Dalits in South Asia : An Overview

"Pernicious influences of the caste system exist in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. This has made it acquire a typical South Asian character, affecting a dalit population of about 260 million in varying degrees and magnitudes. The caste system and its characteristics, contributing to the worst forms of discrimination, exclusion and violence, though considered taboo on some levels, are still practiced in several overt and covert ways in all of South Asia. Besides, no one should be under the illusion that the caste system has affected and is practiced only among the Hindus. On the contrary, this virus has made an intrusion into Islam, Christianity and all the other religions that exist in South Asia."

– Dr Umakant

This online lecture was delivered on September 21, 2020, to the students of MA in Social Work at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Published here with permission from Dr Umakant.
Dr Umakant is an independent scholar based in New Delhi. He has been actively engaged with dalit and caste related issues as a scholar and a social activist for over two decades.