Growing up in India, belonging to a caste which is not deemed as “prestigious” or “glorified” as some others, because certain classiest men believe it to be the best way of managing a society, cannot be and does not have to be easy. The fact that these casteist men are able to pull the scam of calling names to people of a caste different to them and blaming it to be their fault requires guts to another level. Caste system has been around for so long that now when someone prefers to not to state their surname so as to avoid any sort of casteist slurs or just to promote the feeling of unity or equality they are forced to introduce themselves with their full name. The feeling that one caste is superior to another leading to subjugation of the so called inferior caste to the degree that it becomes everyday business for some and normal for others is problematic and definitely needs urgent attention. With years of development and advancement there has to be some difference in the way “dominant” look at the “survivors”, but with lack of access to education and technology the gap has only grown further, making things worse for the “non-dominants”.
Entrenched In Past
History of caste system dates back to the “SATYUG”. At the time of RAMAYANA and MAHABHARTA, the caste system started taking shape although it was not as watertight as it appears to be today but still existed. A lot of scholars argue that it was VARNA system that existed then and that CASTE system is its corrupted and un-required form. It has long been believed that there are/were four strata of society each originating from different body parts of GOD BRAHMA. With Brahamanas taking birth from the head, Kshatriyas from arms, Vaishyas from thighs and finally Shudras from feet. They were assigned tasks on the basis of this division as their capabilities matched. Although there was this division of duties and responsibilities but people could change or shift from Varna to another if they had the capability for the same. And those who did not want to change remained in the same, but were never subjected to disrespect or violence for belonging to a particular Varna.
As the society shifted its YUGA, the system of Varna also started to change. It went through a dramatic change to become present day caste system- a system way worse than Varna system. With the involvement of traditions and customs and rules that were not to be broken the Varna system soon started becoming more rigid and difficult to cut through. People were now assigned the Varna on the basis of their birth and they were to follow their parents’ leads and indulge in the same occupation as them with no adherence to their own capabilities. As society progressed towards the present times, Varna system achieved its highest level of rigidity and was now termed as caste system. The caste system did not allow anything outside the caste and was seen as an assault on the whole system. Anyone who tried to break through this system was termed anti-traditions and given capital punishment. And thus, these roots became so deep that it is difficult to cut them off even in the present day.
Data on Vulnerability
Today, we witness a number of cases of violence, brutality, discrimination and barbarity against the India’s “UNTOUCHABLES”. The graph of these cases has only been rising ever since. Sexual and physical and even mental torture continues in the name of protecting the society from the ills of SCs and STs causing a substantial number of deaths every year. The members of other caste take the responsibility onto themselves of ensuring that the audacity of these marginalized sects or caste remains in check through use of economic, political and violent power and resources, making it difficult for SCs and STs to live equally in this country as everyone. The women belonging to the discriminated castes face violence and sexual harassment more than those not belonging to these castes. According to National Crime Records Bureau of India as much as ten SC women are raped everyday and there has been a rise in their proneness to cruelty for about 44% in past ten years.
In present times there have been a change in attitude of a lot of people with movies like, ARTICLE 15, MASAAN, THE WHITE TIGER and many more, the harsh reality has come in limelight and tried to change the perspective of the society towards the weaker sections. The big cities have never cared about the caste of a certain person, it is mostly the smaller towns and villages where the caste is so deeply engraved in the mindset of people that it will take time for the better and equal future. Though it will take time till this menace is shot dead in our Indian society and we could seize being Casteist of them All but still got to work for it together.