South Asia's Best Kept Secret: Repackaging Caste in the Diaspora with Yashica Dutt

In this student-faculty collaborated talk, Yashica Dutt joins Prof. Shefali Chandra (Washington University) and members of the student group Ekta to discuss how caste is "the invisible arm that turns the gear in nearly every system in India," and how this invisible arm has extended its reach to the diaspora.

Yashica Dutt is a prominent anti-caste journalist, her work ranging from arts, culture, fashion, and gender to the CISCO caste discrimination case from 2020. Dutt has worked for the Hindustan Times and graduated from the Columbia Journalism School with an MA in Arts and & Culture. Her work has appeared in notable publications such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wire (India), and many others; she currently works as a freelance journalist and social media consultant in New York. In 2019, she published her memoir, Coming Out as Dalit, in which she explores the braided histories of her own life and the institution of caste in India. Her memoir won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar (Indian Government Literary Honor) in March 2021.

This event is brought to you by the WashU student groups Ekta (South Asian political education discussion group) and Ashoka (South Asian cultural group). And it is sponsored by the History Department; Jewish, Islamic, Middle Eastern Studies Department; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department; the Asian American Studies program. 

The event inaugurates Ekta's larger efforts to add caste protections to WashU's non-discrimination policy.
Learn more about the work here: