I am aware that there is respect for all living things. I try to live like that too, but I will get rid of any creature that is a threat to my family. I try to relocate them first if possible.
Indians will kill things that are a threat to their families too. The point is the intention or motivation behind the act. If you stomp a bug to death for fun, it's considered an evil act, but if you swat a deadly wasp to protect a child, it's not seen as evil. But, remember, India is vast and full of many different opinions on these matters.
Another thing that sticks out to me is self-immolation. It is a desperate act. These religions don't seem to heal the ills of developing poverty. How can one even find hope and peace in Hinduism if you are "untouchable"?
Yeah, this is one of the ugly sides of Hinduism. It reminds me of how, in the Bible, women couldn't be touched when on their period. It's all obsessive compulsive behavior based on ignorance and fear; same goes with the untouchables.
Gandhi, Buddha, and many other wise Hindu's opposed points of the caste system, if not all of it. Gandhi said Hinduism was like a wife that he loved, even though she had many faults, and some of those faults we ugly. With all faiths Hinduism has good things about it, and some things that are down right disturbing; like women laying on top of their dead husband that is burning up, so they die with them, and people drinking cow urine, etc., etc.