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Caste system: Does it make sense in an era of globalisation?

The primitive caste system dating back to 1500 BC still continues to divide our society. It has been a cause of numerous honour killings and brutal murders; a tool for building vote banks for unprincipled politicians and a means for inciting mob violence by fringe groups. Surveys show caste-based discrimination exists even in urban settings in educational institutions and workplaces, and untouchability, which is banned, is still practised discreetly in rural hinterlands particularly. Every now and then, some part of the nation comes to a boil over caste – the nation’s financial capital Mumbai faced the brunt of one such sporadic violence at the start of the year when the Dalit’s celebration of the victory of historic Bhima Koregaon against upper caste Marathas was opposed by “right wing” group. Houses of the poor and vehicles were torched and lives lost.

Grow up India!

The nation is 72 years old today. But not any wiser for when it comes to developing a modern outlook that can take us farther, we seem to be taking a step backwards every day. This is in stark contrast to the prevailing narrative of India as a rising economy buoyed by liberalisation and globalisation. Instead of partaking in nation building in our own little ways, we seem to be doing the opposite by succumbing to blind faith and archaic practises that hold no value.

So, as you sit relaxed in your couches on this public holiday – a result of hard-earned freedom by ardent nation lovers – take a moment to ponder over these issues. Think over how you can contribute your bit to make a difference.