Casteism in India
Chronicles Of Casteism In India
The caste system has been in India since ancient times. Its believed that the caste system started from Brahma, the Hindu God of creation. There are four varnas or main groups- Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and the Shudras. The Brahmins originated from Brahma’s head and were teachers and priests. The rulers, administrators, warrior caste that arises from Brahma’s arm were Kshatriyas. The Vaishyas and Shudras dawned from Brahma’s thighs and feet, respectively. The former were artisans, merchants, and traders, while the latter were laborers. At the top of the caste system ladder were Brahmins, and at the lowest rung were Shudras. There were outcasts also present, known as Dalits or untouchables. The sub-caste of these varnas was called jatis, separated into thousands.
Impact of Casteism On Life
It reduced the status of women in society.
Due to the caste system, women gained a very traditional and conservative status in society. They would only get elementary education and couldn’t voice out their opinions in public affairs. Child marriage became a common practice, and widows weren’t allowed to marry again. The lower class women got sexually abused and couldn’t voice out their opinions due to social hierarchy. Overall, women gained a submissive status.
Lower Castes Got Suppressed.
Inter-dining and inter-mixing with the lower castes were not allowed. The lower castes people weren’t allowed to even be in the presence of higher classes. The entire basis of the system was to exploit the lower caste.
It hindered National Development.
Since the lower caste got suppressed, they never really had the chance to contribute to society. Their life was not controlled by them at all. Henceforth, the choice of voicing out opinions about national development wasn’t an option. Moreover, the focus was more on caste interest rather than national interest. The caste system also believed in inequality which was the opposite of the democratic system. All of these helped in hindering the national development as a whole.
Intercaste Marriage is a Taboo
Marring someone from another caste is equivalent to committing a crime due to the caste system. In urban areas, the mindset is broader, but not in rural areas. The villages still believe in this concept.
An IIT-Kharagpur professor is abusing Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribe students.
IIT offers preparatory classes for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes students with disabilities. These classes are for students who can’t get into IIT through JEE Advance. The classes are offered for a year to qualify for a seat at IIT. An IIT Kharagpur professor has been caught on camera calling a student a “bloody bastard” for not standing up for the national anthem and saying ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ during an online class. In another video, the professor is shouting at a student for sending a “silly” email, asking for a few days of leave after her grandfather’s demise. Moreover, in the third video, it is seen that the professor is daring students to reach out to the minority affairs committee or the ministry of education.
Hathras gang rape and murder
In September 2020, a Dalit girl in the Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh was allegedly gang-raped and murdered by four upper-caste men. The four men from the Thakur Caste gang raped her, and to eliminate evidence, they broke her backbone and ripped out her tongue. The police burned her dead body, secretly after midnight, without the family’s consent.
Kachanatham temple incident.
On 28 May 2018, dominant-caste Hindus were “enraged” that Dalits did not present temple tributes to an upper-caste family, and a Dalit man perched cross-legged in the presence of upper-caste men. Dominant caste members also were angered when Dalits protested the sale of marijuana in the area by people from a neighboring village and intimidated and threatened the Dalits. When the Dalit caste protested the bullying and warnings from the dominant castes in the village with the local police in vengeance, a gang of 15 dominant caste members invaded the Dalit village at night, attacking people indiscriminately, killing three and injuring six.