INDIA: Breaking the Caste System

INDIA: Breaking the Caste System

Recently, we had a beautiful Saturday Sidebar question from our Sidebar editor Eva Fannon, titled, ‘I have a dream’. This is my longer answer to that question:

Martin Luther King spoke about the ghosts of racism. Here, in India, racism exists too – but a different kind of racism. It is called the caste system.

Peaceful demonstration against reservation, fl...

If you do not have a prior knowledge of the caste system, briefly it is like this – there is the concept of  a higher (or forward or upper) caste of people comprising of Brahmins and such. The lower (or backward) caste comprises of Dalits and such. The lower castes were economically, educationally and socially underprivileged. And so the Indian government created laws, sixty years ago, which alloted a percentage of college seats and jobs for them so that their standard of living could improve. With that background, now you may read on…

Any Indian, who has been a victim of the caste system, could  write volumes about it, but I will restrict myself to giving you just one link here  for now to understand this better. It is called Reservation system based on caste. Someone unfamiliar with the caste system would be appalled reading just the first few lines of this wiki entry. But this general wiki link is the most muted version of the actual reality.

Reservations in educational institutions and government jobs for the so-called “underprivileged” do not happen the way they were intended to some sixty years ago, before Indian Independence. Uplifting the social and educational status of people should be the goal of such reservation systems, and it should be based on their financial and economic background rather than on the caste system.

Imagine, there is a law, which actually allows my own classmate–whose father could be my father’s colleague–to get admission into an engineering institution (more…)

Purnima Ramakrishnan

Purnima Ramakrishnan is an UNCA award winning journalist and the recipient of the fellowship in Journalism by International Reporting Project, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her International reports from Brazil are found here . She is also the recipient of the BlogHer '13 International Activist Scholarship Award . She is a Senior Editor at World Moms Blog who writes passionately about social and other causes in India. Her parental journey is documented both here at World Moms Blog and also at her personal Blog, The Alchemist's Blog. She can be reached through this page . She also contributes to Huffington Post . Purnima was once a tech-savvy gal who lived in the corporate world of sleek vehicles and their electronics. She has a Master's degree in Electronics Engineering, but after working for 6 years as a Design Engineer, she decided to quit it all to become a Stay-At-Home-Mom to be with her son!   This smart mom was born and raised in India, and she has moved to live in coastal India with her husband, who is a physician, and her son who is in primary grade school.   She is a practitioner and trainer of Heartfulness Meditation.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus