Unveiling India's Apartheid

Use Your Freedom to Defend Others' (Unveiling India's Apartheid, Part 4)

Slavery in the United States did not end in a night or even a year or decade. Even now, long past slavery's demise, the twin poisons of racism and class oppression echo as terrible reverberations from our forefathers' horrific acceptance and perpetuation of brutal violence against their fellow humans. The whips and chains are gone, but the hatred and violence too often well up while inequitable social policies ensure the longevity of poverty for certain classes of people. Even after 150 [...]

Dalit Converts to Christianity Face Persecution and Violence (Unveiling India's Apartheid, Part 3)

As you were singing carols, placing the last presents under the tree, and worshiping at a Christmas Eve service this past year, Indian Christians halfway across the world were being victimized by the largest attack on the Christian community in India's democratic history. The complex and combustible layers of caste-based oppression and religious persecution came to a head on Dec. 24,2007, through a spate of violence in the Kandhamal District of Orissa state. During the course of [...]

Seeds of Liberation (Unveiling India's Apartheid, Part 2)

As our motorcade approached the Dalit village of Nayagarh, we could see the bright and brilliant image of 500 Dalit women gathered to welcome us, their saris forming a kaleidoscope of color. Cheers and whistles erupted from the crowd of women as we approached. I felt like a presidential candidate as I passed through the crowd, shaking as many hands as I could reach, wanting to make human contact with women whose dignity is so often demeaned and whose worth too often dismissed. These women [...]

Unveiling India's Apartheid (Part 1)

In the shadow of India's economic miracle lies a people often deemed untouchable, largely impoverished, and seemingly invisible. Bubbling beneath the shimmering image of a new India is a cauldron of inequality, caste-based subordination, and religious tension that could boil over into even greater civil strife and violence. At the center of these forces lies the Dalit struggle. While Dalit rights are often denied and hopes are crushed, growing political, economic, and spiritual empowerment [...]