Dalits - the Untouchables or Outcasts of India
- By Sam George
- Published 10/22/2006
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at email@example.com
October 14 marks World Religious Freedom Day. On this day back in 1959, Dr. Ambedkar, the author of the Indian Constitution, left Hinduism to become a Buddhist.
On this day in 2006, thousands of Dalits converged in Nagpur to publically renouce and convert to Buddhism and Christianity. See news reports:
Zee News http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=329139&sid=NAT&ssid=
Dalits are the lowest of Indian caste system and are also called untouchables or outcasts. They are the oppressed and crushed victims of the traditional caste system. They account for almost quarter of Indian population (over 250 million people). They are not allowed to worship at temples, never had educational opportunity and were forced to work that no one would ever do.
The recent uprising against the historically oppressive structures both religio-cultural and socio-economic is resulting in conversion of dalits into more elgalitarian religions like Buddism and Christianity. But is it true conversion?
I wonder if those who were converted to Christianity really experienced the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is there any transformation? Will rest of Indian Christians really embrace them (give their daughters to a dalit young man)? Why is caste feeling still prevalent among Indian Christians?
If you are interested in knowing more about this, check out Dalit Christians http://www.dalitchristians.com/Html/editor.htm