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Inception of Casteism

When I was born, I didn’t know which caste I belonged to. Just 23 years later, I know it and I embrace it. Thank god! For I am not overly into it yet. I am looking back at the incidents which made me aware of my caste. If at all these incidents weren’t there in my life.. Well, I can’t change what happened! But I can try to change the future. 
I came to know of my caste for the first time, when I was just realizing the names of my relatives. My grandfather’s name contained the caste name too. The practice to place the caste as a part of the name is prevalent at their generation. Thankfully, my son/daughter will never come to know of their caste from their grandfather’s name. 
In my native place, “Aadi Thabasu” is a famous festival celebrated annually. During that time, there used to be functions arranged for twelve days (If I remember properly!). Everyday, one caste has to organize the function. So, these castes have communities with memberships to conduct these functions. Prizes will be distributed for academic achievers of the same caste at various schools. When I collected the prize, I came to know of the number of people from my caste. These functions also made me aware of how certain people are proud of being in a caste. I am not a member of the community anymore. My son/daughter will not be aware of the caste through this means.

There was a caste riot in my native place 15 years ago. It was between two castes from two neighboring villages for no reason at all other than caste. In this riots, more than 4 people died and many people have injured. I wondered how could caste be a reason to fight. Yes, it was. Incidents like this will instil casteism in young children’s mind and I have seen it happen. But as time passed, the fight between these two castes reduced. Now they are living peacefully. Hopefully in future, no such caste riot ever happens.

I haven’t filled my school application forms till tenth standard. For my admission to eleventh, I was filling up the form. Religion plus caste combination was there. What is the purpose of them in the admission application forms? I don’t know. Still I don’t! This can’t be removed by me. I am not sure whether it will be removed any time in future. But that is the first time, when I was made to write my caste name(It was like me saying that I am from this caste aloud.).

Once passed out of twelfth standard, we came to know of the quota system in educational institutions. Children sometimes feel jealous of the better privileged “yet backward” kids, who gets admission to better colleges with lesser marks. This can’t be avoided though, but It can be modified from a caste based quota system to financial status based quota system. It may or may not help as children are well aware of their caste by now.

Caste was based on the people’s work during the vedic times. That was fine then. They had several groups dedicated to do particular job. But now, the people have been looking for opportunities in whatever field they want. And they are doing pretty well in it. Every caste works in every field together. So, caste at this stage becomes meaningless and purposeless. At least to me. Our country is moving in a very fast pace with increased inter-caste marriages happening now. If it continues at this rate, in two or three generations, caste might not come into picture a lot. And hopefully, they will be fighting against branding of religion on people!

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