Yashica Dutt Profile picture
Author, Coming out as Dalit, Alum @ColumbiaJourn, Founder https://t.co/KFXdqW5ENI, Amazon link: https://t.co/k15fGNmj3h
Aug 18, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
The Dalit child who was murdered by his caste superior teacher in Rajasthan wasn't killed just for drinking water, he was killed for polluting the water that belonged to the 'upper' caste teacher with his thirst. Image Growing up Dalit anywhere isn't easy, but in Rajasthan it can be especially toxic. Image
Jun 9, 2022 10 tweets 3 min read
Standing in complete solidarity with Thenmozhi Soundarajan for speaking against the bigotry at Google in canceling her talk.

Since the Cisco lawsuit in 2020, caste in US has become a visible human rights issue, now impossible to ignore in tech, academia & beyond. 1/n @dalitdiva More than 90% of Indian Americans are upper caste.

For decades they have silenced any conversations on caste, while simultaneously claiming a model minority status.

Caste is now finally in the spotlight, thanks to the unending efforts of Dalits/ Ambedkarite orgs in the US. 2/n
Oct 19, 2021 8 tweets 2 min read
It’s time to address this hateful, vile & toxic narrative that keeps making rounds every time I get active on social media.

Let’s start with facts:

- I grew up in small town Rajasthan, often in extreme poverty, in a Bhangi family, discriminated at times even by ‘lower’ castes - Rajasthan,among the worst on gender & caste disc., didn’t offer any space for Bhangis to breathe, let alone reclaim our identities or Ambedkar.

- I grew up hiding my caste & feeling shame about it — a choice some can afford to sneer at but one that was crucial for our survival
Oct 18, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
I couldn’t attend the @sahityaakademi award ceremony for Coming Out as Dalit winning the Yuva Puruskar in English.

But to my delight, incredible Manasa Yendluri, a Dalit woman writer who also won the award for her short story collection in Telegu, agreed to read my speech. 1/4 ImageImageImage While I’m obviously disappointed to not be able to attend in person and collect the award for possibly the first Dalit writing in English handed out by Akademi, I’m extremely honored and proud that another Dalit woman is able to convey my ideas.

2/4
May 11, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
A Hindu sect with close ties to the ruling party got Dalit labor workers on false pretenses to the US to build a temple

Only to pay them $1/day, seize their passports & keep them locked up in inhuman conditions.

Is this the Hinduphobia they speak of?

nytimes.com/2021/05/11/nyr… Kudos to Swati Sawant, the fierce Dalit immigrant lawyer, who organized legal teams & highlighted this case.

Caste discrimination and exploitation of labor are inherently linked

And a poor understanding of caste in the US leaves more Dalit workers vulnerbale to exploitation.
May 11, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
As someone who spent decades tormented by this word, a Savarna actress casually describing being ‘ugly’/‘unclean’/‘unpresentable’ by calling it Bhangi is not surprising.

Neither is the reaction of those who don’t seem to find any issue with using the name of a caste as a slur. It’s a reflection of the deep tentacles of the caste system that so endemically normalizes a caste being seen as lower that it is turned into a synonym for dirty.

It shows the complete acceptance of the idea that Bhangis, one of the lowest paid people are inherently unclean.
Apr 27, 2021 8 tweets 3 min read
This is a harrowing time for the entire country.

But it’s crucial to remember, even in a pandemic casteism never takes a break.

The IIT Kharagpur prof who berated an entire class of SC/ST/OBC + PwD students as ‘bloody bastards’ was apparently Covid+.

But that didn’t stop her. She continued to use her hyper nationalism (not ‘standing up for the national anthem’) to lash out on ‘quota’ students in her English class, where she gets to determine whether they even make it to any of the IITs next year.

This is how casteism opeates in university spaces
Mar 10, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Since calling out HAF for their motion in the Cisco case, a lot of seemingly Hindu Americans are ‘enraged’ about Dalits pointing out the obvious caste discrimination that happens to us.

Aside from the abuse, bullying & trolling, the worst are those trying to obfuscate the issue. The ones who know how to skillfully shut down any call outs for casteism by waving their flag of religious freedom

Something that understandably scares most non-Indian Americans into silence

In the name of preserving religious sanctity they want to gag even the mention of caste
Mar 9, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
Despite obvious signs,many Indians still don’t believe that caste discrimination in the US is a lived reality for Dalits.

Wonder what they’d say to the Dalit couple who had ‘achoot’ - a slur for untouchable, scratched on their car while living in an Indian community in New York? Or to the Sikh gurudwara in a Queens neighborhood who has faced multiple ‘VIOLENT’ attacks for displaying a photo of none other than Dr Ambedkar.

How is this response any different from the discrimination that we as Dalits suffer from ‘upper’ caste communities?
Sep 29, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read
Imagine being a Dalit woman today.

You’re still mourning the brutal lesson in caste supremacy from 2006 Khairlanji, when a girl, her mother were paraded naked, raped & murdered.

And you hear another Dalit teen succumbed to the same brutality by ‘upper’ caste men, the same day. You know police refused to file a report both times.

The Media ignored, until Dalits agitated, forced them to listen.

Then organized panels inviting upper caste women to discuss how ‘rape is a social evil’.

People registered shock, wondered how this happened, then moved on.
Sep 17, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
Reading @Isabelwilkerson’s Caste was an education in the racial heiarchy of the US. Her lucid writing & brilliance shines so powerfully that I often had to stop just to catch my breath.

But the book largely overlooks the current impact of a system that inspires its argument. My review for @ForeignPolicy
Jul 3, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
When researching Coming Out as Dalit, I often struggled to understand how exactly did 'upper' castes subterfuge caste discrimination as nonexistent not only in our society but internationally.

After spending 3 hours with @surajyengde's EXCELLENT treatise, I finally know. 1/n They did that by dominating almost ALL positions of power and foreign policy, effectively eliminating Ambedkar, & nitpicking on the differences between Caste & Race to exclude it from international attention.

Why solidarity b/w Dalit Panthers & Black Panthers? This! 2/n
Jun 10, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Here’s why:

1. Dalit issues are not ‘mainstream’ enough for folks to care about. Our issues are too distant, too other to deserve attention.

2. The ‘few handles’ who speak about them are margiznalized as ‘Dalit writers’ who sole task is to do the emotional labor of outrage. 3. Dalit murders — for entering temples, for falling in love,for a mustache, for existing — are so routine & ‘expected’ that our deaths are the norm, not the exception.

4. The idea that mainstream = upper class, ‘upper’ caste lives is innate. So our deaths are forever the other.
Apr 17, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
‘Comic’ #AtulKhatri called #RangoliChandel a ‘Chandaal’ for her genocide inducing tweet

With a history of using Dalit caste names as slurs, he is:

1. Equating a proto-fascist bigot w/ an entire community of oppressed ppl

2. Creating more caste-hatred for Chandaals than exists That using a caste name as a slur is not ok should be common sense. But for casteist bigots who need schooling...

It reduces the humanity of a whole section of people to a curse, creating a false idea that it's valid to 'abuse' a Chandaal or a Bhangi -- verbally & physically
Apr 16, 2020 7 tweets 3 min read
While the rest (most) of the world is figuring out how to combat the deadly virus and get through it as safely and quickly possible to mitigate the effects of a near-guaranteed global recession.

But in India

The Pandemic is Weaponized.

Here's how

1/n
Communalized:

Use selective testing & sampling bias. Hyper-focus on one incident + direct a dog-walked genocidal media to synonymize Muslims with the virus (days after murderous anti-Muslim riots in the capital.

Rinse, repeat. Definitely ignore this.

news18.com/news/india/def…
Apr 14, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
"It's because he was, that's why we are"

As we celebrate #AmbedkarJayanti it's crucial to remember that amidst the caste bias, neglect & apathy

The moth-eaten books, forgotten lectures & glossed-over legacy tucked into 20 words in textbooks

Dalits kept his spirit alive Scorned by savarnas for crowding roads, derided by academics for 'hero worship', for many Dalits born into a religion that deemed them filthy& untouchable, Ambedkar is closest to a mythical figure

A singular leader who fought for rights that changed the course for generations.
Mar 2, 2020 15 tweets 19 min read
The diabolical swiftness of anti- Muslim pogrom proved this.

The govt behaves with assumed impunity that no one outside India will notice.

But thanks to the courageous journalism & the footage, images, videos that we could circulate, this time the world is not ignoring. 1/n The Atlantic said unequivocally -- What Happened in Delhi was a Pogrom

theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/… 2/n
Feb 25, 2020 7 tweets 3 min read
In a series of dark days, yesterday was among the darkest.

As world’s eyes are on India, those of us outside NEED to amplify narratives that highlight this👇🏽

Not the Taj, not Obama’s Gandhi Ashram entry, but THIS bald, stark Hindu hate that’s baying for the blood of our people. Image Journalists were told not to cover the brutality because ‘finally the Hindu had risen’.

Those didn’t comply were asked to ‘prove’ they weren’t Muslim — by insisting to pull their pants down.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/are…
Feb 20, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
In Maharashtra a Dalit mother & her 7 yr old daughter are RAPED, KILLED & tossed into a well.

In Rajasthan, a Dalit man is brutally sodomized w/ a SCREWDRIVER + KEROSENE.

These are only ones we’ve heard about.

Dalits are assaulted, raped, killed almost daily. Time to ask why Why do UCs feel they can get away with assaulting raping killing Dalits

Coz stats show they do — often.

Why do they feel emboldened to not just kill but kill with such senseless brutality that it chills your spine

Coz society has taught them that Dalits are subhuman.
Nov 17, 2019 7 tweets 2 min read
Dalit books need and deserve a western audience, more urgently than ever — If nothing else than to understand/explain India in 2019.

Unfortunately, western publishers (incl & esp US based) have a hard time believing that.

The subcontinent still carries an ‘exotic’ myth 1/n So many conversations I have in the US hover around proving the veracity and validity of caste in Indian societies in 2019; both in India and globally

For that alone, the ‘idea of India’ needs to expand beyond ‘dark skinned women photographed in red outfits on book covers’ 2/n
Sep 25, 2019 4 tweets 3 min read
NYT's Roger Cohen wrote a column declaring not to mess with Modi in Texas

That 'despite the human rights abuse in Kashmir' he is going to transform India

@NewYorker's @IChotiner basically hangs him to dry & (almost) renege on his opinion in this brilliant interview >>> @NewYorker @IChotiner Ch: But what is the knee-jerk liberal reaction to being upset by right-wing movements—

Co: No, no, there is nothing wrong with being upset at all. But to make the perfect enemy of the good, to write this man off, to write Modi off, I am not ready to do that. >>>