CASTE DISCRIMINATION: STILL PREVALENT IN INDIA

“Crimes against the historically marginalized SCHEDULED CASTES and SCHEDULED TRIBES by the upper caste represents an extreme form of PREJUDICE and DISCRIMINATION. Similar to the hate crimes in other parts of the world, these groups have remained target to the crimes and atrocities at the hands of the upper caste people mainly on account of their low caste identity in the form of rape, abuse by Police Personnel, harrasment, illegal land encroachments, forced evictions and so on”! Hence, it has been rightly said by MAHATMA GANDHI that,. “The purification required is not of UNTOUCHABLES but of the so called- SUPERIOR CASTE”.

INDIA is a country which is known to be very cultural throughout the world and a person can find many RELIGIONS and CASTES in here. However, the culture rooted deep in the country also has various problems. Even after 74 years of INDEPENDENCE, we are a country that has a prevalent problem of CASTEISM. It is a SOCIAL EVIL, but still holds a prominent place in INDIAN CULTURE. But,. “WHAT IS THIS CASTE SYSTEM”? THE SYSTEM THAT HAS DESTROYED SO MANY LIVES! HOW DID IT EMERGE? DOES IT STILL EXISTS? Well, YES! IT STILL EXISTS.. The CASTE SYSTEM in INDIAN CULTURE is prevailing for ages. CASTEISM refers to discrimination based on the caste of a person. From ancient times until now, the caste system has always held a sturdy base in Indian society. CASTE in INDIA was used as an identification of an individual as to which family the person belonged to, which also meant which field of work he was involved in because of his family. The FOUR PRIMARY CASTES of the HINDU COMMUNITY are: BRAHMANS, KSHATRIYAS, VAISHAYAS, AND SHUDRAS. The first three classes were considered upper and the last class, that is, SHUDRAS were considered as LOWER CASTES. Later, they were known as SCHEDULED CASTES AND SCHEDULED TRIBES! The Caste system was made to divide work among groups of people to maintain balance in the society with the distribution of occupation. But since this caste system was carried out from one generation to another in families, it soon became HEREDITARY. Hence, Became the Source of Exploitation of the lower castes. Basically, the religious and social circles dictate CASTEISM in India. Mostly, people living in rural AREAS, are facing this problem tremendously. During the early times, the villages were segregated on the basis of their CASTES. They were made to live in separated colonies. Even the place for buying food and getting water were different from the upper castes. For instance, the higher castes people that is, BRAHMANS never touched anything which belonged to the people of lower castes. When we look at the PRESENT SCENARIO, the impact may not be as severe as in the Early periods, but it is still worrying. The people of the upper castes are very much looked up to, and given access to all amenities. Whereas on the other hand, the ones from the lower CASTES, are not given such respects even today in certain areas. Sometimes, they even don’t get the same rights. According to the ARTICLE 15 of the INDIAN CONSTITUTION, “THE STATE is PROHIBITED FROM DISCRIMINATING ANY CITIZEN ON THE basis of CASTE, RELIGION, SEX, CREED, LANGUAGE, RACE, PLACE OF BIRTH OR ANY OF THEM”.

ARTICLE 17 states that “UNTOUCHABILITY IS ABOLISHED AND ITS PRACTICE IN ANY FORM IS FORBIDDEN”. BUT, has these laws and articles been implemented fully? Has these articles been successful in eradication of caste based discrimination from INDIA? WELL, THE ANSWER IS NO! Despite many schemes,articles, and provisions, there are many parts in INDIA where the SCHEDULED TRIBES AND SCHEDULED CASTES still face significant differences.

At the height of COVID-19 LOCKDOWN in APRIL, MADHU, a young boy in his 20s found himself out of work in BENGALURU. He returned to his hometown in ALUR MANDAL of Karnataka’s Hassan District. He was in love with a girl who belonged to politically dominant community. Her family did not want her to marry a DALIT. So, after some days he was shot dead by the girl’s uncle to end the relationship. There are so many girls and boys like MADHU, in INDIA who have been murdered brutally just because they were from the LOWER CASTE. This shows the ugly reality of CASTE VIOLENCE AND CASTE DISCRIMINATION even in the URBAN AREA.

According to the ANNUAL CRIME IN INDIA REPORT 2019 published by NATIONAL CRIMES RECORD BUREAU (NCRB), a crime against a scheduled castes and schedule tribes has recorded an increase of over 7% and 26% respectively in 2019. Hence, it is high time, one should realise that THIS CASTE SYSTEM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE UNDERDEVELOPMENT OF INDIA. It is high time one has to do away with this. As it has been rightly said by DR.B.R AMBEDKAR that,. ” CASTE IS A STATE OF MIND. IT IS A DISEASE OF MIND”. And one should not associate with this kind of disease.