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South Asian migrants face caste discrimination even in Australia, US, UK, New Zealand

  • In India and other countries in the region, a person’s social status is determined at birth due to a centuries-old socio-religious structure

  • So entrenched is this social system that people who move overseas continue to face prejudice from fellow migrants from the Indian subcontinent

Dalit women queue up to receive medical treatment in Mumbai. File photo: AFP

Eight years ago, when businessman BK heard a couple at a shop in Adelaide speaking his native Indian language, he enthusiastically introduced himself to them.

But the other man’s smile vanished after BK gave his surname, which signified he belonged to one of the lowest groups in India’s strict social hierarchy.

“I was shocked to see that Indians [overseas] still feel embarrassed when they meet people belonging to lower castes,” said the 39-year-old, who wished to be known by his initials.

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