September 24, 2012

'Untouchable' no more

Imagining an India without caste.

Despite a constitutional ban on India’s caste system in 1950, activists say discrimination based on social hierarchy continues. While some blame the government, others say caste is not a major issue and that affirmative action programmes should be scaled back. Some argue market capitalism holds the key to breaking down caste divisions, while others think it’s a matter of changing ingrained perceptions. Activists are recording the stories of those deemed “untouchable” in the hopes of changing hearts and minds. Will the project work, or is caste no longer a problem?

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Anupama Rao, associate professor at Barnard College and author of "The Caste Question"; Stalin K (@stalink), filmmaker, activist, and manager of Video Volunteers; and Jiten Jain (@jiten_jain), general secretary at Youth for Equality.

What do you think? Is India's caste system still relevant as the country's economic power grows? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using #AJStream.