Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Editorial, "Casteism Bane of Indian Society" in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, Vol. 12, Part 1, No. 1, 15 January 2016 issue.


Not long ago in history, varnasrama dharma and its distorted resultant/ concomitant jaati prada (caste system) were cherished as the unique heritage of India, which saved, conserved and promoted the Indian, especially Hindu civilization, for thousands of years. However, with change of times and socio-economic conditions, and spread of modern economic modes and democratic ideas, gradually the caste system in India, which had ossified into an oppressive exclusivist entity, began to be looked as a bane than a boon, demands for its total abolition began to be made and the ideal of a casteless society was and still is endorsed by many liberals, progressives, especially leftists of various sorts. But, post-independence, in the name of eradication of caste disabilities and inequalities, a distorted system of reservations with wrongful appeasement of castes/communities and accordance of special favors to the various castes/communities in the name of their uplift, but mainly to make them vote-banks for this or that political outfit, has taken roots and now casteism has again risen its ugly head and almost all sections of the society, including, to an extent, even the communities theoretically free from caste system, are plagued with caste/ factional strife. Once upon a time it was usual for castes and communities to strive for upward social mobility but by the current reservations system it seems every community/caste at some time or other is voicing demands for downward gradation – e.g. even relatively better off and comfortable communities as those of Patels and Kapus, and sometimes even Brahmin communities in certain regions also, striving to get listed as backward classes which in effect comes to mean in the strange socio-judicial system of our country as backward castes. Watching this ugly situation, some times a feeling comes whether the restoration of caste system in full may be the way out or may, in a farcical manner, turn out inevitable. Until a  conscious and concerted effort is made by the people of the country, for a process of gradual elimination of this reservation system, keeping it to an extent only for really economically or physically challenged persons – and not communities – and palpable successes are achieved in that course, it seems this country will have no redemption; but if the present farce continues and intensifies the country is sure to go to the dogs.  §§§