Who is responsible for girl’s un-safety?

Yet another case of molestation came to light, this time in Bengaluru when on the eve of New Year, a girl was forced for “unwanted” favors by the two scooter-driven men.

After the December 2012 grave incident, popularly known as the Nirbhaya casethe situation of girl safety and security was expected to improve. However, the figures do not corroborate with these expectations.

According to the National Crime Record Bureau(NCRB), the rape cases registered in the year 2015 figured at 34,651.  As per multiple studies including that of United Nations, more than 50% of such crimes are never reported. Taking the latter fact into account, the figure of actual rape cases is considerably enhanced.

Image result for rape

This poses a question on not just the administration for being evasive of its duty but also to the citizens who probably never stepped out of their narrow circle of thinking.

Keeping aside the administration’s fault(which we know is grave and can’t be ignored), the role of citizens has also to play a major role here. The reason why the female is still treated as a means and not as an end lies in the mindset of the people of this very society who have never been able to step out of their limited scope of thinking especially when it comes to girls.

A movie called Pink released in the second half of 2016. The movie was a true reflection of the stereotyping and backward perceptions that prevail when it comes to girls. Respected Amitabh Bachchan who played a lawyer, through his dialogues, compiled a “The Rule Book of the Girls safety manual”. These rules reflect the “broad” mindset of this society. These are:

  • Don’t stay out late.
  • Don’t spend time with boys.
  • Don’t wear small clothes. 
  • Don’t smile when you talk to boys.
  • Don’t be independent.
  • Don’t drink with boys or do not accompany them for a dinner.

Because if you do any of these you are “meant” to face the “consequences” and here the person at the receiving end and the perpetrator will be the same , that is, the girl as “she was the one” who “intimidated” the boy to do what he does in this “course”.

These are the points which speak aloud that the “character” of a girl is judged at every point of her life and so “she” has to be cautious in her actions.

Sometimes it seems like a joke to even say that we are living in a progressive society. If this is called progress, then “progress doesn’t hold well for the girls”

‘Divided’ yet ‘United’

This is a contribution by Pawan Purbia. 

We live in a world captivated by digital devices wherein we see what we wish to, we hear what we want to. But there lies the apathy of those, we can’t see… the cry and woes of those we can’t hear.

The day civilisations were born, early men decided to live out of the forest in the way that has led us to here, what we call a modern world which has been contributed by innumerable intellectuals. Slowly as we progressed, all the ancient teachings diluted to the forms as we know today. We became a “Modern world with ancient thoughts” i.e. without comprehending the reasons which existed then we made societal laws governed by them. We never stood for a moment to amend them for better. For those who tried doing it couldn’t reach out to every nook and corner of India even after 69 years of independence. One of those issues is caste discrimination. As I sit today writing, thinking about what I have been observing while reading “The Immortals of Meluha” I was stuck by this thought that ancestors bought caste system in place for a reason.

Caste system was brought when civilised system was born with people divided into four varnas as we know today as Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras based on the occupation or the duties they performed. Each sect was assigned a particular duty not because they were superior or demeaned compared to somebody else but because they were good at it. Like Khastriyas were meant to protect the kingdom, Brahmins to guide people into religious and spiritual practices so as to build morale values. Vaishyas to connect with the other kingdoms and bring business while shudras to look out for public facilities and serve the work of other varnas of the kingdom. Slowly, with time some sects started believing themselves to be far superior compared to others due to intellect or physical force they possessed. The dark side is then if those people would not have been there, we would not have existed till date and would have returned back to forests. For eg. imagine your unhygienic life style without a sweeper. The society we see today is the gift of their efforts and there obligation to the duty they performed but what we gave to them  in return was far more dangerous than killing as some say that insult kills somebody daily compared to killing them actually.

I will include one incident being a part of an organisation which relocates us to site as per the requirement there is this guy who used to clean the office. Gradually we came to know about his talent of cooking that he could make 52 type of dosas and much more. Quite fascinated, we did what most of us would have done.  He has been a caretaker to us from then having made some very delicious things. Until a day the “Panch” of the village came up to us and asked how could we keep this guy who is a “Dalit”. To which I replied he has been like a mother to us, do not say a word now. A society wherein the leaders are so foolish can never build a society that Ram might have wanted to build then.

We are not going forward unless with stop thinking backward. There might be so many incidents around us too but we ignore them living our life already preoccupied.  Having an intention to change them but doing nothing is the panorama that exists all around.  For those who really want to contribute instead of blaming politicians and the system of how wrong they are it’s time to give those people suitable replies and even change our perception towards humanity. Then only we can be an instrument of change in making India great again which is not possible without the accomplishment of the basic thing that defines us as “Unity in Diversity”.

 

 

 

Caste system and its impact

The caste system in the present form is not what it actually meant to be, that is, a division of labour rather than the society on a whole (explained in the previous article Caste System: The Beginning) .

Now, let us see what are the consequences of this diversion from its original form. Mostly, the caste system in its present form has yielded more negative than positive results.

On the positive side,

  • It created a diverse as well as a tolerant culture in India.
  • It made India culturally diverse.
  • Such diversity of beliefs, practices, culture and arts is a pull factor for tourists which gives India an economic boost.
  • Co-existence with such diversity makes the Indian social structure unique and exemplary in the whole world.
  • Mahatma Gandhi supported the system so far as it remains in its ideal form. Thus, he supported division of labour for efficient work along with considerable harmony.

However, the negative consequences overshadow the positive ones. These are:

  • Social impact:
    • It divides the society into many factions, some of which are classified as upper while some as lower.
    • This draws a line between upper and lower which in turn gives rise to evils like untouchability, ostracization, trafficking of lower caste people(especially women) among others.
    • A strict stance against the inter-caste marriages creates a water-tight compartment system in which heterogeneity is discouraged. This impedes unity in India’s unique diversity.
    • This system does not treat humans as humans but as representatives of a particular caste.
    • Inter-caste conflicts arise frequently due to varied beliefs and practices.
    • It leads to blind beliefs which undermine rationalism.
  • Economic impact:
    • It divides the society into many factions each concerned much more with its own vested interests rather than of the society as a whole.
    • When divisive forces persist in a society, it creates a situation where nepotism and favoritism would prevail over meritocracy.
    • The forces would act against each other rather than in synergy.
    • This would ,in turn , affect the economic activity as well, thus reducing the economic output.
    • Even Dr. B.R Ambedkar agreed to the fact that the caste system due to its divisive nature would affect the economy negatively.
  • Political impact:
    • Caste has become a point of leverage for the politicians. Thus, it gave rise to caste based politics.
    • As it is well put by someone: “In India, you do not cast your vote, you vote your caste.” 
    • Vote bank politics where one caste represents a vote-bank.
    • Caste based development agenda and caste-based parties which in turn hinders the pan-Indian approach towards the process of development.
    • It leads to regionalism which in turn undermines nationalism.
    • Populist measures like caste-based reservation is one of the gravest impacts on our polity, economy and society.

So, overall the caste system seems to assert a negative impact on our country. If it is a problem, then there do exist solutions as well. We will discuss about the solutions in our next article.

 

Caste system: The Beginning

There is a popular one liner which finds relevance to the Indian society:

” In India, you do not cast your vote, you vote your caste” .

Such is the prevalence of the caste system. It has seeped in through the roots of the society and has entrenched itself such that it has become an organic part of it.

Now, before critically evaluating it, let us understand what this “caste system” is all about.

Background:

  • It finds its roots in the ancient India.
  • During that period, it was called varnashrama.
  • Varnashrama: a graded division of labour, which was as follows:
    • Brahmin : Priestly class or the intellectuals.
    • Kshatriyas: Kings and Administrators.
    • Vaishyas: traders and merchants.
    • Shudras: they were meant to serve the above three varnas.
  • The underlying purpose of this system was an organised distribution of labour in the society.
  • As also mentioned in various texts like Bhagwad Gita, under this system, people of the different varnas were meant to perform their prescribed duty(dharma). 
  • According to Jawahar Lal Nehru’s Discovery of India, the varnas were formed by the Aryans(who were primarily tillers) in order to distribute the work in the society.

Transition from varnashrama to caste system:

However, with time and the alterations in attitude and aptitude, this system turned into what is presently called as the caste system.

  • The priestly class or the Brahmins who were the most dominating of all sections due to the status they received in the society, misused their position.
  • This ,in turn, led to discrimination of the lower classes.
  • Also, the system became more or less hierarchical. It means that the scions of the intellectuals, who may or may not match the required intellect level, will be called Brahmin as they are born in that family.
  • This annulled the meritocratic element in the system.
  • Thus, a Brahmin prejudice began to prevail  and this created the system of upper and lower in the society.
  • This was the beginning of the present caste system.