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Castism Is The Bitter Reality Of The Country

May 24, 2008
Daily Ajit - Punjab Di Awaaz Tuesday
Dr Mahip Singh
Castism is the bitter reality of the Country :
Today a new topic has started to be discussed whether in the new census the Caste should be mentioned or not . The various views which are coming to light are totally diverse . In this country many researches have been made on the complex topic of Castism & many countrymen as well as foreigner scholars have written important books on it . At present I have before me ‘ Caste Differences in India ‘ written by Sh Kishjit Mohan Seth in which this topic has been discussed in detail .
In one form or the other Caste Sytstem is present all the societies of the world but in our country it is present in the form of high low ladder form . Usually the Purush Sukta of Rigveda is said to be the base of this system . In this it was written that “ From the mouth of Prajapati came the Brahmins , from the arms came the Kshatriyas , from the abdomen came the Vaishyas & from the feet came the Shudras “.
This ladder system resulted in the dominance of First Three Varnas over the education , politics & business . The Shudras were divided into two groups . One were those who did farming , grew vegetables , reared cattle , did job of wood or iron , made utensils or jewellery , collected water , cut hair . They had daily aquaintances with the Swarans which is why water could be drunk out of their hands . Those who are treated as backwards are these very people .
Those Shudras who are believed to be utmost Shudras they became untouchables . Their touched food & drink also became untouchable . All those deeds which were believed to be utmost degraded came into their fold .
The dominance in the society belonged to First Three Varnas only . All the Sutras to run the society were in their hands . From time to time whoever Castes or Tribals came from outside most were inducted into Shudras over a period of time . For centuries their conditions became worst . Neither they had education nor political power nor any money or power . In their share came only disrespect , hatred & bearing atrocities only . Whenever somebody gathered courage to challenge this system , his condition became similar to that of Shambook in Ramayana period or Eklavya in Mahabharata period . In the middle ages the Nirgun Panthi Sants rose great voice by rebelling against low high caste but the results were not very positive . This thing was realised first of all by Guru Gobind singh Ji that until the classes believed to be Shudras were not owners of kingdoms , the wish to have share in ruling did not arise in their minds they shall not be relieved of this inferiority complex , they shall not progress in real terms . In Panth Prakash Giani Gian Singh has Guru Gobind singh Ji utter these words :
Jinki Jaat Kul mahin , Sardari Nahi Bhai Kadahi
Mein Tinko Sardaar banau , Tabhi Gobind Singh Naam Kahaun “
( Those who did not have any chief in their whole family ever I shall make them chiefs Only then shall I be called Gobind Singh )
Guru Sahib made up his mind to make leaders out of these backward classes & Dalits. In all his future excursions these classes had all the full share .
In 20th century Dr Baba Sahib Ambedkar realised this truth . He realised that unless the Dalit society did not realise their true power & shared political power in full , the upper castes shall remain condemning them .
Until the practice of census had not started how many persons of which caste , religion , segment lived in this country nobody knew . All the strings of political which did not have a population of more than 10-15% . Nobody ever questioned their authority . The idea of democracy , equality of each human , the right to vote brought an awareness in people . In the early years of 20th century in Tamil State was born Kamaswamy Naiker ‘ Perrier ‘ openly challenged the authority of Brahmin & gave birth to non Brahmin Dravidian Movement there . As a result today in Tamil Nadu the state power is in the hands of DMK or AIDMK . Which means the political power is always in the hands of middle castes Dravidians .
However critical one may be of caste system it is the bitter social reality of the country . Islam , Christianity or Sikhism however may claim that they do not believe in caste system are not totally free from this disease . Closing eyes to such reality also means that those who wish to taste the power try to maintain status quo .
As it has been mentioned before for centuries the hold over education , politics & wealth was of the so called high castes who were very less in numbers . The asking of caste in census is being opposed in most parts of the country by those very people who have status quo type mentality .
Renowned social scholar MN Srinivas has given one theory about castes . according to him some castes climb up the ladder while some climb down also . This process is known by him as ‘ Culturalisation ‘ . In his book Csatism in India he writes that when any backward caste attains some wealth then they start getting culturised .Then starts counting himself as ‘ Forward Caste ‘ . In Punjab & North India Jaats ( Jatts ) , in Maharashtra Marhattas , In Andhra Reddys have always been counted amongst the backward castes . When the time came to give Raj Tilak & ascension to throne of Shivaji then the Brahmins of Maharashtra refused . Because they did not consider Shivaji to be a Kshatriya . later some Brahmins of Benaras were brought somehow & he was given tilak .
The Kshatriyas have never considered Jatts to be Kshatriyas . But when the power came into the hands of Jatts & Marhattas then they started getting culturised . the share in political power & economic upliftment is very helpful in Culturalisation of Castes . Guru Gobind Singh Ji talking of giving such backward people Chiefdoms is a part of Culturising only .
Today the process of census has started in which there are three categories – General , Schedule Caste ( Dalit ) & Schedule Tribe ( tribal ) . The thing being argued is whether the backward castes ( OBC ) be counted or not .
But this counting is being done in one way or the other . In Janta Party’s rule the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai constituted a Backward Classes Commission in the leadership of BP Mandal which gave its report two years later to President Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy in Indira Gandhi Government . Prior to that in 1953 the Government in the presidentship of Kaka Kalelkar formed Backward Classes Commission . He also gave his report two years later . In both these reports the figures of whole country in education , employment , economically backward people’s condition & the suggestions for improvement were mentioned .
In both these reports it became clear that more than half of the population of the country is backward & the baisis of this is the caste . In this country being of backward caste & being backward is interlinked . A few years ago the VP Singh Government announced a 29 percent reservation based upon suggestions of Mandal Commission In whole of the country it was opposed upon by the higher castes . But later this reservation was implemented as well as Supereme Court allowed it also .
The Caste system is a bitter truth of this country . This gives birth to non equality as well as Forward Backward Classes . This problem cannot be solved by closing eyes . It is very important to know why some people of certain caste became backwards , how the upper castes exploited them & how this society can be made exploitation free .

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