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Punished for being humans

Updated on November 26, 2008

caste and class problems

India is a country full of history, legacy, blossom, magnificence, liveliness, but there is other side to this glory. That dark side is the class and caste distinction, the maltreatment of the lower class people, and poverty.

Long ago, Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi was so moved by the age-old practice of social discrimination against the lower castes that he gave the lower castes the name 'harijans/untouchables.' Life being an untouchable was so severe that such people were not allowed to enter public places -- what to say they were deprived entry into temples of the higher castes. Any lower-caste person found in a temple of a higher caste used to be punished in front of the entire society/ village so that no one else dared to do the same. Any lower-caste person who ever heard any of the lyrics, hymns of a religious verse used to get the severest punishment -- oil was poured into his ear so that he never ever listened to the religious hymns of the higher caste Hindus.

Today, we have gone far, earned millions, our economy is right on track, we are one of the leading nations in the comity of nations, however, the class and caste distinctions still rule the roost here in India.

We still find traces of discrimination here in our country, practised by the very rich, upper-caste people --who take themselves to be born supremos. In present day India, few of the following instances will certainly send anyone shivering down the line-:

Just a few days back in Kanpur, a woman in labor pain was not admitted to hospital because she belonged to a low caste. She delivered on the pavement outside the hospital. While the mother was in coma, the infant died because of unavailability of medical aid. The mother also passed away the next day. The second incident is from Mathura, where a man from a higher caste got infuriated on seeing a six-year-old girl from a lower caste playing in his farm. The man grabbed the child and threw her in a fire burning nearby. Villagers heard the cries of the girl and rescued her.

Do you know B.R. Ambedkar, the brain behind the Constition of India, was also from the lower caste? Former President K.R. Narayan was also from the same caste. Then, why are we still fighting over this? Why are so many people, already languishing in poverty, being overburdened by the caste distinction -- depriving them of all the essentials of life.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is it the INDIA we all dream of? Is it the India that is one of the leading economies of the world. This is certainly not the INdia of my dreams. India of my dreams will be a place where humanity will find heaven, where importance will be given to human values, humanity and sancitity of human relations will be practised. That will be a place worth living...that is INDIA OF MY DREAMS


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      Kumari 9 years ago

      well written