The Canker of Caste-System

K K Bose, a Dubai-based lawyer and social activist, has sent an ultimatum to the Government of India to ban the caste system by 31 December. But will the government take any initiative to extirpate this horrible social evil? We must never forget that the Indian politics hinges on caste system and politicians of all hues use it as a political plank. Newspapers shamelessly carry the headlines: “Now Haryana will have a non-Jat CM for the first time”, as if Haryana is the fiefdom of Jats? The Cambridge-educated erudite former President K R Narayanan’s Dalit background was highlighted condescendingly when he became the head of the State. One CJI, Balkrishnan, was projected as “’secular and ‘liberal’ judiciary’s ‘unprejudiced’” choice of an upright justice, as if he was being obliged by the “fair” judiciary and the “honest” government of India! This caste system is so ingrained in the collective psyche of all Indians that however liberal we may project ourselves to be, we just can’t get rid of it.

The root cause of honour killings in India is this reprehensible caste system that fosters social differences and encourages social disparity at overt and covert levels. Scores of castes and sub-castes have completely destroyed and de-structured India’s social system. The perceived Brahaminical superiority is a myth and was detonated long ago. Yet Brahmins and their cohorts are trying to perpetuate their hegemony in the form of caste system. We condemn apartheid of the whites, but we’ve no moral right to condemn it so long as we don’t expunge this varna-vyvastha from the face of the earth, not just from the corpus of Indian social milieu.

Caste system is as bad and worth-condemning as the erstwhile apartheid of Europeans which they practised with their native subjects of the colonised countries. In fact, it’s worse than that. Because of the caste system, Indian mindset is still rooted and arrested at a moffussil level and the country hasn’t emerged as a socially seamless nation.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 November 2014 on page no. 11

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