'Hima Das caste': Is Google the villain?
We have seen a controversy explode over many Indians looking up Hima Das' caste on Google. How is the caste of anybody important? Aren't we living in 2018? Many have asked. In defence of the people who have googled Hima Das' caste identity, some commentators say that having caste pride doesn't mean one is casteist. So, if Indians belonging to Hima Das' caste want to take pride in her, so be it.
Leaving aside the arguments, both for and against, Google may have to take the blame for 'Hima Das caste' showing up as the top option as soon as the user types the sportsperson's name.
Columnist R Jagannathan says that it's all "self-perpetuating", actually. How? As soon as Hima Das started making news, many Indians started typing the words 'Hima Das caste'. The number of people doing this would have been limited had Google not automatically thrown up 'Hima Das caste' as the top option below the search box. Even those who were not inclined to know her caste were interested in this piece of information because of Google. This is a fair point. But the question remains as to why it all started in the first place.