What is not being covered or even addressed in the gang rape of "Damini" - Jyoti Singh Pandey, is the fact that the Indian culture breeds segregation, prejudice, sexism and even hatred due to its caste system. The caste system is alive and well not only in India but by Indian-Americans in the US as well. It's a system of culture where a child is taught very early on, especially male children, that they are better than and entitled. I am 37 years old, born and raised as an Indian-American in Los Angeles, CA. I remember visiting India as a teen and getting groped and having rude comments yelled at me - I would walk with my hands behind my back covering up by bottom so that I would not get pinched. This is not a unique situation. I now sit on the Board of Directors of an organization in Southern Cal that supports South Asian (mostly Indian and Pakistani) women who are domestic violence survivors. The cases are horrific and Indian's have brought the caste system and the demeaning attitude toward women, here in the US. Of course not every Indian is this way. However, having married a Caucasian 13 years ago and having adopted an Indian child (of a lower caste), I have spent over a decade, in a well educated family, in a personal fight battling racism, sexism and prejudice due to the beliefs of the caste system - due the fact that an Indian girl married outside the race or that an Indian girl adopted. What I am very concerned about is that the underlying issue of violence against women is not being tackled. Women do NOT have equal rights and no policy or legislation will change that. Until we address the fact that Indians look down upon their own race simply due to their sex or birth location, nothing will change. It's time that Indian women know that their voice does matter, all Indian women - not just those from a higher caste.
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