Caste exploitation and what can dalits do to stop it? (a repeat post: shows people approaching the UN to internationalize the caste issue)

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Caste exploitation and what can dalits do to stop it? (a repeat post: shows people approaching the UN to internationalize the caste issue)

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Thu May 07, 2015 8:14 am

Caste and caste labels (including for example the surnames Priest, Leder, Farmer, Thatcher, Carter, Schumacher etc. -- Ref. 1) reflect family vocations, usually long ago. Unfortunately, these days caste is used and exploited by politicians to get elected and stay in power, people to get benefits through caste based quotas in education and jobs, officials to bungle and mismanage public funds and instead blame caste for poverty and backwardness in society, and outsiders to criticize Hinduism for "allowing" caste system. In reality, it is not religion (Hinduism) but people (politicians etc.) misusing and prolonging the caste system and use of caste in society and Govt.  
 
Caste and caste system are manipulated and used by people both in India and abroad. For example, caste is a favorite topic for many authors to earn their living by writing and complaining about caste and its “victims”. Some people in the past are known to have even approached the U.N. to categorize the caste system as a racist thing. But their complaints against caste system seem as “genuine” (probably for the continuation of caste based benefits and quotas indefinitely) as politicians grumbling about caste and caste system (mostly to garner votes in elections). Needless to say,
 
(a)  Dalits (sudras etc.) and weaker sections of society should tell politicians to stop using caste to get elected and stay in power. They should make it clear to their leaders that caste discrimination and casteism against them in society will not subside and end as long as Govt. keeps on using and affirming caste labels for people officially through caste censuses and decisions (Ref. 2).
 
(b)  Dalits etc. should demand from Govt. and politicians that the solution to the problems of poverty and backwardness faced by them be sought independently without using caste, according perhaps to their present economic condition and not the caste labels reflecting their ancestors’ occupations many centuries ago. That will reduce the role and use of caste and caste labels in society and Govt. and will lower casteism and caste discrimination against dalits etc. 
 
(c)  Dalits (including people belonging to the weaker sections of society) should work for creating a social order in the country in which the caste labels are totally irrelevant and mean nothing except the present occupations of people. Incidentally, people wishing to approach the U.N., as they were doing before to complain about the caste system, might still do the same but this time not to complain about the caste system but instead to shed light on Govt. and politicians in their country using, promoting and prolonging caste system through caste censuses and quotas etc. Moreover, lest the caste considerations and casteist decisions also make way to the U.N., they might try to keep their country out of UNSC permanent seat until Govt. and politicians in their country decide to stop using caste system and caste in census forms etc.
 
It is really in the long term interest of dalits (sudras etc.) to avoid and discourage the overuse of caste, officially and in society. They are likely to be tagged and become permanently known as dalit and “lower” caste etc. if their caste ends up acquiring the official status.  This mostly will happen through the selfish and narrow designs of some leaders and politicians who want to politicize caste for their own benefit and even make it a part of census forms. This looks like a hideous effort to keep the society and people divided permanently on the basis of caste, such as dalit being for ever a dalit. People, especially dalits and those belonging to weaker sections of society, should therefore say “no” to such politicians and their nefarious efforts (trying to introduce caste in census forms, etc.). 
 
Remember, long ago a chandala (dalit) having the name Valmiki acquired education and became a brahmin (Ref. 1). His caste is known today as brahmin and not chandala (dalit). Similarly, Vyasa (sudra woman Satyavati’s son in the Mahabharata) became a brahmin after getting educated in the Vedas and he is remembered today having the caste brahmin and not sudra or dalit. Satyakama also, who was born long ago as illegitimate son to a sudra maid (Ref. 1), acquired education and is known today as a brahmin by caste and not sudra or a dalit. Luckily, the lives of Valmiki, Vyasa and Satyakama et al. were not ruled by today’s leaders and politicians (who try to make the caste official and permanent by having it in census forms etc.) otherwise Valmiki would be known today as a chandala and not a brahmin, Vyasa would be a sudra and not a brahmin, and Satyakama might only be remembered now as the illegitimate sudra and not a highly learned brahmin and a sage. 
 
References
 
(1)  Subhash C. Sharma, “Caste through the sands of time”, March 16, 2010,   http://seva.sulekha.com/blog/post/2010/03/caste-through-the-sands-of-time.htm
 
(2)  Subhash C. Sharma, “Should the question on caste be included in census forms?” May 10, 2010,   http://lamberdar.sulekha.com/blog/post/2010/05/should-the-question-on-caste-be-included-in-census.htm
 
------------------------------------
 
by: Dr. Subhash C. Sharma
email: lamberdar@yahoo.com
date: May 28, 2010
 
Ref.: Caste exploitation and what can dalits do to stop it?
http://lamberdar.sulekha.com/blog/post/2010/05/caste-exploitation-and-what-can-dalits-do-to-stop.htm

Seva Lamberdar

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