This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Sumit. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

What Mishra Ji And Dubey Ji WON’T Tell You About Society’s Caste Blindness

More from Sumit

To date, so-called upper-caste people are very passionately arguing on the existence of God. However, they are swamped in the romantic discourse of mythology like Ramayana and Mahabharatha. When they act more intellectually, they will start to talk about feminism (not intersectional).

At another level, they go on the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. ‘Black Lives Matter’ is the new topic of discussion over their dinner table. But when they have to focus on their caste privileges, they start to stare at the beautiful sky they would have ever imagined in their leisure time. And of course, leisure is also a privilege!

Caste-blindness — not acknowledging the privileges which comes with the caste — is pervasive in the so-called upper-caste people. As a result, they ignore their caste privileges through which they can act intellectually.

This is an image of a woman holding a placard that says dalit lives matter indicating caste rights.
Caste-blindness is not acknowledging the privileges which comes with the caste.

Learning Casteism Through Socialization

Firstly understand this!

Gender and socialization – Gender is the expectation of society attached to females or males, and how that expectation feeds them (females or males) is socialization.

Apply this socialization process in the bringing-up of upper-caste people. We learn how they are being taught to act like so-called upper-caste people. They are trained to be inferior to the others who are not one of them. In the upper-caste family, if anyone looks different from their good criterion, they have zero shame to utter the casteist slurs. They end up saying “cha**r jaisa dikh rahe ho, bha*gi lag rahe ho”  (You are looking like a cha**r, you are looking like a bha*gi).

They have immense pride because of their caste. Take the example of Ravindra Jadeja. He is explicitly showing his so-called ascribed pride on social media. And it’s an infamous example of caste pride.

Casteism And Carrying Title Pride

Title pride also shows the pride of caste. You have been consistently hearing names like Mishra Ji, Pandey Ji, Sharma Ji, Dubey Ji, etc. After this, try to observe the discreet pride on the face of these people who are called by their privileged titles. And even focus on the people who said this. Do they also belong to these so-called upper-caste title privileges?

Last year, in my college meeting, an upper-caste female journalist was called to lecture on the challenges in today’s journalism. After the lecture, there was a Q&A session. In this session, an upper-caste boy asks a very cliché question in the chat box. And the question is — Do you consider yourself a Rajput? She didn’t answer this.

This is an image of a woman sitting with a background of a poster that reads cast out caste
Title pride also shows the pride of caste.

But for me, questions like this are to cover the deeply entrenched caste privileges. Because if she answers that she is not considering herself Rajput, what would happen? Would her privileges end here? No, she has the generational privilege of being a Rajput. Even the very industry in which she is currently working has the monopoly of savarna people. And where she is now, caste privilege is one of the critical factors.

Alike Likes Alike!

Are you a savarna? Do you have any Dalit friends? Do you have any close Dalit friends? Do you have any close Dalit friends in childhood? If you have, are you sharing intimate relationships that you have with your savarna friends? Or Is it just a formal friendship? There’s a fair chance that you have no Dalit friends!

In childhood, the majority of so-called upper-caste people went to private schools where they met their alike. They became friends. When they encounter caste in their textbook, they end up saying — yes, there was an existence of caste discrimination, but half a century ago and now it doesn’t exist.

This is an image of a bride depicting how Indians are still obssessed with the idea of marrying within their own caste.
Upper-caste individuals tend to fall in love with the people who belong to their caste.

The amusing thing is when they have to marry; they choose their so-called soulmate from their caste. And, yet, caste-based discrimination doesn’t exist for them.

In our society, some people who desire to become advanced started to accept the love marriage. But they tend to fall in love with the people who belong to their caste. Some matrimonial websites also promote this type of love to promote casteism in the name of solidarity.

Casteism In The Name Of Secularism

Hearing the phrase, “Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isai – aapas mein sab bhai-bhai” (Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isai – All of us are brothers). What comes to your mind when you hear this? This is a way of promoting secularism, right! But when you observe this Hindu word in the above phrase, you would have an image of Brahmin. If you would not imagine, then search this phrase on any search engine. The majority of search engines show you the face of Brahmin in the name of Hindu. So can we say Hinduism is all about promoting Brahmanism?

If your curious mind hasn’t understood this yet, find a reliable source to view the NCERT book. Open class 11, ‘Political Theory – Citizenship’ (introduction photo) book and find out the institutionalized casteism there in the name of promoting secularism. And yes, it’s an implicit form of structural casteism.

You must be to comment.

More from Sumit

Similar Posts

By Sarah Elizabeth Jacob

By Sumit

By Pranav Jeevan P

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        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