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Dalit FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions This FAQ is intended to provide a brief and therefore superficial introduction to the Dalit human rights problem. If you find errors in this FAQ, please comment on this. What is Caste? Caste is determined by birth into a particular group, not by belief. The caste system splits people into a rigid hierarchy of groups defined by birth and occupation. Housing, marriage and all forms of social interaction are divided by caste, and the divisions are reinforced by the threat of ostracism, economic boycott and violence. Lower- and upper-caste people are almost always indistinguishable in appearance. Further confusing the picture for outsiders, huge economic inequalities between upper and lower castes are masked by overall poverty: all are poor, but discrimination against the poorest stifles opportunity and distributes basic resources unfairly to the least poor. The worst jobs are rigidly assigned to Dalits and keep them "in their place" in the most