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The End Of The Caste System? My Childhood Experiences Contradict It.

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“Caste-based discrimination is said to be a thing of the past. But discrimination on the basis of caste is still prevalent in society, both in villages and cities.”

Even today, only a Dalit is called to lift the leftover from any feast or other work purposes in the village. If someone’s animal (especially a cow or buffalo) is killed in the village, only people of the exploited caste come to pick up its dead body. Even today, the majority of labour in brick kilns is done by the Dalits.

Where is the caste system? You must have heard this many times. Many say that the caste system has ended and we’re equal. If you also believe in this, you have many privileges.

My Experiences Of Caste Discrimination

I remember during my childhood when the upper caste folks in the village needed some work done, or even normally when their family members would see us, they would call us by our caste and not by our name. If we sat near them by mistake or our body touched theirs, they would scold us like dogs.

During childhood, all this was not understood. But as we grew up, this caste discrimination and exploitation started being understood, and we started getting reduced to our settlements.

Whenever someone from another place came to our village, they advised us to get out of the settlement and meet with members of the other castes. But the pain of caste discrimination in society today is so much that parents, despite wanting to, advise their child to remain confined in their settlements.

aarakshan movie scene
The caste system is still prevalent in society. (Representational image)

It is nice to say in speeches that there is equality in society and there is no discrimination. But the truth is the situation has not changed in villages or cities. The new generation is still bearing the burden of caste-based work in our village. Even if a person of a Dalit caste can read and write, they do not get the same place and respect in society as an upper-caste person.

Even today, the whole system of our village, for example, where which house will be, is based on caste. In cities, a locality or colony has different names, but the settlements in the village are known by the caste of the people living there.

“Caste Discrimination Only Occurs In Villages”

With these words of mine, you may now say that the problem of caste discrimination occurs only in villages. It does not. On Saturday or Friday, see the marriage advertisements in newspapers. All the columns are made with the name of the caste.

There is a demand for all qualities, like educated, intelligent and beautiful, but caste is written at the top. This means that if a boy of a certain caste is looking for a bride, she must belong to the same caste; otherwise, her beauty and education are of no use.

 

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The caste system in our society has been going on for centuries, and every day it is deepening its roots. If we talk about rural areas, even today, the development of the deprived sections is still hindered due to caste discrimination.

Governments are changing the names of many cities, railway stations and famous places, but it is very difficult to tell when the names of the settlements in villages still known by caste will change. At the same time, it is difficult to say that caste discrimination has ended.

Talking about the caste system, Dr B R Ambedkar wrote, “The caste problem is a vast one, both theoretically and practically. Practically, it is an institution that portends tremendous consequences. It is a local problem, but one capable of much wider mischief.

“As long as caste in India does exist, Hindus will hardly intermarry or have any social intercourse with outsiders; and if Hindus migrate to other regions on earth, Indian caste would become a world problem.”

Today in modern times, we talk about development on the one hand. But on the other hand, we see caste discrimination and violence, and this statement by Dr Ambedkar seems to be correct.

We are moving towards change in every direction. But there is a complex exploitative system against which we have not taken any concrete steps, which is a matter of misfortune for society. And that exploitative system is the caste system.

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