Front Burner

Canada starts tackling caste discrimination

Today on Front Burner, Canada’s largest school board — the TDSB — has voted in favour of a historic motion to recognize caste-based discrimination. Is it a sign of more change to come?
On their first day of school, primary school students are pictured entering Blacksmith Public School in North York in an orderly manner. Today the TDSB marks the first day since in-person learning transitioned to virtual last April because of the pandemic. It's one of the two schools TDSB is showcasing as doors open today. Taken morning of 9-Sep, 2021 (Paul Smith/CBC)

The Toronto District School Board has become the first board in Canada to officially recognize caste based discrimination. The caste system is thought to be among the oldest forms of social hierarchy of classification in the world, and has dominated the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years. It can dictate romantic relationships, job prospects, housing, and even lead to violence. 

Today, reporter Uday Rana explores the beginnings of caste in Canada, and the modern impact the ancient hierarchy has on Canada's South Asian diaspora today. 

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