Sunday, May 29, 2011

Prevailing untouchability and conversions

I have been thinking to write about this for quite a long time.Well we all very well know that a section of the society has been suppressed and they were treated badly.And now the modern education and media penetration,might give an opinion that untouchability is completely eradicated in India.But the real picture is something different.I have come across so many 'caste' fanatics who are well educated.And this crime(untouchability) is cited as a major reason for another crime - 'conversions'.

If we think of casteism or untouchability,the very first thing that comes to our mind is 'Brahminism'.No sensible person can deny the fact that Brahmins treated some backward communities badly.But there is a fact which is never highlighted by any 'revolutionary' writer or any media.The fact is,not only brahmins,but also,other dominant communities,involved/involves in this act of untouchability.In every place,that community which forms the majority,has treated the backward communities badly.

In Tamil Nadu people like Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathiyar,Pavendhar Bharathidasan,Thandhai Periyar etc has written a lot against untouchability and also has involved themselves in some activities to eradicate the practice of casteism.Am not here to write about all these stuff here.These are all history.But the challenge we are facing here is something different.It is the current generation,which is not ready to give up their fanaticism towards their caste.There are so many educated individuals,who still consider it a sin to drink water from the house of a Dalit.This includes individuals from almost every community.People still think,people belonging to these socially suppressed communities(தாழ்த்தப்பட்டவர்கள் ),should be under them only in all aspects.

The 2-tumbler(one for Dalits and one for others) system is still in practice in many places.The people simply justify this practice.Recently,in Villoor,there were incidents of communal violence.There the 2-tumbler system is in practice.Moreover,according to caste hindus,Dalits should not ride motor bikes in streets.Dalits should not pass through some streets.Even if its an emergency situation,they should take the other route,which is long.But,the Superintendent of Police(SP),made some Dalits to ride motor bikes and he was monitoring it. This frustrated the caste Hindus there and they went to the extent of assaulting the SP.A mob tried to kill him.But he managed to escape and again.After this,the SP took severe action.Fearing this,the male members of the dominant caste fled the village.The name of the SP is Asra Garg.We should really respect such good officers.The point is,people of that village justify the assaults on the SP.People belonging to younger generation also justify this act.

What happens as a result of this?People just change their religion.If you think,everyone willingly converts his/her religion,you are wrong.The Christian missionaries,preach about their religion like anything and they just convert people to their religion.Not only citing caste they convert people,but also by offering money,jobs etc. Even during adverse situations,the missionaries,never stop their act of conversion.After Tsunami,the no. of churches has increased to a great extent in coastal areas(am not saying this,writer François Gautier has quoted this in one of his articles).But no politician in Tamil Nadu will condemn this.During the last tenure,Ms.Jayalalitha brought a perfect law,which prohibits,forceful conversions to any religions.But again she bowed down to the pressure and after suffering a humiliating defeat,she revoked the law.But still many Christian associations,votes against her only.It was bad move to revoke that act.

I would also like to mention this here.I am not commenting on people who convert willingly.That is a separate topic and will share my thoughts on it later.

When we speak of conversions,the immediate question that should come to any sensible person's mind is, 'after conversion,whether 'casteism' gets wiped off completely?'.The answer is a big NO.Missionaries will promise you that after you convert your religion,you will be treated equally.They will say there is no caste in Christianity. But what happens in reality is something different.Even in christianity,a Dalit is called only a 'Dalit Christian'.A converted brahmin or Vanniyar is called a 'Christian Brahmin' or 'Christian Vanniyar' respectively.This logic holds good for all communities.Only a Dalit priest will conduct the marriage ceremony or death ceremony or anyother ceremony of a Dalit.The communal clashes among christians in Erayur village 2 yrs ago,itself is a clear indication that untouchability prevails in Christianity too.In a village belonging to Villupuram district,the chariot of St.Mary's church,will not pass through the streets of Dalit christians.So it is crystal clear that,in terms of untouchability,christianity is no different from Hinduism.And the current scenario,gives a clear message that,"conversion at no cost is a solution to eradicate casteism".

Even Mr.Periyar,whose name is brought by the people of Dravidar Kazhagam and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK),whenever bashing brahmins and hindus,has said like this only."Untouchability is a deadly evil.It has to be eradicated immediately.Otherwise,conversions will take place which is a huge threat to the sovereignty of this nation".So even Periyar doesn't support conversion.Am perfectly ok with this.Untouchability is an evil and it should be eradicated,but conversions should not be encouraged.

Another worst proposal that is in progress is,reservations to backward communities of chrisitians and muslims.I don't really understand the logic behind this.The 'varnasrama' system existed only in Hinduism and the reservation was completely based on 'socio' economic basis.From where does backward communities arise in Islam and Christianity?The reservation system itself is in existence only for the upliftment of the socially backward communities.If converted people are also going to get reservation,then the very idea of reservation itself becomes meaningless.

Because of this reservation system,I have seen people belonging to some of the so called forward communities talking all kinds of crap.Some people will speak as if they lost a seat in IIT/IIM only because of reservation.I have seen many guys/girls even speaking of changing their community status to BC,to get reservation.I can't accept this.Also one can't deny the fact that some of these so called FC people lose seats in reputed colleges,by a whisker.To prevent or reduce this(I don't think it is possible to prevent atleast in near future),the creamy layer should not be given reservation.Some changes has to be made in the existing system, so that the reservation should reach people who really deserves it and it also should gradually go down.First of all we have to understand this,there is nothing called forward community in India.There are only backward communities.Every other community,which is not considered backward,is grouped under OC(Other Communities).Reservation can never stop the talented people.If we take efforts,we will definitely get what we deserve.We may not get what we desire,but we will surely get what we deserve.

I have observed a different trend among a section of society.So many people have openly accused brahmins to me.Without any reason,people say,"brahmins are supporting this,so this will be done".Also they say,"he is a brahmin,so he is not a Tamilian,brahmins are mean minded" etc etc.To be honest,I have seen 'fanatic' brahmins too,like fanatics in every other community.I have seen fanatics in almost every community.But,for the sake of  'few' idiots,generalizing any community is the most insane thing to do.The caste hindus mentioned in that villoor incident are not brahmins.The politicians accuse brahmins like this for votes.They will not get votes anymore for brahmin bashing.But whats really dangerous is,educated people speaking all these crap.

I agree that some 'fanatic' brahmins are there.But there is nothing called brahmin domination,as few people project.They project only brahmins are in high positions and only they call the shots.It is completely false.Idiots are there in every community and the 'brahamin' community is no exception.

We should develop a mentality of viewing a mistake as a mistake.If a person commits a mistake,we should analyse the mistake alone and should act accordingly,instead we should not bring up the argument that "he/she is from a so and so caste/religion,so they will be like that only.".I hope people who read this and are supporting the double tumbler system,will change their mind.

I am not suggesting an inter-caste marriage here to people to prove your secular credentials.Also am not against inter-caste marriages.But,that is also not a proper solution to eradicate casteism.

There is only one perfect solution.It is changing ourselves.Let us all unite together.Let us fight this casteism,religious fanatics and conversions.Let us format the existing system and eradicate the virus called 'untouchability'.

P.S: Reservation can never stop the talented people.If we take efforts,we will definitely get what we deserve.We may not get what we desire,but we will surely get what we deserve.

I have received a comment from one of my friends on this point.Since this post is about untouchability,I didn't write about reservations in detail.Soon I will come up with a post about reservations and I will clarify my stand on this point in that post.


Vishnu said...

Good analysis and well presented...Great job.. :)

I agree with each and every point of yours buddy..Untouchability is a kind of cancer and it still has its root in the society today...Even I have bore witness to these things and to say that it is no more is utter bullshit..

And regarding the point about few educated people advocating the same is very true something to be ashamed of..A huge disgrace..

Good observation as well on the reservation...When an well educated scholar like Manmohan singh himself is made an puppet just like that what people from downtrodden class will be made into..Reservation surely will not empower them..Someone else with money and power will be dominating them...

Idiots are there in every community and the 'brahamin' community is no exception.//

Bulls eye..Only thing which India is not devoid of is Idiots...To restrict it to a caste or a particular set of people or region is not sensible..In this aspect there are no caste,creed or religion bias.There are stupids everywhere.. :P :P

FR33KiLL said...

Idhanal neengal sola varum karuthu.....? Caste irukanum nu soldriya... Iruka kudadhu nu soldriya....? Conversion irukanuma iruka kudadha....? Inter caste marriages irukanuma... Iruka kudadha....? Reservations irukanuma iruka kudadha......? Enda oru vishayam iruku aana ila ndra maariye soldriye da..... Una ena pandradhu.....

Super post machi.... You have become my inspiration da....

Harish.M said...

@Vishnu - Thanks for commenting :-)

Harish.M said...

Aravind - read this :

Am perfectly ok with this.Untouchability is an evil and it should be eradicated,but conversions should not be encouraged.

The above statement itself is enough to answer your queries.Casteism exists and it has to be eradicated. Conversions exists,which also has to be eradicated.

I am not suggesting an inter-caste marriage here to people to prove your secular credentials.Also am not against inter-caste marriages.

The thing is,inter-caste marriages will not become a solution to end this casteism.People who read this might think that am against inter-caste marriages,that's y I mentioned,"I am not against it".

Regarding reservations,it should not be revoked completely,some changes must be done in the existing system.

It seems you have read this post in a random manner,something like 5 lines in first para and 5 lines in last para.That's why you are confused,but am not :D.