My views on Caste

In India, classification of the society based on caste was primarily based on profession.  Classification of people as Brahmin, Kshathriya, Vaisya and Sudra was further drilled down into several sects and sub-sects, creed and community, in course of time.  Eventually, this fundamental basis disappeared and people were identified as belonging to a particular caste or sect based on hereditary descent, notwithstanding Vedic verses in Sanskrit that emphasise that a person’s activities and attitude determine his status in the social spectrum and not his ancestry.

Be that as it may, classification of people into castes, creed, community, sect and sub-sect has contributed more to hatred among the community members as the so-called upper section perpetuated a tendency to exploit and denigrate the downtrodden and weaker sections of the society.

It was a natural evolution that the oppressed sections challenged the domination and merciless exploitation and social denigration.  Independent India, in her sincere attempt to eliminate division of people based on caste, came forward to protect the interests of the oppressed sections by incorporating constitutional provisions on reservation.  However, eventually these very provisions were sought to be conveniently misused for vote-bank politics.

It is my opinion that caste-based classifications in the society can be eliminated only by introducing constitutional ameliorations evolved with the widest possible popular involvement, sidelining vested interests and narrow-minded politicians.

 
 

 

  • The term caste can best be defined as “A social class separated from others by distinctions of hereditary rank, profession, or wealth.”
  • Caste system existed not only in India, but also in many countries of the African continent, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Latin America, Nepal, Srilanka, Yemen and Pakistan
  • The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has deplored the widespread abuse perpetrated against India's so-called "untouchable" caste, also known as Dalits
  • Although the Indian constitution makes caste discrimination illegal, Untouchables living at the bottom of society are subjected to indignities and atrocities.