Caste System

Democracy with a difference? The curse of caste based politics in India

India, undoubtedly, is one of the largest democracies in the world. And, in terms of free and fair elections at all levels, India may be way ahead of other democratic giants. Central elections, state elections, district level, city level, you name it, we have them. On top of it, the trade unions have their own shows. And of course, elections for various positions held by taxi drivers, autorickshaw wallahs and so on.

But the age-old definition: “by the people, of the people, for the people” would not be accepted in toto. Much water has flowed under the bridge since India attained independence and gone are the days when even a child could tell you the name of all political parties that existed.

Now it has narrowed down to, “by this caste or that caste, of this caste or that caste and for this caste or that caste”. It is no longer for the people of India as such. Even the classification of people as rich, middle-class or poor is no longer accepted. The general view is that if one belongs to the so-called forward caste, they have to fight it out no matter how rich or poor they are. For the rest, there are so many benefits from the government’s side. And to make sure that they get these benefits continuously they have their own parties. One of their hobbies is to force the government to get loans for various purposes. Then they will hold demonstrations to force the government to write-off these loans. What these people fail to understand is that the dependence on countless concessions and reservations will rob the individuals of their self confidence or the will to come up in life on their own.

Author: P U Krishnan

First things first. I am one of those retired chaps who are young at heart. I watch cricket matches and jump for joy when Tendulkar scores yet another century. I read newspapers and books too, though I am not crazy about them. I think I have a mind free from hatred and I owe it to the wonders of nature and music. I scribble something now and then and call myself a writer! Though I have settled in Ooty, a lovely hill station in Tamil Nadu—I must emphasize the fact that I was born and brought up in Tellicherry in North Kerala and studied in the good old Government Brennen College. Of and on, my mind goes back to my ancestral house at Tiruvangad in Tellicherry in front of an ancient Sri Ram temple. I am indebted to this wonderful place which inculcated in me a love for cricket and literature. But all said and done, I am an Indian first.

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