Is it wise to seperate people by virtue of one's fate? Caste has a role in condescension. Our society's understanding has never truly dismantled the mindsets of "graded inequality" by casteist classification, then based on jobs & today by one's birth-fates. Slavery, racism and casteism has existed in every culture in the world. For generations, a lot of people have been treated as dirty and unworthy, denied rights like land ownership and job opportunities. Untouchability was portrayed as much worse than killing. It was demonised by having rules of social distancing and cleaning footsteps. There’s been no reckoning as elitist believes with the right to set laws and rule the world. Over decades, we have built a passive feedback engine around the idea of caste, and now that loop isn't going away, undeniably symbiotic!
Can we stay silent anymore? The question buzzes each day who's to blame. But, its time we hit a pause and look who's our real enemy. Thinking rationally, this would be no age for revenge or vendetta? And, its time people move on. Accept imperfections. Forget and forgo your past misery. Be happy and content for being educated, and bring change and solidarity. It's right for every citizen to get healthcare, education and employment opportunities, and merely not deprive a generation of kids their fundamental human rights on basis of a sheet of paper that stamps one's faith. Fight who denies you that opportunity. Don't fight your invisble enemy.
Lets not presume that there is no "caste". Rather writing a cringe PTSD story about how caste affected us all these years, lets talk.... Make a self-introspective, reflective and critical analysis. It's ages since constitution was formed and why still are we making a database on caste?
It is important to realise that discrimination on social/cultural parameters are the basis, foundation for every other form of discrimination. Intention matters because it communicates. But, in the due process of recognizing employment and equal opportunities for everyone, doesn't a community certificate not undermine our diversity and inclusion? Doesn't the caste-branding make a kid more marginalized and insignificant?
In retrospect, how many among us would be real proud to say their caste out loud? The problem with caste-based reservations, decades from independence still makes a country like ours look backward. If 70 years has not brought any change to livelihood of people, the implied inverse is we must agree to forefiet and abandon the ship. If we are dealing with systemic inequities that plague our constitution, amend the laws. If parties still want to play caste-based vote-bank politics, its time for us to voice a change!
In short, this world is bound by one grand rule book, knocked sideways by variables that seperates one another. All it takes is us to remove systemic discrimination from equation. Culture-setting works best when people begin to treat one another with mutual respect.
Caste discrimination is a human rights violation and victims of caste-based discrimination deserve better rights. Why should anyone tolerate discrimination in the public sphere, and lose their diginity and freedom over their birth-fate? It is divisive and violent that people are discriminated in an age on-basis of factors that seperate without humanity. Caste has increased the friction and used as a vote-bank by many enterprising opportunists. Know your enemy - Art of War by Sun Tzu. Its a liberals dream for not differentiating people on the basis of caste, religion, creed, gender, colour, food they eat or job they do or who they choose to marry. Are we living that dream yet?
Caste is a problem today, but not the only problem #1. Many struggle for dignity and self-respect. And, there are deaths from an invisible virus proving how fragile life is. We can't erase the blot from the surface, but we can stop from making a new one. Caste-based reservations have brought more pain than any gain. And, roaming around with a board around your neck dehumanizes people further fuelling their oppression. If one tends to step on another's foot, even unknowingly, its obvious people lose their cool, and hate filled divisive polity-at-play erupts. Little can we expect people to be tolrent about what's dividing them.
Its only nature that might have divided people by gender, but its the Man who over his evolution has found comfort with his "degree of seperations" and not realizing how adding one more attribute each decade, is effectively increasing complexity in restoring equality, inclusion and balance to a mixed diversity of his own creation.
Let's accept - Caste is inhuman. Our culture is shaped by our society, and the fault lines run deep. With privilege also comes the blindness of how people discuss caste, because truth is, we have always been contempt with "how and what" we accept to follow in the society.
Our social contract that we deem to unite us needs to be renewed with consideration into removal of attributes like caste, that consistently has been tearing its fabric. Change comes sometimes much later. We may not even be around, but being honest about it and accepting the outlook exists is the hard part for the society.
A liberal school of thought accepts to live with diversity. And, India has been in social harmony with multitude of religions and castes. But this social harmony, can't always be united over a diversity that discriminates and divides people.
When something doesn't affect you personally, its called previlege. If you are reading this, you may have the previlege of understanding a language, though small but greatly influential previlege. It's not just about having the knowledge of your previleges but using it wisely to hold people accountable. Identity what hinders inlusion. With your previleges collectively unite against threats that deepen the wounds of caste-based discrimination, and help people remove that stigma.
Weighing the scales of caste based reservations, its purely a "great start", and makes you ahead of the curve. With a previlege like caste, you got there because of something you had nothing to do with. And, shortly people get used to the new normal.
The same law applies to one who by virtue of birth considers himself born to the god's immaculate pure-bred race! How can one define what's pure? Its only because of such casteist idealogies have fringes come up with bigger excuses to cite history, and claim stake in quotas.
Privilege to a person is like water to a fish. You can only appreciate its existence when you are without it. Question is — Do you need really it? A 'reserved seat' today as an easy seat is only because one stepped in with their parental previlege. The question we have to ask is how long can one play the vicitim card?
News unless presented with a bias doesn't establish a message to people. It doesn't convey an emotion without bias. Media has profitted from spicing up its content with layers that we consume today as "biases". And, with time, they become narratives that manufacture consent.
If we as a society have to live with pillars that shape our collective biases, its time we wisely have to ignore attributes that seperate you and your neighbour. Branding & tagging individuals on basis of their birth-fate deepens the divide. In short, skip with a lazy-eye on those headlines that sell you news based on someone's caste!
How does equality of opportunity apply to a country like India, where seeds caste-based differences were sown 350 decades ago? Has the caste-based reservations solved the problem, or deepening the wound?
70 years since Independence from its colonizers, has caste been abolished? Or, Are the systems of inequality are still deeply rooted? One look at the number of caste-based matrimony websites says otherwise.
Ultimately, caste like gender, race and colour is about power. Caste is clearly a cultural hegemony. To raise this awareness and break the psyche we can together raise awareness about how society defines and separates people!
By putting the blame on colonialism, we absolve the complicity in casteism and casteist oppression, and continue to benefit from reservations. Most of us do forget who designed caste, and even controls this disease that infected large sections of people.
The deeper question about caste is how does this operate and why. Caste has polarised the society in a damaging way for decades and its time for a generation of people to break this chain, as everyone deserves an equal and just future. Don't profit at the cost of someone's peace. May peace prevail.