Monday, August 29, 2005

Caste subjugation

Nothing hurts more than harassment in the name of race, colour, caste, creed, region, language etc. Nothing can be more demeaning, inhuman. In our country, this debasement occurs at all levels, in varied forms. Many fight it, some successfully, some in vain. A number of others just adjust quietly.

In Orissa, caste fanatic village elders banned recently a 15-year-old girl from riding her bicycle. The first matriculate in her village, this girl, Mamata, used to cycle 7 km to her college to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. Media focus on the issue has finally helped her. A woman police official will escort her to college and back. Government officils are speaking to village elders, to drive sense into them.

Around the same time, we saw India's enlightened lawmakers racking their brains to come to agreement on the number of seats to be reserved for women in Parliament. But there has been no word from many MP -- man or woman -- on the Mamata incident; not even from MPs of Orissa. There were just a few odd voices from leaders representing backward classes. That's quite natural, anyway.

No wonder politicians can't rally behind Mamata, or rather against the vicious caste proponents. Because, politicians themselves are obsessed with playing one caste against the other. That's the only way a good majority of them can distinguish themselves!

3 comments:

  1. truly said. afterall where do politicians have time when they are busy playing the game themselves..

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  2. It is the politicians who stand to gain the most by keeping the caste system alive. This ensures them their position and a captive vote bank without having to show any achievement - just having been in a particular caste is enough.Have you seen the irony - that champions of backward classes still fight for being classified as backward rather than working hard to show how much they have advanced since the priveleges were given to them? And have you noticed that the finer caste distictions are more carefully observed among the bcs and obcs rather than among other castes? I cringe to use these terms - BCs,OBCs etc and use them only to get an understanding of my point.

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  3. Jithu: Thanks for the comment.

    Usha: Yes, India will be far better off, if politicians shunned caste and religion. There are so many issues to fight elections over.

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