Today, a new generation of Dalits is standing up for the rights of their people.
The history of the Dalits can be symbolized by a clay cup.
In 70% of India’s rural villages, members of other castes will not eat or drink with a Dalit. When a Dalit person asks for a drink, he or she is given a clay cup – which is to be crushed on the ground after use. Why? So no other person risks being polluted by it.
Due to their low position in Indian society, Dalit people are used and spent without consequence. They are raped, held captive in brothels and temple ceremonies, and forced to work as bonded laborers. Without education, without economic opportunities, without healthcare, without hope for their future.
For 3,000 years, the Dalit people of India have been considered “untouchable.” Less than human. Worthy only to be slaves, to be broken and crushed.
Today, a new generation of Dalits is standing up for the rights of their people to go to school, to be healthy, to be free. To never be called an untouchable again.
For more about Dalits, check out our Dalit 101 series.