Violent protests in Gujarat

This item appears on page 19 of the October 2015 issue.
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More than 300,000 members of the Patel caste in the westernmost Indian state of Gujarat participated in protests, which started peacefully on Aug. 25 but became violent over the following two days, leading to the deaths of at least eight people, with many more injured. At least one of the dead and 12 of the injured were police officers.

The Patel protesters, part of a traditionally middle-class caste, were rallying against caste quotas, which they perceive as discriminating against them in favor of lower castes.

The protests became violent after police arrested the group’s leader following a rally in the city of Ahmedabad. In response, the protesters set fire to buses and police stations. After the group’s leader was released, calm was restored.

India’s caste system, originating in ancient times, is extremely influential in Indian society. Traditionally, castes determine social standing and the occupations and education available to people. Caste placement is inherited at birth and cannot be changed. Though the modern Indian government has worked to remove caste restrictions, discrimination and inter-caste conflicts regularly occur.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

More than 300,000 members of the Patel caste in the westernmost Indian state of Gujarat participated in protests, which started peacefully on Aug. 25 but became violent over the following two days, leading to the deaths of at least eight people, with many more injured. At least one of the dead and 12 of the injured were police officers.

The Patel protesters, part of a traditionally middle-class caste, were rallying against caste quotas, which they perceive as discriminating against them in favor of lower castes.

The protests became violent after police arrested the group’s leader following a rally in the city of Ahmedabad. In response, the protesters set fire to buses and police stations. After the group’s leader was released, calm was restored.

India’s caste system, originating in ancient times, is extremely influential in Indian society. Traditionally, castes determine social standing and the occupations and education available to people. Caste placement is inherited at birth and cannot be changed. Though the modern Indian government has worked to remove caste restrictions, discrimination and inter-caste conflicts regularly occur.