Dr. Ambedkar argues that reason and religion (Hinduism) will not help break down the caste system. Furthermore, that the Untouchables cannot hope for the high castes and the privileged classes to fight alongside them to help break down the system, forget about going on a crusade themselves to break it down. Dr. Ambedkar argues that the Untouchables, instead, should strive for education and spread of knowledge, and for power to break the hold the system has on them and holding them back from realizing their true human potential.
An argument that most likely patriots or (ultra)nationalists have made, calling for all Nepalis to rally around "unity in diversity" for "national unity" and "harmony," (unwittingly?) supports the maintenance of the caste system. Turns out, the source of those concepts is our very own constitutions!
When a hill high caste Hindu counters a member of another caste describing the challenges in their lives because of the caste they are born into by saying that they too struggle and have had to work hard to get as far as they have gotten in life, they are basically making a false-equivalence argument. What is a false-equivalence argument anyway? I go into the details by using an analogy -- that of climbing Mount Everest.
Being told again and again that very little or no caste-based discrimination exists in Nepal, I started documenting, on Twitter, news reports about just that -- caste-based discrimination. The articles I shared in the tweets were mostly about discrimination and mistreatment of Dalits, the lowest caste. In this blog post, I have reproduced all the tweets in that thread.
The story of two young Nepali adults in love but struggling with a dilemma that many like them do: they are from different castes and their parents don't approve of their desire to get married and start a family. But the comments under their story on Facebook, where I found it, fills me with hope!
An educational exercise that explores how the realities of power, authority, and societal values influence our perceptions about how we see the world. If you are an educator, you could easily do this with your students at school or college or university.