Caste Privilege in the United States and India with Dr. Himanee Gupta 

Brad speaks with Dr. Himanee Gupta, Professor in the Department of Historical Studies at SUNY Empire State and the author of “Muncie, India(na): Middletown and Asian America,” about howt South Asians in the United States who grew up in the Hindu faith are caste-privileged or savarna (which means having varna, a term often equated to having spiritual purity). By contrast, Dalits like Soundararajan are avarna (without varna) and thereby deemed within this system as impure. These categorizations have found legitimacy through the promulgation of a Brahmanical form of Hinduism that shares affinities with the conservative pro-Hindu politics of India’s current leadership. 

Learn more about APARRI

APARRI’s vision is to create a society in which Asian Pacific American religions are valued, recognized, and central to the understanding of American public life. Since 1999, The Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI) has been a vibrant scholarly community advancing the interdisciplinary study of Asian Pacific Americans and their religions. 

Producer: Dr. Bradley Onishi: @bradleyonishi

Audio Engineer and Musician: Scott Okamoto: @rsokamoto

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Funding for this series has been generously provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.

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