Casteism In India: We Don’t Give Birth To A Child, But To Surnames

This article isn’t to breed hatred among people, rather, my focus is to provide a clear picture of what is actually happening.

The opinion on, or solution to, any problem lies in the way we see it. I think reservation is a subjective matter, and one’s personal perspective plays a crucial role in understanding the subject. People favoring it have their own set of perceptions, and the people against it have their own. We find various views regarding reservation, various thoughts, and various suggestions. But, are we really ready to give up reservation?

Representational image. Ravi Chaudhary/Hindustan Times via Getty Images.

Let’s just not recall history, and not remind ourselves of the fact that casteism had been a curse to people not falling under the Swarna category or people from Dalit communities. But wait! If we are really done with casteism, then why do we still use ‘Swarna’ which translates to ‘gold’ and ‘Dalit‘ which is supposed to mean ‘broken’? So, if we are not willing to shut our eyes over what’s happening in our beloved nation, we might see that casteism is still a thing, a really big thing!

Reservation was implemented for a reason and we all know it. So let’s just save some time, and move directly into the present scenario.

  1. Does one compare because an SC/ST student attends the same school and they manage to crack an exam, although they have supposedly scored less?
  2. The demand is to provide reservation on an economic basis, since casteism does not prevail?

So, in India, we don’t give birth to a child, rather, we give birth to a Sharma, Gupta, Thakur, Bhatia, Rajpoot, Rana, Jaswal, Bhardwaj, and so on. This should not be a problem unless the last name becomes an identity.

I mean, have you ever felt you are being judged based on your last name?  The answer to this will help me know which section of society you belong to. Because, a person who does not belong to the Swarna category, no matter how high a position they hold, has for sure felt this at least once.

You don’t believe me? Ok, for one second, let us believe that casteism is the past and not in the present. Then, why aren’t inter-caste marriages more common? Suggest an answer, cultural barriers? We all belong to the same religion, so yes, we share a common culture and just to be clear, ‘culture’ in India varies from place to place. So yes, two families of the same caste might have different cultures, agreed? No? Then probably you don’t want to believe that casteism is still a thing.

In that case, the best I can do is to talk about the example of a temple being cleaned after the President’s, Ramnath Kovind, visit. Or maybe, I can tell you the fact that the names of caste are used to cuss, to belittle the fellow friend. Or maybe, I should refer to the fact that the words ‘Churas‘ and ‘Chamars‘ are often used to show disgust by the ‘blue-blooded’ or the Swarnas. Is that enough to make you believe casteism still prevails?

Now talking about cut-offs, I won’t go into numbers and try to tell you only 15% of seats are for SCs and 7.5% for STs. And yes, the student studying in your class might have got admission on lesser marks, but, here’s a thing. If not for reservation, do you think that these ‘Not-Swarna’ people might have ever gotten access to education? Ok, I know that didn’t satisfy you, So, here’s another explanation.

No matter, I repeat, no matter, how high a person is posted, they are always, and always, judged on the basis of their caste and, maybe if not to their face, are cussed at for their caste at their back. And, it might have never come into your notice, but Indians have this very unique and special soft corner for the person who belongs to their caste.

So yes, if you don’t provide reservation at the job level, then those who don’t belong to so-called privileged castes won’t be hired, basic fact check. And….. you.. don’t agree with me, right? Because you are a person of the present generation, you don’t think casteism prevails.

Now your mind would be like, what kind of an absurd writer is he? Does he not know that it was a different time and now the time has changed? If your mind though the above statement, trust me I’m damn sure you’ve skipped my whole set of examples and incidents that would have helped you understand the fact that casteism is still at peak.

Regarding the economic basis, maybe you’re again ignorant of the fact that it’s easy to get a fake income certificate, and those from certain castes will be left behind because, hey, if an interviewer is Swarna, they will most probably select a Swarna. Now, I know exceptions are there. Good people are all around and these good people are the ones who support inter-caste marriage. But ask yourself, will you be allowed to have an inter-caste marriage?

Featured image for representation only.
Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below