The Thursday Post 10.01.13

India is the country of mysteries to the world outside, just like Africa. There are so many myths surrounding it that are believed to be true in the world outside that often those who know this country without being a part of it get confused.

Some of them are this country is filled with Sadhu (Indian sages in saffron) and snakes and tigers. Well, I have never seen a wild tiger and there are lot of people in India who has not seen a wild snake. It’s a very rare occasion when we come across a Sadhu unless we live in some place with religious importance like Haridwar or Kashi.

I still remember reading and gnashing my teeth as a teenager Miss Marple telling a client of hers that Indian wives keep their husbands under control by feeding them opium! Oh boy! If I could get my hands on Ms. Christie back then!

Another wide spread myth and an unsavory one is blaming every atrocity on caste system or religious intolerance.

Let me share a little about Caste system today and next week- Caste system is almost as old as Hinduism- it divides the society in four castes- Brahmin (the group that works as middlemen between God and rest), the kshatriya/kayastha (the ruling group or warriors), the Vaishyas (business group) and Shudras (the menial labour group)- now when this system began it was really lenient. There was no hard and fast rule like its being forced upon through birth or changing one’s group- there are multiple examples of people being born of a Brahmin parent and becoming rulers, or other.

With time it became really vicious and ugly but things changed quite a bit after 1947, when India became a republic.

It became illegal to differentiate between two persons on the basis of their caste (I believe only marriages were above this rule).

Government bestowed envious amount of leniency and quotas to scheduled caste and scheduled tribes (the new names given to Shudras to stop treating them as pariahs). That in turn was not very welcome to quite a lot of the people.

Now, the truth is majority of Indians are poor and economically unstable- and it does not have anything to do with caste. So they were quite ticked off when government allotted quotas to SC and STs on every field- education, government services etc, and that quota was quite huge- say for example a government job where the age limit of normal candidates is 30, for the SC and ST is 40 or more. The qualification may be graduate for normal candidates and higher secondary for SC/ST. You can understand the reaction of deprived ones and that was egged on by politicians, some aiming SC/ST for their votes and some aiming others. It resulted in suicide of hundreds of young men and women of so called higher castes.

But these quotas kept increasing, because politicians in India want their votes. They don’t give a hoot to us, the insects of this country after voting season. One dead ten will replace that dead.

—— REST IN NEXT WEEK…….

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6 thoughts on “The Thursday Post 10.01.13

  1. It seems the idea of caste is somewhat outdated, especially since one of them is for warriors. Do you think they will eventually completely disappear or it is too ingrained in the culture?

    • mainly the problem is that the lifestyles of these castes differ too much, i am a kayastha, as per indian values brahmins are superior than us, and when we are holding a religious function we treat them like that, even then, if a brahmin boy asks for the hands of a kayastha girl or a kayastha boy asks for the hands of a brahmin girl usually they mull a lot, because they have to adjust a lot, in india its not only a man and his wife, its the entire family of the man’s that takes in that girl, and the girl has to adjust to that entire family, not only her husband (if she is a normal indian girl, not a selfish one who intends to rob her husband away from his nice family).

      marriage is the only field from which it may never go away totally, in the other fields, in the normal places its almost gone, but there are some rural areas or some states where its really ugly and the governments should step in.

      if they take care of the rights of these people their social status will improve a lot- then after a while they wont need any help but till then the government will have to keep its commitment and see that the “quota” allotted to these people is actually utilized to the core by these people- this will be a miraculous upliftment for these people.

      as for the region where i live, stubborn famillies abide this upto a great limit in case of marriages mostly and some rude, mean people may do nasty things once in a while but they are scorned.

      • wow, thank you for explaining all that. As you said, it’s hard to get accurate information about places you’ve never been. Hopefully it can change for the better soon.

      • it has taken a huge leap after independence for better and with hectic lifestyle and expansion of human mind its getting better.

        a lot of these people really need someone to protect them unfortunately the local police of those states are superstitious too!

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