posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 12:52 AM
As far as I am aware, it has been illegal to discriminate against people based on caste in India for decades, so unless I am mistaken on this point, I
don't really see how this will help any. Although, my understanding was that, despite the law, the lower castes, like the 'untouchables' are still
not treated very well, anyway.
It is an admittedly sad fact of history (and current policy, in some places) that some races and peoples are or have been treated like [insert word
meaning 'crap' here] for no other reason than who they were born to be. Blacks in the US and South Africa, Jews in Nazi Germany, the Untouchables
in India, Tutsis in Rwanda, and so on and so on.
While I understand the Indian caste system to a certain degree (it is based on heredity), I am curious, is it possible to tell just by looking at
somebody what caste they are from? Like, are the Untouchables a lighter or darker hue of skin or have different hair or bigger noses or anything like
that? As far as I know, the caste system was based anciently on what kind of jobs people did, like those who tended and cleaned up livestock were
amongst the 'untouchables', since they did jobs that were considered unclean in that culture, while people like priests and nobles were way higher
up. If two people of different castes married, they and all their descendants became members of whichever of the two castes was lower on the totem
I don't really see how switching religions is going to magically make the bigoted people suddenly have respect for those peoples unfortunate enough
to be labeled untouchable, though. A bigot isn't going to change just because a new law comes into effect. As one can well imagine, there are ways
to fully comply with the law, while still acting like a bigot. Otherwise, all the bigots would be in jail...