Trigger Warning: Mention of violence
Caste and minority religions have historically been marginalised, oppressed and ostracised in India. Dalits, Adivasis, Bahujans, and other caste minorities are being treated inhumanely, blocked from even basic human rights and above all access to state and constitutional machinery is also shut to them in today’s India.
Despite the government passing down legislations and laws caste minorities still have an insufficient stake in social and political justice systems and different social equalities.
The absurd argument behind pushing the minority castes to a subhuman level in society stems from society’s fundamentally prejudiced Brahmin patriarchal framework, where many scriptures and texts are utilised to justify oppression and servitude.
Similarly, when it comes to minority religions, it is established that such faiths are foreign and impure. When such views become deeply embedded in your daily conditioning, the repercussions are catastrophic and inhuman.
Such oppressive ideologies and prejudices gradually infiltrate into the country’s sociopolitical, sociocultural, and legal systems, where laws, decisions, and discourse are crafted to cater only to the majoritarian group. It should be emphasised that many forms of oppression and social and political disparities have grown and been birthed as a result of such authoritarian and unfair social and judicial systems that might assure stability and justice for people of minority castes and religions.
Alas! Discriminatory practices, as well as inherent biases and persistent inequities, have taken up residence on college and university campuses. Bigotry in the country’s social, political, and legal systems was always an open secret, but such oppressive and unjust practices have now infiltrated schools and universities.
Students at college and university campuses are facing discrimination every day in today’s India. A Muslim student is called a terrorist while a Dalit student is lynched or forced to die by suicide. And such cases are rising at an alarming pace. According to Government data, from 2014 to 2021, 122 students died by suicide in central universities and among them, 14 belonged to OBC (Other Backward Castes), nine from SC (Scheduled Castes) and one from ST (Scheduled Tribes). And in ITTs and IIMs 34 students, died by suicide, among those, 13 were OBCs, and five were STs. When it comes to Muslim minorities, Christians and others, the reality is pretty much similar.
Unfortunately, the rhetoric and narratives promoted by the contemporary media and academia are very casteist and cater to exclusively upper-caste Hindus. Recent claims of removing Mughal history and Dalit literature from various institutional curricula are a harsh and open attempt to erase the past of minority castes and religions.
Hence creating discourse and a repository of stories, reports and narratives about the manifestation of caste and religion on campuses becomes imperative especially when the times are dark and false and disinformation has taken the spotlight.
Therefore, Feminism In India invites submissions on Caste, Religion And Campus during August 2023 to contribute to and highlight the discourse and conversations around caste, religion and campus.
Here are some of the pointers that you may find helpful in putting together your thoughts:
- Caste on campus
- Religion and campus
- Caste, gender and campus
- Caste, gender, religion and campus
- Personal Narratives of Dalits, Adivasis and Bahujans
- Interviews of persons from caste and religious minorities who have worked extensively for the betterment of their communities
- Erasure of literature and discourse on caste and religious minorities
- Ground reports on issues faced by Muslims, Dalits, Christians and other minorities that need to be brought to light
- Prejudices against Dalits and other caste minorities in Academia
- Lack of opportunities for Caste, religious and gender minorities
- Gender-based Violence on campus against caste and religious minorities
- Need for intersectional feminist policies on campuses
This list is not exhaustive and you may feel free to write on topics within the theme that we may have missed out here. We understand that some topics may be personal and hence, if you wish to publish them anonymously, kindly mention that in your email.
Please refer to our submission guidelines before you send us your entries. You may email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to your drafts and hope you enjoy writing them!
Featured Illustration: Ritika Banerjee for Feminism In India