India has always been known to take casteism in a solemn manner, discrimination because of caste has always been there. For years, people are being neglected for being from a lower class or killed for loving someone from the upper caste. We have grown up hearing about caste discrimination, seeing it in our families too.
We have seen how a person belonging from a lower caste is not allowed to enter a temple or is teased about being from a lower caste. We have seen it everywhere from cinemas to our surroundings. We all know that its there, with time though, there have been various changes as earlier, even having water from the same well used by the higher classes was considered a sin.
With changing times came the Arya Samaj, founded by Dayananda Sarasvati, which was totally against the caste system and all things related to caste discrimination. Sarasvati made people understand that God is the one who has created us all. With all these changes and many others supporting him, people started reacting less to such things. However, one thing which persists is people’s belief towards caste discrimination.
It is unbelievable that even modernity has not let us let this evil go. Everything being so developed and modernized, there are still people killing others for belonging to a different caste. When the police killed George Floyd in the United States, the whole country came together and protested for him, many Indians too commented saying how illogical and discriminating those policemen were. But what about the fact that the same happens in India?
It has been a month now to Viraj Jagtap being killed. He was a 20-year-old boy, who after his father’s death, had just been working hard and feeding himself and his mother, what was his mistake? He was killed because he was a Dalit boy who loved a girl from an upper caste. The girl’s father killed him because he loved his daughter and spat on him saying how he could not love his daughter because he was from a lower caste.
There has been no rage among people about it; no one cares and why will they? For years, it’s been like this. I feel sad today writing about this. How can someone take someone’s life for belonging to a lower caste? Caste doesn’t define our personality and who we are. It is our work that does. A person can be of a lower caste and be more hardworking and successful than the rest. But this very mentality shows how backwards we are and yet we pride ourselves in calling us modern.
As Indians and especially humans, we need to take vital steps and start reacting to such cases. His mother’s dreams were shattered in seconds, and an innocent boy lost his life for loving a girl of an upper caste. This should not become the norm.