Trigger warning: Mentions of rape
I want to dedicate this to the youth of India.
We see the roots of discrimination across the globe. In India, hundreds of injustices happen daily with women, Dalit, Adivasi, and religious minorities by the people of so-called upper castes. As an Indian, I see people and celebrities supporting Black Lives Matter, a movement that had surfaced to protest against the brutal murder of an African-American man, George Floyd, by a police officer.
They had tried to show their progressive mindset by condemning what is happening in America, but how do they respond when, sometimes, the oppressed suffer in India just because of their belongingness to any particular caste? According to one study, hundreds of people are killed each year in India in so-called honour killings – for falling in love or marrying against their families’ wishes to particular castes. As we know, love is the only thing that comes with purity and holiness. While we are talking about caste matters in India, people from upper-caste communities never agree to marry folks from the lower castes due to the patriarchal hierarchy. This is the harsh reality in today’s era. It is rightly said, “Jaati kabhi nahi jaati,” i.e. your caste never leaves you.
A caste society is inherently violent and psychologically ill, and when it comes to Dalit women, the violence perpetrated on them is the most brutal. Often, we encounter incidents that describe how upper-caste men rape a lower caste woman to display dominance over the other. And they are then forced to keep silent. Is this the feminism of India? Have we closed our eyes to these incidents of oppression?
Recently, I was debating the issue of revealing one’s caste when looking for accommodation, despite providing enough proof of one’s financial stability. Why is it so? I had hoped that the younger generation would look to dismantle this practice. Unfortunately, this debating experience revealed to me that our youth, and the next generation, continue to look at caste through the same lens of a sick mentality.
I had hoped that after so many years of attaining education in this modern era, there would have been some change in their perception of this issue. I had hoped for a better India, for a changing ecosystem and the goodwill of every human being living inside the country, but witnessing such mentality in the youth just shattered my faith from this people’s awareness about humanity and their education.
The youth of this country are the real sculptors of India, and if they continue to be subject to this line of thinking, how will the system of casteism inside our mind change? For example, one may even expect reservation to be taken away from the minorities after their presence in the education system, and the economy has improved. In such a scenario, while it may be appropriate to be anti-reservation to some extent, to what extent is it appropriate to support racism?
And this mental virus will still exist in the mind of the people. What about that? How will this all change if the youth is an ardent supporter of the caste system and the idea of caste purity? Let us
show some humanity towards your country’s Dalit and Adivasi individuals and people belonging to religious minorities because their lives matter as well. They are all also human. Dr Ambedkar had tried to bring a change by enshrining rights in our constitution. But, seeing people struggle for the same rights in today’s modern era and witnessing their suffering and discrimination must force us to introspect. Where is our humanity now? Is our humanity dead? Babasaheb rightly said, “Cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence”.
So, we must strive to change our mindset and stand for oppressed people’s rights by meeting this aim. If you think the system is wrong, then let us pledge to change it. Let us support our nation’s
people and save their lives.
#DalitLivesMatter #AdivasiLivesMatter #MinoritiesLivesMatter