21 July 2015


Position paper on Caste discrimination in Australia






Caste Discrimination in Australia

  1. Introduction
  2. Cohesion Matters
  3. What is caste discrimination?
    1. Demographics
    2. Caste Discrimination is Cosmopolitan
    3. Different Connotation of Caste
    4. Migration of the Issue
    5. Insidious nature
    6. Comparison
    7. Various Bases of Divisions
    8. Reincarnation
    9. Vegetarianism and Non-violence
    10. Fatalism
    11. Inviolable Moral Duties
    12. Untouchability: An Analysis
    13. Caste more than Class Of the Western Civilisation
  4. Biological Findings
  5. How and where ithappens within our community?
    1. Seating according to Caste
    2. Segregation At Homes
    3. Segregation at Public Places
    4. Hot-Shell Branding of Children
    5. Recurrent Denial of Religious Services since 2010
    6. Community Workers
    7. Young People And Schools
  6. Why Caste Discrimination continues?
    1. Political Competition And Safe Modes
    2. Formal Education Unsuccessful
    3. An Inter-Generational Community
    4. Youth: Obligated to Oblivion
    5. Women: Part Of The Same Social Stratification
    6. Lhotsampa Ethos
      1. Background
      2. Lhotsampas
      3. Intra Group Racism Exacerbated In The Refugee Camps
      4. Migration History of Agrarians
      5. Cultural Reorientations
  7. Impacts of Caste Discrimination
    1. Individual
      1. Denial of Religious Rights/Cultural Belonging
      2. Suppression of Freedom of Political Expression
      3. Limitation on Social Interaction/Loss of Friends and Kinships
      4. Impacts on Mental Health
      5. Children and Youth
    2. Community
      1. Social Sub-stratification and Division
      2. Reduced Impacts of Government Funds
      3. Lack of Community Cohesion/ Restriction on Development
  8. Dealing with caste discrimination
    1. India
    2. Nepal
    3. Bhutan
    4. Australia
      1. Laws of Australia
      2. Consultations
      3. External Moderation Required
  9. Conclusions
  10. Recommendations
  11. Bibliography
    1. Articles/Books/Reports
    2. Cases
    3. Legislation
    4. Others
  12. Footnotes

1. Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to facilitate discussion on one of most pressing problems of the nepali speaking Bhutanese community resettling and living in Australia and other countries such as the United States and Canada. The question we would like to draw attention to, is not, how many people within the Bhutanese community are directly affected by caste in one city or country. In reality, entire nations or communities suffer of 'ill heath'[1] as characterised by Arundhati Roy, one of the foremost advocates for the caste-subjugated, and Man Booker Prize winner for her best-selling novel based on this issue, 'The God of Small Things'. That is why it is important for us to set out the specific and broader impacts of this practice that affects around 260 million people worldwide and our relatively small Bhutanese community as well.

The Bhutanese communities currently resettling in developed countries were previously refugees who fled ethnic discrimination from the authorities in Bhutan and so the irony of internal discrimination is sufficiently obvious. Within the community, it has caused widespread social disunity and continues to impact formal representative community structures. By this I mean it impacts the formation of political structures. It also casts an uncertain shadow over the inclusive and progressive future of thousands of children, youth, middle-aged and elderly people within the community, mostly across two continents of North America and Australia. However the main focus of this paper for practical reasons will be Australia.

We believe the Bhutanese community requires a socio-cultural awakening beyond petty divisions and must envelope its diverse culture and historical suffering, into a common understanding, which could help overcome both past and present obstacles. This approach will no doubt give a better pathway to the Bhutanese youth and elderly, in countries of resettlement, facilitating self-determination of a modern and stable identity, which does not come into conflict with recently acquired statuses of different citizenships.

We do not profess to have all the political solutions on the issue of caste. In reality the community itself has to re-event consensus. We do believe however that by informing policy in Australia, and by lobbying for inclusion of words into state and federal legislation where necessary, or practical enforcement of existing laws, we could instigate a political and social rebirth of not just the Bhutanese community but also other South-Asian communities that are likely to suffer from the same ailment. Such an outcome would play a significant role in improving the overall wellbeing of communities whether small or big and determine their diasporic future.

2. Cohesion Matters

Cohesion Matters (CM) is a specialist organization registered as a non-profit special purpose charitable public company with the potential to operate Australia-wide. It currently has its legal name as Alliance Against Untouchability & Caste Discrimination, and uses Cohesion Matters as its business name. The latter was adopted, as it is shorter. It currently focuses solely on the issue of cohesion within the Bhutanese community.

3. What is caste discrimination?

A. Demographics

Caste discrimination is a form of racial discrimination that affects indeed a large number of people in the world. Narendra Jhadav an eminent Indian scholar has struck a mark, in his bestseller book 'Untouchables'. Back in 2003 he said, "Every sixth human being in the world is an Indian, and every sixth Indian erstwhile is an untouchable"[2]. By adding the numbers from Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Nepal and each of their diaspora communities too, recent figures could well be entire populations of a large nation or nations combined. The International Dalit Solidarity Network puts that figure to 260 million people worldwide.[3] The United Nations has documented discrimination based on work and descent also in other countries like Japan, African countries such as Nigeria, Niger, Mauritania, Kenya, Senegal, Mali, Somalia and Yemen in the Middle East.[4] Similarly the Cagots of Europe (mostly France and Spain) have a similar history of exclusion.[5] The Bhutanese community however has never featured in these studies.

Populations that believe in caste discrimination live under various ideals of superiority and stigmas for the downtrodden. The Indian sub-continental populations live under the subjugation of ideas that emanate from religious texts, such as the Laws of Manu, one of the most explicit of them, 'in sum, [stipulates] an encompassing representation of life in the world- how it is, and how it should be lived.[6] Superiority is asserted by reference to a monopoly of sacrificial skills É and the control of a ritual sphere that has as its climax, the violent death of an animal victim (or of a vegetable substitute). It was promoted as the control of the very process of cosmic life and death.[7]öThe Laws of Manu first written between the 2-3rd century, not only describes creation but also adds, "for the worlds and people would prosper and increase, from his mouth he created the priests or Brahmans, from his arms the ruler or Kshatriya, from his thighs the commoner or Vaishyas, and from his feet the Shudra."[8]"To protect this whole creation, the lustrous one made separate innate activities for those born of his mouth, arms, thighs, and feet."[9] Once Manu propounds the principle of protection he goes on to suggest priestly property rights over the entire universe. "All of this belongs to the priest; whatever there is in the universe; the priest deserves all of this because of his excellence and his high birth."[10]

Therefore, there is good reason to be disturbed when people are requested to sit according to their castes in a community meeting held in Adelaide, Australia in early 2010. It communicates age-old expectations of bonded labour and oppression, and the continuation of the same order. This is indeed the kind of radical force behind the reemergence of caste discrimination within the Bhutanese community in Australia.

As of 2014 there are 549, 430 people in Australia who were born in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka combined, and this is 2.3% of the total Australian population. I chose the above four countries cumulatively, as these nations are directly or indirectly, openly or discreetly, politically or socially engulfed by the issue of caste.[11] As our focus is on the astonishing reemergence of caste in Australia we chose these four countries to provide a sample of the probable impacts of any legal or social change that is carried out. Australia has an average population growth rate of 1.5%. That means more than 2.3% of the Australian population may be impacted by legal or educational changes, now and into the future, because there are more than four source countries. Also the births in Australia have not been included in this preliminary figure.

B. Caste Discrimination is Cosmopolitan

The United Nations defines caste discrimination:

"É as discrimination based on work and descent as any discrimination, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on inherited status such as caste, including present or ancestral occupation, family, community or social origin, name, birth place, place of residence, dialect and accent that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public. This discrimination is typically associated with the notion of purity and pollution and practice of untouchability, and is deeply rooted in societies and cultures where this discrimination is practiced."[12]

In our experience caste discrimination in Australia is mostly found within the Bhutanese community. There has also been one reported case within the Nepali community in Sydney.[13] And further research may reveal a bigger population. In the United States and United Kingdom the issue has already received mainstream media attention. There has also been some legislative success with the inclusion of the word 'caste' in the Equality Act 2010 of the UK. In the United States the issue has received soft law identification in a Declaration of Empathy by prominent American families and prior to that in the form of a concurrent house resolution of the US Congress that recognized the plight of the untouchables.[14] More significantly there has also been a recent and prominent employment law case in the UK that has produced a comparative conception of caste in western jurisprudence.[15] Hence caste discrimination is cosmopolitan in nature and can be found anywhere ranging from the source countries to advanced countries like the United States, Canada and UK and even Australia.

C. Different Connotation of Caste

The word "race" itself does not truly cover the word caste. Race is far more visually explicit and easily draws political divisions. Caste on the other hand is implicit as skin colour can always be trumped by one's surname. In fact it is always the surname, which is the ultimate proof that has historically categorized people within villages and localities. When these classifications were carried over to modern identification systems, it was reasonably foreseeable that castes would continue or travel overseas. An initial customary classifying conversation between two complete strangers continues to be the ultimate litmus test for determining social interactions across an entire periodic table of castes. The questioner can determine a person's caste, so that he or she knows, whether one could sit, eat, drink, share, befriend or even marry the other person. It helps to directly endorse or enforce social status, which in turn also enforces economic relations.

The difference in implication of the word caste also led the UK government to describe caste as an aspect of race in its Equality Act 2010 (UK) recognizing its difference in implication and yet its overlap with the word race[16]. In the recent Chandok case in the UK, it was noted that the legislative interpretation of 'race' covered 'ethnic origins' and was found to also cover 'descent'.[17] And although the respondents in the case raised a technical argument that the Equality Act does not directly engage the "caste power" and requires the Minister's approval to be used, His Honour Langstaff found that 'race' in the Equality legislation covered 'ethnic origins' or 'descent' which is directly relevant to concepts of caste. Hence he concluded the word race to be inclusive of "caste considerations" without ever even needing to use the ministerial "caste power". So far the issue now stands resolved in the UK but may require some time to be firmly established.

Through Cohesion Matters we intend to proactively advocate for the creation of "untouchability" and/or "caste" specific legislation in Australia if the issue remains unresolved in the Courts due to the whole or part of the differing connotation given to the word caste in relation to race.

D. Migration of the Issue

Untouchability and Caste Discrimination (UCD)occurs in many source countries as well as foreign countries. In source countries like India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan it occurs on a scale that is totally unfortunate and deprives millions of people of their opportunity to live productive and dignified lives.[18] The system has also infiltrated other religions such as Islam and Christianity in the Indian-subcontinent. Stalin K. a well-known Indian activist, filmmaker and social thinker has presented clear evidence to demonstrate this transgressing synthesis.[19] So a change of religion does not stop the discrimination.[20] And he also argues that the denial of the problem is in fact the first line of defence in support of caste discrimination. Unsurprisingly, the same denials have been replicated in Australia too.

Arguably migration to a developed country like the UK, or a faraway country like Fiji during the 19th century from India has had little effect on the caste structure. As long as a whole system migrates, it does not wither away.[21] Where economic and political changes successfully occurred, mass ideations of superiority could still not be removed due to the influence of religion. Economic and political changes are the main foundations of the solutions, but not the entire. Therefore even in Australia amidst an overwhelmingly different social environment around new communities, this system may never be eradicated without timely external measures. In fact the structure is firmly entrenched into any social environment, once a radical population achieves demographical and economical thresholds of stability. This is because in western democratic and economically diverse societies, the Brahmanical[22] gamut is further liberated from having to justify its superior status and position over other sections of society, on the basis of its religious labour compared to other forms of labour. This helps them to claim and enforce their status based on a wider economy with little or no political or economic repercussions. Unless there is external pressure, this mutual alienation between sub-groups, does not bring the discrimination to an end, as a community will still interact around broader national or ethnic identities. Or some may even request for Brahmanical religious services to maintain their culture. At these junctions, caste becomes a constant source of underlying animosity. It portrays a blatant refusal to change in one of the most multicultural countries, despite making solemn declarations to respect the values of this country, in visa applications or while making oaths of citizenship. It demonstrates a significantly entrenched superiority complex. Hence without policy, the issue is most likely to persist. A recent court case in the UK demonstrates that discrimination can also transpire amongst lawyers indicating the need for significant measures.[23] The statement of the UN Higher Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, made at the Meeting on caste-based discrimination in the United Kingdom, House of Lords, London, 6 November 2013, adequately notes that people see the impact of caste on diaspora communities as much more insidious and persistent, frequently carrying over several generations.[24] A study published by the Government Equalities Office (GEO) in the UK found that caste discrimination has to be tackled with anti-caste discrimination laws and education.[25]Across the different 'source countries'[29] the level and expanse of caste discrimination is varied. Hence the sources used in this paper must be read as supplements to better understand the complexity of the issue. I will also analyse historical issues unique to the Bhutanese community, which should inform the reader about the dynamic nature of caste and how it fits into our current situation. Although I have distinguished the level of discrimination particularly within our community, it is not to suggest that it is less alarming.

E. Insidious nature

Relatively judged, caste discrimination is much more difficult to perceive when compared to other forms of racial discrimination due to its psychological sphere beyond visual cues and its unique acculturation process that occurs predominantly through families and kinships via in-house religious indoctrination. The Human Rights Watch, shadow report in response to India's submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) has aptly called it Hidden Apartheid.[26]Brahmanism[27]was never intended to be a meritocratic or an inclusive hierarchical system. As noted above, the scripture was used to claim exclusive status of purity bestowed by God, and thereafter along bloodlines. It means a pre-historic capture of religious services and continued religiosity, which is also portrayed as sacrosanct labour to protect the creation of God, became the basis of Brahmanical[28]purity and the impurity of others.

The Bhutanese community has witnessed a different set of economic and political changes so far.

F. Comparison

Caste is better explained to the unacquainted, using a modern understanding of how sex discrimination operates. Generally, sex discrimination emanates from a range of different human physical and social appearances, and these bodily and external appearances generate socially cultivated responses of sexism and prejudice, which is also how it first began. Hence these cultural responses create vicious circles of perceived social boundaries and ultimately sustain entire socio-political systems. The complex and diverse stories of caste-based racial discrimination operate in a similar fashion and have similar all-pervasive, social and economic impacts.

Also the use of male surnames to propagate this feudal social order is patriarchal enough, yet the whole system of caste is also sustained by controlling the inter-generational psychology of women. If religious education is enforced in families, men lead it via rituals and prayers on a daily basis based on religious texts that purport to do the same. The women only play a supportive or participatory role.

G. Various Bases of Divisions

The core basis of caste discrimination is the feudalistic ancestral class hierarchy, based on surnames that can be sourced back to the most ancient and first text of the Hindus, the Rig Veda.[30] Over the period of time many more rules were created and it was the Laws of Manu that finally codified strict caste rules on the issue of purity and endogamous groups with the purpose of maintaining a higher order. In the Bhagvad Gita, Arjun, the warrior reasons that to not fight a war would bring death, death would destroy spirituality, impiety would subdue families, women would become corrupt leading to the intermingling of castes.[31] No wonder a historic departure of populations towards endogamous groups from diverse exogamous groups of the Indian sub-continent was actually a social construct. This construct has also been historically preserved in our genes and has now helped scientists prove that we all belong to pre-endogamous-exogamous groups.[32] Hence via imperfectly endogamous groups across generations we were participating in occupations that eventually developed the caste structure.

So caste discrimination is not just a form of racial discrimination based on skin colour, that is mistakenly linked back to the invasion of the darker skinned Indian sub-continental people by fair skinned Aryans during prehistoric times. But in the entire diverse Indian sub-continent a historical gamut of characteristics, such as mythology, wars, surnames, ancestries, languages, clothing, professions, regional variations of values, day-day religious rituals and other physical appearances all together creates the definition of caste. This explains why the meaning or enforcement of caste is diverse throughout the Indian sub-continent. Also as caste surnames have gone past their economic use-by dates and are inapplicable to modern economies such as the United States, UK or Australia, its glaring ongoing relevance to justify social status and religious privilege, only presents us with a further challenge to explain and deal with it with cohesive energy.

The popular skin assessment used with some tangible ambivalence, is quintessentially expressed in a colloquial saying, 'Even Lord Shiva fears a black Brahman (priest)and a white Shudra (servant)'.[33] The obvious historical expectation is that Brahmans are fair and Shudras are not, while exceptions are also taken very seriously. Therefore, there is regular reference made to Aryan traits as higher and un-Aryan traits as lower throughout the Laws of Manu.[34]Manu is explicit about the expectations of superior and inferior peoples, wherein even the ceremony of naming a child (equivalent to baptism) involves differentiation on the basis of castes. "Name of the children of priests (Brahman) should signify auspiciousness, of a ruler- strength, of a commoner- property and of the servant (Shudra) should breed disgust".[35] The apartheid styled separation of different castes between those who are pure and those who are impure,[36] and those who are allowed to read the religious Vedas and those who should not be allowed to read the Vedas,[37] were approaches taken to create and control the meaning, purpose and value of military, wealth and trade skills of the other sections of the society by a priestly class. In effect by barricading Vedic knowledge i.e. knowledge of creation, superiority was obviously ascribed to the priestly class by themselves.

Scholars from diverse fields have repeatedly and resoundingly, challenged orientalist or Aryan invasion theories,[38] which were in the past devised to legitimize colonization of the sub-continent. But the debunking of Aryan invasion theories will prove to be more important to our collective liberation from caste than an anti-colonial nationalistic campaign, as it also helps debunk historical Aryan theories of Brahmanism. With the various genome studies, we then completely transcendour current understanding of the whole matter.

The Sanskrit word for caste, Varna also means skin colour. By debunking the Aryan Invasion Theory we filter out the issue of superiority complexes on the basis of skin colour from the entire paradigm of caste divisions. Hence the psychological suffering based on a vision of inferiority; 'visuality or historical visual orientation'[39] becomes pointless and only exists because it has never been really challenged with a holistic approach. No wonder the Indian sub-continent continues to be bombarded with advertisements for face whitening creams for both men and women on a daily basis.

H. Reincarnation

The concept of reincarnation is believed to have originated in the Upanishads[40], a series of texts recognized, as commentaries to the Rig Vedas and that existed before the codification of the Laws of Manu. The four basic tenets of the Upanishads were samsara (reincarnation), karma (action), dharma ('subsumes the English concepts of religion, duty, law, right, justice, practice and principle'[41]) and moksha (liberation).[42] The Samsaras as they were known, highlighted the futility of achieving the same Vedic goals of wealth and pleasure that were first enunciated in the Rig Vedas, the oldest and most sacred Hindu Text.[43] "According to the Vedas, we can and should expect [wealth and pleasure] from life if we live in accordance with the dharma or religion or path".[44] These goals were basically cross-examined by the Samsaras and the writers of the Upanishads.

The motif of the Samsaras behind such powerful ideas was to urge society to relinquish material interests (artha), sexuality (kama) and violence (himsa). They said if life is a recycle of the same old goals of wealth and power, with no higher motives then what was the benefit of collecting the same old material gains, life after life.[45] They probably perceived rebirth of nature around them as a recycle. And they may have also observed human life and its activities as also another recycle. Hence they developed a path of austerity and complete abstention from social life that is now popularly associated with Buddhists, but was actually rejected by Buddha himself.

Buddha who lived at a time after 500 B.C. found it impossible to implement Samsaric teachings, without culminating unto death. Hence he developed the middle path between the two extremities of material (Vedic) and spiritual (Samsaric) absolutes.[46]

Buddha's idea of liberation or moksha[47] is actually quite different from the Hindu concept of dharma, although there appears an illusion of similarity based on similar questions and solutions pursued. Mokshawas unison with the source of creation i.e. Brahma, achieved by developing a loving, compassionate, sympathetic and equanimous mind.[48] In effect Buddhism was in basic agreement with the Samaras but rejected their methods and provided an alternative uniform synthesis. On the other hand the Brahmans merely adapted the dharma into their Vedic order without changing the caste structure, and in fact misused dharma to transform occupations into inviolable duties.

I. Vegetarianism and Non-violence

Undergoing parallel development, the original ideas of vegetarianism and non-violence of the Samsaras (ascetics) and associated with 'purity' were also implemented by the Brahmans, to reinvigorate their bases of control over the Vedic ritual sacrifice.[49] Vegetarianism and non-violence were fashioned as powerful and ultimate sacrifices, which according to them broke the chain of carnivorism or matsyanyaya [a system in which a big fish eats a small fish] theory, and legitimised their superiority over even Kings who accepted violence and carnivorism as a way of life. Manu no wonder insists that between the Vedic graduate and the king, the Vedic graduate receives the respect of the King. [50] The Brahmanical priesthood implemented these notions of rebirth, purity and duty in order to assert their superior social status and power, above rulers, traders and labourers, and later codified these into the Laws of Manu.

Another popular text that also poses as a response to the Samsaric asceticism was an earlier composed, Bhagvad Gita that attempts to answer questions of conflict between human duty and spiritual liberation, entirely justifying Vedic goals. "What can someone, who does not want to give up family and social obligations, do to live the right way? The Gita challenged the general consensus of the time that only ascetics and monks can live a perfectly spiritual life through renunciation".[51] It is a dialogue between Arjun, a warrior and Lord Krishna his advisor and charioteer, on the Kurukshetra battlefield, during which Krishna convinces Arjun that slaying his own relatives was justified because he must uphold his caste duties whatever the circumstances.[52] Krishna goes on to explain the physical world as parts of a material and transient sphere, including his enemies and himself, full of flesh and emotions, but which could never override his impregnable soul.[53] So even death would not be a sufficient excuse for breaching his soul caste duty of a warrior. And if Arjun executes this duty without attachment for his relatives he would attain the highest good.[54] This ascertainment of inviolable duties of security, trade and labour of the three classes, undermined by vegetarianism and non-violence of the highest, throughout the centuries has also helped justify the lowly conditions of the Shudras. On the basis of the same soul duty, they too must serve the upper castes carrying out their inviolable duties completely detached from both their physical bodies and psychological realms. Hence this is why caste is different to the concept of race, and why a Shudra is different from either a paid servant or an owned slave. As long as sense of psychological duty is maintained, a Shudra can bee xploited without sustenance or pay. It is also why, in the absence of robust legal and educational measures, change is near impossible.

As history unfolded, the ascetic teachings inevitably became irrelevant in the popular mindset, as the Greek incursions grew imminent. One striking characteristic of the Laws of Manu is the relativism by which dharma is both descriptive (nature and society are naturally harmonious, that eating and sexuality are good), and prescriptive (which implies that society must fight against nature, that eating and sexuality are dangerous).[55]

This was the outcome of an incremental transformation and diversification of Dharma under Brahmanical supervision through which the concept attained doctrinal sophistication and practical application, and hence the relativism. Yet Hinduism's untenable Vedic life was rendered more applicable only by the social conditions of war. Only warriors unified in their caste duties in the Indian sub-continent, during the period of Chandra Gupta Maurya (340-298BC) could have fought off Greek incursions. It also resulted in another famous alliance between rulers and priests i.e. Maurya and Kautilya. Ironically, it was during the periods of war that Dharmic[56]relativism i.e. Brahmanical purity, vegetarianism & non-violence in comparison to violence, trade and labour, came into full swing. In the absence of these concepts, religious labour would never have held so much regard.

J. Fatalism

In this environment of rebirth, purity and duty, it is logical to rationalise that more was required to ensure the continuation of caste duties at the end of the violent wars. So referring to concepts of reincarnation, fatalism was invented on the basis of rewards and punishments. In the Laws of Manu the closing chapter provides the final religious framework for the continuation of the caste structure. Priests, rulers, traders and labourers who slip from their duty become different types of ghosts.[57] If priests uphold dharma they become Gods, while rulers and traders reach their desired level of existence.[58] On the other hand the transmigration of labourers has been completely ignored as their human activity was derived from darkness and was destined to get worse by becoming animals.[59] Fatalism was a deliberate tool of exploitation that avoided a Shudra's malignant ideations towards the upper castes. Hence the Shudra has no alternative but to be worse off during and after one's life.[60] They have been dispossessed of their socio-cultural human potential, living under a social construct that declared their fates as unchangeable, causing oppression and inaction for several thousand years.

K. Inviolable Moral Duties

By religious supervision the divisions of labour became inseparable from the dharmaor inviolable duties. A person follows the path of one's ancestors, not only because it is a duty or dharma or right activity, but also because religious law could enforce it,[61] including by reincarnation. However the reward of vindication from the cycle of rebirth or repetition of life [as seen above] applied differentially.[62]

The relativity of dharmas, different not only for different people, but for different times and places for the same person makes it possible to state a series of different ideals, one after the other, all true for someone, at some time, some place. [63]

In this broad context, these divisions initially conceived in the Purusha sloka (human mantra)[64] underwent gradual historical formation and was firmly established by the 3rdcentury AD. The four groups of people coming from four different sections of the body of God remains a powerful corner stone of this belief i.e. Brahmans came the mouth- knowledgeable and wise, Kshatriyas came from his arms and shoulders- the warriors and protectors. Vaishyas came from his abdominals- the merchants and traders and theShudras came from his legs- the labourers. Not only did this structure provide effective division of labour, but also justified Brahmanical religious labour (creational knowledge and sacrificial skills) and its supremacy.

From a literal perspective, designation of classes entirely based on these two lines of the voluminous Rig Veda written amidst highly condensed, overtly ritualistic and no less metaphysical lines that speak of the moon, fire, lightning, and wind, mid-air and land, in the same breath must be raised as a regressive and apprehensible act of selective interpretation. The metaphysicaland environmental orientations contained there in are never explained while attributing the division of labour to other worldly forces, providing an output, which is far more simplistic and saleable.

Henceliving within Hinduism, bonded labour became one's dharma or duty, without extensive force. Or customs that allow a person to ask another's surname after an initial greeting were likewise entrenched and spreadmore easily.

This is why religious, legal or customary enforcement of caste in the Indian sub-continent has overwhelmingly determined and continues to determine the course of our political, social and economic histories.

L. Untouchability: An Analysis

The word asprishya (literally"untouchable") was first used in the Vishnusmriti,which prescribes death for any member of these castes who deliberately touches a member of a higher caste. However, this proscription on physical contact did not extend to sexual relations between upper-caste men and untouchable women i.e. sexual labour tolerated by slave women and appropriatedby the upper-caste owner/master.[65]

Also the human navel was first given significance in the above Rig Veda hymn i.e. Purusha Sloka,[66] but it was the Laws of Manu that extended its interpretation to legitimize untouchability. Manu says the navel is the point, above which all orifices were pure and those below it are impure.[67] This probably generated an extended and unsophisticated stigma of impurity of the lower classes, that continues to this day.

M. Caste more than Class Of the Western Civilisation

Andre Beteliee, in his classic work Caste, Class and Power made an important distinction between class and caste. Comparing it to western class systems, he concluded caste in the eastern civilization was far more rigid and less open.[68] I take this point further and note that the economic systems of source countries were far more intertwined with the concepts of inviolable duties, reincarnationand fatalism, which then created the perfect swamp unlike open class-systems of western civilizations. Religious duty concepts, effectively standarised a form of economy based on fixed doctrinal divisions of labour, which also outlasted all improvements in technology and skill. The possibility of progress due to changes in the nature and operation of labour remains very far off compared to western civilisations, where scientific endeavours coupled with republicanism since the Greeks led to labour arrangements that had nothing to do with inviolable duties or dharma.

Today within diaspora communities these caste-based classes are economically obsolete, yet the problem of caste discrimination continues in the form of a social status independent of economic and political changes. Beteliee resoundingly confirmed this fact in southern India, four decades ago, in a study conducted in 1965.[69] He pointed out empirical evidence to reveal that with progress, the economic and political power could shift away from the machine of the caste structure, yet the discrimination continued in the social sphere.[70]

Slightly returning to the theme of fatalism, acclaimed anthropologist Dor Bahadur Bista further explains that in the socialsphere, the inherently fatalistic caste structure can leave inaction unabated, which then impedes a society's development as it undermines personal responsibility for any action or inaction, which is continually displaced to the external, typically to the supernatural.[71] The current political scenario in Nepal demonstrates why communities have been unable to overcome divisive influences, and still remain around observations made in 1991.

4. Biological Findings

There are several ways to challenge the concept of caste. Caste identity creates a superiority complex popularized by thousand-year concepts of biological traits, that encourages endogamy. Fresh genetic studies help establish a strong counter argument against the theory of endogamous groups being pure identities. Nonetheless, the most challenging task is to engage lay community members to learn complicated science, and to convince them that caste never had a biological base.

A new Genetic study in 2013 conducted by Harvard University researchers and scholars now confirms that in prehistoric times, native sub-continent populations of the Gangetic plains and mobile populations of the Sapta-Sindu did not mix.[72] But between 4200-1900 years ago populations in the Gangetic Plains began to crossmarry leading to different patterns of genetics. Meaning that marriage between people occurred without restrictions. What this means is that today a highcaste person proclaiming to be close to what may be associated with fair Aryans will have some southern Indian genes and a person proclaiming to be darker Southern Indian will possess so-called Aryan genes. Broadly this mixture is reflected across the spectrum of diverse communities in the region.

Furthermore in prehistoric times Gods were only known by their first names. So the only reason why caste surnames did not exist at first, but were later adopted could be due to the development of inheritance rights and inter-generational labour divisions enforced by religious codes. Without caste surnames the property and labour systems would have collapsed. As it was the development of private property and inheritance that started the use of patriarchal surnames anywhere else in the world, it would not be far fetched to conclude that, "the economic classes were made rigid with spiritually charged professions, goals, values and customs, for economic reasons".[73]

The Laws of Manu also laid rules of genetics and prescribed how one could remove non-Aryan traits. One of these rules is that seven generations of marriage with Aryans (higher castes) could help remove non-Aryan blood.[74] What is striking is the conclusion of the Harvard study that exogamy or marrying outside one's caste in the Gangetic plains had become rare just around 300AD. This is the exact period when the Hindu scriptures like the Manusmriti came into fore. In other words, as the scriptures were gradually introduced into society, people began to marry only within one's own castes and so endogamous genetics appeared. This confirms the correlation of scripture, laws, economic exploitation and endogamous genetics.[75]

All humans share 99.9 percent of the same genetic material. The remaining 0.1% creates the entire diversity of the world.[76] Meaning, the diversity among people of one country like India, Nepal or Bhutan would be governed by a minuscule amount of variation on a global scale. Therefore, Arundhati Roy's argument that "caste discrimination is the ill health of a nation",[77]can only be a truly sophisticated logical conclusion as the socio-economic and pseudo-biological divide cripples overall societal productivity and well-being.

5. How and where it happens within our community?

A. Seating according to Caste

Case 1: Up until 2010 caste discrimination was unheard of with the Bhutanese community of Adelaide, Australia. In 2010 when a head priest announced at a public gathering that people of different castes should sit at religious ceremonies according to their castes in the northern suburbs, it sent alarm bells ringing across the Bhutanese diaspora community.

B. Segregation At Homes

Case 2- Old Lady offers tea: In 2010 a gentleman's old mother was traumatized and pushed towards depression when she was told that people could not come to drink tea at her place. They reasoned with her that people of all castes entered her house, ate and drank, consequently polluting it. Her son discovered that such a conversation took place only a month later and sought advice from the Bhutanese Australian Association of South Australia (BAASA). BAASA responded by instituting two Community Dispute Resolution gatherings in which current members of Cohesion Matters were also involved. The perpetrator is reported to have apologised to the gathering.

Case 3- Marriage attendance by children objected: In 2010 a family expressed their objections to a groom's friends bringing orphans of a mother who had committed suicide in 2009 to participate in the wedding because of their so-called low caste background. The children were under the guardianship of the Ministry. The friends of the groom eventually had to boycott the ceremony out of disgust for their treatment of the children.

Case 4- Marriage ceremony denial of public access: In another marriageceremony in June 2010 a reputable individual was denied public access into a room where other members of the community were openly allowed.

Case 5- Friends' father ejects them: In 2012 two so-called lowcaste youth visited their friend's to use fitness equipment. At first thingswere fine and no objections were raised. But in November the two friends were repeatedly confronted by the father of their friend, telling them not to enter the house, but could remain friends outside of his home. He reported that he was being pressured by his priests to keep his house pure and free from untouchables. The duo stopped going to the friend's house thereafter.

Case 6- Friend disallowedto enter: In another incident in the same month of November 2012 another young person was spoken to outside of the house, and was told his friend was not home, so he left. When he called his friend and spoke about how he wished to see the new house, but could not enter, as other family members did not allow. To this the friend replied that his family believes in untouchability and caste discrimination and that he was under a constant burden to listen to his elders. It was then the young person realized, why he and his cousin were repeatedly offered food outside of their residence and never invited inside the home. The friend held his wedding sometime later and was also unable to invite him and the cousin to the wedding.

C. Segregation at Public Places

Case 7- Volunteer's case: A regular and popular gathering continues to be convened in Salisbury, South Australia. It is colloquially known as the "old peoples'gathering". It involves some very good educative and social activities for the elderly. The program remains an important contribution to the well being of the elderly in the area. But in 2012 a volunteer (who was considered low-caste by surname) overheard some participants of the program say, "even low-castes are getting involved in this program and if it continues to happen he would not able tocome to the gathering anymore". The volunteer subsequently left the program, and nothing could be done about his case.

Case 8- Citizenship gathering case: Some time in the first week of June 2013, at the same supposed gathering amidst a large group of Bhutanese individuals who were going to receive their citizenships on the 16June 2013, another incident of caste discrimination occurred. Many individuals and groups in cooperation of the Salisbury city council had admirably run educative programs to help scores of people pass the citizenship tests. It is reported that a mainstream community worker was informing community members to be tolerant and stop discrimination as they were now new citizens of this beautiful country, Australia. Everybody cheered and clapped. Subsequently teawas served and an elderly gentleman picked a teacup from a tray placed in the centre of the room. As soon as he picked up a cup no one else touched the wholetray of teacups, and he understood from their body language that they were concerned about his caste. As he had been involved in the gatherings for a while, his surname was obviously known to the group. By touching the tray hehad apparently polluted the whole tray, pollution that could be transferred to high-castes who also touch the tray. So again it was the gentleman and his wife who stopped going to the program after that incident.

Many elderly people wish to go to these successful programs to overcome their inactivity and boredom. However for them the caste issue poses as an unacceptable barricade. And even though many cannot drive, require family assistance or live close by to reach the venue, the most significant impediment is actually their fear of public humiliation.

D. Hot-Shell Branding of Children

Case 9- Burn Marks: In early 2013 there were anecdotal reports of hot-shell branding that were carried out to tag young children as Vaishnavs. Vaishnavism is a sect within Hinduism. Some priests within the Bhutanese community in Adelaide are considered to have been involved in this affair. We feel this is a practice tantamount to child-abuse and must be thoroughly investigated by the police in the future if children are found with burn marks.

E. Recurrent Denial of Religious Services since 2010

Case 10- Cairns Mourning case: In early 2013 there was another incident involving the principal head priest from Adelaide. In Cairns a so-called low caste woman lost her father in the United States and wanted to mourn his death. A young priest agreed to conduct this mourning ceremony. The ceremony is obviously considered to be spiritually sacrosanct. When the father of this priest came to know about his son's commitment, he tried to discourage him and when that did not work, he called the head priest in Adelaide and inquired whether his son should be allowed to conduct this ceremony for a lowcaste. The head priest told him that if he went ahead with the ceremony, his own family and community would boycott him. This dissuaded the young man and he reluctantly refused to conclude the ceremony. After 13 days of minimal food and water, there was none to conclude her mourning ceremony. They say the humiliation was extremely painful. So during that crisis a cohort of elderly gentlemen from Adelaide (non-practicing Hindu priests within the community), aggregated into a group to chant the relevant prayers via telephone. It was an extreme measure that for the first time demonstrated the seriousness of religious leaders at enforcing caste rules.

Case 11- 84thBirthday ceremony case: In March 2014 a gentleman and his old mother-in-law were denied religious services when he participated in an educational video produced by Cohesion Matters. When the religious ceremony could not take place in Adelaide, he had to take his entire family to Nepal and bear huge expenses to conduct his mother-in-law's special 84thbirthday ceremony there. The ceremony required at least 4 praying priests and four-five of them were contacted. Four of them initially agreed but later all but one priest deserted his ceremony. His matter remained unresolved within the BAASA framework of community dispute resolution for over a year. Only recently BAASA responded to the individual about their efforts to mediate his matter with the priests and unfortunately expressed their inability to pursue it further. Later on he was also alienated from his own family members by the same priest who had bargained to conduct ceremonies for a recipient only if the recicpient did not invite family members who had participated in the video.

Case 12- Proposing to deny religious services: In October 2014 the household, of the gentleman with the old traumatized mother, who brought matters to BAASA in 2010, was again catapulted into debate. Reportedly, this time another lady had said that no one should provide religious services to his household, ever since the priests decreed to deny religious services in 2010. The decree was made against his family as they have a long history of rejecting discrimination. His efforts to attain justice regarding this case in 2014 are ongoing.

Case 13- Elderly participant of the video alienated: Similarly another family that participated in the video has now been shunned since October 2014. An elderly participant and his son were rebuked for their direct or indirect participation. The son was threatened with violence. The case went unreported due to fears of reprisals. They were unable to perform religious services in October.

Case 14- Elderly participant of the video alienated again: In April 2015 when a new child was born into the same family, religious services were yet again denied. On the 28 April 2015 a few priests attended their family home and expressed intentions to attend their grandson's naming ceremony only if the family removed their parts from the video producedby Cohesion Matters. On the 2 June the family verbally provided names of the priests. As the video does not individually identify any person and only criticizes discriminatory priests, we believe that the family's freedom of political expression has been significantly suppressed in a democracy like Australia.

Case 15- Hindu family denied mourning service: More recently on the 1-7 June 2015 another family who lost their elderly mother was denied religious services by several priests. The priests provided several excuses and even openly mocked them by going to a Puran or religious book reading event on the very same day of the funeral, only a day after requests for religious services were made. The funeral proceeded with the help of an alternative Indian priest but that does not discount the fact that religious services were denied by the aforementioned community priests.

There are perhaps hundreds of individuals who would like to conduct beautiful Hindu ceremonies and remain close to their culture. But the atmosphere of discrimination is driving everyone away from it. Using Indian priests from local temples has been recommended, but apparently the difference in language and variations in practices is a significant hurdle. And more importantly we should not stay numb while grueling divisions and discrimination are left unresolved.

F. Community Workers

Case 16- Impure community worker: In another incident in 2010 a paid staff of an organization in Adelaide that provided on-arrival settlement services was on duty helping a newly arrived family. The staff was helping the family learn how to use their basic household appliances such as gas and fridges for the first time. Soon after the community worker left, it is reported that a few radicalized relatives entered this newly arrived migrant's house and asked him to perform Chandrayan.Chandrayan is a ceremony to purify either an individual or house from the touches of low-caste individuals. The humiliation to the community worker went unresolved. The Board of Inclusion of the Bhutanese Australian Association of South Australia dealt with this matter. The Board of Inclusion and the Special advisory committee arranged a publicmeeting on the 20 November 2010 to resolve the matter. The people in questionare reported to have made public apologies. Nevertheless caste discrimination continues.

G. Young People And Schools

Case 17- New Arrival's Lunch: In 2010 a newly arrived former Bhutanese refugee admitted his son to school. In the following month of Maywhen his son was at school a friend of his son refused to eat together becausehe was of the lower caste, so the father contacted the school and asked the parent and child to be cautioned.

Case 18- Young Untouchability: It has been reported thatyoung Bhutanese also eat their lunches separately due to their caste obligations to remain pure. This was reported at a community gathering on the 27 December 2014. They do not mix with both their own community children and external community peers, and eat only fruits in isolation.

Case 19- Primary school discrimination: In June 2015 some so-called high caste children at a primary school in Elizabeth were making fun of a girl calling her "Kami" (a derogatory word used to ridicule so-called lowcastes and untouchables in the Nepali language) and also asking her to not go near where she was playing. Reportedly, the same child not only rejected her food and water, but also successfully convinced another friend to do the same. The distraught daughter went to her father and reported this scenario at least twice.

6. Why Caste Discrimination continues?

A. Political Competition And Safe Modes

To bring a diverse perspective into this discussion I would like to cite the example of Sri Lanka. Caste is also a divisive issue in the northern parts of Sri Lanka where people mostly of Tamil Hindu origins live. Initially, low caste Tamils agitated against the higher caste political leadership back in the 1920s for better privileges. With some concessions these agitations were suppressedusing violence. But since the LTTE movement emerged in the 1960s, it sought toidentify all Tamils irrespective of caste. This subverted low caste agitationsand also diverted those agitations towards a larger Tamil struggle against a Sinhala (external community) controlled state. And so the LTTE did not publicly respond to caste grievances and their attempt to lead a nationalist movement in a caste divided society became apparent. When peace was restored, caste was likely to reappear in the political and social agenda.[78] In fact it is argued that caste never left the political, social and religious or matrimonial spheres of Tamil societies and is being continued with indifference to empower Tamil nationalism whilst also leaving the old system intact.[79] This not only demonstrates the unending nature of caste, but also proves that it is an openly malleablepolitical environment. The fate of the caste system will always depend on the overall religious, economic and political purpose of high caste individuals dependingon whether it serves an appropriate purpose at any given point in time.

In South India, Beteliee discovered that people would still vote overwhelming onthe basis of caste, even if it did not have any political impact towardssecuring better services for their communities.[80] The benefit from thesepolitical exercises on the basis of caste was simply a psychologicalcontentment derived from popular political recognition of a group. This isexactly what drives caste as a communal sentiment of superiority based on parochialism and paternalistic surnames.

Similarlyduring the exodus of the Bhutanese refugees from Bhutan, caste was never anissue in makeshift camps where thousands lived and shared scarce resources. Itwas only after the refugee camps were properly established that caste resurfacedas a rancid and often volatile issue. Caste also featured during party growthbattles according to community members. This was because political partiessought to increase their sizes from religious memberships. Hence the underlyingcaste structure of a particular community is not a strictly religious issue. Thereare many political and economic layers to it. The system of caste continues tore-adapt or remerge whenever stability is attained.

Speakingabout resettlement of the Bhutanese refugees in Australia the same explanationapplies. Extreme caste values or their enforcement was absent at first in 2009, but as the community grew, reliance on newly formed representative communitystructures decreased and with more and more converts to a particular sect of Hinduism the whole cultural atmosphere within the community was driven towardssub-divisions. During the formation of an all-inclusive community organisation'Bhutanese Australian Association of South Australia', there was much debate onthe question of proportional representation. There were some who stronglyadvocated for the organizational structure to be divided on the basis of population without any room for equity. But the majority of the members whofinally formed the organisation, worked towards equal representation of alldiverse communities in one appointed Apex body, as the body of review whilstall other executive functions and powers were transferred to an elected Executive Committee.

B. Formal Education Unsuccessful

India, Nepal and Bhutan havemany, varied and measurable forms of formal educational structures, sometimes with extremely good infrastructure and human resources. But these current structures do not address the issue of caste discrimination. Unless formal education continually encourages topical discourse throughout the period of youth, it may be impossible to remove values that are inculcated and enforcedthrough family structures. The caste system divides people so effectively thatno one, not even so-called high castes can unite into a broader caste-freecommunity, without being out-casted by their own families and relatives. This form of out casting is backed by the scriptures too. Manu says, "Twice-born person (referring either to priests or allthree upper classes,[81])who disregards religion, because herelies on the teachings of logic should be ex-communicated by virtuous people as an atheist and a reviler of the Veda."[82] There is discreet lack of protest amongst youth, some of who completely deny the existence of caste discrimination and accept their ongoing birth statuses. Or some, who profess to have never sufficiently understood the issue and its impact, therefore fail to advocate against it. And there are many, who despite possessing a humanistic understanding of the issue simply lack the courage to acknowledge the mistakes of our common ancestors, and help us move on.

Therefore even educated people continue to succumb to caste prejudice, both in developed countries such as Australia, UK and the US and in developing countries such as Nepal, India, Bhutan, etc. In some countries it currently serves as an economic purpose toreduce competition and increase exploitation. But as gains in economic equality are made, caste continues to provide psychological satisfaction in the form a social class to the individual who aligns with this form of superiority. Beteliee proves that despite varied economic and politicalchanges, caste can continue to exist in form of a social status,[83] because it is embedded in religion and the psyche of higher castes. This provides a comparable view point to examine the Bhutanese community. Ample experiences in countries such as India and Nepal teach us that simply changing the laws will not suffice. It must be supplemented by widespread inclusion of ideas against caste discrimination into formal educational systems. This is because no amount of formal education excluding this issue has removed caste discrimination here and elsewhere.

C. An Inter-Generational Community

A factor, which propagates caste, is an inter-generational community comprised of all age groups, which fosters acceptance and sometimes even forceful adoption of discriminatory values. For example when some communities from India moved to the Maldives, Fiji, Malaysia and other Island nations around the Indian peninsula they brought with them many types of professions and labourers who assembled into castes, with entire families. In Malaysia, Indians are well known for their caste divisions. Hence in the presence of a complete family structure, which propagates caste, both individuals and families are unable to break away from its ruthless grip.

D. Youth: Obligated to Oblivion

One group, who face and will continue to face the real force of caste, is the youth. Even a generational change is unlikely to remove caste discrimination as young people have begun to take up such values and guide their activities according to these caste principles, either because they believe in it or because their parents have forced them to tolerate it. The primary school case discussed above goes a longway in demonstrating just that. It is often thought that caste discrimination could be wiped out within another generation. But we know that racial discrimination is nothing new and can take decades to overcome, especially if it can continue in a hidden form. Therefore as long as the pre-conditions of discrimination remain the same, it will continue.

It is also apparent that the social pressure experienced by youth to conform to caste prejudices is distinctively higher within the higher caste community than in others, ultimately leaving an internally conflict-smitten environment for many newly arrived vulnerable families.

E. Women: Part Of The Same Social Stratification

Another element of complexity along side the issue of caste is the social stratification and treatment of women. It is important to note that the endogamous nature of the caste structure set by the Manusmriti became fully functional, only after women were completely subjugated.[84] If women had been able to protest against conscription to discrimination on the basis of caste or against their own subjugation, the system would have fallen apart. The Laws of Manu, which says that a man who marries a low caste woman degrades himself and his whole family, is but one example of that complex control.[85] Another scripture outlines that men of the high caste should not be punished if they enjoy sex with low caste women, whereas if high caste women enjoy sex with lower caste men, they are to be punished and kept in isolation.[86]

Obviously these practices became obsolete long ago in Nepal and never entered Bhutan, but the sources of these ideas reflect a continuing order that is used to subjugatelow caste men and all women. As a sacred ritual women are still given away during Hindu marriages as alms (Kanyadan)amongst educated and uneducated Nepali people.

Speaking of India, which neighbours both Nepal and Bhutan, is also the bedrock of Hindu fundamentalism. Statistics show that 90% of rapes that occur in India occur against low caste women. The rape case in New Delhi, India that received worldwide attentionoccurred, against a woman of the so-called low caste i.e. Kurmi. The New York Times article deftly points that much of the caste based sexual violence against women emerges out of a feudal sense of entitlement amongst some upper caste men. "You have not really experienced the land until you have experienced the Dalit women" is a popular saying among the landowning Jats, a politically powerfulgroup that, despite being relatively low caste themselves, are above the Dalits.[87]

It is worth noting that an ongoing social complexity of feudalism that exists in predominantly Hindu communities does play a role in fueling those tendencies. Domestic violence may not be a direct caste related issue, but without resolving the vestiges of feudalism, we can neither tackle caste discrimination nor gender discrimination.

The modern adaptation of historical discrimination against women in our community may differ widely. But it can start from something as basic as how one addresses his wife. Thatlanguage used to address, can almost validate an ongoing superior-inferior relationship between the man and woman. In contrast the wife has to address the husband as an elder in line with former traditions that characterized him as a personal God. She must always worship and serve her husbands,[88] which is why celebration of the Teej festival within diaspora communities including the Bhutanese community is so problematic. It celebrates the feudal role of women under the constant subjugation and worship of men.

F. Lhotsampa Ethos

I. Background

Bearing in mind the historical natureof this issue, it is also important to delve to the multifaceted identity crises of the former Bhutanese refugees. There are many who argue that we needto get rid of caste discrimination rather than caste. But that is simplycounter-intuitive. What is the purpose of caste without caste differentiation? To the reasonable person it is sufficiently clear that the meaning has to change not the names. And only socialization free of radicalization can help recognise that caste is simply a surname. Or else the same patterns will continue. Such an ideal state of mind can only be cultivated by a powerful alternativesynthesis of people into a mature identity that is compatible with the democratic customs of Australia. This requires time, effort and a new vision.

Historically the southern Nepali-speaking people of Bhutan (also officially recognized as Lhotsampas) were evicted by a repressive regime, which continually implemented drasticmeasures to first integrate, and then reduce the Nepali population.

II. Lhotsampas

In Bhutan the word 'Lhotsampa'literally means people of the south. Similarly the people who lived in eastern parts of Bhutan were officially recognized as the 'Sarchopas', which meanspeople living in the eastern parts. These two large communities were named inreference to the dominant ruling cultural group, the Ngalops, livingpredominantly in the Northwestern areas of Bhutan. However Ngalop means the'earliest risen' or 'first converted people' giving serious etymological forceto their own recognition in their own language, Dzongkha, whereas the othercommunities were apparently located southand east with respect to them. This was perhaps the first act of domination.

The religion followed by Ngalops was also unique as they belonged to the Drukpa- Kagyu Sect of Buddhism, differentto other various Buddhist communities of Bhutan. Obviously our community was predominantly a Hindu community, so its religious atmosphere was different in many ways.

When Dzongkha was transformed into the official language of Bhutan in 1989 following the banning of Nepali language in schools and public spheres the intentions of the regime becameclear. And they did not just use words, but accompanied this display of cultural dominance with violence, which was both physical and psychological. The physical violence started in 1988 and as a continuum of that violence, psychological controls were placed in the form of No-Objection-Certificates(NOCs) and systematic suppression of dissent. No objection Certificates are clearance certificates, which prove one's intellectual and/or familial dissociation from the revolution. Therefore changes to citizenship laws in 1977, 1980 and in 1985 appear as part of an ongoing policy to clear out Nepali culture from Bhutan.

Delving into discussions of citizenship, marriage and direct assimilation policies from the year 1977 onwards provides overwhelming evidence to support the fact that there was willful destruction of this resettled Lhotsanepali community in Bhutan. These are issues widely discussed by many scholars. Save a few questions I will touch upon them only ina cursory way.

III. Intra Group Racism Exacerbated In The Refugee Camps

The external racism against the Lhotsanepali snot only led to their banishment but consequently also caused their internal radicalisation in concentrated refugee camps. Once peaceful and sparsely spread community back in Bhutan clustered up into seven high-density camps. There it was much easier to radicalize Hindu followers. In Bhutan the same communities had made improvement at overcoming caste prejudice, due an egalitarian atmosphere. This atmosphere was generated by equal economic relations engendered by the overwhelming majority of Lhotsanepali owning corporeal property and the consequent skill diversification led by government funded free-education. The abundance of land to own or work on, the necessity of shared labour onfar-flung farms and an increasing sense of camaraderie derived by a spawninggeneration of young aspiring professionals, intellectuals and officials of the Bhutanesecommunity were helping to progressively unshackle friendships and kinships from the clutches of caste. So it was much more difficult to enforce Hindu religiouscodes in that free environment before the refugee crisis began. Perhaps caste discrimination could have also returned during the urbanization of Bhutan and would have warranted strict legal measures to enforce change, just like in Nepal and India. The current situation in Bhutan is unknown.

Inside the camps, people became further radicalised, as their only form of cultural and economic recluse was shaped by family and clan orientations, which was again heavily influenced by caste. As numerous political attempts on repatriation failed, caste competition grew. The bundled up political arrangements never had the capacity to resolve these issues within the camps in Nepal. Their main focus willingly or unwillingly became either repatriation or resettlement. In that sense a third country is perhaps the right place to resolve these issues for good.

In comparison to what could never be resolved in the refugee camps, there are examples of caste dispute resolution that occurred back in Bhutan. The Ngalops or the ruling group of Bhutan was able to play this role because they were able to assert notonly their authority but also their impartiality.[89] Therefore we believe that in Australia, mainstream Australians in a similar way could assist us in resolving this issue.

IV. Migration History of Agrarians

Before 1907 Bhutan was still a nation-in-formation with many small states controlled by warlords, which were brought under one kingdom by Ugyen Dorji Wangchuk. The Lhotsanepalis whoresettled in southern Bhutan came as early as in the 16th century. Nepali migration to Bhutan hence occurred also before Bhutan was officially formed. They were brought into Bhutan by previous religious rulers as well as through various labour-hire schemes that existed until the 1930s. Successive generations cleared the forests [in the humid south] and formed agrarian communities.[90] The Lhotsanepalis predominantly relied on agriculture untilsubsequent generations slowly trickled into other professions. So it was private farming land on the basis of which they established a rock solid materialistic identity deeply rooted within a set of feudal agrarian ethos and religious ethos that came directly from Nepal. The only difference being that almost all of them hand their own landholdings, while control was exerted by an external dominating monarchial community exerted control. On the other hand the farming communities in the north who were of Tibetan and native origins operated-

"Traditional farming systems that evolved over centuries ... with the integration of crop production, grazing animals and forest areas into a mutually supportive system. Transhumance is mainly prevalent in the Dzongkhags of Haa, Thimphu, Paro, Gasa, Wangdue Phodrang, Bumthang and Trashigang. For the movement of their animals, the herders depend on the vast native grasslands between altitudes of 2600 to 5000m to feed their animals. Yak production in these areas and especially above the tree line (4000m) is recognised as the only viable enterprise where the high altitude grasslands are efficiently converted into sources of energy [at no cost]... In the summers the herderstake their animals to pasture as high as 5,000m and come down in the winters to2,600m. Herders respect and follow their age-old traditional migratory routes to respective designated pastures in the various elevations for which they havetraditionally grazing rights. In both the migratory systems described above, the herders follow a prescribed route (tsalam) to their respective grasslands. It is not uncommon to find more than one herd using a route. All herds then would have the right to use the route as well as the grazing rights to the grasslands of a specified camp irrespective of whoever may own the particular grassland. This is called the "Lamjo Tsadrog" roughly translated to "transit pasture". In the grassland of upper Chokhor leading to the summer grasslands at Domjen, in Bumthang, there is an unwritten rule that no herd is allowed to pasture for more than three days in the lamjo tsadrog either way.[91]

The land disputes in the far Northern Western Bhutan near Haa in the 1960s therefore demonstrates how these two cultures with two different systems of agriculture came into conflict. In Haa there were some Lhotsanepali farms and orchards, which were developed with state approval and registration. Some pastoralists habitually came down with their herds in winter. At first the famers paid a share to the pastoralists, to prevent their yak herds from grazing on crops. But later were unsuccessful at stopping the herders from camping in the orchards. In effect the herders took their share of fruits on their own. It has never been enquired whether the pastoralists were growing increasingly perplexed by the orchards and farms due to Lhotsanepalis willingly or unwillingly encroaching on ancestral pastures and routes. Or whether the herders simply perceived the harvests of the Lhotsanepalis as common property. If pastures can still be common property in Bhutan, so could orchards. It is possible that harvests from previously recognised pastures could have been interpreted to be common produce. Or some of the herders could have also simply decided to take their shares on their own without regard for the hard work put in by the Lhotsanepali farmers. Therefore these disputes on land use and the belonging of produce came to forefront in the eyes of the administration in the 60s and shaped the perception of Nepali people in Bhutanas the intruders who had to be removed. The administration could have negotiated win-win solutions by passing sharing laws but that is a completely different topic. Yet there seems to be little explanation in literature regarding thesematters. If the Lhotsanepalis were blocking ancestral travel routes or had overlookedTsalams then these are certainly serioushistorical concerns that must be revisited.

So a pattern of events led powerful Drukpas to believe that their radically proclaimed land through the Bhutanese monarch was being taken away by a foreign culture. There are National Assembly records, first recorded in the 1950s which show a growing concern for the need to establish or recognise one culture.[92] In essence serfs and craftsmen who came from Nepal were already accustomed to an agrarian way of life. Their whole socio-cultural environment was agriculture. Their work and their festivals were already governed by the various seasons garbed into a religious calendar. Farmers, women, youth, blacksmiths, craftsmen, labourers one way or the other contributed to the sustenance of this agrarian feudal but uniquely egalitarian economy. The abundance of food made Lhotsanepali families larger with large land holdings. So the population of the Lhotsanepalis grew much faster, something that was unanticipated by the Ngalops and later fuelled their anxiety about economic competition. Or else there was no compelling reason to evict thousands of real citizens of the country in waves after waves.

VII. Cultural Reorientations

The above sections are important to demonstrate why the Lhotsanepali community of Bhutan could never really blossom out of an agrarian feudal culture. The reorientations of Bhutanese nationalism, Nepalism, caste, ethnicities, religion kept on compounding or withholding proper 'identity formation'[93] for different generations at different times. This is how and why caste discrimination against so-called low castes continues. Just like how the Jews carried on with their faith despite enduring slavery. And so do the Brahmins who continue their caste-dharmaas per the commandments of Krishna. In the absence of an evolving economy fueled by free-education and skill diversification, the same population living in refugee camps collapsed back into rudimentary caste divisions that remains enforced to this day.

So only an identity formation process that promotes a more sophisticated understanding of our own historical struggle as exiting Nepal, entering Bhutan, our journey back to Nepal and our consequent acquisition of new citizenships may lead to consolidating a socio-cultural experience, and may provide a vantage point against age-old caste discrimination. Until then the disintegration within communities will remain unabated.

7. Impacts of Caste Discrimination

A. Individual

I. Denial of Religious Rights/Cultural Belonging

The denial of religious rights to individuals of the lowest castes has happened for thousands of years. Yet under the previous Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, the Supreme Court enforced the right to religion of a so-called low caste to be allowed to enter a temple.[94] Also at the beginning of resettlement no one was denied religious services before 2010, so it is possible to live as a caste-discrimination free community. But since 2010, the denial of religious services and caste discrimination generally has had a destructive impact on the ability of individuals to belong to their own specific cultural heritage. The family in Cairns initially converted to another faith due to repeated denials of religious services, and many others in Adelaide too have foreseen the consequences of requesting religious services. Many would like to perform religious services according to their own traditions and therefore are reluctant to use culturally different Indian or Bengali priests. Lately the family in Cairns has reverted to Hinduism conducting another mourning by calling a priest from inter-state. This demonstrates the constant anxiety and injury to personal prestige associated with changing faiths and the expenses that have to be born whenever services are denied. In Adelaide another family had to bear large expenses to travel to Nepal to conduct their ceremony.

II. Suppression of Freedom of Political Expression

In Australia, individuals feel their family and priests would ostracize them, if they were to protest or speak against the caste system. A few of them, recognised as high castes, have been denied religious services because of their participation in a video of Cohesion Matters. Particular priests have expressed their discontentment with the video despite the video only expressing a general message. None of the families sofar have received an apology for the discrimination they faced. Some of the same priests have even asked a family to remove their parts from the video inorder to receive religious services. This is outright suppression of theirinnocent expression against a system that is wrong.

III. Limitation on Social Interaction/Loss of Friends and Kinships

As seen in the numerous cases that have occurred in Adelaide many interactions between individuals across castes have been discontinued or made uncomfortable due to the constant burdens of caste. People do not wish to invite people to their homes despite being good friends or being on good terms consequently reinforcing caste relations both inside and outside their homes. The youth are constantly juggling their obligations towards their elders while also openly admitting to discrimination because of their parents. From a sociological point of view individuals are losing friends and kinships and losing the opportunity to build or maintain community support structures. This is not a healthy and productive environment for individuals who have for a long period of time relied on these structuresboth in the refugee camps and back in Bhutan, for their solidarity.

III. Impacts on Mental Health

The mental health impacts of caste discrimination can be wide ranging depending on the age group of people and can be compounded by various other factors. But the main impacts on mental health could predictably arise from these feudal values of discrimination and outright denial of equal status. Young people, women, men of all castes and groups are affected. We have repeatedly observed that caste discrimination in the form of denials of service, segregation, suppression, bullying and burdening have resulted inindividuals experiencing anxiety, sleepless nights, frustration and humiliation. Some have health conditions that are further complicated byconstant harassment or by feelings of subjugation.

Constantly living under the influence of feudal values, the ability of persons to assert their modern individuality and their respect within families and communities is affected. Some who are still religiously pious have not conducted further religious services for months because their homes have not been purified. Their family members avoid paying a visit, as their houses also considered to be impure. And finally there are many individuals who seem to be obsessively stressed about who is pure and who is not, resulting in a stressful life of enforcing their own superiority.

IV. Children and Youth

The principle of best interests of children in Australia under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child guides family law.[95] On that premise, is socialization of children with caste values, in the best interests of children especially students who eat separately according to their castes in schools, and do not mix with other castes, or the ones who shirk away so-called low castes. In any event such treatment is psychologically demeaning to the so-called low castes. This form of socialization is likely to restrict their social development to pre-historic Vedic ideals, and significantly impair their ability to explore broader and modern horizons of multiculturalism from an early age. One cannot make impartial judgments about any food or Vegetarianism, but are restrictions on diet in the best interests of children, particularly if children or youth would eventually eat, what they are forbidden to eat outside the family home? Couldn't this create unnecessary conflict in the family? If children or youth begin to heavily rely on unhealthy sources such as junk food, would they be making healthy choices?

Families and communities are the strongest foundations that are going to ensure a productive pathway for migrant youth. In the absence of optimal kinship and constructive peer pressure, many youth instead of getting involved in the family and community are likely to feel very disoriented and rootless. As always progress can only be achieved if the youth could participate in the wider community and contest their ideas through equal and open participatory forums rather than remain closed to traditional structures. This is not to say they completely lack participation in activities, but there is a strong sense of alienation amongst the youth.

B. Community

I. Social Sub-stratification and Division

We are also genuinely concerned about formal structures of the Bhutanese community in Australia dissipating due to a growing resentment about caste discrimination and the downfall of community wide participation in recognized representative structures.

Usually the immediate response of caste-embroiled communities has been to form sub-caste groups within the broader recognizable community. These sub-castes are searching for an identifiable group that offers security and dignity and that is exactly what is currently happening. Sub-groups are a historically popular reaction in source countries, and may be more attractive here in Australia, due to a free multicultural environment. But it will eventually prolong stagnation over the issue of caste discrimination.

Hence the longer we wait the more difficult it will be to ultimately bring the community together. And although sub-grouping sends a strong message against caste discrimination, it is complete structural solidarity of the community that could really ensure long-term changes and influence overarching development of the community with larger pools of resources and stronger networks. There is no denying that the majority of the community members would like to develop and grow.

In Victoria there are already similar radicalized factions. In South Australia there are three informal sub-groups, which no longer work directly under BAASA. The reason for their existence is again sub-caste stratification. In Tasmania there is a general representative body of the community and a second Kiranti group, which predominantly grew out of recognition for their own cultural origins, amidst confusion amongst others about caste prejudices. They have already grown and consolidated their groups in Adelaide as well.

In Cairns, Queensland there have been incidents of caste discrimination. As noted above, a lady was forced to fast without fixed dates, when she intended to mourn for her father. In that community the last election was closely fought and won against a body, which supported exclusivity. However the denial of religious services against the overwhelming majority of the community remains an issue.[96]

In the United States we received feedback from a journalist and community workers that caste discrimination is an ongoing problem. We also heard anecdotal stories from the same group of individuals in Cairns, who in turn speak to their family members, that the problem is widespread in the United States and Canada.

II. Reduced Impacts of Government Funds

More significantly caste discrimination will add another layer of difficulty for state agencies as well as service providers to reach community members in need as their vulnerability increases and access to essential services are reduced due to caste barriers which cannot be overcome so easily. Reduced social interactions means that services will gather fewer participants and beneficiaries, leading to further divides over resources. This will in effect increase reliance on potential caste sub-groups for the access of services or information, further exacerbating the problem.

Wherever it goes caste-discrimination plays the unfortunate role of classification that disrupts the constructive capacity of an otherwise harmonious and diverse community. The systemic nature of the problem is often underestimated and the directlinks with other pressing issues in our community are hardly associated with caste.

Lackof participation at social gatherings, events, workshops and religious events at least in Adelaide, Australia has already begun to show signs of what happens when caste discrimination remains unchecked.

III. Lack of Community Cohesion/Restriction on Development

Despite the outer appearance of unity and organisation of the Bhutanese community there is an ongoing and growing lack of cohesion. This situation did not exist before 2010 but has evolved after stagnation and inaction over the caste discrimination issue. As mentioned above, a simple act of eating together complicates the viability of gathering at one location.

The real potential for social, economic and intellectual development of the community are all presently on hold since 2010. An outright example is the unwillingness of individuals to participate in supporting local businesses in Salisbury after expressing to a local businessman that everyone touches his goods, implying that it is impure. This is a serious business impact that flows out of caste discrimination.

8. Dealing with caste discrimination

A. India

There are several provisions, Acts and Articles in the Constitution of India against the practice of caste discrimination. Article 15 of Indian Constitution prohibits discrimination ongrounds of caste besides discrimination on grounds of religion, race, sex orplace of birth and envisages equality before law (Article 14). Also enshrinedis the equality of opportunity in public employment (Article 16). Anti caste discriminatory provisions are also incorporated in Article 17 by abolition of untouchability. Another right against exploitation (Article 23 and 24) providesindirect protection against caste discrimination. As such right to equality isprovided under Articles 14 to 18 of the Indian Constitution. Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 prohibitsatrocities and thus discrimination based on caste. Indian Civil Rights Act 1955is meant to ensure equal civil rights to all the citizens of India. Uniform Civil Code (Article 44) in the Constitution of India is also directed toprevent discrimination based on caste. However, all these rights and provisionsagainst caste discrimination are not observed in practice and caste discrimination is rampant in Indian society.[97] The penalties range from fines to prison terms up to a year for a first offenceand more than a year for a repeat offence. Offences are separately structuredand include offences against forcing an individual to eat any obnoxious orinedible substance, to engage in sexual slavery, violation of personality, insulting an individual on the basis of caste, bonded labour, to force anindividual to vote or not vote based on caste, etc.

B. Nepal

In 1992 the Nepalese Supreme Court delivered a groundbreaking decision on theissue of caste discrimination. The Country Code 1963 (Muluki Ain), allowed restricting low-castes from entering templesin the name of traditional practices. The Court enforced the fundamental rightsin the constitution and held the law to be invalid. It also issued anotherorder to the Hindu temple to allow the plaintiff to enter and exercise hisreligious rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 1990.[98]

The Interim constitution of Nepal goes the furthest and specifically outlines a right against untouchability of any form. It also enshrines a constitutional right against caste discrimination in thesame Article 14. The separation of untouchability from caste discrimination hastherefore been strongly worded and expressed. The interim constitution reflectsmany principles of civil, political, economic and social equality that can befound in the International Covenant on the Convention for Political Rights(ICCPR) and International Covenant on the Convention for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).[99]

The current statute in Nepal or Muluki Ain or national code, imposespenalties of up to a year in prison with or without pecuniary penalties foruntouchability and caste discrimination. And for a repeat offence the Courtscan impose a prison term starting from at least one year. The offences prohibitdeprivation of use of public space, or to organize protests, denial of religiousrights, refusal of goods and services, exclusion or preventing an individualfrom entering one's house or forcibly evicting a person, obstruction of maritalrelations, transmission of hatred or derogatory material in any form of publiccommunication, etc.[100]

However the caste discrimination continues inrural and urban areas demonstrating a lack of enforcement of the laws.

C. Bhutan

Bhutan's constitution in Article 7 sub-article 15 also promises equal and effective protection of the law to its citizens and non-discrimination on grounds of race, language, Éor other status.[101] Even sub-article 22 may not pose significant limitations on the entire Article7 of fundamental rights such as interests of sovereignty, security, unity and integrity of Bhutan, as the issue of caste-discrimination will be a differentmatter altogether.[102]

D. Australia

I. Laws of Australia

Each of the Australian states and territories has laws that prohibit racial discrimination. The provisions in these acts vary, yet all them prohibit discrimination either on the basis of ethnicity, ancestry or descent, under themeaning of the word race.[103] Hence the Acts are likely to cover caste discrimination particularly in light of similar provisions in the United Kingdom. But this will need testing in Court to completely establish the applicability of race laws to the various degrees and connotations of caste discrimination.

II. Consultations

The highest representative body of the Bhutanese community in South Australia, Bhutanese Australian Association of South Australia (BAASA) sent representatives to a meeting with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on the 6 February 2014. Although the meeting was predominantly focused on issues of sponsoring families to Australia, a significant amount of time was also spent discussing the issue of caste discrimination. The meeting included involvement of a high-level South Australian Police Official as well as a governmentlawyer from the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC). The representative of the EOC provided further information about the legal issues pertaining to caste discrimination. The meeting also suggested educational strategies to tackle the problem.

III. External Moderation Required

One important struggle that could amply demonstrate the practicalities of attempting to eliminate caste discriminationin a developed country such as the United States is the work done by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) based in the United States.

HAF began an important debate and also published a widely read report on caste discrimination in diaspora communities.[104] However like all-important endeavours, HAF attracted scathing criticism forbeing anti-Hindu, anti-Indian and that it feeds geo-political fodder against India. Such criticisms are clearly expected nationalistic responses with broad-brush generalizations, and are reasons why academic work on this issue is important.

Apart from academic input there is an urgent need to establish locally available institutions, which can incorporate the broader Australian community in the process of helping us resolve caste discrimination by functioning as the impartial arbiters. Where legal proceedings are difficult to pursue, more flexible and easily instituted bodies could better resolve these issues within the community itself.

9. Conclusions

The continuity of this problem beyond national borders demands our consistent attention and recognition because despite globalisation and vast economic leaps caste discrimination relapses. We observe that caste prejudice can disorientate a person's identity formation by limiting social interaction. It perpetuates a culture of social stratification imposed by fear, ingrained via religion & social exclusion, and has the potential to overpower anyother political, economic and spiritual change that could transpire in a person's life.

If we believe that this is a real, worldwide problem, then only an external environment marked by stronger implementation of laws, communication of scientific and social evidence, presence of impartial individuals and bodies, and an overwhelming community against caste discrimination will help shun the radical elements. Hinduism as a religion bears incredible capacity for unity and tolerance for different backgrounds except for different castes. It has absorbed many cultures and religions so far, yet the internal problems continue. And despite new economic structures both in source and developed countries, the problem perpetuates in the form of a social status. Hence only external factors are likely to bring change.

For example only when formal or alternative education truly discusses and touches on the issue of caste discrimination and the detriment it perpetuates, be it in source countries or developed countries, by inclusion of topics into curriculums over several years of formal education, could we even expect resolve. In source countries the solutions are in high demand as the fight for recognition has culminated into bloody civil wars. In fact formaleducation devoid of rigourous criticism for the caste-system, only further entrenches caste discrimination as observed by world-renown public intellectual Arundhati Roy in a recent lecture.[105]

Hence the longer Australia takes to send a strong message against caste discrimination both through legal and educational measures, the easier will it be for radical individuals to think above the Australian value system and dictate their own rules. We say this with a deep sense of violation, as discrimination occurs in some of the most vulnerable communities scattered across Australia. The current attitudes within the community will not only prolong the process of true integration of individuals into the democratic structures of the Australian community, but also will leavechildren, youth, women and men, entrenched in an active and dormant environmentof frustration, humiliation, harassment and subjugation.

In other words caste discrimination cannot be resolved by simply waiting for the problem to go away on its own through formal education when discriminatory caste pride is inculcated from a small age though inseparable social structures of family and kinship.

Repeated denial of services, segregation and open hostility has certainly changed our community from an open and participatory group to a divided and uncertain one. There are always calls to form separate groups but in reality the social sub-stratification has only exacerbated the problems of caste discrimination and will not lead to long-lasting solutions. Many have lost friends, families and kinships, and very soon we will lose our communities to the ongoing caste hostilities. As long as strict religious codes are inplace, with no prospect of change, the problems of social deterioration will continue.

Therefore I make a final appeal to Bhutanese community members to think of a socio-cultural awakening, that envelopes our diverse culture and historical suffering, into a common understanding, which could help achieve a modern, stable, cohesive and conscious pathway of integration into Australia.

10. General Recommendations

1. Develop and fund, legal change or the enforcement of race laws

2. Developand fund, cost-effective community dispute resolution institutions to avoid expensive and slow litigation

3. Develop needs-based, locality specific, curriculums and programs for people of Indian sub-continental backgrounds, at the primary, secondary and training course levels (such as celebrant courses), to promote an understanding of caste discrimination and the consequent detriment to individuals and communities

4. Generate and fund educational campaigns which challenge popular perceptions of caste, fatalism and untouchability

5. Generate and fund multicultural event segments, which directly promote an understanding and derive consensuses against caste discrimination.

11. Bibliography

A. Articles/Books/Reports

1. Bagde, U.S. 'Laws against caste discrimination and their rampant violations in Indian scenario', (2013) 5(2) Journal of Law and Conflict Resolution, 33

2. Beteliee, Andre, 'Caste Class and Power' (Oxford University Press, 3rd ed. 1996)

3. Bhagvad Gita

4. Bista, Dor Bahadur, 'Fatalismand Development: Nepal's struggle for Modernization' (Orient Longman Limited, 6thed. 1994)

5. Crocetti, Elisabetta, Monica Rubini and Wim Meeus, 'Capturing the dynamics of identity formation in variousethnic groups: Development and validation of a three-dimensional model' (2008)31 Journal of Adolescence 207

6. Fontanella-Khan, Amana,'India's Feudal Rapists', New York Times (Online),4 June 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/05/opinion/indias-feudal-rapists.html?_r=0

7. Government Equalities Office,'Caste Discrimination and Harassment in Great Britain' (Research Findings No. 2010/8)2010

8. Grieco, Elizabeth M, 'The Effects of Migration on the establishment of Networks: Caste disintegration and Reformation amongst Indians of Fiji', (1998) 32(3) International Migration Review 704

9. Hinduism: Not cast incaste, Hindu American Foundation, 21 July 2011 http://www.hafsite.org/media/pr/hinduism-not-cast-caste-full-reportHuman Rights Watch, 'Hidden Apartheid: Caste Discrimination against India's Untouchables', http://www.hrw.org/reports/2007/02/12/hidden-apartheid-0

10. Hutt, Michael, 'The Bhutanese Refugee: Between Verification, Repatriation and Royal Real Politik' (2005) 1(1)Peace and Democracy in South Asia 44

11. Jhadav, Narendra,'Untouchables: My family's triumphant escape from India's caste system'(University of California Press, 2003)

12. Jodhka, Surinder S. and Ghanshyam Sha, 'Comparative Contexts of Discrimination: Caste and Untouchabilityin South Asia' (Working Paper Series, Vol. IV No. 05, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, 2010)

13. K, Stalin, India Untouched: Stories of a people apart, (2008) http://stalink.wordpress.com/documentaries/india-untouched/

14. Kannabiran, Kalpana, 'Voices of Dissent, Gender and Changing Social Values in Hinduism', (Contemporary Hinduism: ritual, culture and practice, Robin RinehartÉ [et al.], ABC-CLIO, Inc. 2004) 274

15. Kazanas, Nicholas, 'The Collapse of the Aryan Invasion Theory and the prevalence of Indigenism: archaeological, genetic and linguisticevidences', (Omilos Meleton: Cultural Institute)http://www.omilosmeleton.gr/pdf/en/indology/The_Collapse_of_the_AIT_13_2_2013.pdf

16. Lall, Kesar, 'Proverbs and Sayings from Nepal', (Ratna Pustak Bhandar, 1994)

17. Manu, The Laws of Manu: with an introduction and notes (Wendy Doniger, Penguin Books, 1991), [trans of: Manusmriti,(first published 200-300AD)]

18. Mirzoeff, Nicholas, 'An Introduction to Visual Culture' (Routledge, 2nd edi, 2009)

19. Moorjani, Priya, Kumarasamy Thangaraj, Nick Patterson, Mark Lipson, Po-Ru Loh, Periyasamy Govindaraj, Bonnie Berger, David Reich and Lalji Singh, 'Genetic Evidence for Recent Population Mixture in India' (2013) 93(3) The American Journal of Human Genetics, 422

20. Muigai, Githu, Report of the Special Rapporteur oncontemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and relatedintolerance, GAOR, 17th sess, Agenda Item 9, UN Doc A/HRC/17/40,(24 May 2011)

21. Nepali, Subhash, 'Bigotry beyond Borders', e Kantipur (online) 24 February 2014, http://www.ekantipur.com/2014/02/24/opinion/bigotry-beyond-borders/385798.html

22. Paramsothy, Thanges &Kalinga Tudor Silva, 'Caste Discrimination in War-affected Jaffna Society' (Casteless or Caste-blind?Dynamics of Concealed Caste Discrimination, Social Exclusion and Protest in Sri Lanka, International Dalit Solidarity Network, Kumaran Book House, 2009)

23. Paramsothy Thanges, 'Will it Disappear, If you stop talking about it?; A Question on caste and ethnicity in Jaffna' Colombo Telegraph (Online), 21 June 2014 https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/will-it-disappear-if-you-stop-talking-about-it-a-question-on-caste-and-ethnicity-in-jaffna/

24. Rig Veda

25. Sasankar, Tilak, 'Contextual Analyses of Females in Swasthani, a Hindu Tradition' (19 March 2015)

26. Schmidt-Leukel, Perry,'Understanding Buddhism', (Dunedin Academic Press, Edinburgh, 2006)

27. Thomas, Sean 'The last untouchablein Europe', The Independent (Online), 28 July 2008

28. Violatti, Cristian, Bhagvad Gita (5 September 2013) Ancient History Encyclopedia http://www.ancient.eu/Upanishads/

29. Waughray, Annapura, 'The new apartheid?' New Law Journal (Online), 6 January 2012, http://www.newlawjournal.co.uk/nlj/content/new-apartheid

B. Cases

1. Begraj v Heer Manak Solicitors& Ors [2014] UKEAT (0496/13/BA) (17 June 2014)

2. Chandok & Anor v Trikey [2014]UKEAT 190(Race Discrimination) (19 December 2014) (Langstaff J)

3. Man Bahadur Bishwakarma v His Majesty' Government, Ministry of Law & Parliamentary Affairs & Others,(Nepal Kanoon Patrika) 2049 B.S., 1010

C. Legislation

1. Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW)

2. Anti-discrimination Act 1991 (QLD)

3. Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (TAS)

4. Caste Based Discrimination and Untouchability (Offence and Punishment) Act, 2068 {2011}

5. Equality Act 2010 (UK)

6. Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA)

7. Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (VIC)

8. Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA)

9. Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)

10. Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007

11. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan (2008)

D. Others

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Migration Australia 3412.02013-2014, http://stat.abs.gov.au//Index.aspx?Query Id=743

2. Health Sciences University of Utah, Genetic Science Learning Center,(17 July 2014) Learn.Genetics http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/chromosomes/types4/

3. International Dalit Solidarity Network, Caste Discrimination,(5 March 2015), http://idsn.org/caste-discrimination/

4. Pillay, Navi, 'Statement by UNHigh Commissioner for Human Rights' (Speech delivered at the Meeting oncaste-based discrimination in the United Kingdom organized by the Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance, House of Lords, London, 6 November 2013)

5. National Assembly of Bhutan,1953, 1st Session, Resolution, Part III, [2]; 1979 51stSession, Resolution

6. Rohulamin Quander J, Declarationof Empathy, http://www.declarationofempathy.org/

7. Roy, Arundhati, Lancet Lecture: The Half-Life of Caste, the Ill health of a nation, (University College London, 20 November 2014)

8. United Nations, 'Draft Principles and Guidelines for the effective elimination of discrimination based on work and descent- Acomprehensive legal framework to Eliminate caste discrimination globally',(developed in cooperation of the International Dalit Solidarity Network), 31October 2013, http://un.org.np/attachments/united-nations-principles-and-guidelines-effective-eliminatscrimination-based-work


[1] Arundhati Roy, Lancet Lecture:The Half-Life of Caste, the Ill health of a nation, (University College London, 20 November 2014)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naw WZYh UWBA&list=PL794B0AE51832BE14.

[2] Narendra Jhadav, 'Untouchables: My family's triumphant escape from India'scaste system' (University of California Press, 2003), 1.

[3] International Dalit Solidarity Network, Caste Discrimination, (5 March 2015), http://idsn.org/caste-discrimination/.

[4] Githu Muigai, Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, GAOR, 17th sess, Agenda Item9, UN Doc A/HRC/17/40, (24 May 2011), 14-18.

[5] Sean Thomas, 'The last untouchable in Europe', The Independent (Online), 28July 2008, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-last-untouchable-in-europe-878705.html.

[6] Manu, The Laws of Manu: withan introduction and notes (Wendy Doniger, Penguin Books, 1991) Part 1,1[2], [trans of: Manusmriti, (firstpublished 200-300AD)]

[7] Ibid. Part 1, 3[18].

[8] Manu, Laws of Manu, aboven 6, Chapter 1, [31].

[9] Ibid. Chapter 1, [87].

[10] Ibid. Chapter 2.

[11] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Migration Australia 3412.0 2013-2014, http://stat.abs.gov.au//Index.aspx?Query Id=743.{*India (397180), Bhutan (4790), Nepal (36940) and Sri Lanka (110,520)}

[12] United Nations, 'Draft Principles and Guidelines for the effective elimination of discrimination basedon work and descent- A comprehensive legal framework to Eliminate caste discrimination globally', (developed in cooperation of the International Dalit Solidarity Network), 31 October 2013,


[13] Subhash Nepali, 'Bigotry beyond Borders', e Kantipur (online) 24 February 2014, http://www.ekantipur.com/2014/02/24/opinion/bigotry-beyond-borders/385798.html.

[14] Rohulamin Quander J, Declarationof Empathy, http://www.declarationofempathy.org/.

[15] Annapura Waughray, 'The new apartheid?' New Law Journal (Online), 6 January 2012, http://www.newlawjournal.co.uk/nlj/content/new-apartheid.

[16] Equality Act 2010 (UK) s9(5) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/9.

[17] Chandok & Anor v Trikey [2014]UKEAT 190(Race Discrimination) (19 December 2014) (Langstaff J) http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/2014/0190_14_1912.html.

[18] Surinder S. Jodhka and Ghanshyam Sha, 'Comparative Contexts of Discrimination: Caste and Untouchability in South Asia' (Working Paper Series, Vol. IV No. 05, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, 2010).

[19] Stalin K, India Untouched:Stories of a people apart, (2008) http://stalink.wordpress.com/documentaries/india-untouched/.

[20] Andre Beteliee, 'Caste Class and Power' (Oxford University Press, 3rded. 1996), 97

[21] Elizabeth M Grieco, 'The Effects of Migration on the establishmentof Networks: Caste disintegration and Reformation amongst Indians of Fiji',(1998) 32(3) International Migration Review 704, 713.

[22] Brahmanical is anadjective of Brahman or so-calledhighest caste

[23] Begraj v Heer Manak Solicitors & Ors [2014] UKEAT (0496/13/BA) (17 June 2014).

[24] Navi Pillay, 'Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights'(Speech delivered at the Meeting on caste-based discrimination in the United Kingdom organized by the Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance, House of Lords, London, 6 November 2013).

[25] Government Equalities Office, 'Caste Discrimination and Harassmentin Great Britain' (Research Findings No. 2010/8) 2010, 4.


[26] Human Rights Watch, 'Hidden Apartheid: Caste Discrimination against India's Untouchables', http://www.hrw.org/reports/2007/02/12/hidden-apartheid-0.

[27] Brahmanism, is the abstractnoun describing the condition of being a Brahman

[28] Brahmanical, is the adjective of Brahman

[29] Source countries are countries in the Indian subcontinent such as India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri-Lanka.

[30] Rig Veda, Book 10, Hymn90.

[31] Bhagvad-Gita, Chapter 1,[31]-[41].

[32] Priya Moorjani, Kumarasamy Thangaraj, Nick Patterson, Mark Lipson, Po-Ru Loh, Periyasamy Govindaraj, Bonnie Berger, David Reich and Lalji Singh,'Genetic Evidence for Recent Population Mixture in India' (2013) 93(3) The American Journal of Human Genetics,422, 429-430.

[33] Kesar Lall, 'Proverbs and Sayings from Nepal', (Ratna Pustak Bhandar, 1994), 20 [132].

[34] Manu, Laws of Manu, aboven 6, Chapter 2[39], Chapter 4[175], Chapter 7[211], Chapter 8[179], Chapter9[253], Chapter 10[57][58][73].

[35] Ibid. Chapter 2, [30]-[31].

[36] Ibid. Chapter 1, [87]-[101]

[37] Ibid. Chapter 1, [108]-[116]

[38] Nicholas Kazanas, 'The Collapse of the Aryan Invasion Theory and the prevalence of Indigenism: archaeological, genetic and linguistic evidences',(Omilos Meleton: Cultural Institute) http://www.omilosmeleton.gr/pdf/en/indology/The_Collapse_of_the_AIT_13_2_2013.pdf.

[39] Nicholas Mirzoeff, 'An Introduction to Visual Culture' (Routledge,2nd edi, 2009), 5.

[40] The Upanishads are the second oldest series of texts in Hinduismbelieved to be commentaries on the Rig Vedas by various scholars.

[41] Manu, Laws of Manu, aboven 6, Part 1, 1[2].

[42] Cristian Violatti, Bhagvad Gita (5 September 2013) Ancient History Encyclopedia http://www.ancient.eu/Upanishads/.

[43] The Rig Vedas are the oldest and first texts of Hinduism. Thesetexts are complex verses of adulations and offerings to God in rhythmic flows.

[44] Perry Schmidt-Leukel, 'Understanding Buddhism', (Dunedin Academic Press, Edinburgh, 2006) 14.

[45] Ibid. 30-40.

[46] Schmidt-Leukel, Understanding Buddhism, above n 44 26-27, 30-40.

[47] Ibid. 30-40.

[48] Ibid. 27.

[49] Manu, Laws of Manu, aboven 6, Chapter 2, [190].

[50] Ibid. Part 1, 4.

[51] Cristian Violatti, Bhagvad-Gita(5 September 2013) Ancient History Encyclopedia http://www.ancient.eu/Bhagavad_Gita/.

[52] Bhagvad- Gita, Chapter 2 [31].

[53] Bhagvad- Gita, Chapter 2[16]-[26].

[54] Bhagvad- Gita, Chapter 3.

[55] Manu, Laws of Manu, aboven 6, Part 2, 3[5].

[56] Dharmic is the adjectiveof Dharma or inviolable duty.

[57] Manu, Laws of Manu, aboven 6, Chapter 12[68].

[58] Ibid. Chapter 12[126].

[59] Ibid. Chapter 12[40].

[60] Ibid. Chapter 12[24], [38], [40].

[61] Manu, Laws of Manu, aboven 6, Chapter 12[41]-[42].

[62] Ibid. Chapter 12.

[63] Ibid. Part 2, 3 [3].

[64] Rig Veda, Book 10, Hymn90.

[65] Kalpana Kannabiran, 'Voicesof Dissent, Gender and Changing Social Values in Hinduism', (Contemporary Hinduism: ritual, culture and practice, Robin RinehartÉ [et al.], ABC-CLIO, Inc. 2004) 274.

[66] Rig Veda, Book 10, Hymn90

[67] Manu, Laws of Manu, aboven 6, Chapter 5, [132].

[68] Beteliee, Caste Class and Power, above n 20, 184-224.

[69] Beteliee, Caste, Class and Power, above n 68, 184-224.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Dor Bahadur Bista, 'Fatalism and Development: Nepal's struggle for Modernization' (Orient Longman Limited, 6th ed. 1994).

[72] Moorjani, Thangaraj, Patterson, Lipson, Loh, Govindaraj, Berger, Reich and Singh, Genetic Evidence for Recent Population Mixture in India, aboven 32, 422, 429-430.

[73] Beteliee, Caste Class and Power, above n 20, 207.

[74] Manusmriti, Chapter 10, [64]

[75] Moorjani, Thangaraj, Patterson, Lipson, Loh, Govindaraj, Berger, Reich and Singh, Genetic Evidence for Recent Population Mixture in India, aboven 32, 422, 429-430.

[76] Health Sciences University of Utah, Genetic Science Learning Center, (17 July 2014) Learn.Genetics http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/chromosomes/types4/.

[77] Roy, The Half-Life of Caste, the Ill health of a nation, above n 1.

[78] Thanges Paramsothy & Kalinga Tudor Silva, 'Caste Discrimination in War-affected Jaffna Society' (Casteless or Caste-blind? Dynamics of Concealed Caste Discrimination, Social Exclusion and Protest in Sri Lanka, International Dalit Solidarity Network, Kumaran Book House, 2009), 51-52.

[79] Thanges Paramsothy, 'Will it Disappear, If you stop talking about it?; A Question on caste and ethnicity in Jaffna' Colombo Telegraph (Online), 21 June 2014 https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/will-it-disappear-if-you-stop-talking-about-it-a-question-on-caste-and-ethnicity-in-jaffna/

[80] Beteliee, Caste Class and Power, above n 20, 177-180

[81] Manu, Laws of Manu, aboven 6, Part 3, 4, [6].

[82] Ibid Chapter 2 [11.

[83] Beteliee, Caste Class and Power, above n 20, 184-224.

[84] Tilak Sasankar, 'Contextual Analyses of Females in Swasthani, a Hindu Tradition' (19 March 2015)

[85] Manusmriti, Chapter 3 [17]

[86] Manusmriti, Chapter 8 [364]

[87] Amana Fontanella-Khan, 'India's Feudal Rapists', New York Times (Online), 4 June2014,[4]-[7]http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/05/opinion/indias-feudal-rapists.html?_r=0.

[88] Manusmriti, Chapter 5 [157], [158]

[89] The son, of a goldsmith's family that settled in Bhutan in the 16thcentury, went to deliver jewelry and in return received payment that was thrownon the floor due to rules of untouchability. He refused to provide change and went straight back to his father to complain what happened. His father reportedthis case to the village headsmen, a Dzongda. The perpetrator, an old woman, wastold to bring flowers and apologize to the young boy in a public gathering, which she did.

[90] Michael Hutt, 'The Bhutanese Refugee: Between Verification, Repatriation and Royal Real Politik' (2005) 1(1) Peace and Democracy in South Asia 44, 45.

[91] Kinzang Wangi, Country Profile/Forage Resource Profiles, (May 2012) Food and Agriculture of the United Nations


[92] National Assembly of Bhutan, 1953, 1st Session, Resolution, Part III, [2]; 1979 51st Session, Resolution, [18].

[93] Elisabetta Crocetti, Monica Rubini and Wim Meeus, 'Capturing the dynamics of identity formation in various ethnic groups: Development and validation of a three-dimensional model' (2008) 31 Journal of Adolescence 207.

[94] Man Bahadur Bishwakarma v His Majesty' Government, Ministry of Law & Parliamentary Affairs & Others,(Nepal Kanoon Patrika) 2049 B.S., 1010.

[95] Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)s 43.

[96] Members of Cohesion Matters, Jeevan Koirala and Avishek Gazmere met Cairns community members on the 14 January 2015 at the Baptist Care Community Centre frequently utilized by the Bhutanese community and discovered thesefacts.

[97] U.S. Bagde, 'Laws against caste discrimination and their rampantviolations in Indian scenario', (2013) 5(2) Journalof Law and Conflict Resolution, 33.

[98] Man Bahadur Bishwakarma v His Majesty' Government, Ministry of Law & Parliamentary Affairs & Others,(Nepal Kanoon Patrika) 2049 B.S., 1010.

[99] Interim Constitution of Nepal2007, Article 14

[100] Caste Based Discriminationand Untouchability (Offence and Punishment) Act, 2068 {2011}, s 4

[101] The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan (2008) art 7 sub-art 15.

[102] The Constitution of the Kingdomof Bhutan (2008) art 7 sub-art 22.

[103] Anti-discrimination Act 1991 (QLD)s 7, Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW)s 4, Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (TAS)s 3, Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) s 5, Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (VIC) s 4, Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA) s 4.

[104] Hinduism: Not cast in caste, Hindu American Foundation, 21 July 2011 http://www.hafsite.org/media/pr/hinduism-not-cast-caste-full-report.

[105] Roy, The Half-Life of Caste, the Ill health of a nation, above n 1.