January 07, 2005

India's Untouchables... remain as they are.

India's untouchables forced out of relief camps

KESHVANPALAYAM, India (AFP) - India's untouchables, reeling from the tsunami disaster, are being forced out of relief camps by higher caste survivors and being denied aid supplies, activists charged.

Kuppuswamy Ramachandran, 32, a Dalit or untouchable in India's rigid caste hierarchy, said he and his family were told to leave a relief camp in worst-hit Nagapattinam district where 50 more families were housed.

"The higher caste fishing community did not allow us to sleep in a marriage hall where they are put up because we belong to the lowest caste," Ramachandran said.


Vijaya Lakshmi, spokeswoman for South India Federation of Fishermen Societies, agreed and said one could not wish away a centuries-old caste system when a disaster struck.

I'm going to go ahead and stick my neck out for the P.C. crowd to accuse of me of being culturally insensitive and ethnocentric.

I think it speaks extremely poorly of the character of the Indian people(s) (as there are quite a few, I might add in the country) if they are so systematic in their prejudice that chaotic destruction cannot unite them in their suffering and eventual relief.

Posted by Kyer at January 7, 2005 10:25 PM