#EverydayCasteism : “how come it’s casteist? Come here, we will tell you.”


When I first came across Riya Singh’s one-liners under the hashtag ‘EverydayCasteism’, I’ve noticed the immediate outrage from fellow upper-caste folk, including, the ‘woke’. These one-liners speak about the caste prejudices in our everyday lives that are often normalised or overlooked. Later, when I started using the same hashtag, writing down instances that I’ve personally experienced and observed, my fellow DBA friends also started commenting their experiences and observations that they go through each day. Then, Riya Singh and I decided to compile few of our posts and start a page with a name “Everyday Casteism” where we invite our fellow DBA people to come and write under the same hashtag.

Riya Singh and Divya Kandukuri

(Left: Riya Singh , Right: Divya Kandukuri)

Like Everyday Casteism Facebook page from here.

Everyday Casteism in India

Below attached are some of our posts that have been successful in burning the casteist souls around us.

  1. You’re casteist if you say, “You don’t look like a Dalit”.
  2. You are casteist if you believe calling a savarna “a savarna” is casteism.
  3. You are casteist if you say, “We LET the Dalit Bahujans speak”.
  4. You are casteist if, you say that we work in an MNC, our company is very inclusive and we don’t discriminate on any lines. We don’t even know what is the caste of the person who sits on the next desk.
  5. You are casteist if, you criticize Hindu Navratre but glorify Durga pujo!
  6. I am atheist and also communist who doesn’t believe in caste ~ Deiii Holi, Durga Pujo are my favourite festivals!
  7. You are casteist if, you say Hindu festivals have nothing to do with ‘caste’. It’s Indian culture & I have a ‘choice’ to celebrate them and not politicize everything like you do.
  8. You are casteist if, You deny caste on the basis of our Dalit parent’s occupation – if your blood boils when you get to know our parents are bureaucrats, doctors, engineers and scientists.
  9. You’re casteist if you say, ‘Why you bring caste angle in everything’.
  10. You are casteist if, you don’t even think twice before entering a mall and picking up things for yourself but cribs, gets offended and boils with anger when the “kude wale” bhaiya demands a 10rp hike in his pay.
  11. You are casteist if, you yourself could not make it to and did not even think about IIT-IIM but still, blames reservation when a Dalit student tops the entrance exam with full marks.
  12. You are casteist if you say, “Oh, you don’t need to study, you anyway have the reservation. Chill karo”.
  13. You’re casteist if you say, “You speak such good English, you don’t seem to be a Dalit”.
  14. You are casteist if, you serve chai to your domestic help in a different mug which you will not use for your own self.
  15. You are casteist when you say, “The maid is good but sometimes she acts clever and doesn’t clean the toilet properly”.
  16. You are casteist if, you wait for your domestic help to come and order her/him to pick up a dead mouse and dispose it off.
  17. You are casteist if you say, “Can’t trust these maids, we have to be around while they’re working. They tend to steal things often”.
  18. You are casteist if you say, “We allow our maid to use normal utensils unlike others and they even sit on our sofas”.
  19. You are casteist when you offer left-overs to your domestic help.
  20. You are CASTEIST if you don’t throw your used sanitary pad in the dustbin and leave it open at the pot/ do not flush the toilet properly and expect your maid (didi-bhaiya-tai as you call them) to do that!
  21. Sharma says, I cannot be casteist because I am a beef-eating atheist.
  22. Savarnas without surnames/savarnas with two names/savarnas using their mother’s name as surname and claiming to be devoid of caste & patriarchy is a jumla.
  23. You’re casteist if you say, “Reverse discrimination horaha hai mere saath”.
  24. You’re casteist if you say, ‘Not all uppercastes…’ whenever I use the word Savarna.
  25. You are casteist if you say, “They do identity politics to gain votes” but you never pass the mic.
  26. You are casteist if you say, “I don’t believe in caste though I’m a Hindu” ~ not giving up on that surname.

Divya Kandukuri is pursuing her master’s in Media & Cultural Studies and Riya Singh is a PhD scholar in Women’s Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

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  1. 2

    Questions: I don’t recognize caste unless it’s literally spelt out to me (I don’t get the surname thing). Should i try to be aware of it? Should i ask?

    2. Does it matter if I know my maid’s caste? I’ve mostly had muslim maids and sometimes my mum offers them food that won’t be eaten in my house? I’m also a muslim (also not against non muslim maids).

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