The Dalit

A few days from now world’s largest democracy, India, will choose its 14th president. The politicians will choose country’s first citizen and the supreme commander of armed forces based on prime qualification of being a Dalit. Both the presidential candidates have illustrious career, are authorities in constitution and have held most prestigious constitutional post purely due to their competence. Still, to be president of country being Dalit weighs more than everything else. Selection based on the birth of person. Unfortunate, despicable and regressive.

That’s the power of being a Dalit, OBC, minority or someone from so called not-so-well-to-do-community. No doubts we will always remain divided by these classes or caste.

Much before Gregor Mendel and Charles Darwin defined laws of hereditary transmission of genes and law of Natural Selection respectively, Manu laid down the caste system based on same principles.

Manu divided human race into four categories or castes. Intellectually most evolved, learned people would be known as Brahmins, the ones who had ability to seek the Brahm. They were bestowed upon with responsibility of enlightening lives of others and being guide for mankind. The second caste was The Kshatriyas, ones with great physical and mental strength, they were warriors. The Vaisyas made the third caste, they did all kinds of businesses and farming. The last and the ‘lowest’ caste – The Shudras- the ones who served all others.

A kid at birth was considered a Shudra, irrespective of the caste his parents belonged to. The kid based on its genetic makeup and thus the mental and physical abilities would choose a profession for himself, thus belonging to a particular caste. A Brahmans progeny had all chances of being a Kahatriya, Vashiya or a Shudra. Same was true for all other castes.

Manu mandated inter caste marriages, in-fact it was considered socially more acceptable to marry outside caste. It ensured all kind of genes intermingled and over all a healthy gene pool existed, eliminating the inferior genes.

Over a period of time the inter caste marriages started becoming rare. Perhaps the human instincts guided people of similar and compatible gene pool to marry each another. With passage of time the paramparas (social customs) became more and more stiff. Brahmans married Brahmans, Kshatriyas married Kshatriyas and so on. Laying foundation for genetic segregation.

Not that the so called ‘Upper castes’ had an impeccable gene pool and ‘lower casts’ had entirely weak gene pool. The upper caste progeny is born with poor intellect, physical and mental attributes and reverse in case of lower casts, they produce progeny with intellect, great physical and mental attributes. The upper castes commanded social system thus oppression of lower castes in hands of upper castes started.

For educated commoner the caste should not have much impact. Yet, workplaces and educational institutions see a deep caste divide.

Reservation leaves deep scars in minds of young upper castes, with system of reservation we are not developing capability in the lower or oppressed castes. We are only positioning them at 25 meter mark in a 100 meter sprint. This is pumping into system inefficient resources.

With passage of time the caste divide is becoming more pronounced in social discourse. Being a lower caste and being on receiving end of something makes you a hero overnight. The lower castes are not really the oppressed ones, nor do they lack in abilities, yet from being a President to a clerk to a doctor to a chief minister being Dalit has a glory attached. Irony is the so called upper castes too want to be lower castes. Just because their kids will stand 25 meters ahead, which is a substantial advantage.

I myself did not go to study MBBS just because I was a Brahman. One with at least 20% less marks than me made to the same course of MBBS, just because he was a lower caste. The day I made it to university in MBA course my eyes were searching for those incapable students who were in my class not because of merit but because they belonged to lower caste.

The modern discourse of caste system has much more influence of social engineering which has happened over years. As the society progressed the caste system should have seen blurring boundaries. Yet, political ambitions don’t let it happen. Reservation system is another big player.


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