India: The Broken People
Ramita Navai reports on the plight of India's "broken people" -the 170 million people at the bottom of the caste system. Although Indian law prohibits caste discrimination, the Untouchables remain the victims of institutionalised oppression on a vast scale. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister, has described their condition as "a blot on humanity".
Navai watches as they clean lavatories manually, even though it is against the law to remove or carry excrement by hand; she hears first-hand accounts of some of the 24,000 attacks on the Untouchables that take place every year, and a child describes how his teacher told him: "You're a rat eater. Don't mix with other children. You stick with your rat eaters."
“At times disturbing and graphic but always incredibly moving reportage of a people who are largely without a voice... a must...”
- The Observer