The varna system is a failure from where it began. If we don’t abide by our constitution, we are not going to get rid of this flawed system. Our identity as an Indian lessens every time our caste-based identity dominates us.
In my boyhood, I didn’t know what went on in my surroundings. It’s part of every family to behave as their community wants them to act. Every action and every thought which is against their caste identity is dismissed. I never understood this because I was a kid.
In fact, caste-based classification is so diverse that I still don’t understand who or what I am! Is it truly just a matter of identity?
In the past, I always asked my father, “who are we?” He would answer saying, “we are Brahmins.”
I thought that this was it, but it was not. As I grew older, people would ask me who I was. I would answer saying that I was Brahmin. Then, they asked me which Brahmin I was. That would always go over my head – that I knew I was a Brahmin but that the classification doesn’t end there. I had to be more specific and describe my sub-caste so as to get identified in the varna system. I realised how terrible this was only once I grew up.
The thing is, in today’s world, this system is not required anymore. 70 years after independence, it’s a harsh reality that caste still exists. People differentiate each other using this failed system till date. I have come across people who are clueless about their caste identity, but still identify as Hindu. This led me to conclude that the system has, in one way at least, failed.
Our constitution doesn’t allow any of us to discriminate based on caste. We, the People of India, are resisting the change we enacted ourselves in the form of the constitution.
As we navigate our lives this ever changing world, I say, no more varna system.