When a distressed father is reporting his daughter’s disappearance to a policeman in India, there are some questions he doesn’t want to hear. “What is your caste?” is one of them. Yet, the father, Sohan Lal, said this was the first thing the police asked him last Tuesday, when he begged them for help. After revealing his low-caste background as a Shakya, Mr. Lal said the officers mocked him and refused to lift a finger.
Hours later, Mr. Lal’s daughter, 12, and a female cousin, 14, were found hanging by their scarves from a mango tree in Katra Saadatganj, in the state of Uttar Pradesh.… Seguir leyendo »
Many think of India, born of a violent partition in 1947, as itself harboring two identities: a smartphone wielding, English-speaking, fast-growing democracy that prefers macchiatos to masala chai, and a predominantly lower-caste, mystically minded mass of peasants who spend their days herding buffalos and wading through water-clogged rice paddies.
Geographic and class divisions have come to the fore again following the notorious gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in New Delhi last month — a case that drew more attention to the status of women in India than any event in recent history.
The sight of thousands of women demanding justice led observers to point to the demonstrations as “a middle-class movement,” akin in style to the Arab Spring.… Seguir leyendo »