Yashica Dutt is a New York-based writer covering gender, culture, and identity. She has reported from India, Nepal, Bhutan, Turkey and Hungary and was previously a Principal Correspondent at Brunch, Hindustan Times. Follow her @YashicaDutt.
So, you are that unicorn. You are not only outraged at the current state of discrimination against Dalits, but are also willing to acknowledge your own privilege as an 'upper caste' individual. You are disgusted even at the idea of doing something blatantly discriminatory, like barring your 'lower caste' maid from cooking your food. But is that enough? No, not yet.
Debates on caste, discrimination and privilege are playing out on Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Reddit and even Instagram. It's heartbreaking that a bright, young man -- Rohith Vemula -- had to commit suicide for us to pay heed to caste-based injustices, but still, this is a conversation that has been long overdue. So, if you are non-Dalit and are considering jumping into the deep end of these debates, hold on and read this first.
Rohith Vemula, the Dalit scholar from Hyderabad Central University who took his own life on 17 January, wanted to write about the stars. In life, his education was an act of rebellion. In death, he blazed a trail on Dalit rights, whose brightness refuses to be ignored. By the media, by the bureaucracy, by the internet and by me. I was born in a Dalit family in Ajmer, Rajasthan. And I grew up learning to hide it.