Coronavirus and Castes in India

With Modi’s order for India to remain in lockdown, the country is more isolated than it has ever been before. For a country that still adheres for the most part to a rigid social caste system, the social distancing that is occurring through the coronavirus outbreak is only making its citizens more isolated. In fact, after the announcement for a national lockdown occurred, many men and women were out of jobs and were consequentially evicted from their apartments because they could not pay rent. Without a place to go, they started a slow migration back to their hometowns by foot, because public transportation was shut down as well. This not only could advance the spread of the virus, but also could lead to starvation by Indian citizens walking hundred of miles home with limited money, food, and water.

Moreover, coronavirus has left the most vulnerable in India’s society susceptible to the disease, poverty and homelessness. The worst off of these groups are transgenders who rely on begging, sex work and ritual functions for their daily sustenance. They are now without money, or shelter because even the quarantine centers in the city will not allow transgenders, according to Outlook India. As┬ádiscussed in past blog posts, India has advanced technologically in recent decades that has limited the power of the caste system. But with coronavirus, the social isolation within the country is becoming more noticeable. Men, women and children are separated even more by social status, leaving the lower castes the most vulnerable in the time of a pandemic.

 

Works Cited

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/opinion-coronavirus-indias-partial-lockdown-reeks-of-class-caste-bias-leaving-socially-sexually-disadvantaged-groups-vulnerable/349250

No Masks, No Gloves

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