Published in BBC Tamil: 14 September 2010
Many in India have embraced Christianity to escape the age-old caste oppression of the Hindu social order, but Christianity itself in some places is finding it difficult to shrug off the worst of caste discrimination.Read the rest of this BBC Tamil article here.
In the town of Trichy, situated in the heart of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a wall built across the Catholic cemetery clearly illustrates how caste-based prejudice persists.
Those who converted to Christianity from the formerly "untouchable" Hindu caste groups known as Dalits are allocated space for burial on one side of the wall, while upper-caste converts are buried on the other side.
The separating wall was built over six decades ago.
"This violates the Indian constitution. It is inhuman. It's humiliating," says Rajendiran, secretary general of Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, a small socio-political group that has announced a protest demanding the removal of the wall.
The Catholic Church in India says it does not approve of caste discrimination. But it says it is helpless in resolving this issue.