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Asia Pacific Forum

7 EpisodesProduced by Asia Pacific ForumWebsite

Asia Pacific Forum (APF), is a unique public affairs podcast on Asian and Asian American culture, politics, history and current events. Since its early days as a community radio program on New York’s famed WBAI, APF has produced interviews with a wide range of eminent figures in Asian and Asian Amer… read more

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Confronting Caste in the South Asian Diaspora (with Paula Chakravartty and Ajantha Subramanian)

Over the past few years, the Asian American community has been navigating the country’s tumultuous racial and ethnic politics in unprecedented ways--as the targets of racial violence, as an increasingly important force in electoral politics, as the subject of countless pop cultural tropes, and as an ambivalently positioned minority group in the American social hierarchy. But the issue of caste discrimination is often overlooked as a source of tension and conflict within South Asian diaspora communities. Within communities, caste issues are often downplayed, and accusations of caste discrimination in South Asian communities are often met with backlash and allegations of anti Hindu discrimination. But in recent months we have seen several high profile cases of caste discrimination and oppression, from alleged labor trafficking of low-caste workers to do manual labor for Hindu temples in several states, to Google employees calling out discriminatory treatment by dominant caste workers against their caste-oppressed coworkers.

To explore the ramifications of caste in the South Asian diaspora, Asia Pacific Forum’s Michelle Chen speaks with Paula Chakravartty, associate professor at the Gallatin School and the Department of Media, Culture and Communication, and Ajantha Subramanian Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies at Harvard University.

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