Say No to Caste
Another leaf from the tree of time has fallen down. Now welcome a new dawn. Observing our thoughts and actions, a truth becomes apparent that how blissfully the Hindus are imprisoned in the dingy cells of caste, cricket, corruption, and controversies. The Hindus give me the feeling that they live in a large chilling plant isolated both in time and place. The cacophony of their discordant voice forebodes something unpleasant, especially in regard to their understanding of Hinduism and caste system. They tend to believe that the spiritual practices they follow and the social model they have erected are matchless and irrefutable. Nothing less can be the truth in practical terms. The Hindu society in particular is reeling under the weight of a dilapidated spiritual and social order.
The apologists of caste system should remember that it is caste which has weakened India. Islam entered India with the faith in one Supreme God upholding the concept of an equalitarian society. They ridiculed the Hindu social order and the spiritual licentiousness prevailing among Hindus. Islam dissected India into three after the struggle for independence. That it will continue to do so should be more or less clear to us going by the dangerous Jihadist philosophy. If Kashmir was Islamized and which wants cessation now, the credit goes to the ignoble caste rigidity which prevailed in the valley in the beginning. The evil was eradicated by the efforts of spiritual leaders like Lal Ded and Noorudin Rishi (a convert from lower caste), opening the door for a socially inclusive ideology preached by Islam. If Kerala is 50% Muslim and Christian, it is because of caste. The conversion of low caste Hindus, especially in states like Tamil Nadu, is defacing the culture face of India, thanks to caste system. The only reason why there is no formal conversion into Hinduism from outside is due to its abhorrent caste order. Suppose a Christian or a Muslim wants to convert into Hinduism, the immediate problem before him or her would be the question to what caste would he be ultimately tagged.
The people in the lower caste ladder, who make the bulk of India, would never support a caste based society. If they now accept caste identity, it is for crushing the dominance of upper castes and to claim their rightful share in an unjust social order. If the political system of the country has been corrupted, it is because of the caste based politics which includes all castes. Caste remains the bed rock of corruption, disintegration and disunity of India. I feel the people who utter words in support of a caste based society, past or present, should be banished to Antarctica, where they should be buried deep under the Ice Mountains to die there. Probably, it is the only way if the Indian society is to be cleansed from this evil avatar of discrimination and domination. The atrocities that were committed on the poor people of India in the name of caste and untouchability are horrendous and a tale bigger than Mahabharata and Ramayana put together.
Just a few decades ago, the so called lower castes in Kerala had to jump off the road and hide behind bushes if a higher caste person comes from either side of the road. Then they began a Satyagraha. It is called Vaikkam Satyagraha, in which Mahatma Gandhi also took part. The Satyagraha, one should remember, was not for entry of lower castes into a temple, but for the right to walk on the road near a temple. It was much later temple entry for the lower castes was allowed by a government decree. Almost the same period, there was another sinful caste tradition in Kerala. If a lower caste woman has to cover her nakedness, she had to pay tax to the king. It was known as ‘mulakkaram’ – tax for covering woman’s breast. Both lower caste women and men were not allowed to wear proper clothes in the society of higher castes.
Once, a self respecting lady from Alappuzha cut her breast and gave it to the collectors of breast-tax, in a platter. Today she is worshipped as a local deity in Alapuzha. Such were the atrocities inflicted upon the people by the Brahmin-Kshatriya combine in the country. If there is a darkest history of India, that begins with the caste system, which made the country corrupt, disunited and ultimately a slave to other barbarians from outside. No civilized society will tag human beings as inferior and superior on the basis of birth in poor social conditions which itself is the byproduct of an unjust social order. And funnily enough, some of you may like to offer final libations to this social evil by karma theory.
What all crimes the wily priests have committed against the poor people in Kerala and elsewhere in the country by way of taboos, rites and rituals! A lower caste woman during her seventh month of pregnancy was to be fed with tamarind, while the Brahmins fed their pregnant women with honey and milk. The consumption of tamarind during the seventh month of pregnancy will ensure the birth of a dark and brainless child. At the time of the menstruation of women in a Brahmin family, they would celebrate it in a unique way. A rice pudding (poriyada) would be made and the menstruated woman would be made to sit on it ceremoniously. After that this pudding would be given to the Sudras, mostly Nairs working as servants in their households. Those who partake of the pudding would never have BrahmaJnana, it is said. Fortunately, all these black rituals have stopped now by the initiatives of reformers like Sri Narayana Guru.
Another obnoxious tradition was the observance of ‘pitru tarpanam’ which the Sudras were supposed to do on the most inauspicious dark month of the year (karkidaka), at the most inauspicious time of Amavasya (dark moon day), while the Brahmins did it on pournami, the full moon day of a most auspicious month. By doing pitru tarpanam during amavasya, the influences of dark forces will be extremely high and the ancestral souls of the Sudras would ever remain hooked with dark spirits in hellish regions. The twice-borns of Kerala used all dirty tricks to keep the Sudras under subjection. Is this system one is eulogizing about? Every version of caste theory should be sickening to a civilized society.
Caste system is allowed to continue here because a few people could feel superior to their unfortunate brethren, who are made up of the same blood. But no one would commit such a crime against their own brethren. So it has been committed by a people whose blood is not purely Indian. One cannot deny the fact that the caste system was institutionalized by a people who had different blood in their vein than Indian. So it is also racism which is behind the perpetuation of caste theory. And racism is a crime. Let no right thinking Hindus ever support or justify caste system, because it would be equal to supporting racism and an unjust social order which will further weaken India and the cause of Hinduism.
However, Hindus generally continue to remain carefree enjoying the sumptuous feast of caste, cricket and corruption. They sleep in the mansion of an old bygone era, remaining oblivious to the spiritual transformation taking place around the globe in the new age of Kali. Is India again heading for a disaster much worst than it had endured during the past thousand years? Probably yes, if Hindus do not wake up. Their dream castle might crumble any time if they do not remain alert and truly dharmic, not in words, but by deeds. The endless talk on caste and the vain glory of Hindu culture would not yield any practical good. Also Hindus cannot prosper ridiculing other religions while they themselves are subject to ridicule because of their allegedly philistine exclusivist character not in true sync with the tenets of Sanatana Dharma.