A New Caste System

In the run-up to the review of the Durban racism conference, the Scandinavian countries have resurrected the charge that the caste system is a form of racism…Personally, I don’t think casteism is the same as racism because the former is discrimination towards a group of people within a race and the latter is discrimination towards a group of people from a different race…All I know is that it is a repugnant system and that it is probably India’s biggest embarassment (slightly above corruption) on the world stage…The sad part is that most people don’t even acknowledge it to be a problem…

Reservations for SC/STs and OBCs in educational institutions and government jobs will not change the attitude of the people…Since casteism is not going away in a hurry, the government needs to overhaul it – it needs to make it a 21st. century phenomenon…According to the pre-historic caste system people follow now, one’s identity is determined by one’s birth…As per the new system, one’s identity would be determined by one’s education and profession…PhDs would be the new Brahmins, defence personnel the new Kshatriyas, MBAs the new merchant class and so on…This way, one’s identity would not only rotate between generations but also within families…It would be a win-win situation…The caste system would still be alive but discrimination, dead…

Edited to add:

This was my very weak attempt at humour…I do think the caste system should be eliminated entirely…

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10 thoughts on “A New Caste System

  1. Your suggestion is sound. In the cities, that change is already taking place. But in the villages and small towns, it will take some doing. Good, solid education is the surest and fastest way to implement this. But, since it is also the fastest way to erode the traditional vote banks of politicians, they are going slow on this.

    And, of course racism and caste system are different, as you have nicely highlighted.

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  2. Any form of discrimination seems unfair, possibly that is the reason casteism and racism are bundled together. Sraboney, what you suggest is what the caste system was initially introduced as. Since in olden times sons took up the father’s professions, the caste gradually shifted to the family. I think it needs to be completely eliminated.

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    • GM – my suggestion was my weak attempt at humour…It obviously needs to be eliminated but it will be difficult because it requires a change in attitude…Even highly educated Dalits are not allowed to forget that they are Dalits…

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  3. Yes Bones, As Kislay says, The present system is a mutilation of a 1000 years of what it was….. long back!!!

    and I dont think that is going to ever happen… why….
    Suppose dalits become PHD’s.. then they would be called “—- Brahmins” (A new subcaste) and would still be discrminated again…

    I say this, because of many such incidents….. The Buddist, Christain Dalits all have separate sub caste names and are still discriminated against….

    we need to kill it from the minds of the people.. only happens with education!!!

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    • Unfortunately, education also doesn’t always help…Highly educated people also discriminate…It’s so sad that ones’ identity is decided at by one’s birth…

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  4. Srabonay, unfortunately casteism will not be easy to erase. But if we do not even TRY it will be impossible. Whether we are Dalits or not, we are reminded of our caste at every step.

    When my elder child started school, we had to fill in our caste in the admission form. I refused and left a blank space. I later learned that the teacher had filled it in herself because “she knew our caste”!

    So I was not even allowed to ‘make a statement’ of my viewpoint!

    Reservations in educational institutions on basis of caste breeds enmity among students of different caste, I feel.

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