Friday, January 8, 2010

Jihad against Caste Discrimination

I am always in the favor of inclusive development of backward caste and tribe with general caste. Equality, dignity and merit to GE, OBC & SC, ST irrespective of their caste backgrounds. I always think that government gives equal ground through regulations and reservation in theory only. I don't know that our higher caste Hindu is now accepting lower caste as their equals or not. I always ask elders that has society became more feudal, caste oriented and communal than 60 years ago ? No clear cut answers. People still ask surname with smile to map out the caste and ancestry in their minds. I hope one day caste discrimination will fade away and it will remind us of our ethnicity only.

1- An interview of Shahid Siddiqui, Editor of Urdu daily Nai Duniya about caste politics.

2- Call for first caste census in India.

Officials said the ministry had asked for caste to be included as one of the criteria in the 2011 census, and recommended a differential headcount of the Other Backward Classes and reassessment of their conditions that could lead to changes in the OBC list.

3-Untouchables in Indian polity, 1956-2000: A review from a mainstream political angle. This review is from the book The Untouchables: Subordination, Poverty And The State In Modern India by Oliver Mendelsohn & Marika Vicziany

4- MacArthur Foundation "genius" Esther Duflo, PhD '99, field-tests aid programs to find out which ones work-and why.

5- Indian cinema and caste. A well balanced look.

"If you ask a Bollywood filmmaker whether this is actually what he is defending, he will be surprised. He believes that the values he is defending in his film are universal — love, family, country, religion... The word ‘caste’ would never cross his mind. Then how do we say that Bollywood films defend caste society?

The arranged marriage or marriage with parental sanction is an institution that supports, that takes the load of caste society through absolute parental authority when it comes to marriage or any other kind of relationship with the opposite sex. This parental authority is taken for granted in Bollywood films. There is no need to even explain it. The world of Bollywood cinema is so cleansed of caste and religion that one is almost tempted to believe that one is dealing with a bunch of ultra-liberals for whom caste and religion do not define the human personality. But the real reason for this absence is that women must not make the wrong sexual choice that could lead to the collapse of society as we know it. So, the world of Bollywood cinema is shown to be a ‘natural’ world, where upper caste Punjabi men are linked up with upper caste Punjabi women without the problematic obstacle of caste ever coming in the way of their union. Whereas, in reality, especially for the middle-class, caste is an overriding factor in marriage in particular and sexual relations in general."

I remembered a good quote against racism to finish this article. That would be of a 19-year old single mother from McKeesport, quoted by the Democratic Party chairman for Pittsburgh's 22nd Ward, Khari Mosley, in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, on November 2nd.

Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Barack could run, Barack ran so we all can fly.

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