Why does the caste system persist in India?
Niranjan Behera, studied at Self-Studied
Here is the story of caste system. First of all erase all your prejudice about caste to understand my story. In the ancient golden era caste was a philosophical division of human nature. The philosophers study human nature and divided them in four categories (Varna).
Brahmins – these types of peoples don’t attracted by wealth. They attracted by knowledge. They are the philosopher type people. They engage themselves in the search of knowledge and wisdom. You could include real scientists, philosophers, etc in this category.
Kshatriya – these types of people also don’t attracted by only wealth. They are in search for honour and respect. They are very energetic. You could include great kings in this category.
Vaishyas – these types of people are attracted by wealth. They love to create wealth. These are businessman and industrialist type people. You could include the rich businessman and industrialist in this category.
Shudras – These types of peoples just want a 9 to 5 job and a descent salary to survive. You could include all the workers and employees in this category.
Now the most important point, these categories are not exclusive. That means there is no 100% Brahmin or 100 % Shudra. And the second most important point, all the four types of people are required in a society for the smooth running of a society. We need philosophers, artists as well as businessman and regular 9 to 5 employees, peons, maids etc. We also need energetic people with self respect and integrity to lead the society. So all the four are equally important. In the golden era laws were framed by Brahmins. Kings took decision after consulting the Brahmins.
Now, some profession starts to associate with a certain group. Scientist, philosophers etc are regarded as Brahmins. Great kings are regarded as Kshatriyas. The rich businessman and industrialists regarded as Vaishyas. Employees and workers are regarded as Shudras.
First categorization was done on the basis of quality, then categorization was done on the basis of occupation, then at last categorization was done on the basis of birth.
We can prove that caste was not decided by birth. If it was decided by birth how did they choose the first Brahmin in the world?
As the law of nature every society degrades with time. Time changes everything. Every occupation became caste. And castes associated with Varnas. Then at the dark age everything decided on the basis of birth. Then new categories like the untouchables arrived. Thousands of superstitions blind India’s eye. A beautiful river become a filthy gutter.
From a philosophy caste system became a curse to Indian society.
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Aditya Veer Singh, Software Development Manager at Medlife.com - Discounted Medicines
Because it exploits one of the very basic emotional need of human: ego.
Most of the other divisions around the world were based on simple segregation in a small number of groups. And inevitably, the larger group was the one being exploited. Once they realized this fact, you have revolutions to throw away the upper minority group. At times, they get support from influential people from upper group.
Unfortunately, the people behind caste system design were more shrewd. They exploited the fact that humans love to have a feeling of superiority over others even if it is based on nothing significant. They created a full hierarchy instead of a simple classification.
The biggest culprit in the continual of caste system are the middle level castes, they are ready to be treated as unequals as long as they get to do this to other human beings. They are the majority in our country and if they get united and take significant steps to abolish caste system, it is really very easy.
Caste system is not just about discrimination, if you somehow feel superior(or proud) just because you were born in a particular caste, you are effectively fueling the system. That is the only reason caste system still prevails. Imaginary superiority and inferiority complexes among people of different castes.
The biggest obstacle we face in ending this system is marriages. No matter what a huge percentage of marriages still happen based on caste. Unless caste is removed from such a fundamental institution, we are never going to be able to end this. Other than people from different castes start mixing with each other in all aspects of life including family relationships, there is no way this deep-rooted system is going away. I feel very disappointed when all my friends talk so much about not believing in caste and considering everyone equal but don't say a word when their future bride/groom is looked exclusively in their subcaste. Not a single person has raised his/her voice till now, in my knowledge. This needs to happen at a much bigger scale across the country to have any effect.
Anbu Venkat, toy-tiger
Its very unfortunate that this system outlived its need/purpose and caused a section of people to be discriminated based on their caste which is a real evil.
In my personal opinion abolishing the caste system just from the paper doesn't do any good. It has had an adverse effect on a particular section of people in the society, they have been ignored and denied the basic rights for centuries while the other sections of the society thrived. So in order to balance the inequality the reservation system was brought into effect and is helping in fetching the much needed justice to those people who has suffered for ages.
Announcing "No Caste" now will be a hard hit on the present reservation system in India and will leave these people with no compensation for the loss they suffered. The social inequality will still exist because they will be left far behind the rest of the society.
Many would differ with my views(because i would argue against my current views few months back) on the reservation system but i feel that is a much needed one. I understands how hard it feels when you are the most eligible person for a job and is grabbed by someone just because he is given undue advantage. Keep in mind this is the same advantage that our ancestor enjoyed and that has played a vital role in bringing us where we are. So if you plan to inherit their assets you must also inherit the debts and consider this as pay back time to set things straight.
Most important thing among all is there are millions in rural India(which is really where India is) who are striving hard to be the first graduate in their lineage. While few sections enjoy 4 or 5 generations of educated people.
So till this thing gets straight to make a balanced society there should be reservation and if abolishing caste system would hit that it can wait!
And i sincerely hope this happens sooner than later.