Casteism In India [Caste Systems] Essay Debate Speech Quotes And Slogan
Indian society is divided into several castes. Each has its own characteristics, culture and traditions. People are protective about their caste, but when this drive to protect the honor and integrity of the caste reaches extreme levels, it turns into Casteism. It gives rise to an intense feeling of hatred towards individuals of other castes. It does not follow the democratic views, and highlights that even the most heinous crimes are justified, if it was for the betterment of the caste. Illiteracy, social distinctions, social alienation, caste prestige, and endogamy play an important part in the spread of casteism.
History of Casteism in India
The Indian caste system is as old as the Hindu religion itself. No one knows when or by who it was formulate, but it has been mentioned in the ancient Hindu texts. The caste system is another name for defining the social hierarchy. It was a way that was used to differentiate one person from another on the basis of his aptitude, religion, nature, and conduct. Based on these aspects, the person was placed under any of the four “varnas” or castes.
The mention of these primary four varnas can be seen in the Rig Veda. This holy book tries to unravel the mysteries of creation. It is written in the book that Lord Brahma is the creator of everything one sees in the living realms. It was from Brahma’s body that all castes originated. Brahma’s mouth was the source of Brahmins of the priestly caste. They were superior to all other groups.
The two arms of Lord Brahma gave birth to the Rajanya or the Kshastriyas. People born in this caste belonged to the family of kings and warriors. The thighs of Lord Brahma were the place of origin for Vaishya. It was the category where merchant, landlord, and traders and wealthy farmers were placed. Lastly, the feet of Brahma were from where the Sudras or the labors emerged. Apart from these four groups, there were also the outcastes or the untouchables. They were not allowed to enter the city premise.
Present scenario in the country
India has seen a lot of bloodshed and oppression of the innocent people in the name of caste system. Though there are some advantages to this, most views highlight that its intent was only to drive a wedge between the people, and keep them apart. Several theories suggest that the caste system was a diabolical plan, hatched by the Brahmins to maintain their superiority. With time, the people as well as the government understood the need to do away with these evils.
Though a host of laws have been enacted, many doors have opened up for the low caste individuals, and the society has shunned most of its profession related rigidity, in a nation that is driven on the wheel of religion and politics, it is safe to say that casteism is very much alive and kicking. The caste related scenario in the villages is far worse than the cities. In many remote areas, untouchablity is still in full swing.
People in villages follow the rigid cast prejudices. In many Indian states, young couples, who belong to different castes, often meet horrific death sentence, at the hands of their family members. “The village panchayants choose to hide the backwardness with words like “honor killing” and “preservation of racial purity.” Even in cities, families encourage boys and girls to select a probable marriage partners from the same caste.
Pros of Casteism
- Maintaining purity of race – The main advantage of the caste system is preserving the purity of each race. In early days, inter-caste marriages were strictly forbidden. The same is prevalent even today in villages and cities as well. By eliminating the mixing of two different castes, it was possible to protect the pure bloodline.
- Preserving particular culture – The traditions and rituals of two castes were different. It was not possible for an individual of low caste to follow and uphold the traditions of a higher caste. Thus, protecting the culture and traditions was easy with caste system.
- Proper division of employment – As each caste was supposed to perform a certain task, there was very clear division of work. This eliminated confusion, and helped the society to run smoothly.
- Low competition in the society – With the laws of caste distinction in place, there was less competition in the society as well as. Each person knew what job he/she was to perform. As status was not defined by personal achievements, there was no mad dash to attain a better status in the society.
- Increasing proficiency – When a child was born in any family, he/she was trained from the very first day, to make him/her capable of discharging the duties proficiently. Years of training played an important role in sharpening the skills of the person.
- Maintaining social life and health – As the caste system also laid down some rules for daily life, it was possible for all to maintain a health and well-being.
- Clear difference between religion and politics – During the days when the society was governed by the rules of caste system, there was a clear distinction between politics and religion. Caste was dictated by the religion of the person. It has nothing to do with political scenario.
Cons of Casteism
- Lack of professional flexibility – According to the caste laws, each person was forced to take up the job that was selected for his caste. It made it impossible for a person with high intelligence and education to try some other professional filed. This feature of caste system made professional choices rigid.
- Gives rise to untouchability – The last and most inferior caste is considered to be the “acchute” or the untouchables. In India, the “dalits” or the outcastes were treaded as untouchables, for a significant time. The caste system was the direct source of suffering for the untouchables.
- Weakens solidarity – A nation can only become strong and prosper, if people of all caste and creed work towards the betterment of the country. The divisions of the caste system made it difficult to unify people. The lack of brotherhood and solidarity was the main reason for India’s low progress rate.
- Incompetent professionals – It is not mandatory that the son of a Brahmin will possess all qualities that make him a good priest. The caste system was responsible for placing an incompetent person at a high and responsible post.
- Weakens unity of the nation – When the society does not treat people of all castes equally, then it is impossible to create a nation, where people of all sections will be unified. When people fight among each other, they will fail to create a unified nation.
- Retards progress of society – The caste system directly slows down the overall progress of the society. The rigid and unscientific rule of caste divide prevented all individuals to cooperate and create a better society.
- Undemocratic – The main character of a democratic nation is to offer a common and equal platform for each person. The caste system prevents this from happening. The evils of caste system undermine the democratic nature of our nation.
India has come a long way for those dark days, when the identity of a person depended on his/her cast. The society has become liberal, and no longer follows the rigid cast related rules. People of all castes and religions have the independence to pursue their dreams, and can take part in all occasions. But still one can see the dark shadow of casteism looming large in villages and remote parts of the nation, where of education and modernity is yet to reach. The government should take proactive steps to ensure that the evils of caste system are uprooted from its origins.
- If you truly desire to come into the light of enlightenment, then you need to shun the evils of casteism.
- The society can be purified only if the superior castes shun their narrow mindedness, and welcome the so called untouchables with open arms.
- A truly educated person is free from the prejudice of caste systems.
- The greatest of all castes is humanity.
- When nature does not differentiate between people of high and low castes, it is time for us to reject all such reservations.
- Casteism drives a wedge between the unity of the people, thereby slowing down overall progress.