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APHuG Culture
Relates to AP Human Geography Unit 3: Culture
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Rescooped by Samantha Fraser from Geography Education
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Why there's an alarming rash of suicides among Dalit students

Why there's an alarming rash of suicides among Dalit students | APHuG Culture | Scoop.it
Despite the country’s claims to be a sleek 21st-century meritocracy, the habits of centuries of discrimination and social exclusion are not so easily shaken.

 

India is modernizing at a rapid pace, but some old class problems rooted in the caste system are still visible.  This is part of a large series called "Breaking Caste" with some excellent videos, articles and personal vignettes to humanize the struggles of those at the bottom of the social hierarchy.   


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Stacey Jackson's curator insight, May 8, 2013 8:34 PM

This was a very sad story to read. It's a shame that many Dalit students feel ostracized at elite Indian institutions, so much so some go as far as to commit suicide. This is a terrible personal loss for the families and neighbors of the students. But it also is unfortunate news for the country as a whole. India's economic and social growth likely depends on moving beyond old views on class and cate.

Cam E's curator insight, April 1, 2014 11:20 AM

This is interesting in that it's not some silent discrimination, but an extremely overt one where many of these people are being told to their faces that they will not be allowed to pass. My greatest respect goes out to those who fight the hardest for what they want and they must keep trying to achieve it, but sadly those in a position of power in the society were direct barriers to their progress, causing their hope to be lost and the Dalit students to commit suicide.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 4:38 PM

Even though the caste system was abolished, the habits of discrimination are still incredibly prevalent. Discrimination towards people from rural backgrounds at the country's elite colleges has had such an impact that dozens of students from what would have been lower castes are committing suicide. Professors look down on these students, refusing to offer aid and even changing grades so they fail. The aboriginal students that fail face lifetimes of debt and are worried about disappointing their family, so sometimes they take their own lives instead. 

 

Centuries of the caste system have imprinted itself into the Indian people. Since India has only been free of it for a generation, older people continue to discriminate. 

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‘Why Should Boys Have All the Fun?’

‘Why Should Boys Have All the Fun?’ | APHuG Culture | Scoop.it
Rather than focusing on how to make cities safe at any hour for citizens of both genders, the official response has been to curtail women's access to public areas deemed sensitive by authorities.

 

This is an interesting topic to use to debate urban policies and planning issues.  What leads to a safer city for women?  How does the creation of zones not safe for women impact the city long-term?  Think about scale: Is what is best for the city policy what is best for the individual? 


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Kim Vignale's comment, July 16, 2012 10:10 PM
Women in India are outraged due to the decisions the officials have made. Instead of solving the problem fairly, they are covering up the issue. Women are viewed as inferior in many developing countries. The government is enforcing the law by taking the women's freedom away; they aren't allowed in a pub after 8pm. If the law was fair and practical, officials would enforce strict laws on rape and assault and reiterate the seriousness of the crime and consequences.
Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 6:57 PM

Public spaces in India are incredibly male-dominated, leading to problems with women's safety. Sexual harassment, molestation, and rape are becoming incredibly common, yet government officials refuse to address this problem. Instead of addressing the issue of male dominated spaces, officials are telling women to avoid public places. Blaming the women for the fact that they are getting attacked is a common occurrence in the world, and so far India is furthering the issue. Also, city infrastructure could be overhauled in order to light dark alleys and create larger open areas where women feel more comfortable.