Caste discrimination at Indian crematoria must end

2014-09-11 13:43

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New Delhi - Crematoria in the Indian city of Jaipur must not prevent lower-caste bereaved from performing funeral rites for their loved ones, a court has ruled, news reports said on Thursday.

Public interest litigation had argued that the discrimination at many of the city-run crematoria was based on caste, in direct violation of the constitution, DNA newspaper reported.

Jaipur high court on Tuesday told the city's municipal corporation to immediately end the practice, and submit a compliance report within a week, The Hindu reported.

The roots of the Hindu caste system can be traced back more than 3 000 years, with families segregated by historical occupation.

The priestly Brahmin caste is at the top of the ladder and the Dalits, or untouchables, on its lowest rung.

The system, in diffuse and complex forms, has survived Muslim rulers, the British colonial period and, despite affirmative action policies, 67 years of an independent democratic India, where it is formally illegal.

Large numbers of Dalits still carry out the most menial tasks including cleaning sewers and manually removing nightsoil.

Read more on:    india

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