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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceMusical Miscellany(Moderators: JP, BGuttman) the music under-caste in India
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Location: Dallas, Texas
Joined: Apr 19, 2009
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« on: Nov 05, 2017, 07:24AM »

The caste system is banned in India... but that's like how discrimination is banned in the US.

Still, I'm stunned to read an article like this about how durable it is and how difficult it is for people to evade it.

For Troubadours Trapped in Servitude, a Murder Breaks the Bond

For hundreds of years, the folk musicians, known as Manganiyars, have been bound to perform for high-caste Hindus, absorbing discrimination and abuse and getting paid little for it. But the thoughtless killing of one of their own seems to have been the last straw.

The Manganiyars who live around the village of Dantal say they are now finished with their feudal-style bondage — another sign that India’s centuries-old caste system may not be completely disintegrating but is definitely fraying.

“The country is free, but we are still slaves,” said Chugge Khan, 39, [murder victim Aamad] Khan’s brother. “This is the tipping point.”

Bound at birth to the Rajputs, a princely Hindu warrior caste, the Manganiyars, whose total number is in the thousands, are scattered across small pockets of India and Pakistan. For centuries, this caste arrangement, knitted together with music, has persisted across the cracked plains of the Thar Desert.

Robert Holmén

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