Dalit Muslims of India

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India is the second most populated country in the World. For centuries, its social structure was built around a rigid Hindu class or cast system. Over 50 years ago class was eliminated but it still exist and felt in modern Indian society. The Hindu population, which is about 84% of the total 1.2 billion people, is still influenced by the four main traditional classes. Brahmin is priestly class, Kshatriya is the warrior, Vaishya is the merchant, and Shudra is the working class. Bellow all of these outside the four main cast groups are other social groups, including the Dalits, the oppressed. They are social outcast and do the most manual work and often living in conditions hardly fit for human habitation.

Due to such desperation, some of the Dalit convert from the Hinduism to other faiths including Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. They hope to escape discrimination by other Hindus and to become accepted by the new religious community. In the documentary most people, those have been left Hinduism, say that they converted to Islam due to the fact that no one is higher, all people are equal and have the only one God.

Conversion of Hindu Dalits to other religions in order to escape from the prejudice of cast system is not a new phenomenon in India. B.R. Ambedkar was the first law minister of independent India and the principal builder of its constitution. He born as a Dalit, converted to Buddhism and laterally campaign vigorously for more social freedom for Dalits. The issue focused in the film is that, every year people converted to Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam but unfortunately the traditional practice in India doesn’t overcome the cast system. So there are Dalit Muslims, Dalit Buddhists, and Dalit Christians in India.

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