Humanity, Society & Culture

What could be done to abolish caste


BJP has been appropriating all national heroes India has. Since the agenda has moved from being simply pro-hindu to being pro-hindu + progressive, this kind of symbolic appropriation is nothing unexpected. Hindu upper castes feel in control, they are love the spin BJP gives to traditional vitriolic. Right wing think-tank is continuously at work to create progressive sounding rhetoric that changes little on ground, except polarizing the masses further. There is one key problem that BJP would love to address, but haven’t dared so far. Reservations.

I know people will point out what Yogi Adityanath has done in UP, and I must admit, on paper it looks like a good move. However, no reservations will not bridge the gap between lower castes and upper castes. It will only fuel the anger against ‘savarnas’ or upper castes for taking away priviledge that the community had got accustomed to. Also, it would be unfair for really underpriviledged communities, many of whom are even now marginalized. In many ways, this is a catch 22 situation with seemingly no answer. If you don’t give reservations, underdeveloped communities suffer, if you do, then the bias against lower castes strenghthens. Handing out reservations to economically underdeveloped is often pitched as a way out, but in a corrupt country like ours, how difficult it is to falsify economic state? Many of our politicians do not even have a crore in their bank accounts after all!

The only way out I see is offering reservations to progeny of inter-caste, and inter-religion couples. This could make a marriage in lower caste desirable for many upper castes if it means consolidation of wealth. Sure many fourth or fifth generation ‘lower-castes’, who are under-privileged would benefit, as they would be closest to what upper caste hindus find attractive. Yet, a state sanctioned benefit for breaking down caste barriers could have long term positive repercussions in annihilation of caste from India.

The question is, who will bell the cat?

Economics and Politics, Relationships & Families, Society & Culture

Why Comparing Ashoka and Taimur is ridiculous

I see a lot of people indulging in whataboutery over Saif and Kareena’s son being named as Taimur. Their point is, if a lot of Hindus can be named Ashoka, why can’t muslims be named as ‘Taimur’? Here are my reasons why the two are not quite the same.
1) Name Ashoka existed way before the emperor, and its roots can be traced to the tree by the same name. A lot of Indians have named their kids Ashok not because of the emperor, but because of the tradition of this name in Hindu culture.
2) Ashoka has been ‘sanitized’ as a figure of great humility by historians, while his real history is forgotten. Taimur’s history is very much that of a barbaric plunderer, with not even made up stories of his kindness. Thus any attempt to recreate his legacy is provocative.
3) Because people are named Ashoka, it doesn’t mean there should be people named Taimur. If we go by that logic, why don’t we name our kids Stalin, Hitler, or Genghis Khan?
While the parents retain this right of namjng their kids whatever they fancy, its a little strange statement to make in this day and age.