Trolling about for news on my lunch break, I found this article about human rights abuses in India.

It’s about India’s outdated and defunct caste system, outlawed 5 decades ago. Evidently, abuse of the lower caste persists despite that. I found it interesting considering the discussions we’ve had recently at this blog and others about bigotry. I mean, it’s one thing to be discriminated against because of your color, sex, or sexual orientation, but how do you deal with being on a lower rung than everyone else when you are, in actuality, just like everyone else?

I figured that this would be a great direction to take the dialog, and still do, but one statement from the article derailed my thoughts on the whole thing. It was:

“A former president and the current chief justice are dalits, but another 1.3 million earn a pittance clearing human excrement off train tracks.”


Why do people in India shit on the railroad tracks? Is it a death sport? Is this some sort of misguided attempt at genetic engineering where they try to get rid of those people who may be prone to constipation? Are there really so few public restrooms there? Don’t the trains have those chemical toilets?

And why are so many people crapping on the tracks that 1.3 million people are required, at a pittance, to clean it off?

Why is there so much human shit on their railroad tracks that it has spawned an industry? Can anyone with greater knowledge of India explain this, please?

Comment on either issue, or both.



  1. Can I just LOL?

  2. Are they the same people who piss on the electric fence that keeps the sacred cows from running away?

  3. You completely ruined any chance of a rational, enlightened conversation on this post by adding the excrement excerpt at the end.

    What a shitty job.

  4. Rational, enlightened conversation is overrated, IMO…… 🙂

  5. The toilets on passenger trains in India are open to the tracks below…thus, shit on the tracks. Imagine putting your toddler on one of those toilets. “Hang on, Samir! Don’t let go of my hand!”

    Okay, so now I’ve finally out-grossed myself.

  6. Who in their right mind would clean shit off the tracks for a pittance

  7. if supersnark is serious, that’s. freakin. hysterical!

  8. People here listen to Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter. People there shit on tracks. I think we’re all really just the same.

  9. I am totally serious. We have friends from India (who got here as fast as they could, hah!)

    I think nat has a completely valid point.

  10. I think some of these people have moved on to being HP call center technicians. I spent a couple hours on the phone with “Charlie” and all he did was fling bullshit at me.

    Thanks for the observation you made. You were the second person to say exactly what I felt in a single sentence.

  11. hmm. Well. I suppose that out of a billion+ people you’re gonna get some railroad shitters. I guess.

  12. The Indian National Railroad is the largest employer in the WORLD, employing more people than any government. In India, everyone goes everywhere by train, and they are always overcrowded. Meanwhile, clean water and sanitation facilities are inadequate. The train toilets are open to the ground in most cases.

    That being said, the class delinations in India are traditional, if illegal. If you visit any Indian matchmaking site, you’ll see that the color of one’s skin matters more than anything else in arranging a match. In some, they demand a certain caste, too, although thats supposed to be forbidden. We in the US take for granted that laws can make life more fair, at least in a relative sense, when the rest of the world isn’t that way. The struggle for equal rights for women and for lower castes is an ongoing thing in India.

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