Wednesday, January 16, 2008

India's burning issue

[This piece by Joseph D'Souza of the Dalit Freedom Network, appeared in CT online today. It's a perfect follow up to the post below about the conversion of Bobby Jindal and the question of the tolerance of Hinduism, and the limits on that tolerance]
My colleagues and I have condemned all forms of extremism and violence, whether Hindu or Christian. However, the underlying story is not about violence, but instead about the caste discrimination and impoverishment that infect India.

Time magazine was quick to state that Hindu caste discrimination is one major factor in the present persecution of Dalit Christians in Orissa. In the Kandhamal area, there are about 100,000 Christians, mostly Dalits, and 500,000 non-Christian Tribals. IBN Live reports that the Dalit Christians have "done well after converting to Christianity." Their social, educational, and developmental conditions have conspicuously improved.

A transformed Christian community becomes a powerful motivator and attractor of all those who are still treated as subhumans by the caste system in Orissa. The inhuman and fraudulent social structure of the caste system is fully exposed.

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