The Dalits : A Fresh approach towards interpreting their experience of reality

Gouranga P. Chattopadhyay
Emeritus Professor of Academy of Human Resources, Independent Organisational Development Consultant and Personal Counsellor

Abstract

This article focuses on the psychological consequences of oppression in the form of caste based discrimination in India. These psychological consequences are described as processes in the minds of the oppressed people, processes that often are unconscious. First the position of the so-called untouchable castes (Dalits) is described. Then a report is presented of a Group Relations Conference (which is a temporary experiential learning institution), during which Dalitleaders, who have taken the responsibility to fight for human rights of their brother Dalits, met executives of other humanitarian organizations and managers from business houses. During this conference, the Dalits were able to identify unconscious processes based on oppression that were interfering with the effectiveness of their organizations.

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