The Illusion of Merit and the Privilege of Caste – Why Affirmative Action is Justified.

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Content note – discrimination, especially caste-based.

A barebones introduction to the caste system

India has had a long history of casteist oppression, and it looks like the practise is still rampant, with nearly 1 in 4 people across the country admitting to practising untouchability.

To anyone who is not familiar with the caste system; caste is an oppressive social force that imposes a hereditary social and professional hierarchy; with a caste traditionally associated with priests (called Brahmins)  being top of the social pecking order, and a group that were (and importantly, still are) considered untouchable bearing the brunt of oppression from those higher up the caste hierarchy.

The correct label to use for the group that is oppressed by untouchability is Dalits , for that is the identity they have themselves assumed, and not another traditionally used derogatory term imposed on them by the upper caste-hegemony, led by the…

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