Tag Archives: Caste system in India

REFLECTION ON PROJECT “TOUCH THE UNTOUCHABLE”

REFLECTION ON “TOUCH THE UNTOUCHABLE”

One week ago, I proposed the social project on the Caste System in India.  I used Facebook as media platform under the link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Touch-the-Untouchable/609528329076721 in addition to my posts on Dharma Dialogue.

The discrimination in Indian society has really bothered me for the last ten years.  Why has it lasted for centuries?   I witnessed the unfair treatment and unbelievable misery in that country.  In a country, in which the Buddha reached enlightenment and tried to void the caste system, nothing had changed.  I had hoped to use this project to help understand its endurance.  Even the after the Buddha brought the light of Buddha nature to teach the equality in all beings later generations could not do anything about it.  King Asoka had power.  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi with strong will and voice moved the whole British colony out of India.  So why could they not shake the destructive caste system strongly enough to free the poor?

I really want to dig in this matter.  However, my project only got “likes” from some professors, classmates, friends as supports without any comments that would help me understand this matter of the caste system.  They might agree what I am talking about, but they did not have time to research to help me understand why the caste system has such firm long-lasting history.

I wonder why it did not get much feedback.  Maybe it came in for a short time while the final week of semester coming up.  Maybe it was not good enough to attract other’s discussion because it is an obvious social matter in India due to its long history.  It seems normalized in people’s eyes while there are so many other corruptions occurring in daily lives around us that can danger the whole world.

Anyway, I hope people can assist me to fulfill my wish of helping innocent young generation to have a chance to change their destinies.  Together they might change their society.

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Touch the “Untouchable” Caste

Indian Caste System

TOUCH THE UNTOUCHABLES

On a tour in India, I witnessed an Untouchable man who was forced to bend down and touch his head to shoes of  an upper caste person.  Why?  Because he had accidently touched the body of the upper caste person while walking down a very crowded street  It was his fault that he did not step aside and let the upper caste person pass through first, our tour guide said.

Also, I witnessed a impoverished untouchable teenage girl who was about 4-months pregnant who had joined other villagers in begging group.  She accepted her misery as her way of life.  Her husband beat her because he blamed her for not able to beg enough money for dinner and his drinking.  Everything was her fault because her fate was to be Dalit, also called Untouchable.  She believes it is her karma to be poor. so it was okay to beg for food and money during the day.  That is how she views her life, a life of untouchable caste because nobody educates her about her human rights.  Something the powerful mainstream of the Brahmin  and Kshatriya castes, never wants to see happen.

Since seeing Indian Caste discrimination both my mind and heart are troubled.  I understand that I, myself cannot change the world, but I can change a life of a person who suffers from poverty as result of the caste system or racism even if I can help only one person in my lifetime.

The Buddha deeply disapproved of the injustice of the Caste system in India.  The Buddha himself not only preached about the humanity the “lower classes”, but also ordained the disciples from Untouchable caste such as Upâli – a barber, Sunita – a scavenger,  Punnâ and Punnikâ – slave girls.  Although before his awakening, he was born as a Kshatriya, the Buddha considered the Castes unjust.  He strongly condemned the debasing caste system.  In his Order of Monks all castes unite as do the rivers in the sea. They all become known as members of one community, the Sangha. Thus, I propose the social project “TOUCH THE UNTOUCHABLES” regarding to the caste difference in India and choose Facebook as media platform in order to have others share related stories or observations to assist me in exercising compassion, right view and right action.

For those who want to make a difference in the lives of those impoverished Untouchables, I believe that any comments or suggestions you can provide gives us the opportunity to lighten or end their suffering even though it might take a long time to accomplish.

For those unaware of what the Caste System is and how the Caste System works in India, I will provide some resources such as books, videos (Youtube), and entries on the Facebook page: “TOUCH THE UNTOUCHABLE” .  I hope after exploring the world of those Untouchable lives, your comments will give some insights about the following:

1. In the ancient time, King Asoka, who was powerful emperor and sincere Buddhist.  However, he did not  dismantle the Castes during his reign?  Why did he not?  How did he treat the “Untouchables?”

2. In modern times, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was famous for practice of nonviolence to win Indian Independence from British.  Gandhi lived with the poor, and called the poor “children of God”, but he was criticized that he never worked for the elimination of the Caste System.   Did Gandhi do enough?  What or who influenced him to accept the Caste?

Any comments on the destruction of the Indian Casted Society!  Any suggestion about transformation of the Untouchables’! Please share your thoughts on my Facebook page.   All will be greatly appreciated.

TOUCH “UNTOUCHABLES 

To understand their suffering

To love them as human beings

To raise them up from the mud of poverty

To have their lives blossomed as lotuses

To remove the Caste System

You opinion can made difference to their fates

Thank you

With Metta

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Touch-the-Untouchable/609528329076721

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