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Affirmative Action In India Essay

2088 words - 8 pages

In India, the Dalit’s, or lower class citizens, experience tragic moments in their day-to-day lives. They are discriminated against greatly, but a policy named affirmative action wants to fix this. This proposed law, however, is controversial and is opposed by certain people living in India.
The Untouchables of the caste system are seen by many as outcasts, unwanted humans who are simply unworthy of being seen on earth. Members of this class are considered impure from birth, because they perform unsanitary jobs, with little pay. For example, citizens who handle items polluted by blood or human waste, a leatherworker who works with animal skins, a weaver who creates cloth, a person who cremates or buries the dead, and a manual scavenger, are all considered Untouchable. A Dalit woman describes her day-to-day job as a “sweeper,” (collecting feces on the street), “I feel very sick. I can’t breathe. I can’t bend and lift the vessel” (Dalit Freedom Network). There is no way to escape these horrific jobs, she explains, “I have been asking the supervisor to give me another job, but he wont shift me from here” (Dalit Freedom Network). The illegal job of a manual scavenger is still present in many parts of India, and is still relied upon by societies in the country. Woman, however, are usually targeted for this grueling job. Safai Karmachari Andolan, a manual scavenger describes, “ I slipped and fell into the gutter. No one would come to pick me up because the basket was so dirty and I was covered with filth.” (). These horrific jobs, which untouchables are forced to participate in, severely damage their emotional and physical health.
Discrimination through violence has been very prominent in Indian society, mostly targeting the Dalits or “Untouchables.” Smita Narula, a senior researcher with human rights watch explains, “Dalits are not allowed to drink from the same wells, attend the same temples, wear shoes in the presence of an upper caste, or drink from the same cups in tea stalls” (Lowen). These lower caste citizens do not obtain fair treatment, which is needed, causing them to feel excluded and isolated. This results in horrific attacks, and violence towards these innocent people. An Indian Newspaper reports, “Dalit boy beaten to death for plucking flowers,” “Dalit tortured by cops for three days,” and “7 Dalits lynched in Haryana (Mayell). The treatment is unacceptable, however, it is occurring every single day in India. A man named Girdharilal Maurya was attacked one night because of his caste. His attackers insisted he had bad karma, which is why he was born an Untouchable. Maurya was also a leatherworker, and Hindu law says that working with animal skins makes him unclean, someone to avoid. One night, while Maurya was away in a nearby city, eight men from the higher Rajput caste came to his farm. They broke his fences, stole his tractor, beat his wife and daughter, and burned down his house. The message sent to Maurya was evident: Stay at...

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