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Cultural Anthropology - Essay Example

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Unlike the West, India is still largely a caste based closed society. There is little chance for a person of lower caste to move into an upper caste since social…
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Cultural Anthropology
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Cultural Anthropology

Download file to see previous pages... On the one hand, there is legislation preventing the manual removal of human excrement. On the other hand, the Indian government is itself employing the Dalits to perform these much outlawed tasks. This expresses a strange duality in the existing system at all levels.
When compared to the West, this tends to resemble parts of the Jim Crow regime where newly freed slaves were treated just as bad or worse. It was not uncommon for slaves to perform tasks of the same gruesome nature that are depicted in the Dalit video. Even after the slaves were freed, their socio-economic circumstances forced them to carry out the same tasks in order to fend for themselves.
Another major concern exposed by the video is the hypocritical nature of the legal system when it comes to the rights of Dalits. Those in power to favor the high caste Brahmins and the like against the poor and defenseless Dalits. This in turn has skewed the legal system to such an extent that it is hardly recognizable as a system to deliver justice. The brutal murders and rapes of Dalit men and women in the twenty first century are without parallel in the West. It could be argued that the West has seen its fair share of brutality during the age of slavery but this is more than over in the current age. There is hardly any trace of brutality employed through institutional means against any specific section of the society in the West in the modern day.
The last traces of social exclusion in the West date back to just before the Civil Rights Movement in the sixties. Under the social exclusion regime enforced in certain states, people of African American descent were not allowed into certain public areas such as restaurants. In addition, it was generally the discretion of a business owner if they wanted to serve African Americans or not. It was common to see signs in many shop windows telling African Americans to stay out. These problems were compounded by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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