After attending the screening of Anand Patwardhan's documentary film http://www.patwardhan.com/films/Jai%20Bhim%20Comrade.htm I am sadly reminded of an eye-opening book I read as a teenager about Japan's burakumin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burakumin and how social reality continues to be riddled with inequalities perpetuated out of deeprooted prejudices towards those who are born into the wrong social caste.
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar a Dalit who distinguished himself through higher education is considered to be the prime architect of Indian Constitution but, 63 years later, the officially banned caste system http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_in_India continues to cast its long shadow on the Dalits who struggle to construct a new egalitarian identity.
Following Ambedkar's example, many Dalits have converted to Buddhism, a religion that denounces slavery, putting faith in the teachings of Buddha and the promise of spiritual salvation represented by the lotus flower that triumphantly emerges through mud and water to blossom in the open air of freedom. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6695695.stm
The Dalits have also embraced the goddess of English as a goddess of learning and social mobility through education.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savitribai_Phule 19th century female social activist and poet of Dalit origin