?? Dalit Muslims of India | Al Jazeera World

India the second most populous country in the world for centuries its social class structure was built around a rigid Hindu class or caste system. caste was abolished over 50 years ago. But it’s legacy is still felt in modern Indian society. The Hindu population, around 84% of a total 1.4 billion total people is still influenced by the four main traditional casts though there are many subjects within each. Brahmins are the priestly class. Kshatriya the warrior class. Vaishya are the merchant class. and Shudra the working class. But below all of these, outside the four main caste groups are other social groups, including the Dalits: the oppressed. They are social outcasts and they do the most menial work and often live in conditions hardly fit for human habitation. Such is the desperation of some Dalits that they sometimes convert from Hinduism to other faiths, including islam. They hope to escape discrimination by other Hindus and to become accepted by their new religious community. Any person or every citizen of this country under article 25 of the constitution has a right to acknowledge, practice, propagate the religion of his choice. Typically, Dalits live in areas like this shantytown in Mumbai. People here belong to the washermen community. known as dhobies and they often share the same surname which clearly identifies them as outside the caste class Some of these dhobies have converted to Islam. Among them Rakesh who has changed his name to Ali Kanojia Some Hindu Dalits believe converting to other religions will help them escape the prejudices of the caste system. It’s not a new phenomenon.


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