The Anti-Caste Campaign aims to call attention to the continued structural oppressive operations of the 3000 year old caste system and to specific caste-based atrocities in contemporary India and in the U.S.A.
“….turn in any direction you like, caste is the monster that crosses your path. You cannot have political reform, you cannot have economic reform, unless you kill this monster.”
—Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Annihilation of Caste
What is the Indian caste system?
The caste system is a social hierarchical structure that perpetuates discrimination and stigmatization based on a caste status or caste identity. A caste identity is hereditary and a permanent social identity of a person. There is no scope for upward mobility in the caste hierarchy, caste identity is entirely different from class identity. Caste is an integral part of Hindu religion and justified by religious texts such as the Rig-Veda and Manusmruti, which are ancient Hindu scriptures. Caste serves to perpetuate the economic and social suppression of large sections of the population, specifically, Dalits and tribal peoples. Today, this graded inequality is rooted in a fundamentalist form of right-wing Hinduism known as Hindutva. Ideologically, the caste system justifies the practices of segregation, stigmatization, and violence against Dalits, Adivasis (indigenous), and non-Hindus as part of dharma or natural law.