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Caste In India: Past, Present & Future

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Dalits and the caste system in India by Indian student activist Sankul Sonawane with Q&A

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What is the caste system in India and does it promote a fair and equal society today?

The caste system in India is the world's oldest and longest surviving hierarchical structure of social stratification. it finds its origins in Hinduism, and has existed for over 2,000 years, and continues to survive and thrive in 21st century India.

We look at how it came to be, how it solidified over time, its relevance over different eras in history, the discrimination and social divisions it continues to support and examine how it continues to exist in our world today.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A.

Speaker Sankul Sonawane is a student activist from Pune, India. Being a Dalit himself, he speaks about his experiences as a Dalit in 21st century India. He aims to unearth casteism in the urban spaces where he grew up, exposing and breaking the glass ceiling that exists due to caste. He also is a keen reader of Dalit history and the origins of caste in the Indian subcontinent. Along with this, he has in politics and culture, which he looks at through the lens of caste. He believes in the idea of annihilating caste and emancipating Dalits. Through his seminar, he hopes to start a discourse on discrimination of Dalits and spread awareness about the caste system across the globe.

He aspires to be a journalist and a writer, and has a keen interest in history and politics. He also talks about caste and Indian politics, and rants on Twitter as @sankul333 [First picture below]

Chaired by Harikrishnan Premprakash​: I am a final year Architecture student specializing in Sustainable Architecture and my work revolves around using the elements of nature to create tranquil environments that respond to its context. I am passionate about injustice that stems from crony capitalism and hope to bring about a more equitable world where the needs of the many are not outweighed by the needs of a few. My particular area of interest is the relationship between communities in South East Asia. I am also interested in the impact of western intervention in emerging economies that have weak labour protection laws who are often exploited due to the societal structure within those countries. [Second picture below]

Suggested books to read by Sankul Sonawane and Harikrishnan Premprakash​

Annihilation Of Caste - Dr B R Ambedkar

The Untouchables - Dr B R Ambedkar

Caste Matters - Suraj Yengde

Coming Out As A Dalit - Yashica Dutt

Dalit Panthers - J V Pawar

Article: National Education Policy : Towards A New Horizon.

Event Notice: This event will be recorded on Zoom and published on our social media and YouTube channel after the event. If you attend you have the option of turning off your camera.

Event organiser: This event has been organised by the Oxford Human Rights Festival; Planning Committee; Centre of Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University.

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		Caste In India:  Past, Present & Future image

		Caste In India:  Past, Present & Future image

		Caste In India:  Past, Present & Future image

		Caste In India:  Past, Present & Future image

		Caste In India:  Past, Present & Future image
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