I recently finished reading an interesting book by Narendra Jadhav called Untouchables: Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India
. If you want to understand India and how to be effective in accelerating impact on poverty there, you need to understand the caste system and how it affects how the vast majority of people think in India.
If you think the India caste system is dead, all you need to do is open up any Indian newspaper and turn to the classifieds section for people seeking marriage partners. Almost all of the ads are explicit about the caste system of the ad buyer as well as the caste requirements of the spouse they are looking for. The explicit caste recognition is less front-and-center in other social spheres, but it is very much there under the surface and affecting how people think about themselves and each other.
This book is a biography of a dalit family living through The Great Depression, the India independence movement and up to today. Dalits are also known as the out-castes or untouchables. They are lower than the lower-castes as they are below the caste system. It is a story of triumph and yet a call to continue to fight to break the caste slavery system.Read my longer book review
Labels: book reviews, caste, india, poverty