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‘Forced to leave or die by suicide’: A roundtable on how caste discrimination plagues workplace

Newslaundry spoke to three senior officials of the country’s leading institutions about caste, merit and reservation.

WrittenBy:Sumedha Mittal

In June, IIM Bengaluru professor Gopal Das wrote to President Droupadi Murmu, accusing his colleagues of caste discrimination. He said that the premier institute was devoid of any SC ST Cell, even though 50 percent of its students were from backward communities and faced discrimination regularly.  

But this isn’t an isolated complaint. Over the years, many from marginalised communities have reported alleged caste discrimination at educational institutes and workplaces. Newslaundry spoke to three senior employees of India’s top institutions about their lived experiences of discrimination, systemic issues, reservation, and merit.  

On the panel are professor Onkar Mal, a former faculty member of IMD Gurgaon and BITS Pilani and former employee at ONGC; Nagsen Sonare, a former employee at ONGC; and Hridaya Narain, who was earlier associated with Air India. 

The panellists spoke about prevalent bias, systemic discrimination at workplaces, recruitment, backlog in filing vacancies, and purported disdain for reservations. Mal said caste discrimination is more prevalent in the government sector, while Narain said “discrimination is in the head” and “society does not want to give opportunity, reservation”.   


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