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Most Indians Searched For Hima Das' Caste After She Became India's First Gold Medallist on Track

Did you say the caste system is dead in India?

Zoya Mateen |

Updated:July 16, 2018, 2:37 PM IST
Most Indians Searched For Hima Das' Caste After She Became India's First Gold Medallist on Track
(Image: AP)

For Hima Das, who became the first Indian athlete to win gold in the women's 400-metre event at the IAAF World U-20 Championships, it's like 'living the dream'.

The 18-year-old from a nondescript village in Assam became the first Indian woman world champion in athletics. It's quite a big deal. Naturally, she has become a huge pride for the nation.

Indians have celebrated Das' victory vigorously, pouring their appreciation on social media. And, they are curious to know more about Das.

But there's something wrong with their curiosity. While celebrating the athlete's victory, most of the country are wondering--'What is Hima Das’ caste?'

The Google search on Hima Das, particularly her caste, saw a massive spike after she her triumph over the gold.

Google Trends showed how caste was the most searched “related topic” pertaining to Das, with the search highest from Assam, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, at the time of writing. Additionally, one just had to type Hima to get the immediate search result as “Hima Das caste”.


This isn't the first time that our countries obsessive preoccupation with cast- based identities have been at the forefront. Earlier, when badminton champion PV Sindhu won silver at the Rio Olympics, the Google search about her caste went up, especially from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana region.


This keen interest in Hima Das' caste has shown exactly what is wrong with us.

While we supposedly thrust ourselves into an era of great development and progress, such realities reveal the rotting state of an India, a country that continues to be deeply entrenched in archaic notions of caste and identity.

It seems we can't even celebrate a victory without knowing the person's caste.

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