Are they men too? Fine!
First a quote from an extremely popular non-fiction work:
"I am a liberal, and above these caste distinctions", said my host, turning to me, "but I cannot tolerate the sight of a lower caste girl sitting beside a Brahmin boy. I saw it with my own eyes on a bus in Delhi the other day. Mind you, the boy was the son of a Supreme Court judge."
"What is wrong with them sitting on the bus together?" I asked artlessly.
"What's wrong -- she is unclean!" said my Rajput host, rising imperiously from the charpai and assuming the dignity of a retired transport commsissioner."They used to carry muck on their heads."
"That was probably two generations ago", I said, impatience showing in my voice.