Monday, May 31, 2010

Caste cauldron

Almost 64 years after independence , India has in many ways changed beyond recognition but in social terms , large parts of it remain in a medieval time warp. from child marriages to khaps that order killings of young couples violating caste customs   Undoubtedly, India has had caste entrenched in its social fabric for centries but democratic politics in independent India , which should have been an agent of progressive change, has done quite the opposite  In spite of all the work done by social reformers including M K Gandhi and the founding fathers of our Constitution to get rid of the curse of caste in India, it has steadily been undone by our self serving politicians . It all started in recent times when prime minister V.P.Singh reopened the Mandal issue in 1990 as official govt. policy.
No reasonable person disputes the need for the state to help the economically downtrodden but when this is based on caste, it strengthens all the regressive forces in society. Since then the caste politics has got an official sanction in our electoral arithmetic. It is amply demonstared by politicians like Mayawati, lalu Prasad Yadav, and Mulayam Singh Yadav.and in varying degrees by every political party who have exploited caste to grab power. The Indian constitution places special emphasis on outlawing caste discrimination . Besides, it is a humiliating rejection of huge strides India has taken in economic growth and its efforts for creating a modern society.
The country is still ridden by caste hierarchies, as the matrimonial columns prove. but to enumerate caste in a census is to legitimise caste politics and all the social ills it brings. It makes a mockery of merit, opportunity and social equality. By authorising a caste-based  census the Centre is setting the stage for increased demand for reservations and the perpetuating of dangerous social divide that already exists. It is a shameful betrayal of the Constitution for the sake of political power.
India's caste and sub-caste matrix was a complex layer of identity and power where ones birth defined the social status , education, marriage, jobs and future prospects. Now in one stroke it is back again concealed in the garb of social justice and social science.  It is an open invitation with an official seal for the political bigots to further exploit the tyranny of caste politics  DT

The battle for the FIH Hockey World Cup Drag n' drop

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