One of the most atrocious things that predominated Indian culture for the past 3000 years is caste. It runs deep in the veins of India and turns out to be one important factor that stops us from growing.
The discrimination of people based on their castes is awful. Living in a society where even the so-called “well-educated” parents who cringe when it comes to intercaste marriages is gutwrenching. To worse things up, allocation of quotas based on castes in education is simply dreadful. Castes are running in our blood longer than we could remember.
How has it originated?
The purification required is not of untouchables but of the so-called superior castes.Mahatma Gandhi
When Indo-Aryans arrived in India they made us servants and slaves. Despite their domination over the native Indians they were concerned about their position in the top of the pyramid. There was a high probability that Indians could unite and take back what’s rightfully theirs. To avoid this they invented the caste system where people were divided into different castes depending on the jobs they did. Mixing of castes- social interactions, marriage, even sharing of meals was forbidden. Infringement of rules “pollutes” the person and society as a whole.
Fast forward a few centuries, the caste system is deeply embedded in our daily life especially marriages and work.
How has it managed to prevail?
It is absurd to quote religion or God or religious doctrines to render the people as lowest castes.Periyar E. V. Ramasamy
People made castes a part of their identity and with each passing generation, the identity grew more potent than the last one. It was toughened by the widespread prevailing of abstaining from intercaste marriages and quotas for separate castes. Castes were something meant to break our spirits but people hardly see it that way. By allocating seats based on castes rather than based on performance in education implants castism at a very young age. What you can do instead is to provide good quality education if not free, but at least at a lower cost.
The moment you tell a caste fanatic that castes are nothing but B.S. Be prepared for the violent hurricane filled with nasty words coming right back at ya. It is because it has become an integral part of his identity for the past few centuries. And any threat to this identity, he will go all Rambo mode!
The question of the hour bombs into my mind,
How do you help generations of virtuous citizens of India to adopt a non-caste mindset?
Turning them into Rambo mode, won’t bring us any good. Bringing awareness among the elder community about the origin of castes might help change a few. But our major roles play in how we change the younger generation. It is with their help we can change the world. Younger brains are very similar to molten iron. They can be easily moulded and you have the power in you to turn them into great men and women.
Stand steadfast against discrimination. Castes are not taboo. Speak about it with proper reason. Make treating others based on castes a taboo. Teach your kids that discrimination based on castes and religion is one of the worst sins of all. Bring awareness among people that treating people based on caste, gender, religion or race is awful. Discrimination of any sort is just obnoxious.
What you can do right now
- Teaching your kids to treat everyone equally regardless of caste, race, religion or gender (including LGBT- They are humans too)
- Try to let go of your prejudice about people of caste outside of yours
- Be okay with intercaste marriages. There is nothing wrong with it if both partners love each other for real. (And by the word real means highly authentic). Sure you are going to face a lot of problems in the society due to this but that’s what being human means. Overcoming adversities. It’s hard but it will be worth it.
I know I am naive to provide suggestions who are twice, thrice my age but I believe it doesn’t hurt to consider my opinion.
I have a dream where people in our society live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character. (A Martin Luther’s statement couldn’t match any better)
Because only our unification can bring solutions to bigger problems such as pollution, global hunger etc… Problems which threaten the entire humankind.
And always believe that you have the power to change the world.
Those who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who actually doSteve Jobs