India’s Dalit Revolution

India's Dalit Revolution

This is a film by Al-Jazeera TV about the position of Dalits, or untouchables, in India, and the fight back they are making against an unjust system which places them and their descendents permanently at the bottom of society.

Historically Dalits have been assigned the most unwanted work in society, as refuge cleaners, sweepers, cattle-skinners, and so on, and given no way to emerge from those positions, as society will not accept them doing other work.

I persinally saw some of these problems and heard from those affected when I was in India earlier in the year, and the stories everyone has are the same: discrimination, prejudice and enforced lack of development for Dalits, despite laws to the contrary.

For a long time Dalits have been organising, and seeing to their own advancement, and more and more are leaving Hinduism behind as they do so, and becoming Buddhist as the teaching rejects caste and other prejudicial systems.

Now we are seeing waves of Dalits becoming Buddhist, redefining who they are, as a step on a long path to economic and political equality. This film looks at some of these changes affecting the 170 million strong Dalit community in India, and the challenges they are still facing.

 

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