Saturday, 7 March 2015

Cast problems in India – is there any solution?

From years cast system is not only itself a burning problem but also creator of many unsolvable problems in India. Many will repudiate the fact that cast system is no longer practiced in India and so the matter should be disclosed by now immediately. But the documentary ‘India untouched’ made by Mr. Stalin K proves that wrong. Whether cast system still prevails in India or not – let’s not get into the debate. Let’s discuss the unhealthy effects of cast system and its probable way out. If someone scrupulously analyzes the current socio-economic situation in India then it will be clearly revealed that the people who are categorized as SC, ST or OBC are worst sufferers of the cast system. The root of the cast system is laid from the ancient Aryan literatures like Vedas, Upanishads or Srimadvaghabat-Gita as well pointed out by Dr. B. R. Ambedker in one of his famous undelivered speech ‘Annihilation of Caste’. There may be many arguments and counter arguments about this fact but none can deny that whatever be the reason, cast system is surely dragging the development of India backward. Today almost seventy percent of Indian population belongs to any of SC, ST or OBC category. Only few percentage of them are leading a respectable life and the rest is economically as well as socially way backward. If this vast population of India is properly uplifted then India will surely be a far better country in terms of economy than it is now.

So what are the possible ways of improvement of this situation? The one way which immediately pops out of the brain is education. Educate the people who belongs to those backward class and they will automatically find their own means to lead a respectable life. But, if this method would so easy then we should not see people suffering here and there. Moreover Indian Government is already providing reservation in education as well as in government jobs for those backward classes. So where is the fault? Basically the thing is that the advantage of reservation system is enjoyed by a few percentage of those SC, ST or OBC. Those who live in remote villages, toil hard day and night for two-times-a-day-meal are merely benefitted by this reservation system. People who have no food to eat can hardly think about proper education. They are economically so downtrodden that they will not be willing to send their children to school rather their children will be engaged in some labor-work to make little money. There is another question. Why only these backward class people are economically feeble? If someone tracks history then he will understand that these people have suffered immense case of social stigmatism. Varan-Byabastha in the ancient Aryan civilization made them slave and did not let them come out stronger in socio-economic perspective. This tradition went on and till now they are deprived of education, good culture or whatever needed to uplift a society.

But there are other problems too. Even if some of the backward class people are becoming educated and trying to join the mainstream of the society, they are being continuously oppressed by the forward class people. They are not getting their due respect from society. This happens because these upper class people want those backward community people to be remained ever backward. They do not understand that the so called dalits (lower class people) are also a part of the society and so they have equal right to be educated, admired or to have whatever privileges are enjoyed by them. These days, forward class people have a gross misconception that dalits have little intelligence within themselves and if they let dalits to come up then work efficiency in various fields will decrease. But this type of argument is totally flawed as recent researches have proved this thing otherwise (‘Quotas do not hurt efficiency, says study’ – The Hindu, February 5, 2015). So, the privileged class people should be made aware of this fact so that they can participate in the upliftment process of the backward class people. These forward class people have now most of the money and power of India. So, without their help, people in dark can never experience the light.

Another solution of this problem may be practice of inter-marriage. Now-a-days, inter-marriage is very rare incident to happen. Both upper and lower class people mostly do not want to get married with someone belonged to other class. But inter-marriage is definitely necessary for the improvement of backward class. If it happens then there will be mixing in cultures between higher and lower class. Also, the notion of separation between these two will be reduced and vanished gradually. But inter-marriage in India will happen frequently only when the mindset of people will change. People should be free of all prejudices or superstitions if inter-marriage has to happen. Today, many parents do not let their children to marry someone from other caste even if there is no strong reason to prohibit so. It happens because they have fear of society too – what society will whisper if they let their wards to do the same. So, again awareness comes into play for this issue. People have to realize that there is no real threat posed by inter-marriage, rather there are possibilities of good outcomes due to this.

In many Indian villages, besides cast there are practices of sub-cast as well. The lower economic group between shudras (scheduled cast) are called ati-shudras and shudras hate those ati-shudras. Moreover they treat those ati-shudras as untouchables. This type of division between backward class people also hindering their way to improvement. In stead of living together and finding paths of illumination, they are immersing themselves into more darkness.  If these lower class people do not unite together, then how their society will improve? Now-a-days some of the backward class people are coming in the lights of social upliftment as they are getting cast based reservation. But after they are placed in high position they do not tend to improve their deprived society. They forget that they have got the advantage because many people of their community are still in darkness. This situation also has to be changed. The lower class people who are in somewhat good position in comparison to others in the same community should come forward to develop their community. They ought to be the torch-bearers of their society in-stead-of being self-centered. Who knows that their little effort combined, may eventually emerge as an excellent result.

So, to sum up, yes, cast-ism is creating many problems in India. But they have solutions too. These solutions are never easy to be implemented. But, if, people come forward with their logical mind, willing heart, then the problem can be annihilated from root.

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