Navayana: changing caste injustice in India



Caste bias persists in all areas of public life in India such as housing, education, work, access to justice, marriage, and family. Discrimination on the basis of caste places unwarranted limits on the potential of those at the bottom of the social hierarchy, while offering all kinds of undeserved favors to those at the top. Abolishing such a patently unfair institution steeped in religion, tradition, politics, and self-interest is no simple undertaking. S. Anand wants to prepare more people from subaltern castes to work in mainstream media, reasoning that journalists, editors, and publishers with a greater sensitivity to the problem can help to change the sector from within. To this end, he works with one of India’s leading journalism schools to seek out and enroll such students as well as to find them jobs upon graduation.

S. Anand believes that India is plagued by a pervasive conscious and unconscious racism, which thwarts democracy as well as development. His view is not only that castes can lead to abuse, or that oppressed castes are disadvantaged, but also that the very existence of the caste system harms society. It constantly interferes with the modern notion of individual, imposing the belief that some people are, by birth and lineage, entitled to privilege and success in life, while others are born to be servile. Anand is not the first or the only Indian to diagnose the caste system as a social ill and devote himself to curing it; but he has chosen a fresh approach. Navayana publishes books that tackle the caste system and caste-based prejudice. In just a few years, these provocative titles have won praise from all over the world for being produced beautifully. Anand is working not only to insert caste issues into popular and institutional media, but also to make sure that “dalits and adivasis” are represented within the industry itself. By making the caste system visible in the popular media and the world of publishing, and by supporting the untouchables within the industry as well-informed and well-trained editors and journalists, Anand believes Indians can change the way they think about caste conflicts on a daily basis.

Navayana_website Web site: Caste bias


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