July 2005
Caste - the hidden apartheid

In India, Leelaben has spent a lifetime carrying shit in a basket on her head. In the West, caste is still a criterion in some communities when looking for a bride or bridegroom. In Japan, the Internet is being used to incite hatred against the Buraku people.

These are among the countless examples of discrimination faced by the 250 million people who were born into what are considered to be 'low' or 'untouchable' castes.

Today, many such people in Asia call themselves Dalits - which means 'the broken people' but symbolizes their active resistance to the system that oppresses them. They are inspired by Dr Ambedkar, the Dalit who wrote the Indian Constitution, who said: 'Ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is a battle for the reclamation of the human personality.' The scandal is that in the 21st century this battle still continues.


NI

No.380

Contents

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2 Letters

4 Southern Exposure
On 24 April a march in Yerevan marked the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide and was photographed by Onnik Krikorian.

5 View from the South
The inimitable Eduardo Galeano offers his thoughts on football.

6 Currents
Massive military build-up in West Papua; Argentine people power keeps up the pressure; Brazil dumps
Microsoft out the windows.
PLUS: Wordpower - the language of international trade.
PLUS: Seriously

9 Combatting caste
Mari Marcel Thekaekara on the enduring evils of an ancient system of oppression and the struggles for dignity.

13 The caste system
The oldest social hierarchy in the world.

14 Caste out
Nikki van der Gaag reveals how some practices persist even in the West.

16 View from the top
An interview with KR Narayanan, India's only Dalit President.

18 Caste - THE FACTS

20 I, a Brahmin
Why Brahmin writer U R Ananthamurthy got a hostile reception when he argued against the practice of Untouchability.


22 Mariamma's shame
The girl had done nothing wrong - but her caste and sex meant that she was going to be punished all the same.
By Dalit writer Bama.

24 Between a rock and a hard place
Activist Sagar Bishwakarma argues that Dalits in Nepal are trapped between the Government and the Maoists.

25 The choice
When Manami Mori fell in love, her family saw only dishonour.

26 Tied to the job
Caste still has to shake off its shackles in Africa.

28 Action and worth reading

29 Worldbeaters
The NI predicted his ascent in this section back in September 2000 and now 'God's Rottweiler' has become Pope Benedict XVI.

30 Mixed Media

32 Big Bad World
A bedtime story from the IMF Book of Fairytales, published by Polyp.
PLUS: NI Prize Crossword

33 Making Waves
Three of Israel's refuseniks - Haggai Matar, Adam Maor, Matan Kaminer - explain
why they could not serve in the army.

34 Essay - Riding for their lives
The bleak story of tiny children used as camel jockeys in the United Arab
Emirates, told in photographs by Daoud Khan.

36 Country Profile - Somalia

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NI-Japan

No.68

Contents

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<This month's article>
-Translation of "Combatting caste" (NI p9-12)

<Reporting from Japan>
-The reality of discrimination in Japan and India: what can we learn and what can we do?
---Interview with Bando Nozomi (IMADR)

<Country Profile>
-Translation of "Country Profile - Somalia" (p36)



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