Category Archives: Caste

The castist Church!

I know its been some time since I have ruffled some feathers. So here I go again.

It all started out because of this issue called “marriage”, and when it was determined that I like my peers had attained the marriageable age, the proposals have started pouring in putting me on the defensive.

These proposals have added a new word to my lingo, “caste” (I am a nadar if you must know) which has never been a part of the my conversational jargon, suddenly finds itself in preeminent position.

The fact of the matter is that there is a can of worms waiting to explode in the church in India, atleast the ones that the generational Christians belong to. It has always been a open secret that caste has always factored in the church inspite of no theological grounds for differentiation between people.

Some may argue that the denominational split in the Christian church gives some leeway for castism to be practiced within the church. Some other appeasers of castism use the example of the tribes of Israel, which cannot but be called asinine.

Before I get ahead of myself, for the uninformed the connection between my proposals and caste is that in India, its not just enough to have the same belief system (as in religion) but you need to be part of the same ‘caste’ or social system. Theoretically Christians and Muslims don’t have the caste system. Which has prompted various ‘lower caste’ people to convert to Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

The fun part of it is that the generational Christians have always been following the caste system specially when it comes to marriage and such. I can’t speak for Islam or Buddhism but the non-castist nature of Indian Christianity is a farce.

So why this sudden outburst from your’s truly? Because I just snapped, because I just want to make a stand, because I am crazy and most importantly because the God I know does not differentiate. And if he does not differentiate who am I to do so (Romans 14:4)?

I cannot stress enough the negative and demoralising effect of castism in general, but to have it as part of my creed just makes my blood boil. Those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it … and the Indian Christians haven’t learnt anything from their western counterparts. I know it would be hard to wipe away, people being people, but looks like there is nobody ready to tackle the issue head on. What about me? me … I am nobody, I can’t even convince some of my own close relatives of the oxymoronic nature of a Christian caste system! So I do what I do best write about it and hope I can break down a few walls in the process.

I definitely have some earfuls coming my way for this post, but then again I got a thick skin and it is always funny to watch people defend something that is indefensible.

Those to whom arranged marriages seem incomprehensible, this additional castist corollary would only add to the mystery.

So here it is the gist of the whole post, castism has no place in Christianity … for that matter no place anywhere else.

This is a call to arms against dowry and castism. Somebody has to so its gonna start with me!

“I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse.” – Mark Twain

“Ideas are fatal to caste” – E.M Forster


Divide and rule!

A technique invented by the British imperialists, now perfected by the Indian politician. Divide they do by caste, creed, religion and geography, specially when its election time. This time round with elections occurring for five states in India.

The biggest divider this time around happens to be the “Human Resource Development” Minister Dr. Arjun Singh. He let out the cat among the pigeons by calling for reservation in the post-graduate level education at the premier educational institutions, medical colleges and private industries. It is a good election time gimmick to gather some votes, but it stinks of ‘rasheadedness’.

At the outset let me state that I am not against reservation(caste/race based). Mainly because I do not have an alternative solution to it.

I just have an issue with how it is implemented. If the government spent as much time on primary education for the lower castes to bring them in par with the mainstream, we wouldn’t have to resort to reservation at this level. There are certain fields that I believe should not be touched by reservation and the major area is medicine. I would feel safe to know that my doctor has the brains to get into medical college and has not had the medical degree forced on him due to reservation. It would be definitive be better to raise the standards of the down trodden rather than lower the bar. It would be oxymoronic, to call the Indian IITs and IIMs as one of the best in the world while we try to get in people under reservation.

In reality this reservation would only benefit the ricer of the lower caste, who have any idea of the perks of the system and would not really reach the intended audience of the lower income group. Instead of trying the top down model, the powers that be would be better off to try the bottom up model, if they really want to make a change.

The other interesting question that arises is how politicians implement such polarising moves with impunity. The cause lies in the fact that the middle class never really votes … they are just happy to live a contended life with no social responsibility. What the politicians are trying to do is speak to the uneducated (Who incidentally is not helped in any by such measures) who speak the language of division. Its easy to get the loyalty of a person who does not understand the consequences of such actions and whose caste loyalty is worn on his sleeve.

If the middle class and the educated masses want to prevent such divisive policies from seeing the light of day, they would have to put aside their complacency aside and be ready to actively exercise their social responsibility. The best way to do it would be by voting (against such policies)!
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