As nine-year-old Hardit Singh joined a march to protest the Second World Hindu Congress held from September 7-9 at the Westin Hotel in suburban Chicago, he searched for words to articulate the caste system.
“They have like four different — you know how they have like temples, and kings, and leaders, and then they have this tower,” said Hardit. “It’s like Egyptians. Like in a pyramid.” As he gesticulated, trying to wrap his mind around the system by speaking with his hands, he grasped that caste is connected to inequalities in power and wealth distribution. “Who gets the less money and who gets the most money. Like the kings, they’re at the top. And the poor, they’re at the bottom or not even in the thing. There’s like four stages. I don’t remember all of them, but the last one is separated into a Touchable and an Untouchable.”
“Sikhs do not support that,” concluded the turbaned young Sikh. “We think everyone is equal. The kings and the poor are all together. They’re one thing on this earth.”