Inside Story

How to address the plight of India’s Dalits?

India’s Dalits are protesting against the caste system, complaining of oppression and marginalisation.

Monday marked 69 years of Indian independence. But millions of Indian citizens say they are still not free. 

Four so-called “lower-caste” men in the state of Gujarat were stripped and flogged for doing what many say was their job. In response, hundreds of people started a protest.

The protesters have walked 350km in 10 days, ending in the town where the men were beaten.

The protesters say the issue is bigger than just four men. They say members of the Dalit caste face discrimination in every facet of life.

They also say the Indian government ignores their calls for reform.

Just how rooted is the caste system in Indian society? And can the lives of the Dalits be improved?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Vivek Kumar – professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Gurharpal Singh – professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Satpal Muman – Chair of CasteWatchUK.