Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"India: The Broken People"

I have said here that I am thinking through the system of caste and its relationship to racism. What follows is an excelllent three part series that 'investigates' the system of caste in Shining India.

Britain's Channel 4 has an investigative program called "Unreported World" and this broadcast introduced me to the work of reporter Ramita Navai and producer Siobhan Sinnerton.

Channel4 introduces the program by saying the program exposes:
"(T)he horrific plight of the country's 170 million Dalits; Literally meaning "the broken people" - and previously called "the untouchables", they are at the bottom of India's caste system and are some of the most oppressed people on Earth.

Economic growth has done little to improve the Dalits' lot; despite legislation, they still form 60 per cent of all those below the poverty line. Now, as Unreported World reports, Dalits are starting to fight for political power in an Indian civil rights movement against segregation every bit as bad as apartheid South Africa and the 1950s American South."
If you are even remotely interested in the oppression of caste, I recommend you watch this program. Parts, like the "manual scavenging" and human waste collections, are hard to deal through.

Unreported World - "India: The Broken People" (Part One)


Unreported World - "India: The Broken People" (Part Two)


Unreported World - "India: The Broken People" (Part Three)

And we are not free!

This post also appears at: Indiginest Intellegence Review

2 comments:

Z said...

Regarding the Jubin event - condolences. Shenoy is classically abusive and it is hilarious that he pre-announces it in a way ... predicts *you* will become abusive, then lets fly himself!

More to come. I am disgusted with real life today and so I am going to the movies.

Ridwan said...

Hola Z. Yeah you got me right on this one.

There is so much in this episode that speaks to fatique, etc.

When white people react to folks of color in terms that question their emotions, racial/ethnic make-up, we are shocked but not too much.

But this dude wants to deride my ancestry in much the same way.

So in whiteness I am biologically excluded.

In his 'Indianess' I am a "mongrel" looking to belong to folks so I construct an artificial belonging through skin color.

His mindset belongs to the kind that stands on the backs of oppressed folks in India too.

Racism in these terms are a form of casteism.

Thanks Z.

Geez ... another day hey.

Enjoy the movies.

Onward!
Ridwan