Indian caste system, there and in America

A 1922 stereograph of Hindu children of high caste, in Mumbai (then called Bombay)

A 1922 stereograph of Hindu children of high caste, in Mumbai (then called Bombay)

A couple of upcoming dinner speakers at the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (; Please consult for information on how to join and/or send a query to

On Thursday, May 16 comes Phillip Martin,  senior investigative reporter for WGBH News and a contributing reporter to Public Radio International’s The World, a co-production of WGBH, the BBC and PRI -- a program that he helped develop as a senior producer in 1995.  Basing his comments on his recent reporting for PRI, he’ll talk about the Indian caste system and how it extends into the Indian immigrant community in the U.S. He’ll also talk about the  very challenging role of foreign correspondents in contemporary journalism. Many PCFR members have probably often heard his resonant voice on public radio.

Mr. Martin is the recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists 2017 Sigma Delta Chi award for Best Investigative Reporting and the 2014 national Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Investigative Reporting(large-market radio ). He also was honored with 2013 New York Festivals and United Nations UNDPI Gold Awards. He was part of a team of reporters that was honored in 2002 with a George Foster Peabody Award to NPR for coverage of the September 11th terrorist attacks in the U.S. He has received numerous other journalism and civic engagement honors over the course of his career.

He earned a master's degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and studied international protection of human rights law at Harvard Law School. 


On Tuesday, June 4, Douglas Hsu, a senior Taiwanese diplomat who currently oversees that nation’s interests in New England, will speak to us about current political and economic conditions in that nation (one of Rhode Island’s largest export markets), and China’s military and other threats to Taiwan.