all binds, attachments, all worldly things to focus on the divine that pervades all. It is practice where you take the time to connect with the divine; to learn and train your thoughts and mind to perceive the divine in All of God’s creations – from mammals to reptiles and acquatic to amphibians. This is the commitment of the Brahmin to realize Brahman in all things including onself. One of my greatest gurus is a person who used to come to my house to clean our toilets. Some would call them dalits. She was wiser than many Brahmins I know. As a Brahmin I call her one of my gurus. My grand dad who took the saffron garb of a renunciate towards the end of his life, had the same affection for her as if she were his own daughter. So, these might be anecdotes but these also need to be mentioned when you abuse all Hindus and Brahmins in particular. There is no mention of caste as upper/lower in our scriptures. Most Hindus don’t know Sanskrit and so, don’t know the meaning of the texts. They read poor translations and talk a whole lot out of ignorance. And most people who know Sanskrit will not be taking time out like this to draft a reply. But, now we Brahmins are speaking up because of this constant barrage of abuse and lies spread against us. Also, we have seen Brahmin abuse for nearly 3000 years. Even in ancient texts like Srimad Bhagavata Purana, you see a story rebuking Brahmins who ignore Krishna’s friends and how the Brahmin wives honor and respect and adore Krishna despite their husbands not being able to see the Divinity in Krishna as they are too focussed on rituals. This is an example of the high standards that were set for Brahmins even then. This focus on rituals by Brahmins is true even today, many prefer to focus on rituals because it is easier to do than train the mind to the highest realization of the Brahman. But, to misunderstand our practices, misunderstand our vows, is easy for all to do. They know full well, especially in the South, most Brahmins will shut up and not talk back, work hard, keeping their head down, not make eye contact because they know the next abuse is not far behind. In fact, many Brahmins are so enslaved that they start believing the abusers. They leave their Brahmin roots and hate on other Brahmins, as they are taught to do in many academic and liberal left-leaning institutions. But, we have to focus on education, push our children to success, make ourselves reasonably financially independent because we know we cannot depend on our Hindu brothers for support. No matter if all evidence of Sanatana Hindu Dharma history points to Brahmins respecting and worshipping devotees of all backgrounds, all varnas, the abuse of Brahmins will continue. Our thread ceremony mocked, our accent, our way of talking mocked, our beliefs, our customs mocked. Even in movies of all languages in India, it is always the Brahmin who is mocked and villanized. The world expects Brahmins to shut up and accept people who attack their temples, vandalize their Gods, twist and spread lies about their scriptures. This is the reality in which we have lived for thousands of years – abused by our own, and used by others.

    • Over 200 million Dalits or Untouchables live in servitude in India and many are being brutalized because of caste-based discrimination or casteism. Some untouchable women are burned and permanently disfigured by pouring acid on their face for minor social offenses. If the Dalits take water from the water sources controlled by the upper caste, they are brutally beaten up and, in some cases, murdered. There is an old temple practice that makes the innocent “Untouchables” to roll over the left over food of the Brahmins for curing their ailments. Recently a pregnant woman was beaten to death by the upper caste for accidentally touching a Brahmin.In another case, a deep well was poisoned by the upper caste to prevent the “Untouchables” from drinking water from it. There are hundreds of thousands of these types of atrocities across India committed by the upper caste goons. Which God will forgive you for doing these types of barbaric and brutal acts. Don’t you have any moral conscience to continue this practice of casteism. Read my novel, TOUCHED BY REDEEMING LOVE, recently published in America and available on Amazon.com. Please stop this social oppression called casteism for God’s sake. Dr. Matthew Isaac, Author and Retired Associate Vice Chancellor, California.

    • What is there to be proud about being a Brahmin ? Birth is an accident and Death is certain. You were born to your out of nobodys inclination: your birth is an accident. Why do you feel proud of something to which you contributed nothing, I mean, your birth ?

  13. This is a fake article. Time to shut this down. Soo much of lies are being spread in the name of news. I can also see a lot of Pak actors peddling their ideas in their fake Indian names. I can see a grand plan somewhere in this whole thing.

  14. Rubbish. Down divide Indians in America also.
    We have seen enough of these done by the Congress and other regimes in India.
    These are without statistical proofs. Emotional write up.
    American laws neither permit to do this, neither are people involved in such things.
    These are fake articles foisted on Indian groups again and again.
    Changing the mindset of people by writing these kinds of articles.

  15. Dude, why do you target Indians for this? Do we decide what happens in your country??? Just because the system is so prevalent here and you find a fair number of Indians in your country, that doesn’t mean we have introduced caste system in your country, Indians are there all over the world, in fairly large numbers as immigrants, then each native of their country stands up and blames an Indian for something wrong happening in their country, is it??? While your country was the base of Racism, I would say…. It coined the term BLACKS based on color, please stand up against this notion first. Even the article wherein your claims have been noted is racist, it doesn’t say a US journalist, it says a BLACK JOURNALIST… First fight for rights within your own country before blaming the immigrants… ???? and at the foremost if at all Indians bought in casteism to your country as per your belief you need to understand that this thing exists predominately in Hinduism, how can we Indians, bring in casteism where Hindus are a minority?????

  16. Before Dutch, Portuguese, British came to India, caste was a person’s vocational identity, Dalits choosing a different path, became great saints, scholars, poets, artists, warriors & nobles. Missioneries with support of communist & armed with exaggerated atrocity literature have successfully created a wedge in the Hindu society. In the process have gained millions of converts into their fold, in turn, such converts, acting as foot soldiers to creat more strife in Indian communities. Dalit reservations wasn’t available to Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar but hard work made him a brilliant Barrister & Architect of Indian Constitution. So India honours every person as per their calibre & not on the basis of caste and isn’t a land of discrimination as portrayed by missioniers for their conversion & world domination agenda

  17. A “reporter” sure that should have set you up nicely. Guess they don’t have enough on their plate with #Blacklivesmatter and wiping out countries for their resources. Hypocrisy much?

  18. This is a fist, they do admit that the Quota system in India has helped them. Now they have to work and survive on pure Meritocracy which some may have and some Do Not. Clearly the ones who don’t still expect the same Quota/Handout/Affirmative Action in a Country like US is Ridiculous. The Classic case I can recollect is Devyani Khobragade Case in the US, where she is a Dalit Indian Diplomat, (Daughter of a Highly Placed Dalit Bureaucrat in Maharashtra aka Double Privilege) Comes to the US with her Indian Christian Maid and troubles her. Gets Arrested for the same and calls it Out as Dalit Atrocity. I would personally believe if you have chosen to move to the US you have decided to CLT-ALT-Delete your Dalit Identity, your an Migrant just like a Latino, Irish, Chinese, Nigerian etc. You Leave your baggage behind because unlike say India where you claim not to have a Choice of being of a certain Caste, you have Chosen to move to a Country of your Choice. I dont think we see Hutu and Tutsi migrants in America going hammer and tongs on this.

  19. This seems to be atrocity literature in the making! Does this have any connection with the proposed caste legislation in the U.K. ? In the U.K., it is hanging bcoz of lack of any strong evidence. In the U.K., it was intiated by a Church of England evangelist MP. The British Hindus are fighting it, one should listen to Satish Sharma PGurus YouTube videos. There’s also an online research report from The council of Hindu temples in the U.K. Which shows strong evidence of caste as a colonial conspiracy. Also wonder why this black journalist is so keen on helping brown Hindus while his own race has not yet achieved parity with whites in the US, I was just listening to Prof Gerald Horne on Abby Martin’s show. Has he heard about the Trump government’s proposal to ban affirmative action in the US??!!

  20. Hence proved! Converting to Christianity is not the solution for caste based discrimination. Will the author or the print endorse this idea?

  21. Lol there is Reservation system in America don’t be fooled but they r giving it to the ppl of Historical backward baground. The Affirmative action is another term used for reservation. lol

  22. I have never seen a stupider article. And those crying out loud with self pity are shameful. There is no casteism in India. There is Varna method which defines profession of a job. Caste is a Spanish word. For eg. Mali, Sonar all re varnas Mali is a Gardner, sonar means a jeweler. Each Varna has its own importance. If print wants to become a real newspaper it will grow some balls and start telling real news other than printing Michelle photo. Big lies bigger fraud naming USA in tow. Idiots

  23. Caste system and discrimination is taking very dangerous shape in India. Even today also, in the age of globalization, and digitization, some people could not change their mindset. In India some school authority force the lower caste student to clean the toilets. This is horrible that some have taken this mindset to U.S. U.S. be careful this guys will push your country 3000 yrs. back.

  24. Discriminatory treatment of a section of society is not unique to just Hindus or Indians but is not uncommon in other societies & countries. That said there is no denying that cast based discrimination was rampant in the past in India but post Independance & subsequently with all the cast based reservations there has been an equalization & even in cases even reverse discrimination. But the answer to ending this scourge is not by creating an unending narrative of victim hood but by moving after getting a much needed initial break. Lastly those who berate Hinduism for its castiest societal model still whine about discrimination EVEN after they have converted to so called more EGALITARIAN or supposed non discriminatory faiths, which goes to show that this discriminatory behaviour is more a human failing rather than intrinsic to Hinduism per se.

  25. Dalits wherever they go rub the itching decease of caste discrimination to gain reservation and freebies. Add to it journalists to rub it more in their own interest. Let USA also adopt reservation and see where they will be.

  26. It is an age old practice ingrained in the DNA. Higher education, migration to USA or any other country, conversion to any other religion is not going to change it overnight. It will take centuries to erase it and I am sure something else will replace it. Humans can never be perfect, in fact we are always quite in humane when it comes to how we treat others especially those whom we feel are inferior to us. As long as we feel we are superior we will continue to treat someone as inferior. The last US election has proved beyond doubt that race is still a factor. Religious and racial profiling of people at airports is a stil fact of life. So how can caste biases disappear overnight.

    When inter caste marriages are still rare in India how do people assume that these biases will magically disappear when people who migrate to USA start dating. Migrating might mean a person is smarter, but it definitely doesn’t imply that he or she is better. In fact since NRIs are insulated from the changes that are happening back home, they tend to more orthodox, more superstitious and more bigoted than people in the parent countries. If someone earns more doesn’t mean they are more progressive or modern. They have a greater tendency to cling to the past in search of their elusive roots.

    I am not saying one should give up but it is a slow battle and will take a long time. Don’t give up hope but don’t expect miracles too.

  27. I think too many people are fooled by unproven hypotheses about the origins of castes in India. Almost all would have read somewhere that Varnashrama Dharma is the cause of castes. However hardly anyone would have read any convincing proof or even a logical argument to substantiate this hypothesis. And I am further sure that any explanation of innumerable castes within the so called “lower” castes of India who if you go by another equally baseless hypothesis are not even Hindus!!!
    Castes are a cultural artefact in India.
    Castes were probably found useful in ancient times to build a stable society of highly disparate groups divided along numerous lines.
    However as civilization progressed castes became quite useless – we can see that today in India – but the practice or habit stuck on.
    Today caste based perception is harmful, must be obliterated for the country to make further progress.
    First step in that direction would be to throw away baseless hypotheses and accept the casteist behavior as a fundamental area of correction for every group, community, tribe and other social formations.
    Second step is to remove caste references in Indian laws and rules and regulations of the civil administration.
    Finally stop giving caste based sops. Reservation or affirmative action can continue to target individuals not groups or castes who are socially or economically “backward”.
    It is important to remove the baseless but highly charged atmosphere of entitlement and victimization.

  28. Exactly what I had assumed, savarnas always try to act oppressed when caste is mentioned…and take any mention of casteism as an attack on Hinduism. As for the people fearing affirmative action, the only reason you fear it is the only reason white people crib about affirmative action (I am aware the two things are majorly different): your own personal bias…

  29. The truth is truth, where you believe it in or not, but we think what we believe is truth, sitting in India, i cannot comment on US society, Yet the instances of TANA, NATA are seemingly the caste based organisations, and the casteism is rampant in India since it is a Pacha of Human mind, the Upper caste or Hegemonic caste, carry forward the ideas of caste as they enjoy the privilege of caste, hence there is always discrimination, Indian metropolitan cities are not immune to caste based discrimination, so is US. The Upper caste see only the Reservation provided for discriminated people but never the Discrimination put on them,…. But yes as Dalit Scholarship as already warned the world that Caste Indians will carry the Caste to all parts of world, and today we this.

  30. The truth does hurt and from the responses it can be seen that the study has hit upon the sore point. Caste is a problem in India and unfortunately Indians have taken it abroad with them. We would have expected the Indians in the US to have identified and assimilated the good values in the US and be a role model and catalyst to change things back in India

  31. Well , the survey is shocking for us that Dalit and Adiwasi (ethical Indians) face discrimination in US too, just think about what type of fascism and discrimination we facing in India. Today . UN need to take though stand on this.

  32. Article is with little or no basis, the people who go to the US don’t care two hoots about dalits or whatever. Also urbanisation has ensured complete anonymity. I am writing this from Mumbai and here we do not know or care about caste at all. We are meritocracy plain and simple, class is economic not this dalit business. What’s the objective here ?

  33. I noticed this way back in 1987 in Houston.First the Andhra Assn was started by all Andhrites in the end of 70’s.When NTR became CM of Andhra , kammas took control of the assn in Houston and when a Reddy became CM in Andhra reddys started dominating.Even caste wise dowry system was widely prevelent among andhrites in that part of America

  34. The theme of article is nice but presentation of article is poor.. the reality of Indian society can be stated in one sentence. …hatred towards fellows Indians is ingrained in Indian mind set.. education is not remedy only humanly thinking .

  35. Casteism is the soul of hinduism.Wherever a hindu will go casteism will follow.Their cant be a hindu without caste.If he carries his caste or surname ,he believes in caste system .Place doesnt matter.Discrimination is the byproduct of caste system.

  36. The writer has played a trick and some #Hindus have been fallen prey to his trap. The ‘Lower’ ‘Upper’ discrimination of Caste is diminishing in #Hindus ….. The ‘Discrimination’ is bad when someone is treated ‘Lower’ than oneself. But the problem is almost over in Urban areas …. In rural areas also, it is fading!! There are many Brahmins I know who have married out of their caste!! Take Example of Dr. BabaSaheb Ambedkar himself had married a Brahmin woman!! But this is not a big issue as compared to the religions like Christianity or Muslims who treat non-believers in their respective faith as ‘Kaafirs’ ‘Infidels’ Sinners or enemies who are either to be converted to their respective faith or deported or killed. World has to decide between the ‘Perceived’ or ‘exploded out of proportion’ evil and ‘Real’ evil!!

  37. OMG.. what an article that too without any proof. Is this the new standard of journalism opted by these stupid journalists. God save America now. After a few more articles like this there will be a fight for quota system in America. Gr8 America’s golden days are gone because now blacks and a few so called people who call themselves lower class will create ruckus for their quota in the job system.

    • Why do you need proof from this article? You are well aware of the facts of day to day incidents happening in India. Don’t live in denial. We expect some level of maturity, empathy and logic from educated Indians in the US.

  38. Same nonsense bandied about by the breaking India forces whise agenda is to divide Indians.
    Sad its perpetrated by a black man without any objective criteria other than one sided rubbish from thos e with an axe to grind.

    • Also comment why christians have caste system in india
      Heard of nadar christian naidu christian dalit christian
      Who is at fault?
      Why the equality religion of jesus have caste labels

    • Raj Shah, What is wrong with a “black man?” Your comment insinuate “bigotry.” He has written a wonderful article! And, by writing this article he is doing a great public service. May God bless the writer of this article! India must stop treating over 200 million Dalits or Untouchables like dirt and stop exporting this social evil to other countries.

  39. Brahmeans of INDIA are mentally sick people .Wherever they go ,they will spread cancer of CASTEISM .
    When brahmins get confused from someone’s surname , or lack of it , and unable to locate his caste location , the brahmins generally follow up with a string of questions to know the caste location of the person at any cost , if , and only if , the brahmins are shy enough to ask the person’s caste directly upfront . Questions such as :
    1) What is your gotra ? When was your bratopanayana (thread ceremony) done ?
    2) What is your paternal father / grand father and maternal grandfather’s fullname and gotra ?
    3) What is your father , his father’s occupation ? Same questions for maternal side .
    4) Where is your ancestral village ? And in cities /towns which street do you live ?
    5) How many children you have , and if sons , are their thread ceremony done ?
    If daughters , are they married ? If yes , in which family are they married , what is their gotra and full names of father mother and all ?
    All these questions sound innocuous ?

  40. These free loader reservation benefitted junta.. After getting all the benefits from home country.. Moves abroad and start making all sorts of noises out to their joblessness…
    No sooner they will demand “reservations”.. Even in USA..
    God saves talent and merit in this world..

  41. The trouble with Hinduism, and now it’s got to US!? ??
    I had assumed such highly educated, emigrated people, with all the progressive environment around them in developed nations, would by now be ashamed to talk about caste. Seems I’m wrong.

  42. Could Mr.Cooper give specific instances like shooting down of African Americans or denial of equality or caste based discrimination of south Asians within their ranks?
    Atrocities again at coloured people has been practiced all alongby white Anglo Saxon protestant Americans and no one has taken any remedial action .

  43. This is a stupid article. A afro american is comparing what is happening with dalit Americans is akin to race discrimination. If that would have been the case then those Dalits would have been there as asylum seekers and not professional white collar workers. The Indian society has been over apologetic in the perceived discrimination that happened towards dalit in the pre independence era. This has led govt to make policies which have tipped the scale in favour of dalits. over the decades this one sided favour has led to the upper caste students, workers and other citizens losing their well deserved opportunity and rights.

  44. Very realistic exposition of caste disciminatory pracice in US. Dr. Ambedkar had prophisized long back that whereever Indians go, they take the caste along with them and susequently the caste hindus inflict the same in foreign lands also. They never feel a bit of atonement for their inhuman practice rather they feel proud of their caste upbringing. Appreciate the writer . This is the voice of the millions of Dalits in India. We hope that the USA, the land of Abraham Lincon, would evolve certain legal measures to prevent the caste discriminatory practice and this legal measure should be a role model to the rest of European countries

  45. Not a single evidence of proof yet he say all these statements…. What a spirit of journalism…. I thought that biased journalism is prevalent only in india and I came to know that it rampant all ove the world..
    And one clarification only quarter of brahmins are having postgraduate degree while dalits the counts are higher because the so called ‘forward’ castes don’t get a chance to do in their respective countries as there is special ‘reservation’ to study for those so called dalits right from school education to job openings and even after that in job promotions…. They are making our life a hell to get quality education so in search of that many are going to US even there they are making these kind of false accuses where else we have to go in the world for some decent life…..

    • Dear nikilesh you are telling only quarter of brahmins having postgraduations.
      Do you know the population of brahmins in India it is merely 3% then how could you expect maximum number of postgraduates from Brahmins….??
      Do you know, the brahmins who are educated, their occupation it is all A class jobs either in government sector or in Private sector, means they hold 90% of with decision making positions they are deciding day today life of India not OBCs, religious minority, SC/ST.
      Though, after independence these oppressed class are getting education because of Constitution. Before this, the Brahmins who took grant of education without sharing to others for about 3000 years…..!!! Do You have any answers for this…?
      In those days except Brahmins, if others tries to get education they used to get sevier punishment from Brahmins..! why was this..? can you tell why brahmins denied education others except them.?
      You are speaking about quality….!!
      Prof. Sukhadev thorat a former UGC Chairman conducted survey by sending CVs to private companies with different percentages.. the result was astonishing..
      Candidates with low percentages got a job in private companies even other candidate’s having highest percentage…!!
      The reason is the selected candidates names were ending with ‘Sharma, Varma……’
      Will you answer….???

      • That is a lie. Look at a report by the ruling English about the native education system in India: https://www.quora.com/How-was-the-educational-system-in-India-before-the-British-era

        I produce a small extract: There is a popular notion that education in India was monopolized by the Brahmins; but the data destroys this myth completely. This interested lie was first spread by the missionaries and the British rulers and the colonized mind of many Indian intellectuals still continue to sing their tune. But the data reveals a different story. It tells us that out of the total number of 175,089 students, both male and female, elementary and advanced, only 42,502 were Brahmins (24.25%); 19,669 were Vaishya students (about 11%); but 85,400 were Shudras (about 48.8%); and still 27.516 more were “all other castes”, meaning castes even lower than the Shudras including the pariahs (15.7%). Thus the higher castes were only about 35% and the Shudras and other castes were about 65% of the total Hindu students. If we also include the Muslims who were about 7% of the total Hindu and Muslim students, then the share of the Brahmins was even less.

        We have a table showing the caste-wise division of all male school students, both in absolute numbers and in percentage, of all the 20 districts of Madras Presidency. The data shows that the share of the Brahmins in certain areas was indeed very low. For example, in Seringapatam, it was only 7.83% in Madura 8.67%; in North Arcot, Brahmin boys were 9.57%, while the Shudras and “other castes” were 84.46%.

        Even in higher learning, non-Brahmins were not unrepresented. In Malabar, out of 1,588 scholars of Theology, Law, Astronomy, Metaphysics, Ethics and Medical Science, only 639 were Brahmins, 23 Vaishyas, 254 Shudras and 672 “other castes”. Only in the Vedas and Theology did the Brahmins have a near-monopoly, as the Shudras and the “other castes” had in other branches of advanced learning like Astro-nomy and Medical Science. In Astronomy, out of a total of 806 scholars, Brahmins were only 78, Vaishyas 23, Shudras 195, and other lower castes 510. In Medical Science, the share of the Brahmin scholars was only 31 out of a total of 190. The rest belonged to the Shudras and “other castes”.

        According to the Survey of Indigenous Education in the Province of Bombay (1820-1830), Brahmins constituted only 30% of the total scholars in that province.

        Adam tells the same story about Bengal and Bihar. In the five districts he investigated, the total number of Hindu students was 22,957. Out of these 5,744 were Brahmins, or about 25%. Kayasthas were about 12%. Students belonging to 95 castes find representation in his Report. It includes 66 ChanDals, 20 Muchis, 84 Doms, 102 Kahars, and 615 Kurmis.

        In spite of the claims of the missionaries, they did no better for the Hindu low-castes. According to Adam’s findings, Burdwan had 13 missionary schools, yet they had only 1 ChanDal student while the native schools had 60. The former had only 3 Doms and no Muchis while the latter had 58 and 16 respectively. Of the 760 pupils belonging to the lowest 16 castes, “only 86 were found in the missionary schools, and the remaining number in native schools”.

        As teachers, the Brahmins were even less represented. Out of a total of 2,261 teachers in these districts, Brahmins were only 208, or about 11%. In this region Kayasthas were the teachers par excellence. They were 1,019 in number, or a little less than half the total. Other teachers belonged to other 32 castes. ChanDals had six, Goalas had five, Telis had eleven; while Rajputs had only two, and Chhatri and Kshetriya taken together had only three.
        Go

        • Sorry mate, but the link is to a Quora article that links to a website called Voice of Dharma which is a broken link as of now (tried on two computers). Now if you notice, in the article above, the journalist provided the reason for his observations – a study done by a Dalit group. (If you want full access to it, do write in to the author.) He, like a good journalist, also gave the limitations of the study. This was done before he mentioned any of the statistics. That’s what you need to start with if your study is valid. Provide context – sample size, origin, limitations. I’m afraid to say you sound like a caste apologist. Unless you’d like to provide the same details the author did.

    • The life of the dalits were ruined and these people are treated like peace of shit by the so-called bramins and the other so-called upper cast people. The untold atrocities unleashed by these groups on dalits can’t be described in words. Now the times are changing

  46. Upper caste folks would never except something like this happens. They would even go to lengths to confirm that casteism isn’t an issue in India. But this whole brazen discriminatory tactic is a reality. There are separate. churches for Dalits who converted to Christianity in Kerala, there are separate entryway for Dalits in Gurudwaras in lot of places in Punjab. Dalits are unwelcomed at temples in lot of Indian states. There’s widespread casteism in government funded primary schools. This list is not exhaustive. If US govt decides to do something about it then these upper caste luminaries should help them, but they won’t because it’s entrenched in their way of life. Hinduism and casteism are hand in glove kind of thing.

    • Amit, are you paid to write nots here, or is it your hatred towards Hinduism that makes you write such comments? Punjabis did not even that discrimination, first. Second, this thing about Church and separate churches, should you not be blaming it on inability of Christianity to remove any differences, which it brags about doing?

    • Hypocrisy to the most in your own little paragraph. You mentioned caste based discrimination in churches, guruduwara and then blamed Hinduism for enhancing casteism. Don’t you even know that Hinduism, Christianity and Sikhism are separate religions? So, Hinuds have to be blamed even for discrimination in Churches and Guruduwaras?

  47. Don’t know how serious the problem is in the US now, but what’s the harm in nipping a known evil in it’s bud? Anyone trying to oppose a ban on caste based discrimination with whatever reasoning still passively wants this crap to stay, and is likely a part of the problem. Discredit Hinduism? You gotta be kidding.

    • In america & all over the white christian & the muslim world THERE IS THIS URGENT NEED To discredit Hinduism,for the Hindus are waking up to the atrocities, crimes & piracy & robbery committed by these people, & now with the Hindus becoming aware of & many Even proud of their heritage, the white christians have to do something to protect THEIR claim on the “science” that they have ROBBED FROM HINDUS…

  48. Rented a room in a house owned by an Indian. He didn’t allow me to use his washing machine.Gave food in a separate plate ( which was marked with a marker).Left that place to rent an apartment.

    Rented with two guys. Never discussed about caste with them. They both decided to leave one day. They owed me some money. When I asked back, one guy didnt abuse me on my looks, didn’t abuse me with regular abuses, went straight to my caste and abused it. I don’t even know how he managed to know it. When I said that I will complain to his Indian company he gave his home address and asked me to file complaint also in his hometown.

    Have two friends in USA. One of them broke up with his girl friend citing that he didn’t have spine to tell his parents that his girl friend is from lower caste.
    The other friend was in deep love with a girl. He was brahmin and she was not. His cousin who is in USA for pretty long time and probably has a green card, made him realize that how impractical his idea was and how marrying a girl from his own caste is such good solution to everyone.

    No amount of education or foreign exposure is going to liberate a mind if it has the hubris of caste.

    • wow Naam Mein Kya Radha Hai…..you really do make up a good story…..why did you need his plates if you were renting? you were supposed to cook your own food and often tenants bring their own dishes and pots and pans…very common…..

      intercaste marriages are very common so stop this rubbish…

    • I rented an apartment while in college with a batch mate. Lived with him for an year & half. Few years after college found him on FB writing all the stuff about discrimination & all with Dalits. Same with a senior I worked for a while. More than the discrimination I find a self imposed inferiority complex that works against Dalits. There bubble they’ve created. And constantly bombard themselves with atrocity literature provided by politicians for votes & Missionaries for conversions.

    • OMG. No society is perfect. You want to equate a marriage choice as a discrimination? I understand inter-caste marriage is needed to remove the casteism, but you cannot equate inter-caste marriage as caste discrimination. Also, be practical, can inter-caste marriage be performed in one day, while India is still an under-developed country? What about the financial equality? You need to first ensure economic equality before ensuring social equality. Look at the developed country such as USA, where inter-racial marriage is still a taboo and less than 5% of total US marriage, while inter-caste marriage is 10% in modern India, according to recent surveys. No society is perfect, so please stop acting as a sepoy of west to denigrate Hinduism in the name of caste and divide India. US plays that trick with any developing country. First, they did it with Russia to break it into 15 pieces, then China in the name of democracy, and now in India in the name of human rights!

  49. I am an Indian origin person working in computer industry in USA. Let me share my own personal experience. Once I met another Indian origin person in dinner who proudly declared that before joining company he checked how many brahmins in executive level positions, excluding caucasian people from the equation. His theory was that if there are more brahmins in executive level positions, chances of the company being successful is lot higher. If there are too many lower-caste people in executive level, company is going to fail. This is a typical prejudice – upper caste people are inherently more intelligent, and successful.
    Given not too many desi people around me vouch for such prejudice openly, I found his comments awkward. But I also recognized that it’s a matter of time this kind of prejudice would infect the computer industry in USA as well. I met this person more than 10 years back and he was a senior level engineer. I never met him again, but I assume he is holding a position in management capacity in one of the hitech companies today. Does he have the same prejudice while hiring engineers in his company?
    While I do think that this kind of mentality is not widespread, but it should not be ignored that such prejudice and subconscious bias do exist in certain section of Indian origin people in USA.

    • It exists in India. These Saffrons still wanted domination
      Pathetic few Brahmins

      Self segregation. Nazis of India

      Root cause of. Hindu Relegions fall
      Oppression
      Time these. Cave age. Talibans. Teach their. Children. Science. Hard work. Tolerance

    • I too was living in us – and being what im i was very much discriminated. I was shocked to know a close friend of mine didnt want to get me as roommate because im so so caste (and he posted an ad in Roomster and got one ‘Brahmin’). My managers also follow the same suite.

      I was more than shocked to see my full name given as explanation in answers.com for what is dalit — dont know who did that and what happiness he achieved.
      I cant say how Delhi ppl treat me. Whom to say.

      Because of Indians know who im from my looks, they wont get along with me.
      Because I’m brown – White Americans wont get along with me.
      Because I’m not Afro American – Afro Americans wont get along with me.

      Once terribly drunk and found crying in street, I was talking to a negro american about my pain, he asked me to go back to Africa. But I said, I dont belong there – but he replied you are black skinned.You are always welcome there. That helped me smile then.

    • Truly pathetic people. And really rotten ideas of what leads to success. And one could had hoped that they would had learned in their time in the US that these ideals are nothing but untrue and bigoted. And now they have brought this rot into the US’s society. How can this filth be cleaned up now?

      • Sri has replied to you. And in case you have not noticed, the effect of caste is coming down drastically. It has largely disappeared in metros and modern corporations. With affirmative action, mobility, education, things will only keep improving.

        • No, there are over 200 million “untouchables” in India and some of them are brutalized. Women are being disfigured by pouring acid on their face; Untouchables are killed for accidentally touching a Brahmin on occasions; men are brutalized for taking water from a water hole controlled by the upper caste even when there is famine and drought; and many hundreds of such atrocious incidents are reported daily in our daily newspapers. I have seen and experienced Indian-Americans discriminating other Indians in America. Before trying to throw stones at the messengers of this shameful secrets of Indians, please search on our renowned English newspapers through a Google search and find how many hundreds of atrocities are being committed against the “untouchables” every day. By defending such crimes against innocent and precious humans, one is turning himself or herself into a “bigot.” You are being extremely defensive and are trying to sweep this mountainous problem of treating humans like DIRT under the rug. Please read some of the true testimonies of Indian readers elsewhere on this Comment Page who have been discriminated by other so called “upper caste” sociopaths. I am calling them “sociopaths” because a normal human being with a moral conscience and respect for the rights and feelings of other human beings CANNOT do this type of caste-based discrimination to other humans. Cows and rats are treated with more respect than humans in India. What if you are treated this way? I know you will go BERSERK when you become the recipient of this social oppression! Please treat other humans with respect and regard and respect and protect their fundamental rights to co-exist. Practice the highly regarded Hindu virtue of “Ahimsa” toward other humans! Dr. Matthew Isaac, Author and Retired Associate Vice Chancellor, USA

          • I agree with you. Whether this has scientific depth, I’m sure we all can acknowledge casteism does exist in India. And if we have it in us as Indians….We carry it with us where ever we go. Its no use being in denial or being defensive. Some of us will surprisingly learn that casteism lives in us covertly and it’s so implicit that we don’t pick on it till someone tells us about it. Sometimes it comes in the form of a joke. It’s important we gracefully accept this reality with humility and do what we can as individuals to ensure we no longer are vehicles of this prejudice.

      • Americans MUST FIRST CLEAN UP THEIR OWN ACT… Their discrimination based on looksis RAMPANT… I still feel it, though less now, may be I have become insensitive to it, When I joined the college 25 years ago, people in the college treated me with great disdain, & it was a greatly jyousexperience for me to see their jaws drop to their navel whenever they would hear me talk face to face…. on the phone they were not able to tellmy ethnicity…. & face to face, they would extend their conversation with me & then, just ask me the question, “What part of the world are you from?” But many would just look at my color & ask for a “REAL NURSE.” & I am not white, but I am not “black” either in comlexion. The patients & nurses of the hospital would treat me differently. The discrimination was more by the whites. I still experience it FROM PAKISTANIS… & I am from India.

    • It exists in India. These Saffrons still wanted domination
      Pathetic few Brahmins

      Self segregation. Nazis of India

      Root cause of. Hindu Relegions fall
      Oppression
      Time these. Cave age. Talibans. Teach their. Children. Science. Hard work. Tolerance

    • ABE BANGALI..TU EK KAAM KAR..APNA BUZDILI KO ANDAR CHUPAKAR ..LIKE A COWARD LICK THE ARSE OF NORTH INDIAN PEOPLE..YOU BANGALIS ARE TRUE CHAMCHAS OF NORTH INDIAN PEOPLE..
      YOU WILL NOT BECOME A NORTH INDIAN BY FOLLOWING NORHT INDIAN CULTURE..FOR EXAMPLE A BANGALI LICK THE ARSE OF BIHARI..FOCUS MAN FOUS ON YOUR COWARDNESS NOT ON YOUR SLAVERY ATTITUDE..
      bang..gali..gali kha..bihariyon ka revolver se..

  50. Not a single example of caste discimination has been mentioned, and the eprson jumps to conlcude such a hard-hitting statement! That’s some pathetic standard of jornalistic ethics.

    • The truth does hurt and from the responses it can be seen that the study has hit upon the sore point. Caste is a problem in India and unfortunately Indians have taken it abroad with them. We would have expected the Indians in the US to have identified and assimilated the good values in the US and be a role model and catalyst to change things back in India

      • Truth does hurt??????? Truth???? This is propaganda and literature generated to discredit Hinduism. And a way to shift attention from discrimination in America that is mainstream.

        • I agree there were no examples of the act given but the essence shouldn’t be questioned. Caste is real. Hinduism for better or worse adopted it. Don’t try to stick up for it out of nationalism. That has gotten our country nowhere except to a place of well established inherent sexism and prevailing slave mentality that we refuse to accept.

          • Hinduism adopted it?
            Lol Hinduism doesn’t exist! It’s all Brahmanism and it’s caste system that we see in East of India River i.e Hindustan. Grass eaters from Black Sea ( Brahmins) migrated to India with their superstitious agenda polluting Saffron.

      • Role model is USA? 1/4 teenage girl carrying STD? Role model-with slavery of africans and genocide of native american? Do your white teenagers study?? How about dementia of old and addiction of young?? and the gun violence?? you need immigrant engineers to build roads and do research. Get over yourself. You were a thief in past-you stole from other countries including the americas and have a miserable history..once you have exhausted your free land and resource you will be your old poor european self again.

        • Hey, stick to the point joker. Who said there isn’t racism, sexism and poverty is the US.

          It doesn’t disqualify the fact that Hindus ( Brahmins) practise casteism and have oppressed untouchables for millennia.

          Talk about aboutism. A lot of pathetic Brahmins practice it. Your self righteous, triggering drivel makes me ashamed to call myself a Brahmin.

          • Kavita, You braindead moron! You better practice what you preach and stick to the point. This is about the US – not about what happened for millennia.

            BTW I too can assume a fake-dalit identity and spew my hatred allover (just like you have done with your fake brahmin identity)

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