Why this Indian woman is using 'blackface' as solidarity - BBC News: "The news stung me and I thought of this way to express my solidarity with the Vemulas of India."
Ms Jaya says Rohit Vemula was exactly her age, which led to question why "he was being denied the privileges I have been enjoying"?
The answer, she says, is because "black represents the lowest strata of our caste system".
"Caste is closely related to colour and whatever is black is not welcome in the Indian society. I experienced its severity when I started painting myself black," she says.
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