There is a notion in the media that because of persecution, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Afghan Hindu/Sikh minorities migrate to India to seek Indian citizenship.

However, this notion begs the question, why Indian Dalits are not trying to get out of India?

Even though, Dalits in India are heavily persecuted minorities in the country. Dalits seem to have no plan to migrate to other countries as there is no such news available on the Internet.

Why don't they leave India to settle in other countries like their fellows from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan? (Check: here and here)

Some may argue that India's neighboring countries are Muslim majority. The reply is, Muslim-majority Pakistan & Bangladesh have Hindus living there (see: here, here, here, here, and here). On top of that, what difference does it make if Dalits are living in a Muslim-majority country when they are persecuted in their own country where they were born?

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    Who is willing to take them? May 5, 2021 at 0:34
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    I think JonathanReez hit the nail on the head. Dalits, being in the lowest caste, have little of the skills/wealth that would make them attractive to other countries. They are entirely dependent on the charity of other countries to accept them, which is always going to be in short supply (c.f. the European migrant crisis). Plus it would simply be hard to move because of the cost associated with moving. These refugees in Pakistan/Bangladesh are not exactly having a good time either (see Rohingya).
    – Allure
    May 5, 2021 at 2:52
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    Just so it's said... People (as a rule) do not like to leave the land of their birth. Psychologically, it is easier to be a disliked minority in one's own land than to be a tolerated refugee in a strange, foreign land. May 5, 2021 at 5:13
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    @user366312 regarding refugees - all three groups you mentioned were displaced due to active warfare in their country of origin. Fear of death is a great motivator. Persecuted minorities do not tend to leave en masse if the threat level is not deadly; and generally it's rare for a majority of a group to leave a country completely - it usually happens as a reaction to a genocide. May 5, 2021 at 5:15
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    @TedWrigley that would make a good answer (preferably with some sources) May 10, 2021 at 13:21

2 Answers 2


They are not permitted to cross the line dividing their part of a village to that of a higher caste, so crossing a border would be completely out of the question.

Remember, these people are the lowest caste, treated like animals and have been brought up with little education and being taught their place. The very thought of leaving probably wouldn't even cross their mind and even if it did, they have very little resources and knowledge to act on it.

With respect, I think you underestimate the perilous situation these people live in. They exist on hardly anything and if they have a family to look after, they don't have the luxury of taking chances and trying to flee the country. You might live in a free and prosperous society where you can essentially do as you please at the drop of a hat but the majority of the world doesn't work that way. For a Dalit to decide to take a chance on trying to flee India is an actual life or death situation.

There is much more to it but I am certain this answers your question. The only way you'll get a definitive answer is if you actually speak to some Dalits. For more in depth analysis, follow the link below for a full report from Human Rights Watch.


  • this link doesn't agree with your answer. It seems that the move from state to state.
    – user366312
    Jun 12, 2021 at 11:48
  • Moving from state to state is quite different to hopping the border to another country, which the OP was referring to.
    – NetServOps
    Jun 13, 2021 at 1:46
  • India-Pakistan border is porous along the Thar desert.
    – user366312
    Jun 13, 2021 at 1:59
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    Yes, you're premise is that if Dalits are persecuted in their own country, then what difference does it make if they're persecuted in a muslim-majority country? There is a big difference. In India, even though they are persecuted, they at least have a recognized place in society, regardless if it is at the bottom. If they go to Pakistan, they are essentially ghosts. Who would hire them? And even if they were hired, most likely they would be kept as slaves anyway. They would be at even greater risk of being abused. Unless of course, they convert to Islam.
    – NetServOps
    Jun 13, 2021 at 2:57
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    I take exception with this 'Dalits should visit other countries at least once to test to see the atmosphere'. You speak about these things from the perspective of an ignorant westerner. If you were in a Dalits shoes for one day you'd be begging to go back to your iphone and starbucks. If covid hadn't of stifled international travel, I would strongly suggest you try backpacking across India and get a first hand look at the dire conditions people live in.
    – NetServOps
    Jun 13, 2021 at 3:02

There is an entirely false equivalence:

Pakistan: Islamic country, history of "discrimination and religious persecution"(BBC) against Hindus of all castes.

India: Majority Hindu country, history of discrimination against Muslims. Casteist discrimination also prevalent.

So Pakistani Hindus can expect to be better treated in Hindu majority India than in Pakistan. They would not expect to be coerced to convert to Islam. They can openly take part in Hindu ceremonies, rituals and festivals.

Indian Hindu Dalits and other people in scheduled castes would not expect to be treated better Pakistan. They would still be poor, not have access to education. In addition, they would also be subject to religious discrimination, or pressure to become Muslim.

So there is no "pull" to move.

Moreover there are considerable barriers: Pakistan does not grant visas to Indians, except for business, to visit family, or as pilgrims. Dalits (in general) do not have these options. In particular the "pilgrimage" visa requires you to prove that you can support yourself financially. If impoverished people in scheduled castes attempt to cross the border they would be rejected. If caught they would be returned to India. Pakistan does not give general refugee status to people in scheduled castes, unless there is specific evidence of a fear for safety.

So there is a big "push" reason to not to go to Pakistan.

Finally it is not so easy to move. Moving costs money and with 33% of scheduled caste members living in poverty, moving is difficult. You home is where your family is, where you can get support from members of your community, even if you face discrimination from other members of your community. You have some land, some money, some shelter. If you move, you have to start from nothing.

There are considerable pull reasons for staying put.

Now for any individual will need to consider the pull and the pushes. For the vast majority of people in scheduled castes the calculations goes like this

Reason to go Reason not to go
Face discrimination Face discrimination
x Can't practice my religion
x Can't get visa
x Can't afford journey
x Don't have friends and family
x Dont live at home

When you compare like this, the reason why people in scheduled castes are not trying to go to Pakistan is pretty obvious.

Of course there are some members of scheduled castes who are now successful entrepreneurs. Most could easily afford to obtain the paperwork to enter and live in Pakistan, but far prefer to have a penthouse apartment in Mumbai or Dubai or London. I leave it to your speculation why this might be.


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