Over 160 million people in India—more than one-sixth of the population—were born untouchable. At least 580 million more belong to other oppressed castes and tribes. The South Asian caste system, which operates with variations in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh as well, has been called a “hidden apartheid” and the “single greatest existing social evil.”
The purpose of this site is to share our ideas and research. It’s run by Alan and Sujatha. Sujatha was born into an untouchable caste in Andhra Pradesh, where she grew up.
Our perspective is Marxist. We understand that caste oppression is not simply a product of bigotry and irrationality. Caste in India is the foundation of the traditional systems of labor extraction in the villages, where nearly three-fourths of the population still lives. In the cities it plays an indispensable role in maintaining the capitalist order by keeping the working class divided. Sustaining—and sustained by—women's oppression, caste is closely bound up with the institution of the family in South Asia. An archaic remnant, it persists because scarcity persists, reinforced by imperialist exploitation. It will take a socialist revolution within the region and internationally to sweep away the caste system and build an egalitarian society founded on abundance. But only a party that fights to liberate all who are oppressed by caste—along with women; smallholders and the landless; Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, and other religious minorities; and all national groups and oppressed ethnicities, including tribals—will be able lead the workers of India and the region as a whole to power.
We are not that party, nor any kind of organization. The political tendency we support is the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist). However, we do not speak for them.
Let us know what you think. You can email us here.