Effects of Caste System Still Felt in Canada

Culture matters:

It’s been over 60 years since the Indian government officially abolished the caste system upon gaining independence from Britain. Despite that, some South Asian Canadians say they are still feeling the effects of the discriminatory system.

“You can call it a disease that has no cure. It’s a kind of cancer and it’s killing the society,” Varinder Dabri told the CBC.

Dabri, a veterinarian who works at the Dear Animal Hospital in Richmond, B.C., says back in India, he comes from a so-called “lower caste.” Despite being highly educated and having a respectable job, he says it’s that status that defines him for other Indo-Canadian individuals who still subscribe to the archaic hierarchical system.

According to Dabri, the caste system is still being taught to young people in Canada from elders in their household.

“They’re telling their kids to not marry a person to a lower caste. There was one girl i worked with from a so-called upper caste and when I told her I am from a lower caste she didn’t believe it. She said ‘no, no they’re dirty and filthy and don’t have a good education.'”

Dabri says that when he moved to Canada more than 15 years ago, he never imagined the caste system would follow him here. He says it’s even worse than racism.

“Racism is discrimination between parallel races, but the caste system has levels. Upper caste people can make a lower caste person’s life miserable, but the lower caste person can’t react back because of the society.”

“People who come from India bring the caste with them. It’s in their blood and they carry it with them all the time.”

Perhaps Dabri’s most damning indictment of the caste system is that he doesn’t see a change within attitudes anytime soon.

  • mauser 98

    duh…3rd world is racist

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The common Indian word for caste means “color.” Guess which colors are higher and which are lower.

  • Alain

    Alright I understand that he doesn’t like it, but since it is not practised by Canadians in general, what does he expect us to do about it? I suggest he change the crowd he mixes with and get on with his life. No one is holding him back, refusing to hire him or deny him housing. Sorry but I am so fed up with people nowadays who have some kind of beef or complaint and want the government to fix it, which always means trampling on the rights and freedoms of some other group or individual.

    • Petey

      He’s been here 15 years. He’s just learning how to be a Canadian and fit in.

  • just a thought

    The sun rises.
    The sun sets.
    The day is long.

  • Brett_McS

    We had a group of Indian engineers working here on contract for a while. One of them was clearly of a higher caste – even though they were all on the same level in our office – as the others would take turns getting his lunch.

    • Alain

      So that was their choice. Again no sympathy from me. Having been to India I am well aware of how it works there, but this is not India.

  • Gary

    So what’s new, Canada now has Sharia Law that followed the female victims of when they came here as Refugees FROM islam’s sharia.
    Justin endorses the brutal Whahhabi sharia sect of the Sunni muslims in canada by court their votes in the mosques. He then goes to a PRIDE parade and tells them he’s their friend and fights for Gay Rights.

    • chayisun

      Which one is Trudeau?

      • Minicapt

        The one on the left is his alter-ego.


  • Frau Katze

    VS Naipaul, the writer, claimed that he could detect remnants of caste in Pakistani Muslims (who of course were all converts).

    He wrote that some families would do certain types of jobs…

    He wrote two books about Islam. I can’t remember which one it was in.

    • Alain

      That is very, very telling. Thanks.

  • barryjr

    Bunch of ignorant fools. If you come to Canada accept our customs it is what made Canada desirable. If the customs of your ex homeland are so great stay there.

  • marty_p

    The caste system is scary… I watched a feature on 60 minutes years ago about the lowest caste members in one Indian city being relegated to cleaning public toilets for their entire lives as it was their station in life.

  • canminuteman

    They’re all wogs to me.