Civil rights, affirmative action, Dalit, equality, intersectionality


"If Hindus migrate to other regions on [E]arth, [Indian] Caste would become a world problem." - Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (1916) Imagine it is the year 2020. You are one of the more than 160 million people across India that are labeled as Dalits, formerly known as the “Untouchables." Most Hindus view Dalits as belonging to the lowest rung in the ancient system of social stratification that impacts individuals across the globe called the caste system. Your people have endured human rights abuses for centuries, but luckily, neither you nor a loved one have ever been the victim of one of the thousands of horrendous crimes such as assault, rape, or murder committed against your people each year. Even so, you have never felt safe, especially when newspaper headlines read: “Dalit [] beaten to death for plucking flowers;” “Dalit tortured by cops for three days;” or “Dalit woman gang-raped, paraded naked.” Despite your fears, you have persevered throughout school due to India’s affirmative action plan, or “compensatory discrimination" program. You wish not only to escape the country that is hostile to your caste, but to also obtain a job outside of the realm of undesirable occupations to which Dalits are ordinarily limited. To your delight, you obtain a respectable job working for a tech giant in the United States. However, you quickly learn that the caste discrimination you faced at home transcends borders.