Caste at Birth


Reserve Caste at Birth

Producer: Mira Hamermesh
Director: Filmakers Library
Format: DVD VHS
Copies Available: 2
Length: 52 minutes
Color Format: Color


Award-winning filmmaker, Mira Hermesh ("Maids and Madams") continues her exploration of human injustice with this film on India's caste system. Although most people know that the lowest social class in India are the "untouchables," few in the West realize the gravity of their situation. There are some 50 million Indians who live a segregated life. From birth, all alternatives are closed to them. They can not own land or be educated and are consigned to the most menial work--e.g., sweeping streets, cleaning toilets, or butchering animals. In villages they are subjected to abuse and sometimes killed for minor slights to landowners. While the government has tried to improve the condition of the untouchables, these attempts have been met by strong resistance. Upper caste Hindus profit from this source of cheap labor. In addition, the Hindu notion that the "untouchable" is impure is deeply ingrained. However, a few leaders who have arisen from their ranks are trying to bring about change in the face of overwhelming odds. ID:SA4