I was not trying to paint a picture, rosy or otherwise. I was only sharing what I know to be true from first-hand experience. In a country the size of India, you can pretty much find every type of vice and evil you can imagine, if you go looking for it. You could, for example, go out looking for FGM, and then write an article on how the bad, bad Hindus still practice mutilating their women. Or Sati, necrophilia, drug abuse, you name it.
The point is these do not scale to the level of the nation. No one in their right minds still practice institutional untouchability. Do some people still do it? Sure.
I would strongly caution you against getting your India (or Asia) “news” from the likes of the CNN, NYT, WaPo. From lengthy experience, I find their coverage of India slanted, biased, unreliable and unrepresentative of the ethos of the nation I have lived in for decades. They have Left-wing agendas, that is for certain. Their coverage choices are informed by that. Take your article as an example: it takes the “caste system” and makes it sound like the nation of a billion people revel in inflicting such injustice upon their own. This is slander, pure and simple.
I call this type of coverage poverty porn. Pay something to dirt-poor people, get their names and photos, and basically write whatever you want. 'Tis the reason the Chinese block many Western news agencies: while the Chinese are authoritarian, Western news agencies are not exactly paragons of honest journalism either.
A vignette from my personal life: every Hindu family has a kuldevata temple - ancestral temple of unique significance to a small group of families. Mine is in remote Southern India. This temple is managed and maintained entirely by those who you would call the “lower castes” or even “untouchables,” including managing the temple’s finances. I have eaten in their homes. Their warmth and love is gratifying, and so is their service of the temple that would otherwise crumble away. This is the essence of India, that your friendly Leftist CNN will never tell you about.