Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Caste Census or Caste Senseless!!

So, the government has decided to do a population census of India. Agreed. Now to make a complete social profiling of the country they have decided to add certain parameters to this survey. Caste being one of them.

Uh! Didn’t India just spend coupla decades/centuries just fighting this evil? And now that its breathing its last (though not so much in the rural areas), why would someone want to revive it. Ah! Vote banks I may think. What else? Or reservations? Or how to manipulate the existing laws for certain castes.

Ok, again I go back some 2000 years ago. Caste system may have made sense then. People of the same intellectual/social/financial/skill level herded together. The 4 major groups Kshatriyas (Royal families, warriors, essentially the wealthy lot with Kothees and Palaces), Brahmins (Poojarees, teachers, professors essentially the God fearing intellectual lot), Vaishyas (Farmers, traders essentially the business men), and Shudras (Plumber, shoemaker, painter essentially the service providers). Now, this classification in the society made life easier and also made sense. Within these major groups also existed sub-groups again depending on various other factors. One Kshatriya may be superior to other cause they are Royalty and other Brahmin would be superior to the next cause he worshipped in a bigger temple.

Within these castes the family tradition/skill/trade would be passed on to the next generation and they will carry out and pass on to their children so on and so forth. This all worked fine within a set number of people/community then. Children weren’t allowed to move out of the family tradition and pursue other activities by will. People were born into the profession/tradition that would define them.

Now back to year 2010… are we really sticking to it? To think of it if caste mattered I should be Royalty. But there is nothing Royal about my bank balance today. None of my family is Royal anymore. All working people, regular upper middle class working people. How would knowing anyone’s caste in today’s time help the census I wonder. Maybe helps in deciding any further division in the already existing reservations. Again a political strategy. What will that do to the common man? Nothing.

Here again I just touch upon one more point – Reservation. Relevant in today’s time? No. Was relevant 50 years ago? Yes. Because caste system was prevalent and opportunities to the so called ‘lower’ caste were least. Now that 2 generations (or more is it?) have taken advantage of it shouldn’t it be discontinued? Yes. But is someone listening? No. Cause that will affect the so-called vote banks. Reservations are in today’s time just preventing the eligible students/candidates from getting admissions/jobs. Let it be the survival of the fittest now enough opportunities have been given.

All in all the entire caste census seems pretty senseless considering the time and age. Rest lets wait and watch.


Adee said...

word by word, i agree with ur post. (except the fact that nobody cud actually 'move out' of the castes in ancient times).

Prem Piyush Goyal said...

Very good read. Keep 'em coming.

Anonymous said...

Ambedkar wanted the caste system to end by 1996. But that didn't happen thanks to our greedy political class.

I think abolishing caste in metros might help curbing migration. It'll also force MLA's to develop the interiors of a state to provide employment.

Prashant Balel... said...

I think Caste count will definitely help politicians to keep a count of vote banks.
On brighter side, I positively think that if the calculations of adding may be OBC reservations and actual Income of OBC ppl or social status don't match. then we can expect that there won't be more reservations.
If not politicians then at least supreme court can help in this case, as legal matters go with facts and figures.
My approach is considering half glass full.

Srushti Rao said...

@Adee Please throw light on your point
@Piyush Thanks :)
@Mr. Anonymous Agreed
@Prashant Valid point of view, but will they actually take the pains of matching the facts and then drawing a conclusion?