The dark side of India
India may be known for its beautiful landscapes and extraordinary culture, but there is a dark side to this enormous country. In a country where the caste system still dictates the lives of India’s citizens, the Muslim, Tribal, lower caste, or untouchable communities are marginalized and discriminated.
I traveled to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh State to document the Musahar community. Musahar means “mouse-eaters”. They are considered “Untouchable” – people tainted by their birth into a caste system that deems them impure, less than human. Musahar are relegated to the lowest jobs and live in constant fear of being publicly humiliated, paraded naked, beaten, and raped with impunity by upper-caste Hindus seeking to keep them In their place. Merely walking through an upper-caste neighborhood is a life-threatening offence. The main business for them, even today, is to kill rats. However, many communities, which have been supported by People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), have changed their diet. Many of them can afford to eat pork, chicken and fish.