Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hinduism And Dalit Persecution

Turing thinks Hinduism is a load of crap. 

The pernicious effects of Hinduism are alive and well in modern India. The Dalits, otherwise known as untouchables, still face daily infringements of their rights. Caste, as many of you already know, is a characteristic of Hinduism where people are born into a spot in the social hierarchy. There are four basic castes: religious leaders, warriors/politicians, merchants and the menial laborers. Underneath them all are the untouchables -- the Dalit.  Traditionally one is born into the caste of their parents. It was seen as his or her karma. If you were good in a past life, then you would be born as a religious leader, a Brahmin. If you were, well, a karmic dirt bag then you would live your current life as an untouchable. Another aspect of the caste/karma system is that a higher caste member would become spiritually polluted (and thusly get some bad karma) by touching/interacting with a member of a low caste. Being a untouchable means that you are spiritual pollution to members of the higher orders. 

See? It all makes perfect sense.


Modern India has worked to fight against discrimination against the Dalit. Article 17 of the Indian Constitution tried to make the faith-based insanity a thing of the past. It wasn't successful. In 1989 the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was passed.

They [Dalit] are denied a number of civil rights; they are subjected to various offences, indignities, humiliations and harassment. They have, in several brutal incidents, been deprived of their life and property. Serious atrocities are committed against them for various historical, social and economic reasons.” - from the Act.

Atheists are the first ones to say that the evil effects of religion take a long time to get rid of -- just look at the history of slavery in the US and its post-Civil War manifestation of segregation.

I read this article Documenting Caste Discrimination in India on PRI's the World about a group trying to end discrimination against the Dalit.

Now, a group of volunteers throughout India is gathering video evidence of that discrimination in an effort to end it. 
The videos show a man who complains that a local barber refuses to cut his hair; a group of children who are forced to eat lunch separately from their classmates; women who walk for hours to fetch water because they are not allowed to use the public tap in the village.
The discrimination is fused into various state institutions.

“This Dalit stamp is always with us,” Amit said. “When we apply for jobs, or try to get into college we have to show which community we belong to. That’s when the discrimination starts. Here in Haryana, Dalits are still being tied to trees and beaten by the upper-caste people. No one stands up for us.”

One simply has to search the India Times to see stories of attacks on the Dalit. Here is an article depicting a shocking incident.

A group of upper caste youth allegedly urinated on the face of a dalit vendor after beating him at Mokhra village in Haryana's Rohtak district on Monday night.  

Ashok Kumar, 22, of the Balmiki community sells eggs for a living. He was beaten up near a liquor shop when he tried to stop five jat youth from stealing his money and snatching away some eggs. - from the article Upper caste youth attack dalit in Haryana 

I will give the PRI piece credit. It isn't often when a publication actually states that religion is the cause of misfortunes. I suspect that this line snuck past the editor.

India’s caste system is deeply rooted in Hinduism.

Just one little sentence speaks so much. What would happen if newspapers in Christian countries stated plainly that Christianity, historically  speaking,  has a lot to do with anti-semitism? Or with misogyny? That Christianity is clearly anti-gay and is directly responsible for the suicides of LGBT youth?

Well, those newspapers would be shut down pretty fast, I'd imagine.

Here is the trailer of Article 17 End Untouchability Campaign.

There are disturbing images here -- really disturbing.

I don't warn readers too often concerning the content of Purgatory, but this warrants it.

There are more videos on the Video Volunteers YouTube channel.



  1. Great post Andy. I do not often turn my attention towards Hinduism, but as you correctly highlight, it is as guilty of atrocity as any other religion. Well done.

    1. I'm going to post more videos from this group on my Fb page and Google+ page. I don't think many atheists are aware how crazy the subcontinent can be.

  2. Dam Andy. I wuz gonna make my usual crappy joke about whatever, then I watched the vid. Fuck man.


    1. Yeah, I wanted to give fair warning to viewers. I really felt it was necessary to show the video to illustrate what's going on over there.


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