caste system

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Seattle Becomes First US City to Ban Caste Discrimination

Council passes measure in 6-1 vote

(Newser) - Seattle City Council on Tuesday added caste to the city’s anti-discrimination laws, becoming the first US city to specifically ban caste discrimination. Calls to outlaw discrimination based on caste, a division of people based on birth or descent, have grown louder among South Asian diaspora communities in the United...

Protests Follow Rape, Slaying of 9-Year-Old Dalit Girl

Killing of a member of India's lowest caste again brings street demonstrations

(Newser) - Four men have been charged in the rape and slaying of a 9-year-old girl in India, sparking three days of street demonstrations against both the crime and the nation's treatment of the lowest caste in Hinduism. The child, whose name was not released, was found dead Sunday night, her...

Oprah's Book Club Pick Links Racist South, Nazis

'Caste' by Isabel Wilkerson 'could change the way we see each other'

(Newser) - If not for the coronavirus, Oprah Winfrey tells the AP , she'd be out in the streets and marching with the Black Lives Matter protesters. She has instead found other ways to add her voice. She's working with Lionsgate on a multimedia adaptation of the New York Times' "...

India's New President Is an 'Untouchable'

Ram Nath Kovind is a member of lower-caste Dalit community

(Newser) - Members of the low-caste Dalit community in India were once known as "untouchables." How times have changed: Two just competed against each other for the largely ceremonial office of president, and 71-year-old Ram Nath Kovind came out on top, reports CNN . In India, the real power is with...

Cops: Rape Victim Was Raped Again by Same 5 Men

Young woman's case highlights the plight of the lower castes in India

(Newser) - A master's student at India's MD University in Rohtak was found in the bushes last week, her clothes torn and the victim of an apparent abduction and rape, cops say—and her attackers look to be the same five men who gang-raped her three years ago, the Times ...

Woman Who Eloped 8 Years Ago Burned Alive in 'Honor Killing'

30-year-old in India punished, apparently by her own family members

(Newser) - Seven people have been arrested and police are investigating dozens more after a woman in India was burned alive, apparently in retaliation for ditching an arranged marriage and eloping eight years ago, the Times of India reports. Rama Kunwar, 30, who has a 3-year-old daughter with the man she ran...

Bollywood Film on Castes Banned in India

3 states bar movie, worried it could infuriate lower castes

(Newser) - Three Indian states have banned a new Bollywood film that addresses the caste system. The film has already sparked the anger of lower caste groups, who say it fuels prejudice, the AP reports. The lower caste groups, called Dalits, make up about a quarter of India’s population. The film,...

Indian Town Outlaws Cell Phones for Single Women

... To stop them from eloping

(Newser) - A council in northern India has forbidden all unmarried women from carrying cell phones, in an effort to prevent them from eloping with people of different castes. At least 23 young couples ran off and got married without their parents’ consent last year in Uttar Pradesh state, the AFP explains....

India to Revive Census by Caste
India to Revive
Census by Caste

India to Revive Census by Caste

It's the first time in 80 years

(Newser) - It has been 80 years since India included caste information in a census. But now at the behest of lower caste groups who believe they are not getting a fair share of jobs and other benefits, it will be included as part of next year's census. So the government has...

Indian Couple Electrocuted for Cross-Caste Love

Woman's family arrested for Delhi 'honor killing'

(Newser) - The well-to-do family of a 19-year-old Delhi woman who fell in love with a taxi driver from a lower caste responded to the couple's desire to marry by torturing them to death. Police say the woman and her boyfriend, 21, were bound, beaten and electrocuted, the Independent reports.

Among India's Rich, Aborting Girls on the Rise

Illegal practice more prevalent among rich with access to ultrasound

(Newser) - India’s preference for male children has spurred the practice of aborting female fetuses, aided and abetted by the widening availability of ultrasound technology. But tests are still expensive, and surveys show that female feticide is much more prevalent in richer areas, an observation born out by skewed gender ratios....

Indian Parliament Elects First Woman Speaker

Kumar belongs to oppressed lower caste

(Newser) - India’s otherwise divided parliament unanimously hailed the appointment of the nation’s first female speaker today, the BBC reports. Meira Kumar, 64, is the daughter of a renowned politician and a longtime member of the Congress party, victorious in recent general elections. She’s also from a lower-caste community...

India Election Sees Shoes Fly, Politicos Duck

(Newser) - Inspired by the Iraqi reporter who hurled his shoes at President Bush, the world’s largest democracy has picked up the habit, the Los Angeles Times reports. In recent weeks, three people have enlivened India's national election by flinging footwear at politicians—always missing, but sparking much publicity. "Flying...

India's Salvation May Lie With Poor

Rural growth picking up slack as industrial sector cools

(Newser) - The new, high-tech India enjoyed a long boom, but the nation's path out of the global slowdown may lie with the legions of poor in old, rural India, the Wall Street Journal reports. The 700 million people who live in India's hinterland are still among the poorest people on the...

Indian Politician Bridges Caste Divide

Kumari Mayawati, an untouchable, has risen to prominence, power

(Newser) - Kumari Mayawati, the 5-foot-tall, unmarried member of the so-called untouchable caste, has gained unprecedented power and stature in Indian politics. The leader of the nation's most populous state, Mayawati is positioning herself to become India's next prime minister, a feat that would have been unthinkable until recently and for which...

Grandfather Charged in Deadly Fire
Grandfather Charged in Deadly Fire

Grandfather Charged in Deadly Fire

Indian caste dispute suspected in Chicago blaze that kills 3

(Newser) - In the third case since August of a Chicago-area Indian family using fire in a domestic dispute, a 57-year old who disapproved of his daughter's marriage was charged Monday night with murdering his pregnant daughter, son-in-law, and grandson by setting fire to their apartment building. Subhash Chander told police he...

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