Words are often served both as a sign of resentment and as an expression of pain. There is huge power in the words to heal or injure anyone. Suddenly, I introspect about Hindi vocab used mostly in northern Indian cities. I observed lately that words like 'chamaar', 'bhangi' and sometimes 'baniya' are used by higher caste Hindus to degenerate others in the sarcastic way. This usage of insulting vocab and idioms is high in the previous generation who had lived their childhood in the villages. But, it is embraced by youths of our generation in the daily usage unconsciously. I hope that this usage of caste based remarks will be extinct once notified to the concerned persons. Our changing language can easily reflect attitude towards equality and showcase ours hypocrisy.
Most of the high caste feel utmost pride in their caste. You can find several communities heading 'Proud to be .....' on orkut or facebook. Whole Hindu caste system is based on the inequality which divides people in four major varnas. It is in paradox of equality, fraternity and liberty. I don't believe that either caste system will be washed out in coming 50 years or social system based on the caste will cease to exist. The road ahead requires much introspection...
Recently, Gulzar was targeted on the usage of world 'teli ka tel' in song of the movie Kaminey and Priyedarshan had to remove Barber from the title of Billu Barber. Now, each caste based community is outraged by any reference to the downtrodden past. Shyam Benegal pointed out this phenomenon very poignantly:
In the process of dismantling caste equations, some of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Dalit communities give themselves identities that no longer associate them with their traditional professions. The new identity requires a reworking of community histories and mythology. Any reference to the old identity can only seem offensive. As part of the mainstream, they are likely to lose their special identity.
It is largely for this reason that it becomes important for them to adopt dominant forms of expression so that others may hear or understand their points of view. Even more important for them is to establish their view as the last word. Any expression that they perceive as an attack on their identity is responded to with considerable vehemence.
Deconstruction of myths does not equate destruction, but rather the rethinking and rearranging of the symbolic meaning of history. Instead of judging, we should try to understand, and to this end history can be of use. Times are changing and it is time write new history..
Education in India is primarily looked for providing jobs like any other place. Still, there is no one seriously debating about social practices and caste based discrimination. We have to make a strong statement about human shortcomings and societal hypocrisy, by portraying people with realism and shunning sentimentality. Such a shift in thinking will take time to have an impact on our youths. All men are not created equal. It is the duty of each of us to make them so. For reading about Dalit issues, Degrees without Freedom: The Impact of Formal Education on Dalit Young Men in North India
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