Casteism is the biggest issue that this country somehow never talks about. Caste is a problem. IDK, what you have to say, its very existence is antipathy to a civilised society. And yes, you have also been casteist in your life. Yes, you! So, here are a few things you might want to consider before you go around flouting your privilege like a white man in the 20th century. 

1. Giving your domestic help a different utensil to eat, making them sit on the ground while you sit up. You think it’s classist but most of India’s classism stems from centuries of deep-seated casteism. 


2. Telling someone they don’t look like a Dalit. Passport photo mein jhaadu leke khade rahe kya for your satisfaction? 

Deccan Herald

3. Saying you don’t see caste. This is your privilege that nobody ever asked you about your caste. Because people of DBA communities get constant reminders of their caste. 

4. Taking pride in your own caste may not seem like casteist to you, but when you identify yourself at the top of a fascist system that continues to oppress millions, then maybe you need to cast yourself out of said system and get a perspective. 

5. Asking people their caste. Well, firstly, I am pretty sure, as rampant as it is, it is still illegal. You can’t go around asking people their castes, because that’s how discrimination starts in professional spaces. 

6. Using words like cha**r, bha**i etc as slurs is a big no. You can use the name of whole communities as slurs to refer to people you see beneath you. 


7. Saying dumb crap like ‘I have never discriminated against anyone, why should I suffer from reservation’. See, the Dalit kid with 70% marks has had to go through terrible atrocities every day of their life that you can’t even fathom. Your urban upper-caste privilege means that you’re not competing with them. You are way ahead of them by the sheer accident of birth. 

8. Saying ‘why is he so well dressed if’. Yeah, just because people come from oppressed backgrounds doesn’t mean they can’t dress well if they have the resources to. 


9. Thinking Dalit leaders like Chandrasekhar Azad Ravan taking pride in his moustache is patriarchal when Dalits have been attacked and killed for trying to grow a moustache. It isn’t patriarchy, it’s a sign of defiance. 


10. Taking up Dalit spaces to talk about Dalit issues when you aren’t a Dalit is casteist, no matter how much liberal spin you put on it. That’s right Swara Bhaskar, you can’t do that, no matter how progressive your filmography is. 

11. Making films about caste atrocities but filling it up with upper-caste white saviour characters, played by upper caste people while the marginalised are reduced to being oppression-porn. 

12. Asking people to debate or organising debates about if casteism still exists and if we still need reservation. See, people’s lived realities and their right to have a chance at a life with dignity is not up for debate. 


13. Not calling out friends or family or anyone who indulges in caste discrimination. Being silent is a crime. If you see it, call it out. 


14. Making vain arguments like ‘why bring their caste into this’, when it comes to sexual assault/ rape cases where Dalits were victims. Their caste was part of the reason, and often the only reason that they had to go through what they did. It is necessary to bring caste into this. 


15. Saying non-sense like ‘manual scavenging is spiritual’. Tu kar le fir

Well, I guess it’s futile to ask too much of you but be less of a prick, will you?