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Untouchables - My Family′s Triumphant Escape from India Castle System
 Human Asia (humanasia@humanasia.org)     2016년 08월 26일    1,168  
  

 

Written by Narendra Jadha
Published by University of California Press (2007)


Anyone has heard about the caste system of India and thought about the lives of Dalit who are included in underclass of India. If you imagine that you are born as one of Dalit in India, how your lives would be gone? The book, "Untouchables", describe the tragedy in details. Dalit, who were considered contaminating if their shadow overlaps with the others', had no opportunity to go inside Hindu temple that they believe. What's worse was that they had to sweep a floor with a bloom they always carry on their hip to obliterate their footprints, which was considered as dirty, as well as didn’t have an access to drink water freely. The caste system which had been continued for 3,500 years was abolished by the constitution of India in 1947, but it still influences people's lives in India.
 
Narendra Jadhav, who was born in 1953, 6 years later the caste system in India had been abolished, spent his childhood without freedom, not escaped from restrictions on Dalit. However, what sets him apart from the others began from one thing. He considered every human is equal and has a dignity, no matter what kind of race and class they are in. Other Dalit believed that they are poor and vulgar because they are born to be, which was determined by Karma. It was Ambedkar who made him awake of the reality. Ambedkar is called as a father of Dalit, who devoted his life to Dalit by making declarations to protect the rights of underclass in India. Jadhav met him by accidents when he was young, which made him consider his human rights and struggle to obtain it. Finally, he became well-known economists by overcoming limit as a Dalit.
 
This book impressed me in several ways. What made me attracted to it was that lots of Dalit have been discriminated after the caste system had been abolished and present India exists because of the people who struggled to overcome it. They proved us that human rights are really crucial no matter what people’s nationality, religion and sex are. Especially Jadhav is brave, saying no what is really “no” when people say “yes”. He tried to escape from his miserable situations. As for him, dignity and freedom are essential elements, even more important than his life as he determined to leave his town with his wife to gain liberty. Sometimes, what is more essential than one’s life is struggling to obtain freedom which will be persisted in the future generation. I felt sorry sacrifice of the weak in the society is needed to make a world that every person is respected as a human being. Moreover, I express respect to who raised their voice to make world better.
 
However, Jadhav feel sorry when people describe him as a famous economist from a Dalit even now. This shows that the caste system is still prevalent in India. We should be aware of the rights of the people until discrimination dissolves all around the world. 

Kim Do Hee