Issues

How foreigners look at the division of Indian Society on caste/religion lines

19 October, 2015: Bihar is one of the most populous states of India. The population density is almost three times the average density in the country. This shows that resources are not sufficient for the residents. A similar situation exists in other eastern states like Orissa and West Bengal. Other parts of the country also face the problem of poverty but the situation is worst in the eastern part. Hence the upper castes who own most of the resources, always try to retain those privileges. Be it political or administrative opportunities, they always want their incapable own caste people to avail them. This is the main reason behind the division of society on caste and religion lines.

In the current situation, bureaucracy is dominated by upper caste people. They exploit people from backward castes, schedule caste/tribes and minorities in one way or the other, whether it be the case of promotions in jobs or day-to-day work in the offices. In recent decades, representation of backward leaders has risen drastically. But they try to further divide the backward and minority communities in order to rule. This is not good for the nation as leaders need to be transparent. If the country wants to grow, the leaders of society, i.e., upper caste people, need to be honest.  They should not harass marginalised communities.

The caste system and divisions in the Indian society are well known to people all over the world. People in Europe are very much interested to know about the Indian caste system. One of my colleagues, who is Lithuanian, showed interest in this issue.  She might find it good to know the secrets of the caste sytem but sharing knowledge about this bad practice is a matter of pain for me and any other Indian.  These issues have been discussed by Michael Neuwirt, an Austrian. He says, “We to have divisions in society but its on the basis of economy.”

These days developed countries are no longer religious. They are focusing on development instead of fighting on religious grounds.

My German colleague says, she is “Catholic on paper but it hardly matters”.

Another colleague, Ke Ma from China, does not have any religion. He only believes in the party. When I was discussing the Dadri lynching over alleged beef eating, he replied:

“In the world, many people are killing each other over strange things.”

It was very surprising for me to know that even my Iran colleague is not a hard believer in religion. She said, “I am Muslim but do not have blind belief in religion.”

If development is the buzz word from Europe to all over Asia, why in India people are killing each other? Why they are divided on the lines of caste and religion?

Upper caste people do not want to see the emergence of some backward and Muslim leaders. This is high time for them to stop discrimination. Give opportunities to deserving people irrespective of religion and caste. Every time you exploit your office staff, you force them to lose faith in the mainstream system. It is a duty of all bureaucrats and officers to stop giving government benefits to their near and dear ones. You need to see everyone with the same glass. Your malpractices have already given birth to few leaders who enjoy the support of the poor and backward people. Instead of blaming leaders, everyone should examine his or her own acts. Nation can develop only if all people are given respect and opportunities to perform duties transparently.

The writer, hailing from Nalanda, Bihar, is a doctoral researcher at University of Boras, Sweden.

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